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November 10, 2007
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Christopher Lee Caricature by JayFosgitt Christopher Lee Caricature by JayFosgitt
(Update: Christopher Lee has finally been knighted--long overdue, I feel--so I'm changing all references to him to "Sir" because he's just plain ol' awesome and deserves it!)

I've got a lot to say here, so bare with me...

This is the final piece to my classic horror movie actor series of caricatures, which included Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price. I had given much consideration to including Peter Cushing (a contemportary of Sir Christopher Lee's and a fellow Hammer studio stock player), but I feel that the four I've chosen are the best, and fill out the series perfectly without any other inclusions. Sir Christopher Lee is, in my opinion, the scariest of the four horsemen of my illustrated apocalypse. His baritone voice, his dark menacing eyes, and his imposing stature made him a physical icon in the horror world. But what really made him a force to be reckoned with was the freedom given to him by Hammer studio, which exemplified blood and sex in the most unabashed and unapologetic fashion. As movie history's greatest Dracula, Sir Christopher Lee popped blood red eyes and bared gory fangs at no shortage of buxom young peasant girls, some to be his concubines, some to be his meal. The many ways Sir Christopher Lee's Dracula was continually dispatched by his nemesis Van Helsing (portrayed brilliantly by the previously mentioned Cushing) allowed for the same no-hold-barred approach of horror. Sunlight rotted away his decaying skull into a muddied mash of flesh and bone. A smashed wagon wheel drove itself messily into his chest as the count screamed horrifically into the night. All this did I attempt to endow my caricature with. Seeing as how Hammer relished in it's Technicolor bloodshed, I chose Sir Christopher Lee to be the only one of the four to enjoy the spoils of hue and pigment (Lugosi only worked in black and white, and it can be argued that Karloff and Price's best work was done sans color, which is why I went black and white with them). I also wanted to convey the violent sexuality of Sir Christopher Lee's best horror films. In this, I crafted one of his vampire concubines, writhing in the background, breasts heaving towards the blood soaked moon as legions of bats escape the dark and forbidden confines found beneath her peasant dress. Disgusting? Perhaps. Disturbing? I'd hope so. Symbolic of Sir Christopher Lee's body of horror work? Fits him to a T, says I. Like my other three subjects in this series, I strived to draw Sir Christopher Lee as he looked at the peak of his career. In this case, during the early to late 60's when his dark brown hair was being to see the advent of grey, I felt was the pinnacle of his horror work. In all honesty, as Sir Christopher Lee is the last man standing in my collection of ghouls, I still believe the work he produces today is just as impressive, potentially more so as his age (85 at present) adds depth and ancient terror to his modern performances. So I could just as easily have drawn him as he was today. But, wanting to keep a sense of unity with the other three, I drew him from his younger days. So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this series. I reveled in it. Creating this particular caricatures has been a very refreshing, invigorating and creatively fulfilling experience. Sure, kicking out a decent caricature of Jennifer Aniston or Jessica Alba has its perks, but to pay homage to the greatest horror actors of the 20th century has so much more validity, sense of purpose and personal satisfaction to it. Then again, I may be making too much out of creating caricatures soley for the sake of creating them. Regardless, this piece and it's accompanying pieces mean a lot to me. Oh, and as a final thought, I'd considered not doing this piece because Halloween is over and the series seemed like it should have wrapped up in time for the big day. But y'know, I feel about Halloween the way most people do about Christmas, and to me, Halloween can and should be every day if you keep the spirit alive in you. So that's what I'm trying to do here, just exercising the spirit!
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:icontaralwayne:
TaralWayne Sep 16, 2011  Professional General Artist
Gauntest Christopher Lee I've ever seen... sure it isn't Ave Vigoda putting one over on ya?
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:iconrudeboy308:
Lee once shared a story about wandering through the Spanish countryside during the beginning of his fame as Dracula. As he walked the streets in civilian clothes, mothers in their houses would grab their kids and shut the doors as he walked by. Proving that Lee is the best at scaring the hell out of people then and now. A fitting tribute--and the woman with the long flowing hair and the perky boobies (Hammer loved the eye candy, especially one as tasty as the late Ingrid Pitt) in the background is quite nice, too.
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:icondarkruler64:
darkruler64 Mar 11, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I think Ansem the Wise and Scaramanga are my favorite roles of his.

He was also my favorite Dracula
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:iconphuzface1:
PHUZface1 Sep 1, 2009  Student Artist
Perfecto! And I agree: Christopher Lee is one of the best Draculas to come after Bela's. Marvelous caricature and background design.
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:iconjfakeweston:
Make that Sir Christopher Lee ;)

Nice work on all of these horror icons!
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:iconjayfosgitt:
JayFosgitt Jun 14, 2009  Professional Artist
I know! I was so proud of him when I heard! I think I'll go in and change all references to him to "Sir"!
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:iconsuccubus-angel:
Succubus-Angel Aug 30, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Christopher Lee has got to be one of my favourite voice and live actors. You've done so well in capturing his expression so well ^__^ Great job, hon!
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:iconmatthewsmith:
That's a splendid likeness of the man with the world's most ominous voice (you may know he's now doing Death's lines in Sky One's Discworld adaptations - spot-on casting or what?), and the use of colour is extremely striking. It's cartoony and fun but suprisingly creepy at the same time.
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:iconjayfosgitt:
JayFosgitt Jul 5, 2008  Professional Artist
Wow, thank you! I always love it when people appreciate my attempts at cartoon creepiness!
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:iconrman021:
Just don't call him Dracula, he hates it.
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