5/25/11

Vintage Scares #25: Horror Comics of the 1970s


In 1970, Sol Brodsky and Herschel Waldman created a line of horror comic magazines to challenge the successful Warren publications (EERIE, CREEPY and Vampirella).  They called their company Skywald, and it continued to kick total ass until 1975.  According to Al Hewetson (a.k.a Archaic Al, the creative force behind Skywald), the company was undone by Marvel which flooded the market with tons of B&W horror comics.  Skywald was literally drowned out of existence by the much more powerful Marvel.

Many of Skywald's creations were directly copied by Marvel. The infernal cycle superhero Hell Rider became Ghost Rider at Marvel, and the swamp monster "The Heap" became Marvel's "The Man-Thing". But in terms of eliciting extreme horror, Skywald could not be beat.  Nightmare and Psycho explored the genre in a more frightening, sickening and gruesome manner than perhaps any pulp before or since.  That's not to say the illustrations and writing were anything but top notch; but the grindhouse style horror certainly reflected the times.


Of course, the seventies was prime time for horror, and Skywald's brand of horror landed at the perfect time in history.  Indeed, there was plenty of room for horror titles other than Warren and Skywald.  Enter magazine publisher extraordinaire, Myron Fass, who unleashed the ungodly Eerie Publications to the 1970s, and holy f**k this stuff was sick.  The writing wasn't particularly good at Eerie, and the illustrations were pretty amateur (and often direct copies of 1950s comics); but what it lacked in skill, it made up for in chutzpa. Horror comics were taken to depths of depravity heretofore unheard of.

All good things come to an end, and all three horror comics publishers saw their profits decline by the middle of the decade.  Eerie and Skywald publications were defunct before the end of the seventies, and Warren Publishing filed for bankruptcy in 1983.

Let's take a look at some of the wonderful cover art produced during the glory days of the horror comics mag.  I've already given you generous dose of Warren cover art via a gallery of Creepy and Eerie magazine covers, as well as a gallery of Vampirella covers.  Now it's time to show some love for Skywald comic magazines, and we'll pick up in the next cover gallery with Eerie and Marvel horror publications.  Enjoy!


















9 comments:

  1. These kinds of comics were so scary if they were done right! You had the instant creep factor that couldn't be so readily achieved by reading a big ol' book! Loved this stuff as a kid (still do) Nice post and images!

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  2. I have one Eerie that was my brother's. At that age and only having one, I felt that I personally owned the necronomicon. If a mom found one in the 70's, she would shrug and say "boys today". Heck I think my mother may have got me a couple herself, a true sign of coolness. Now if a mother found a comic like this she would, 1. freak 2. send him to church and or a therapist. 3. start her own reality show on how a mother deals with a satanist in her own home.

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  3. Great post, love the vintage covers!

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  4. Glorious! I'm not as familiar with these as I am with the old EERIEs and CREEPYs.

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  5. These are super great covers! I hope I can use some one day at The Uranium Cafe. I used to won a few of these way back when. Well done!

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  6. Thanks for the positive words. This post took freaking forever to do. I'm hoping it'll be a good source to view these covers. And if you liked these, wait'll you see the Eerie Publishing covers.

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  7. Hey thanks for taking the time and sharing these, I'm a huge fan of horror and twisted fiction and blend it into my art. This is pretty inspiring and I really dig those covers, seems like a lost art these days even with the movies and I bet the stuff inside is just as good. Cheers !

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  8. Hey thanks for taking the time to post and share these. I'm a huge fan of Horror and twisted science fiction mags which I blend into my art. This is pretty inspiring and I really dig those covers, seems like a lost art even with movies as well and I bet the stories are just as good. I'm glad I came across this because I'm not wasting my cash on marvels anymore, Cheers !

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  9. Nice collection!
    Thanks for posting these vintage Skywalds.

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