Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Covers: Creepy Magazine

Reading Eerie Presents: Hunter...

...and eagerly, almost breathlessly, anticipating Creepy Presents Richard Corben, which may indeed be the most exciting book of the year for me...

...has gotten me thinking about all of the Warren Magazines I read as a kid in the 1970s. Although I grew up in a household where science fiction and fantasy paperbacks, comics, and the occasional issue of Heavy Metal were the norm, my father never really paid much attention to Creepy, Eerie or Vampirella. Given his appreciation for Heavy Metal I'm certain that this wasn't really a question of any kind of puritanism. Knowing what I do about my father's sense of aesthetics, I can only assume that his aversion to these magazines was due to the fact that he considered their contents rather cheap, trashy and poorly executed. While that may be true, it's not an entirely fair characterization of these fine old magazines and I do think that time has proven that there was quite an embarrassment of riches, at least in a visual sense, between those covers.

Oddly enough, the lack of Creepy and Eerie made these magazines into a kind of forbidden fruit for me, so it was always with trembling hands and an air of transgression that I occasionally smuggled home a friend's copy to read in the privacy of my room. I remember next to nothing about any of the stories, but I do remember some of the art and I definitely remember the covers. With Dark Horse and Dynamite now fully engaged in an exhaustive archival reprint project for seemingly every Warren Magazine, as well as the cherry-picked collections I mentioned above, the time seems ripe for a healthy appreciation of the fabulous art that graced the covers of so many of these pulp masterpieces. I would love to some day see most of these collected in a beautiful, massive art book, with or without the logos. Such gems.

After the first cover, these are in no particular order because honestly it is just too hard for me to choose which I like more than others. They are all wonderful. But this first one absolutely terrified me as a child and to this day it gives me a strange and sickly feeling of indefinable fear when I see it. Enjoy the rest, my (more or less) favorite eleven Creepy covers.

(This one still weirds me out. Even as a child I could sense the bizarre yet heavyhanded symbolism. It always seemed so powerful, so epic to me. Good and evil, you know?)

(Finally, the fittingly titled "Gorilla Warfare" issue. All ape stories, if I am remembering it accurately.)


  1. Absolutely, Russ. I think it's sometimes almost criminal how underrated some of these artists and illustrators are. Especially in the fine arts world. There is some incredible talent and vision here, even if it is firmly hitched to the engine of commerce and lowbrow aesthetics.


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