David Ansell’s cover for Hellbound Train, 1972.
As a child, I had a combined fascination and terror of anything that anyone even suggested might be scary. For instance, I used to totally unsettle myself at the supermarket by wandering into the movie rental area and looking at the then-horrifying box art of 80s b-movie staples like Street Trash, Dead Alive, and Phenomena, movies which I now know typically far more campy than frightening (however genius), but at the time actually watching such a thing would have been unthinkable. (In fact, it wasn’t until after college that I actually saw any of these).
In a similar vein, the extreme fascination that one record in my parents collection held over me: Savoy Brown’s Hellbound Train. While the actual music turned out to be fairly forgettable early-70s blues rock, the sleeve art and espectially entire gatefold of comics illustrating the concept were distinctly creepier and more unforgettable, even driving me to produce my own variants at age seven or so (I promise to try to dig these out next time I’m home). Well, semi-unforgettable, as I actually did forget this for some number of years, but for no discernible reason it all just came springing back into mind, and now I just really want someone to come up with a decent scan of the comics, among the first outside the newspaper that I’d ever read, I think. Or any word on what David Ansell produced besides this.