Fumetti #5: Horror Fumetti (Part 2)

For me, the adult fumetti from the 1970s-1980s are the true heirs to the classic American horror pulp covers of the 1930s-40s.  Peruse a cover gallery of early pulps and you'll find that same characteristic over-the-top, ultra-lurid, and uncomfortably misogynistic vibe.  As we entered mid-century, things got tamer and censorship was enforced... but not in Europe where the adult fumetti kept the lowbrow horror illustration alive and well.  The content is mildly disturbing (and often hilariously bizarre), but the artwork, for the most part, is pretty damn good. Have a look...

We'll start with a handful of covers from Zora.

You might be wondering how Zora got so tied up... what with her assailant having no hands or forearms.  I must admit, I'm a little curious myself.


A lot of fumetti artists copied movie art or other artists' work with abandon.  The similarity of the above monster to Christopher Lee's Frankenstein Monster is uncanny.


Turkish Dracula

And last but not least - SUKIA...

Why is there a disembodied hand on her boob? Not the faintest idea.


  1. A phenomenal collection of covers from a bygone era of terror fiction that will simply never be the same again. We spent countless hours in magazine shops and subsequently video stores where publishers had to continually up the ante for every release to remain competitive with the throngs of other horror material bursting from the shelves. These are not only envelop pushing pieces of pulp, they truly are works of art. Of course 98% of the time the covers were the best part that's the way the genre operated for a very long time and we loved every bit of it. That was really the first time outside of Saturday morning cartoons and breakfast cereal where I can recall being the target demographic for anything.

  2. lovely stuff as usual... kinda like Italian versions of Creepy, or Eerie magazines (remember those?)... these Italian ones have more sex and lamer drawings inside... find some more over at groovy age of horror blogspot. I've been following those crazy guys for some time now... get your fill at http://groovyageofhorror.blogspot.ca/

  3. Excellent. I'm imagining what it would've been like if these had been sold in grocery stores, where I would've perused them while waiting for Mom to shop.

  4. These are well drawn and seem restrained compared to the American Eerie Publications (not to be confused with Warren Publications Eerie magazine). The covers were not great and the artist were probably told "Cram as much stuff on as possible." So you would get a badly drawn werewolf ripping the guts out of a scantly clad woman, while a vampire that looks kinda-like Barnabas Collins chops the head off of a Herman Munster look-a-like that is filled with clock parts and gears.

  5. Yes, the bottom of the market for US horror comics in the '60s and '70s was at least as lurid, though usually not as blatantly nude, as these...though the stories in the Italian magazines were notable for both stupidity and resentment of Americans (I guess the audience was expected to be those most offput by US culture or some-such). Yes, if you thought the covers on anything but the more literate horror-fiction magazines got tamer in the US by the end of the '50s, when the Wertham witchhunts has dovetailed with McCarthyite Red-baiting, you weren't paying attention to the Men's Sweat as well as the trashier attempt to draw the horror fan's eye. And I know you weren't overlooking the hairy-chested magazines. And, of course, there were two distinct sorts of horror pulp in the '30d...WEIRD TALES, STRANGE TALES, STRANGE STORIES and the like offering actual horror and fantasy fiction, and HORROR STORIES, TERROR TALES and the (not-really-horror fiction) like offering "shudder pulp"--Scooby Doo stories with the fake ghosts and such going in for actual torture. Sadly (or so I say), shudder continued in its twisted way into the '60s with the likes of WEB HORROR STORIES and SHOCK (the briefly revived version) magazines (the first version of SHOCK was actually pretty good, and had slightly goofy-evil Jack Davis covers). (There was a completely cheesy version of SHOCK before that, and at least one short-lived 1930s crime fiction pulp before that...)