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!