Warren Magazine Reading Club!
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CREEPY #4 - August 1965

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According to the Warren Magazine Index...

4. cover: Frank Frazetta (Aug. 1965)

                1) Creepy’s Loathsome Lore: Corpses! [Archie Goodwin/Al Williamson] 1p   [frontis]

                2) Monster Rally! [Archie Goodwin/Angelo Torres] 8p

                3) Blood And Orchids! [Archie Goodwin/Al McWilliams] 7p

                4) The Damned Thing! [Archie Goodwin/Gray Morrow] 6p   from the story by Ambrose Bierce

                5) Moon City! [Larry Englehart/Al McWilliams] 6p

                6) Curse Of The Full Moon! [Archie Goodwin/Reed Crandall] 8p

                7) The Trial Of Adam Link! [Otto Binder/Joe Orlando] 7p   from the story by Binder

                8) Creepy Ad [Angelo Torres] 1p   [on inside back cover]

Notes: Goodwin was now listed as editor.  The magazine increased to 56 pages but most of that is given over to Captain Company ads.  No cover date but this is the Aug. 1965 issue.  Frazetta’s cover was his best yet--a man is confronted by a werewolf while traveling over the moors.  Just beautiful and the first true classic Warren cover.  ‘Monster Rally’ revealed the origin of Uncle Creepy.  Art honors go to Al McWilliams for two very good jobs—making one wish he had done more for Warren.  The best is ‘Blood And Orchids’.  Crandall’s art job is also quite nice and illustrated the best story for this issue.

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Love the cover, many moons in this one--looking forward to the Trial of Billy J...  er... Adam Link!  Also looking forward to MORE PAGES OF ADS!

Edited by Axe Elf
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Creepy 4 thoughts:

Cover:  Not as big a fan of this as of some.  I think my issue is the scale... it looks more to me like a small vampire than a big werewolf, when the opposite was intended.  Nice choice of colors, though, and as usual there's no such thing as bad Frazetta, just "less great".

Loathsome Lore:  Slightly odd, going out of the way to not call things ghosts in a couple of the examples.  But Williamson is always great on art.

Monster Rally:  I think Torres is starting to change to work with the B&W reproduction. The story always feels a bit too much like a rip of of "Lower Berth!" to completely work for me.

Blood & Orchids: McWilliams is an underrated artist and the twist plays out really well here, a good addition to the group of artists.

The Damned Thing:  Nice art by Morrow, a solid adaptation by Goodwin, but not a particular stand-out despite that.

Moon City!: Nice McWilliams art on an underwhelming story by Larry Engleheart, who apparently only wrote two comic stories ever.  But props to Warren for looking for brand new talent, it's a good sign that will pay dividends handsomly in the not too distant future.  Even if this wasn't one of them.

Curse of the Full Moon:  A nice Goodwin/ Crandall piece, one of the stronger stories in the issue.

The Trial of Adam Link:  I may stop saying anything about these going forward... for better or worse I just find them incredibly unengaging.

Overall, a bit weaker than #3... but we're working from a stronger baseline than the first couple issues already.  Things are looking up.

After the first three issues, my copy of #4 is actually really nice, bar a few spine ticks and a light color breaking crease in the lower corner.  Not all my books are beat up readers, although my copy certainly isn't super high grade either.

Creepy_004.jpg

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On 5/22/2022 at 12:38 AM, OtherEric said:

That will be in the Marvel Magazines Reading Club, which we can start once we finish off the Warrens, perhaps...

DHOKF_11.jpg

lol

I did download all of them...

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On 5/22/2022 at 12:35 AM, OtherEric said:

Cover:  Not as big a fan of this as of some.  I think my issue is the scale... it looks more to me like a small vampire than a big werewolf, when the opposite was intended.

I haven't read the stories yet, but the Index didn't describe it as a vampire and a werewolf, but rather "a man is confronted by a werewolf while traveling over the moors."  In that case, I could see why a man might be dwarfed by a werewolf.

Of course, they described the cover of CREEPY #3 as "a ghoul entering a castle," when that wasn't really what the story was about, either, so I dunno.  Guess I'll just have to read the book!

EDIT:  If it IS a vampire, it looks like he has a couple of reinforcements en route from the castle!

Edited by Axe Elf
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On 5/21/2022 at 10:45 PM, Axe Elf said:

I haven't read the stories yet, but the Index didn't describe it as a vampire and a werewolf, but rather "a man is confronted by a werewolf while traveling over the moors."  In that case, I could see why a man might be dwarfed by a werewolf.

Of course, they described the cover of CREEPY #3 as "a ghoul entering a castle," when that wasn't really what the story was about, either, so I dunno.  Guess I'll just have to read the book!

EDIT:  If it IS a vampire, it looks like he has a couple of reinforcements en route from the castle!

That might be part of why I thought it was supposed to be a vampire.  That, and he looks a bit like Christoper Lee to me, at least to the extent you can tell from the side like that.

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On 5/22/2022 at 1:56 PM, OtherEric said:

That might be part of why I thought it was supposed to be a vampire.  That, and he looks a bit like Christoper Lee to me, at least to the extent you can tell from the side like that.

I always got a Basil Rathbone vibe from the guy on the cover.

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On 5/1/2022 at 12:58 AM, Axe Elf said:

What caused the collapse?  There were a number of different reasons.  

You don't mention the big one: Marvel Curtis magazines had one objective, to use their distribution muscle to force Warren and Skywald magazines off the newsstands.  Why do you think there were so many short-lived horror-themed titles, each of which folded after less than a dozen issues?  Al Hewetson would later contend that Skywald still had fans when they folded, the fans just couldn't find the magazines.  Warren survived, but never recovered financially (witness for example the heavy reuse of covers in their later years).

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On 5/22/2022 at 6:13 PM, Taylor G said:

You don't mention the big one:

I didn't write it, I was just quoting the Warren Magazine Index, but yeah, I'm sure competition is always a factor.  It sounds like some of the factors that allowed Warren to withstand the competition for as long as they did were somewhat frayed and dissipating and therefore less effective toward the end of the Warren era, and so the competition overtook them.

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Ok, well, based on the penultimate story in the issue, "Curse of the Full Moon," it appears that the Frazetta cover does, in fact, illustrate a werewolf confronting a mere mortal on the moors--rather than a vampire, as the incoming bats might suggest.

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I actually really enjoyed that story; I thought it was well-told with more depth than a lot of Goodwin's stories thus far.  In fact, I thought a lot of this issue was better-written than some of the eye-rollers from the first couple of issues.

Of course, it helps when you adapt stories from the masters, like the Poe tale in CREEPY #3 and the Ambrose Bierce quickie in this issue, "The Damn Thing."  Man, the Morrow art on the "Thing" (is it a coincidence his name is Gray?) was so realistic in some panels, it really looked like a photograph of something that couldn't be photographed--in the dark.  I don't know how you even begin to illustrate that, but he did.

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Ironically enough, one of the stories I was looking forward to the most was the continuation of the Adam Link saga, "The Trial of Adam Link."  I liked how the "Frankenstein" story had been mapped onto this science fiction framework in the first episode, but this episode, I don't know, wasn't as exciting I guess?  Anyway, I don't know if more episodes are coming or not, but I'm not as hopeful as I was after his initial introduction.

I was glad he got to visit Terry's grave, though!

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Probably the worst-written tale in this tome is "Moon City," which never really feels like more than filler material, but the ending really stretches credibility.  Not only did the decontamination crew, charged with ridding the evacuated construction site of "even the smallest germ brought during construction," manage to miss not just a germ, but a whole pregnant German Shepherd, there was just enough food stored on Moon City for the resulting dog pack to not QUITE starve--but to be ravenously hungry five years later when the humans returned?

C'mon, man...

That leaves us with the first two stories.

"Monster Rally" was amazing.  Artist Angelo Torres really got to flex his monster-drawing muscles in this one--ghouls, vampires, hunchbacks, a Frankenstein monster, werewolves, mummies, and witches were all specifically depicted...

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...and then when they all went up in flames--beautiful!

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And all that art and storytelling was really just the origin story for Uncle Creepy--born from the fiery crucible of every known monster infused with immortality juice!!!  What a freaking awesome way to start out CREEPY #4!

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"Blood and Orchids" was ok, but it's like what, the fourth or fifth story about mistaken vampire identity that we've seen in the first four issues?  At least this time the true vampire turned out to be the orchids, so the twist wasn't entirely stale.

I definitely thought the stories in this issue were overall the best yet, and there were several times I when I had to stop reading just to sigh and take in the art.  Sorry for reprinting so much of it here, but that aspect of the CREEPY appeal (the artwork) is really taking hold by now.  Hopefully the stories will continue to improve in depth and substance as well.

The "Loathsome Lore" on "corpses" turned out to be as much about ghosts as dead bodies, but whatev.

The letters page of this issue seemed to be the most critical yet, with one really long letter especially detailing all of CREEPY's faults.  At least they didn't censor the critics!  I also appreciated the person who noticed Uncle Creepy on the cover of an "Infamous Monsters" magazine sitting on the table in "Howling Success" from CREEPY #3:

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I love little in-jokes like that!

Also enjoyed having expanded advertisement pages in this issue, from the 10 foot inflatable rubber snake, to the plastic guillotine model, to the 8mm projector for only $9.98!

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EERIE #1 - September 1965

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(Note:  This is a stock image; I don't have a physical copy.)

According to the Warren Magazine Index...

Eerie Ashcan Edition

    1. cover: Jack Davis (Sept. 1965)   reprinted from Creepy #2 (Apr. 1965)

          1) Image Of Bluebeard! [Bill Pearson/Joe Orlando] 7p  

          2) Death Plane [Larry Ivie/George Evans] 6p

          3) The Invitation [Larry Englehart, Russ Jones & Maurice Whitman/Manny Stallman] 7p

Notes: Publisher James Warren.  Editor: Archie Goodwin.  This is technically the first issue of Eerie, rushed into print overnight by Warren, Goodwin & letterer Gaspar Saladino to foil Eerie Publications from ‘stealing’ the title of Warren’s second horror magazine.  Only 200 copies were printed.  The stories included were all originally intended for either Creepy #7 or #8.  The magazine was never actually distributed.  Copies were dropped off at New York newsstands so that {one would guess} Warren could point them out to lawyers and say “See, we’ve already got a magazine called Eerie on the stands!”  The Jack Davis cover came from an ad that ran in Creepy.  In 1978, bootleg editions of this issue were released into the fan collector market.  Warren ran several ads condemning the practice and offered a $500.00 reward for the arrest of the culprits but they were never caught.

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It's kind of a short read this week--if you can find a copy to read--but it's cool to be reading something other than a CREEPY this week--on to the first "ashcan" issue of EERIE from September of 1965!

I'm hoping that someone will be able to explain the differences between the original printing, the second printing, and the bootlegs.  I've seen descriptions of the differences, but I can't really relate them to the pictures--a bald headed man?  There are like 10 men in that panel, and it looks like several of them might be bald--so which one are we talking about?  But in the original, you can't see him at all because he fades into the black?  Something like that.  And then something about broken lines vs straight lines on a house?

I'm calling out @oakman29 on this too, because he tried to explain it to me once just after I joined here, but I didn't know enough then to know what I needed to know, and I don't really remember anything he said now, and I can't find the thread.  But I feel like he has some wisdom to share on this issue.

Anyone else with the inside scoop is welcome to chime in as well.  I just want to come out of this week feeling like I would know an original EERIE #1 if I ever came across it.

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Eerie #1 thoughts:

For this one I need to go to alternative sourcing of the issue, specifically the digital edition of the first volume of the Eerie Archives from Dark Horse.  I got it back when Comixology was still its own thing, but I believe it's available on the Amazon storefront still as well.  At least it's possible to source the book despite the rarity of the original.

Cover:  It uses the Jack Davis art from the subscription ad in the back of Creepy #2.  If I claimed the cover to Creepy #1 was better suited to being an ad than an actual cover, this is the reverse:  It makes an excellent cover to start off the issue.

Table of contents:  Very minimalist, and to me it looks like it crosses the line between "supposed to look rough and vaguely scary" and "just looks sloppy".  Still, it does the job.

Image of Bluebeard:  A nice story by Bill Pearson and Joe Orlando, with a solid twist.

Ghost Plane:  George Evans is an extraordinarily underrated artist, and WWI is his specialty.  Ivie provides a suitable story for him to showcase his work.  It's a shame Evans didn't do more for Warren, this and some material in Blazing Combat is it.

The Invitation:  Manny Stallman is another creator who only did a few pieces for Warren. He has a distinct style that is nicely disorienting in this case, but he's one of those artists where a little goes a long way with me.  There are three credited writers on the story, by last name only, in the reprint in Creepy #8, and even the GCD is guessing on exactly which people with those last names wrote it.

Eerie's Loathsome Lore:  Reprinted from Creepy #2, with a crude illo of Cousin Eerie replacing Uncle Creepy at the top of the page.  I suppose this is technically Cousin Eerie's first appearance, since he didn't host the earlier stories.  (They either used Uncle Creepy or removed the host altogether.)  Proof they never expected anybody outside the copyright office to actually see this:  Why on earth would you reprint the Lubbers lore page rather than the Frazetta lore page from Creepy #2?

Back Cover:  A "from the creators of" page promoting the new book.  Very rough paste-ups of the other logos, and "trademark" clearly visble under the Eerie logo at the bottom.  

Additional note:  This came out the same month as the last issue of Help!, although I have no idea if it was meant to replace that title in the publishing schedule specifically.  

The issue has an air of panic about it but we know it got the job done.  The three actual stories are quite solid, but the fact that there are only three makes this feel like a fairly weak issue even if the actual content is good.  It's nice to see Warren trying to pull in some other veteran creators, even if the ones working on this issue wound up not staying with Warren for long.

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On 5/29/2022 at 12:00 AM, Axe Elf said:

Anyone else with the inside scoop is welcome to chime in as well.  I just want to come out of this week feeling like I would know an original EERIE #1 if I ever came across it.

I don't like your chances but I'm impressed with your ambition.  Here's some reading material on the subject:

 

 

Edited by Randall Dowling
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On 5/29/2022 at 1:59 AM, Randall Dowling said:

I don't like your chance but I'm impressed with your ambition.  Here's some reading material on the subject:

 

 

Well neat, 19 pages of posts that mostly link to pages that don't exist any more...

I'm still hopeful someone will be able to enlighten us on the differences between the versions--with circles and arrows depicting this "bald headed man" and the broken/unbroken lines on the house--in a couple of succinct paragraphs.

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6a00d83451d04569e2017615b3be0e970c.thumb.jpg.776503b3e3a8cd4f605c7a5911435acf.jpgEerie #1 ashcan is a white elephant in as the original printing was very difficult to find,  and was indeed rushed out to local locations near the Warren headquarters so they could show that they indeed already had a product called Eerie on the market. It was nothing but that. They didnt really care about content so they just threw it together. Now as far as the differences between the original and 2nd print, or "bootleg ". The story goes that the original plates were used to make the "2nd print" and that someone who actually worked at Warren found them and reprinted a certain amount(unknown) at the Warren headquarters. Jim Warren had his suspicions as to who this was , but could not be positive. 

I'm pretty sure page 18 panel 5 has a blacked out area where they blacked out a mans bald head on the original copies, but on the 2nd print the bald man was indeed there, hence why they know the original printing plates had to have been used.

On the second print the 2nd print had blue lining on the staples, where as the original had plain staples.  There is a certain sheen to the printing on the paper as to the type of printing and ink used in the process. Xerox copies could not replicate,  so buyers of any copies beware. There are several tell tale signs , but these are the most telling. 

Edited by oakman29
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On 5/29/2022 at 7:34 AM, oakman29 said:

6a00d83451d04569e2017615b3be0e970c.thumb.jpg.776503b3e3a8cd4f605c7a5911435acf.jpgEerie #1 ashcan is a white elephant in as the original printing was very difficult to find,  and was indeed rushed out to local locations near the Warren headquarters so they could show that they indeed already had a product called Eerie on the market. It was nothing but that. They didnt really care about content so they just threw it together. Now as far as the differences between the original and 2nd print, or "bootleg ". The story goes that the original plates were used to make the "2nd print" and that someone who actually worked at Warren found them and reprinted a certain amount(unknown) at the Warren headquarters. Jim Warren had his suspicions as to who this was , but could not be positive. 

I'm pretty sure page 18 panel 5 has a blacked out area where they blacked out a mans bald head on the original copies, but on the 2nd print the bald man was indeed there, hence why they know the original printing plates had to have been used.

On the second print the 2nd print had blue lining on the staples, where as the original had plain staples.  There is a certain sheen to the printing on the paper as to the type of printing and ink used in the process. Xerox copies could not replicate,  so buyers of any copies beware. There are several tell tale signs , but these are the most telling. 

Thank you, Randall and Oakman. :foryou:

Lord knows this is one of the most controversial books Warren ever put out and researching it should come with a warning label. 

What I can tell you is that a true first edition is extremely rare and there are probably only a handful of them that survived. According to Warren himself, only a couple hundred copies were printed in order to secure the title, and he only kept a few of those. According to what I've read, Al Hewetson was one of the people Warren gave a copy to, as well as the master of the macabre, Mr. Bernie Wrightson. 

The "blue staple" copies are a bit more common, but controversy surrounds those as well. And there seems to be a number of counterfeit editions, which is one of the reasons CGC decided not to slab them. Interestingly enough, the Can't Buy Can't Sell company did decide to slab them, even though as far as I know they don't have a Warren expert on their staff...  (shrug)

 

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On 5/29/2022 at 6:34 AM, oakman29 said:

6a00d83451d04569e2017615b3be0e970c.thumb.jpg.776503b3e3a8cd4f605c7a5911435acf.jpgEerie #1 ashcan is a white elephant in as the original printing was very difficult to find,  and was indeed rushed out to local locations near the Warren headquarters so they could show that they indeed already had a product called Eerie on the market. It was nothing but that. They didnt really care about content so they just threw it together. Now as far as the differences between the original and 2nd print, or "bootleg ". The story goes that the original plates were used to make the "2nd print" and that someone who actually worked at Warren found them and reprinted a certain amount(unknown) at the Warren headquarters. Jim Warren had his suspicions as to who this was , but could not be positive. 

I'm pretty sure page 18 panel 5 has a blacked out area where they blacked out a mans bald head on the original copies, but on the 2nd print the bald man was indeed there, hence why they know the original printing plates had to have been used.

On the second print the 2nd print had blue lining on the staples, where as the original had plain staples.  There is a certain sheen to the printing on the paper as to the type of printing and ink used in the process. Xerox copies could not replicate,  so buyers of any copies beware. There are several tell tale signs , but these are the most telling. 

This is more along the lines I was hoping for--thank you @oakman29!

So the bald-headed man DOES appear in the 2nd print, but DOES NOT appear in the 1st print.

Now, I don't know if this pic is from a 1st print or a 2nd print, so can you take that pic and circle the bald-headed man--or where the bald-headed man would be, if this is a 1st print?

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