Friday, February 1, 2013

Monster Magazines

Back when I was a young kid of 6 or 7, I lived in a really old house that had a great big, creepy attic.  I used to love going up there and exploring because it was filled with long forgotten Halloween costumes , furniture, lamps, steam trunks and other odds and ends.

I vividly remember the way it smelled, a sort of odd potpourri of old wood, dust and insulation.  I remember every time I would open the door to the attic I was always greeted by Red Devil Paint cans sitting on the steps on the way up.  I'd always give the devil on the can a wary look and run past it hoping that he didn't reach out a claw and grab my leg as I ran up the stairs.  And to add to the creepiness the attic used to have bats living in it.  I always looked up in the rafters hoping to catch a glimpse of a bat hanging upside down.

One day I was digging around and in an old apple crate I found two piles of monster magazines and my life was changed forever!

Warren Publishing was known for putting out Famous Monsters Of Filmland, Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella and a whole slew of action comics back in the 50s, 60s and 70s.  I didn't fully appreciate the treasure trove that I uncovered until much later in life, and long after the magazines were gone.

I remember picking up Eerie and how the Frazetta artwork attacked me visually with images of evil wizards, shambling undead, damsels in distress (I mean come on who drew women better than Frank Frazetta), and mindless beasts attacking brawny heroes.  I made many a trip up to my creepy spider haunted abode to force-feed myself horrific images in the creepiest part of my house and later to subject myself to nightmares.  In fact my parents cut out Scooby-Doo and Doctor Who from my TV time because they thought that was the source of my nightmares.  I didn't want the magazines to disappear so I didn't mention them.

Every once in a while I'll pick up a copy of Famous Monsters, Eerie or Creepy and let the memories run back in.  The images are great inspiration to me when working on illustrations and a great read on a cold winter night!


  1. I had stacks of these, as well... long gone now, sadly. The stories were entertaining, and the art was awesome -- I think what we would deem now as "classic". I may try to hunt down a few issues of Creepy or Eerie online (although I have no idea how much they might go for these days).

  2. They can be quite a bit, but if you pick them up at a Half Price Books it would be a bit less. I think Dark Horse has collected them in large volumes for $70 or so.