Archive for the 'Warren Publishing' Category

1974 Famous Monsters Convention Program

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Chock full of history about monsters and monstercons, Forry Ackerman (check out his office in the fourth photo down), Phil Seuling (early con organizer who developed the direct market distribution model), and James Warren, not to mention some glorious art and ads, you can read the whole program at From Zombos’ Closet, a terrific monsterkid blog. Also check out the equally interesting 1975 Famous Monsters Convention Program.

The 1975 Warren Awards: Ken Kelly, Berni Wrightson, Alex Toth, and More

Warren 1975-1

Warren 1975-2

They’re all legends. In fact, I just wrote a piece on Kelly for Warpo Toys called Ken Kelly and the Golden Age of Toy Art. Please check it out. If you share the post on Facebook and/or Twitter with the hashtag #CthulhuIsComing, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win an autographed (by Kelly!) Legends of Cthulhu coloring book. Kelly, if you didn’t know, did the spectacular art for Warpo’s Legends of Cthulhu line.

(Images via Booksteve’s Library)

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee Reading Horror Comics (Circa 1974)

Cushing Creepy

Lee Dracula #4 1974

Two of my heroes. The issues are Creepy #11 and Dracula Lives #4.

Lee passed away on June 7, 2015. Earl Norem, who painted the cover of the issue Lee is reading, died on June 19, 2015.

(Images via The Peter Cushing Appreciation Society UK)

Eerie Jigsaw Puzzle (Milton Bradley, 1977)

Eerie Puzzle

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There were six puzzles in the series, per the entry below from the 1979 Milton Bradley catalog*. I’ve got a close-up of another puzzle here.

The brilliant art on the one above is from Ken Kelly for Eerie #64. Kelly’s cover work is featured on four of the six puzzles.

MB Cat 1979

*The blurb reads

This spine-chilling puzzle assortment has long been wanted by all our fans of the macabre and grotesque. From Warren Publications “Eerie” and “Creepy” comic series, we present in puzzle form, six cover illustrations that are considered to be classics by comic book collectors…

“Considered to be classics by comic collectors” is a backhanded compliment, isn’t it?

(Images via eBay)

Creepy Jigsaw Puzzle (Milton Bradley, 1977)

Creepy Jigsaw 1977

Creepy #28 8-1969

According to a post at The Magic Robot, Milton Bradley released three puzzles featuring art from Creepy covers, and three featuring art from sister magazine Eerie. I’ve seen a couple on eBay and both had a copyright date of 1977. I’m not a collector, but I might make an exception for these. It’s a brilliant idea, and I find it telling that a major, family friendly corporation like Milton Bradley would license the lurid output of Warren Publishing.

You can read Creepy #28 at the Internet Archive. The cover artist is Vic Prezio, who contributed to Eerie and Famous Monsters of Filmland as well. He also worked extensively in the men’s action-adventure pulps of the 1960s. See more of his work at Flickr.

Many of the original Warren titles are online now. If you’re interested in reviewing issues, drop me a line. I think that would be a fun, worthwhile project.

Warren Special Edition: The Lord of the Rings Magazine (June, 1979)

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Don’t you wish you could thumb through the whole mag, written by the delightfully weird Forrest J. Ackerman? Oh, wait. You can.

If you think the Lord of the Rings “sculpture banks” are an odd choice for merchandise, wait until I post the finger puppets.

Comic Book Stand, 1975

Comic Book Rack, 1975

Photo via Detective21

Oh, how they gleam with fresh-off-the-press-ness. I can smell them from here.

Horror titles (comics and magazines) were immensely popular at the time, and comic back issues will cost you a grip today, even in poor condition. The genre saw a huge resurgence in the ’70s for a number of reasons, all of them mutually reinforcing: the commercial success of 1968’s Night of the Living Dead and especially Rosemary’s Baby; changes in the Comics Code (1971) that permitted the depiction of “vampires, ghouls and werewolves”; the proliferation of syndicated horror showcases across the nation: Fright Night (1970), Creature Double Feature (circa 1972), Chiller Thriller (circa 1974), etc. (I’ll post some of the intros later on Facebook.)

As much as I love The Tomb of Dracula and all of Marvel’s monster titles, DC really set the comics standard with The Unexpected, House of Mystery, House of Secrets, The Witching Hour, and Ghosts. Weird War (not pictured here) was a brilliant combination of the horror and war genres. If I had a choice of a full run, that’s the one I’d want.

Above the comics you’ll see some magazines, including Monsters Unleashed, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters of Filmland. The pile of Mad magazines on the bottom right is #174. Cheap!

Mad #174

Comic Book Store, 1978

Comic Shop 1978

The ad, showing Vancouver’s The Comic Shop, is from The First Vancouver Catalogue. The pic on top shows rows and rows of fantasy paperbacks in the glorious heyday of fantasy paperbacks. Several editions of Conan appeared between 1966 (Lancer Books) and the early ’80s. They included Howard’s original stories and new works by contemporary authors, notably L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter.

The Marvel titles in the bigger photo are mostly obscured, but what a great look at all the magazines. Will Eisner’s Spirit, 1984, The Hulk! (formerly The Rampaging Hulk) #10 (Val Mayerik cover art), and The Savage Sword of Conan #33 (killer Earl Norem cover). On the second row, you’ll see a `Jaws vs Ape’ headline. That’s Famous Monsters of Filmland #146.

FM #146 1978

Not cover specialist Bob Larkin’s best work, and why the hell is the ape beating on Jaws, anyway? Here’s my best guess.

1976’s A*P*E (no shit, it stands for Attacking Primate MonstEr) is compellingly awful, and introduces a young Joanna Kerns (the mom in Growing Pains). RKO sued the production company for its blatant attempt to rip off Dino De Laurentiis’s 1976 King Kong remake, hence the hilarious disclaimer at the end of the trailer.

Also, listen for the very poorly edited “See giant ape defy jaw-shark!” I’m sure the narrator originally used ‘jaws’, but was forced to change it due to legal pressure from Universal Pictures. So, in true exploitation fashion, they replaced the ‘s’ by dubbing ‘shark’ over it.

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I’m happy to report that The Comic Shop is still there. On the website’s history page, I found a bonus photo of co-founder and owner Ron Norton in 1975. You can spot several more comic magazines behind him, including Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction #1, and more fantasy and sci-fi paperbacks (Zelazny, Silverberg) in the foreground.

Comic Shop 1975

(First image via Sequential: Canadian Comics News and Culture)

(Video via TrashTrailers/YouTube)


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