Eerie Publications Index Introduction
From 1965 to 1982, Eerie Publications of New York produced almost 300 black and white horror comic magazines. In their time they were among the most violent and bloody comics that had yet been produced. The covers, which were especially gory, were replete with scenes of dismemberment, torture, and the copious flow of blood. By modern standards, they were rather tame, but in the 1970s they were anything but. They were also some of the most reviled, disparaged, and ignored comics ever produced. And not by parents (or at least not just by them) but by comic collectors, writers, and sellers. Eerie Publications' output was dismissed as worthless, its writing and art execrable (especially compared to rival Warren). For those who loved them, however, they were a pleasure, even if a guilty one. Which is not to disparage the competition, chief rival Warren among them. Warren had the polish as well the cream of the crop in horror writers and artists. Their best stories were gems, masterworks of the genre. Eerie was much more low brow. If Warren was Alfred Hitchcock or George Romero, Eerie was Herschel Gordon Lewis or Lucio Fulci. But as much as I love Warren's work as now - as a 12 year old horror comics fan, Eerie Publications did one thing that Warren didn't - they scared the bejeezus out of me.
After Eerie closed its doors in 1982, their output was quickly forgotten. Back issues were relegated to flea markets and quarter bins and the purchase of them would often illicit derisive snickers at comic shop sales counters (if they sellers had even heard of them). In recent years, however, Eerie Publications has seen something of a comeback in the collectors market and back issues (especially the rare high-grade ones) have begun to climb in price. Perhaps this is due to some kind of low-brow nostalgia or perhaps to changes in popular culture. With splatter and gore films becoming more critically accepted, Eerie Publications may have attained a certain grindhouse chic. For whatever reason, these magazines are now being collected and this guide is a reflection of that.
This guide includes the following sections:
A (Very) Brief History of Eerie Publications
Main Index (for each issue I have (currently all but 20), this section gives date, volume and number, page count, price, cover credits, and a listing of each story with page count, artist, original source, and brief description. Some issues also have notes/comments.
Appendix A - Eerie Checklist. A condensed listing of all the horror comics published by eerie with date, volume and number, page count, price.
Appendix B - Artists and Personnel: Brief bios of the artists whose work appeared in Eerie's pages followed by a listing of other personnel who worked at the company.
Appendix C -Artist Cross-Index: Stories indexed by artist and issue in which they first appeared.
Appendix D - Story Cross-Index: All stories indexed by title, listing each issue in which they appeared (including reprints).
Appendix E -Pre-Code/Reprint Cross-Index: Stories indexed by the original pre-code source (when known). Listed in order by publisher then by title.
Appendix F - Miscellaneous Lists and Trivia: A list of my personal favorites
NOTE: This is a work in progress. I have yet to obtain a complete collection of Eerie Publications issues (I believe I lack 16 of 291). I also still continue to identify the original sources of these stories. Any corrections, comments, additions can be sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acknowledgements Many sources were used in compiling this information but two stand out in particular: Gene M. Broxson (for his numerous additions and his 2-part article on Eerie in the British fanzine From the Tomb #s 22 and 23) and Mike Howlett, the dean of Eerie researchers and author of a forthcoming book on the company. Additional thanks to the Golden Age Comics website (goldenagecomics.co.uk) for providing access to hundreds of scanned comics that would have been too expensive to obtain otherwise.
A (Very) Brief History of Eerie Publications
The history of Eerie Publications is little known and yet to be told and has been all but ignored by comic book historians and writers (a forthcoming book by Mike Howlett promises to reveal all). While this index is not intended to be a detailed history of the company, a brief summary is in order.
The two main forces behind Eerie Publications were likely Myron Fass and Robert W. Farrell, both veterans of the comic book biz, Farrell had been involved with comics for decades, starting out in the 1930s as a writer for the Iger Shop (Jerry Iger's New York studio that produced art for a host of comic publishers) and was later a business associate of comics publisher Victor Fox. Farrell was best known, however, as a publisher in his own right at companies like Superior and later his own Farrell comics (aka Ajax, Four Star etc). Ajax/Farrell produced a number of comics, including four horror titles: Fantastic Fears (later just Fantastic), Haunted Thrills, Strange Fantasy, and Voodoo. These titles used art from Iger Shop, including reprinted material published by Farrell at his earlier companies. After the comics code was imposed in 1955, Ajax/Farrell dropped their horror line, only to take another try at it in 1957 and '58 with four new titles (Strange, Midnight, Dark Shadows, and Strange Journey) that reprinted many of the company's earlier horror stories in watered-down (and sometimes unintelligible) code-approved form. In 1958, these titles were dropped and Farrell moved on to publishing the Mad knockoff Panic. This was likely when the nucleus of people that led to Eerie Publications was formed. Working with Farrell on Panic were veteran artist Carl Burgos (creator of the original Human Torch for Timely/Atlas, later Marvel Comics) and Irving Fass, brother to Myron Fass.
Born in 1926, Myron Fass started in comics in the late 1940s as an artist, primarily in the horror genre (though he also did work in western and romance books), He worked for a number of publishers, but most of his work was done for Toby, Ribage, Gleason, and especially Atlas where he did at least two dozen stories between 1952 and 1954, almost all of them in the horror genre. In 1955 and '56, Fass appears to have done his last work for Gleason on titles like Black Diamond Western, but he soon left comic book art behind (mostly) for the field of magazine publishing. In 1955, inspired by William Gaines, he launched the humor magazine Lunatickle (published by Fawcett's Whitehouse Publications) and the following year he took over as editor of the cheesecake digest-sized magazine Foto-Rama (Arena Publishing Corp.). His first try at a horror themed magazine was 1959's Shock Tales. At his own Tempest Publications, Fass began publishing magazines he'd picked up from other publishers, such as Eye, Photo, and the "original newspaper magazine" Quick in the early-mid 1960s. From these beginnings, Fass would go on to establish a pulp magazine empire (Tom Brinkman's BadMags website calls him the "Demon God of Pulp") producing everything from men's magazines to teenage music magazines to true confession magazines to unexplained phenomena magazines. Fass was as colorful as his magazines and stories about him are legion. He was known for brandishing a sidearm in his office, and once delivered a legendary beating to partner Stanley Harris in front of the entire staff (after which Harris left to form his own Harris Publications) In addition to his magazines, Fass also produced some color comics starting in the late 60s. The most well known was probably Captain Marvel (unrelated to the Fawcett superhero of the same name, though Fass would later sue Marvel when they came out with their own Captain Marvel). Based on an idea by Carl Burgos, Captain Marvel first appeared in a 68-page book of that name cover dated April 1966 under the MF Enterprises banner and featuring a Burgos-drawn origin story. The title lasted just three more issues. Fass's Countrywide Publications also produced the teen humor comic Henry Brewster featuring art by the legendary Bob Powell (who would later do the art for the cover of the 2nd issue of Eerie Publication's Weird).
The catalyst for Fass's entry (or reentry) into the horror comics field was likely the publication of the first issue of Warren's Creepy in 1964. After the imposition of the comics code in 1955, the horror comic market collapsed, with a number of publishers leaving the field entirely. Those that did stay changed their content to a bland assortment of fantasy and semi-horror material. Atlas continued a number of its horror titles until eventually switching over to monster titles. American Comics Group continued their inoffensive Adventures Into the Unknown (though without the vampires and werewolves). DC's continued its House of Mystery but switched it to a fantasy and later sci-fi title. By 1960, the horror comic market had shriveled. In the mid 1960s, however, horror comics saw a comeback. Under Joe Orlando's editorship, DC switched its fantasy titles back to pure horror. Charlton and Dell/Gold Key launched a spate of titles, and a number of other companies entered the market. At the top of the heap, however, was Jim Warren's Warren Publishing. In the early sixties, Warren struck upon an idea to skirt the comic code's restrictions by producing horror comics in black and white magazine format (magazines not being restricted by the code) aimed at adults. The idea had been tried before. E.C.'s ill-fated picto-fiction line had seen a handful of unsuccessful issues in 1955 and '56 and the one-shot horror anthologies Eerie Tales and Weird Mysteries had appeared in 1959, but none of these lasted. Creepy was a different story. The magazine was an immediate success, a fact that likely didn't go unnoticed by Myron Fass.
Eerie Publications got its start in 1965 (the Overstreet listing of Tales of Terror by Eerie Publications in 1964 is apparently erroneous and is believed to refer to Charlton's horror fiction magazine Tales of Terror From the Beyond) with the publication of the first issue of Weird (v1n10, cover dated Jan 1966, but likely on the newsstands in October of 1965). The magazine was apparently slated to have a different title. In 1965, Warren launched their second horror title Eerie. The first issue was a small "ashcan" edition (a low-distribution prototype edition not intended for general release) containing just four stories. The issue had been assembled in a reported 20 hours, after which a copy was sent by courier to Washington D.C. and a reported 200 copies rushed by two other couriers to be hastily distributed in four neighboring states. The reason for all the rush? A "rival publisher" was planning on introducing a horror comic magazine with the same title and Warren needed to establish a copyright/trademark on the title ASAP. While I have never heard anyone at Warren say definitively that it was the case, that publisher is believed to be Myron Fass (Russ Jones said that he thought it Fass). Assuming this is true (and given the numerous incorrect "facts" that have been published about Eerie Publications it may well not be), Fass quickly changed the title of his book to Weird and published them under the Eerie Publications banner (the name perhaps a dig at Jim Warren).
An early mention of Weird came in an advertisement in the 2nd run of Robert Farrell's Panic v2n11.Farrell's association, however, didn't end there. He was listed as the publisher in the first four issues of Weird, but perhaps an even more important contribution came via the art. With one exception, the art in the first issue of Weird consisted entirely or reprints of horror comics produced by Ajax/Farrell in the 1950s. Indeed, with only one other exception, ALL of the stories produced by Eerie Publications prior to the December 1969 issues consisted of such art. (The two exceptions were Frankenstein, the first story in the first issue of Weird, penned by Carl Burgos and the second was The Bloody Stream, a reprint of The One That Got Away from Gillmor's Weird Mysteries #8 that was printed in the first issue of Horror Tales, cover dated November 1969). The art in these early issues would often be altered to make it even gorier than it had been originally. The extent to which this was done has, in my opinion, been somewhat exaggerated. It often consisted of nothing more than adding a few drops of blood here or an open sore there. Some stories, however, bore more significant alterations. Oddly, Eerie Publications sometimes published versions of stories from Ajax/Farrell's code-approved titles of 1957 and 1958 rather than the original pre-code versions, on occasion even adding back in gory effects removed for code approval. This may have been because Eerie was working from the original art, which had been altered to produce the code-approved versions. Despite the retread art, Weird evidently sold well enough that Eerie began to expand its line. In 1968, Eerie issued a second title called Tales From the Crypt. The title lasted a single issue (as you can imagine, there were reportedly legal issues with the name) before being renamed Tales of Voodoo.1969 saw the biggest expansion in Eerie's history with four new titles appearing: Horror Tales, Terror Tales, Tales From the Tomb and Witches Tales. The Ajax/Farrell reprint era lasted until December of 1969 (though the stories would continue to be reprinted for a number of years). It seems that Farrell himself left the company not long after its start. By the fifth issue of Weird, the publisher is listed as Mel Lenny (believed by Brinkman to be advertising manager Mel Lenowitz).
With the December 1969 issues, the second (and most significant) phase of Eerie's history began as they began to print stories containing original art. The artists can be broken into two large categories. First were American artists. Many of these were Atlas veterans who probably came to Eerie by way of Carl Burgos and/or Myron Fass (or maybe not). Among these were Larry Woromay, Chic Stone, and Dick Ayers. The latter two are probably the best known of the Eerie artists with their work being particularly gruesome. Ayers was a legendary artist, whose career included work at Magazine Enterprises (where he drew the original Ghost Rider) and a long stint at Atlas/Marvel. At Eerie, his work was marked by gallons of blood, brutal violence, and (especially) eyeballs popping out of their sockets (something he refused to do until Fass suggested he go and see Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch.) Chic Stone (known best for his inking work on Marvel's superhero titles) did only a handful of stories for Eerie but they were if anything, even more brutal than Ayers' (Voodoo Terror and Blood Bath have to be seen to be believed). Other American artists included Hector Castellon and Ezra Jackson. Jackson, best known as an inker, was also Eerie's art editor. Contrary to popular belief (the "fact" even appears on Eerie's wikipedia entry) Ezra Jackson was not a pseudonym for Myron Fass but apparently was indeed the American golden age comic book artist. While Carl Burgos didn't pencil any more stories for Eerie, he did serve as editor of the line until the mid-70s. The second source of artists for Eerie was Argentina. A score of Argentine artists worked for Eerie during this period, providing the bulk of their art. The common link among them may have been the Argentine publishing company Editorial Columba where many of them seem to have worked. Among the Argentine artists were Walter Casadei, Oscar Fraga, Domingo Mandrafina, Cirilo Munoz (not Carlos Munoz as has been reported elsewhere), Enrique Cristobal, Ruben Marchionne, Alberto Macagno, Torre Repiso, Oswal (born Osvaldo Walter Viola), Oscar Novelle, Mariana Cerchiara, Felix Saborido, Eugenio Zoppi, and Martha Barnes. Many of these artists went on to greater fame, especially in Europe. A number of other artists worked at Eerie, about whom I know next to nothing. Primary among them were the artist who signed his work as A. Reynoso who may or may not have been Argentine and the artist who signed "Stepancich" (possibly Argentine Oscar Stepancich). While the art from this period may have been new, the stories were anything but. With only three possible exceptions, all of the 850-odd stories that Eerie produced in this period were what I call "reworks" of pre-code stories from various publishers. They featured new art (and new titles), but the scripts were virtually identical with the original, with only minor changes made. Even the layouts were often near carbon copies of the originals. Why this was done is anybody's guess, but it seems likely it was a cost-savings measure, perhaps to avoid having to pay for a new script (I don’t know what Eerie's rates were, though Dick Ayers mentions that he was paid $27/page). Cover artists are even less known, but included Novelle, Faba (who did covers for Skywald), Villanova, Troy Lanz, and (reportedly) Bill Anderson. Their names may be forgotten, but their work is unforgettable. Eerie's often stomach-turningly gory covers are by far the thing most remembered by those who remember Eerie at all. More than a few fans have reminisced "The covers were the best thing about them", or "The covers were the only good thing about them." (opinions with which I predictably disagree).
In late 1970, Eerie went on a brief sci-fi kick with most of their covers switching to sci-fi themes in 1971 . They also launched a pair of new titles, Weird Worlds and Strange Galaxy, both of which featured sci-fi themed stories (though still reworks of pre-code material). In mid 1971, Eerie began including text stories and articles in their titles. Not surprisingly, these were often reprints of either classic horror stories or material pulled from early pulps like Weird Tales (also not surprisingly, Eerie changed the titles of these stories and rarely credited the original authors). By the end of 1971 the two sci-fi titles were gone and the covers were back to their normal horror themes (if Eerie's covers can be said to be in any way "normal".) 1971 had seen the most Eerie titles yet, with 44 issues appearing with 1971 cover dates. 1972 was almost as good with 39 issues appearing. During this period, Eerie also began to heavily (VERY heavily) reprint material from earlier issues, including covers and text stories. Not every story was a reprint (though it often seemed that way) and most issues contained 2-4 original stories in addition to the reprinted stories. While Eerie had reworked pre-code stories from a number of publishers, the Ajax/Farrell stories they printed had thus far been straight (or near straight) reprints. That would change in 1974 as the company began reworking the Ajax/Farrell stories that they'd already reprinted, with new art (then sometimes reworking them yet again with still different art) .
In 1975, Eerie seems to have undergone a major shake-up (actually, it was the horror comic magazine market itself that underwent a shakeup as Skywald, Marvel, and Atlas/Seaboard also stopped publishing horror comic magazines that year). After three February issues in 1975, the next Eerie title wouldn't appear until April of 1976, launching the third and final stage of Eerie's history. When the tiles did resume, things had definitely changed. The number of titles was pared back to three with Witches Tales, Tales of Voodoo, and Tales From the Tomb biting the dust. The personnel listed in the masthead were also different. Myron Fass and his business associate Stanley Harris were listed as publishers with Irving Fass as "executive director" and Roy Mosny, Robert Califf, and Roger B. Marshall replacing Carl Burgos as editors. The magazines were also bigger at 68 pages instead of the old 52, though production was cut back from bi-monthly to quarterly. Horror Tales even produced four 116-page "jumbo" issues. Despite the changes, the stories remained the same - and how. Most (and eventually all) of the stories of this period were reprints of stories that had been printed in pre-1976 issues Some stories were reprinted half a dozen (or more) times, often with two (or three) different titles. In 1979, a pair of new titles appeared: Weird Vampire Tales and Terrors of Dracula. Though they appeared under the Modern Day Periodicals banner, they were clearly the work of the same company. The new titles consisted entirely of reprints of earlier stories (even the covers and special features were reprinted from earlier issues).
Not surprisingly, given their content, the new titles, and Eerie Publications itself, didn't last long. The horror comic magazine market was imploding, taking Eerie along with it. Industry leader Warren outlasted Eerie, but not by much, and by the end of 1983, their three horror titles had disappeared (later to be revived, oddly enough, by none other than former Myron Fass partner Stanley Harris). Eerie Publications didn't make it to 1983. The last Eerie title was Weird Vampire Tales v5n3, cover dated March 1982 (but likely on stands in late 1981). With that issue, the Eerie Publications comic "empire" (if one may call it that) was no more.
Main Index This section makes up the bulk of this document. For each issue (that I currently own), the following information is provided: The issues title, number, date, # of pages, and price and any known information about the cover (i.e. the artist and reprint info for covers that were reprinted. This is followed by a listing of each story and feature in the issue, with title, page count, artist (if known), the pre-code story on which the story was based (if known) and a brief plot summary. For artist credits, a single question mark indicates an uncertain credit (though for some of these I am 90% sure they are correct). A double question mark indicates a VERY uncertain credit. When identifying the original source, "reworked" indicates that the story was printed with essentially the same script as the original but entirely new art. "Reprinted" indicates that the story was reprinted with its original art (though often with some changes and additions). Full information for a story is given only the first time it appears, subsequent appearances will just note that it is reprinted along with the first time Eerie printed the story. If a story was merely retitled, without changing the art, it is listed as a reprint.
"Iger Shop" in the art credits means the story was drawn by the "Iger Shop", Jerry Iger's New York City comic art studio that produced art for a number of publishers, including Ajax/Farrell.
Titles are listed in the order they were introduced and for each title, issues are listed in order (with placeholders for issues I'm missing).