A Light in the Black
I wasn't going to start veering off into more niche monsters until some fundamental ones laid the framework, but I couldn't miss the opportunity to honor one of metal's last true heroes, lost this past Sunday morning: Ronnie James Dio. I don't think anyone can disagree with me saying he was taken too early- even if it was at the claws of a mighty dragon (I will not hear any other explanation). In any case, the only way this page can pay tribute is through the telling of the demon's story, so let's get right to it: today's subject is the Dio mascot, 'Murray'.
The oddly-named 'Murray', or Murralsee, as we are about to...er...see, was designed by Randy Berret and Gene Hunter. The original inception graced the cover of Holy Diver, Dio's easily most iconic cover, and though he was used in two more album covers, the artists in charge of illustrating him changed each time. One would think there is not much more to say- cool looking demon on a metal cover - what's new there? He is no where near as recognizeable or loved as say, Iron Maiden's Eddie the Head. But the fascinating truth is, Murray has got a hell of a lot more history! Dio's 1987 Dream Evil tour produced a souvenir booklet in which his story was told for the first time (and to my knowledge, the last), written by Heidi Ellen Robinson. Some research shows she is a music publicist apparently still working today; a Scientologist whose interests include fantasy, horror, historical and science fiction. Here is his origin in its entirety (my personal must-read segment in bold):