© 2015

Creepy CGC Magazines

Here is a collection of Creepy magazines, mostly Frank Frazetta covers. Creepy turned the world of graphic storytelling on its head in the early 1960s, as phenomenal young artists like Bernie Wrightson and Neal Adams reached new artistic heights with their fascinating explorations of classic and modern horror stories, the Frazetta covers pulled many a buyer in. The Warren magazines are the most recognized of the black & white horror magazine boom for the 1960s-1970s, if only because they were there first and they lasted the longest.  James Warren, the publisher of several different movie magazines, most notably ‘Famous Monsters Of Filmland’, was a long time lover of comics, particularly the EC comics of the early 1950s.  He made a few tentative stabs at comics in 1964, producing a couple of stories adapting movies from the 1930s for ‘Monster World’, a sister magazine of ‘Famous Monsters Of Filmland’.  In late 1964 he decided to take the plunge, producing a full-length comic anthology.  It should be noted that the magazines he published were not comic books but magazines.  They had to be.  The Comics Code Authority, established in 1955 to ‘clean up’ comics, had demolished the EC empire of quality horror comics as well as most of the lesser publishers of horror comics and forced those publishers who survived to water down the content to near pablum.  You couldn’t use vampires, zombies, skeletons, ghouls, etc as characters in a comic book.  You couldn’t show blood or horrific details.  Nor could you use such words as horror or terror in titles.  As the comic industry existed in 1964, a revival of EC-type comics wouldn’t have been possible. The Comics Code Authority had no authority over magazines, since nobody had ever published a comic book in magazine form. EC had, in its dying days, published what they called Picto-Fiction.  Prose stories dealing with crime and horror with a heavy amount of art in comic book style.  However, this experiment was a failure.  They also changed their humor comic, Mad, into a magazine.  They promptly stopped calling it a comic, however.  It was now a humor magazine. So Warren decided to publish his comic stories in a format he was comfortable with, for a distribution system he understood and in a style that allowed him a great deal of freedom.  Then he aimed those stories at the exact same audience that the regular four-color comics had targeted—12-14 year old boys.  It was a smart and, as it turned out, profitable end run around the Comics Code.