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Last updated 7 February 2006. The latest version of this document can always be found at www.enjolrasworld.com. See last page for legal & © information.

Additions? Corrections? Contact Richard J. Arndt: rarndt39@hotmail.com.



Spider-Baby Graphix

Taboo


1. cover: Steve Bissette/back cover: Rolf Stark (Fall 1988)

1) Introduction [Clive Barker] 3p [text article]

2) Censortivity Pin-Up [Steve Bissette] 1p

3) S. Clay Wilson Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

4) The Kitty Killer Kids [S. Clay Wilson] 2p

5) Alan Moore/Bill Wray Profile [Steve Bissette] 2p [text article]

6) Come On Down [Alan Moore/Bill Wray] 9p

7) Charles Vess Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

8) Scarecrow [Charles Vess] 5p

9) Tom Sniegoski/Mike Hoffman Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p

10) Tooth Decay [Tom Sniegoski/Mike Hoffman] 10p

11) Charles Burns Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

12) Contagious [Charles Burns] 4p

13) Bernie Mireault Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

14) Cable [Bernie Mireault] 13p

15) Jack Butterworth/Cam Kennedy Profile [Steve Bissette/various] 2p [text article, art from

various 1950s horror comics]

16) Eyes Without A Face [Jack Butterworth/Cam Kennedy] 8p

17) Tim Lucas/Mike Hoffman Profile [Steve Bissette] 2p [text article]

18) Throat Sprockets [Tim Lucas/Mike Hoffman] 12p

19) Eddie Campbell Profile [Steve Bissette] 2p [text article]

20) The Pyjama Girl [Eddie Campbell] 4p

21) Introduction [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

22) Cottonmouth [Steve Bissette] 5p

23) Chigger And The Man [Keith Giffen & Robert Loren Fleming/Keith Giffen] 10p

24) Chester Brown Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

25) Dirk The Gerbil [Chester Brown] 2p reprinted from Escape #7 (?)

26) A Late Night Snack [Chester Brown] 5p



27) Pin-Up [Greg Irons] 1p [on inside back cover]
Notes: Publishers & editors: Steve Bissette & Nancy O’Connor. $9.95 for 112 pages, published in trade paperback form. This issue is dedicated to underground artist Greg Irons. Taboo was an ambitious attempt to expand past the 1950s EC foundations and rewrite the 1960s/1970s Warren templates for graphic horror, as well as meld the style & sensibility of the early underground horror comics with that of the more mainstream writers and artists of the 1980s. Did it succeed? Perhaps not completely but still better than anyone had any right to expect at the time. By 1988, when Taboo premiered, prose horror was boiling hot. Spurred by the enormous financial and literacy success of Stephen King, Peter Straub, Clive Barker and others, horror fiction was experiencing one of its biggest {even if short-lived} booms ever. Yet in the comic field, where horror had been a strong seller for at least two decades, times were hard. All of the B&W horror magazines were gone. None of the major companies’ mystery books were still in print and the independents’ color & black and white comics were either gone or going as well. Swamp Thing was still in print but it was in the process of being neutered by DC. Neil Gaiman’s Sandman was still a year away from seeing its first issue. Taboo looked much like the last stand and in some way, perhaps it was. It was certainly an ambitious and impressive looking magazine. Printed in trade paperback form and running 100+ pages for each issue, there was room for a number of different styles and story lengths. Artists and writers certainly made use of that fact with stories that ranged from 1 pagers to {in future issues} 30 pages and more in length. The quality of the stories were generally high too. Rarely did you see filler. For this first issue, the stories themselves tended not to be as extreme as what appeared in later issues but the quality was still quite high. Some of the stories {the Vess effort, for one} could easily have appeared in other horror or fantasy titles but the majority here {and almost entire issues, as time went by} could probably only have only appeared in this magazine. The proof of that is how very few of these stories have been reprinted, regardless of their quality. To my certain knowledge, only the Vess, Burns, Brown & Campbell stories have been reprinted from this issue, and only in collections of their own works. Best art here would be from Charles Vess on his solo tale and Mike Hoffman’s superior effort on ‘Throat Sprockets’. The best story is Tim Lucas’ gritty and disturbing ‘Throat Sprockets’ as well. Superior work also appeared from Chester Brown, whose ‘A Late Night Snack’ is particularly good; S. Clay Wilson; Robert Loren Fleming/Keith Giffen; Charles Burns & Bissette himself. The Alan Moore/Bill Wray story was originally intended for the Harris revival of Creepy and was done in 1985. A nice touch by editor Bissette was an introduction page for nearly every story that profiled the creator, gave a short essay on the story itself and provided a bibliographic entry on other work the creator or creators had produced. A fine way to spotlight the artists and writers, give the fan something more to look for and an inexpensive way to fill pages with useful information without resorting to dreary filler material. An impressive debut, followed by even more impressive issues. Check out the end of the checklist for an interview with Taboo editor, Steve Bissette.
2. cover: John Totleben/back cover: Charles Lang (1989)

1) The Droolies [Clive Barker] 1p [frontis]

2) Eddie Campbell Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

3) The Pyjama Girl’s Big Night Out [Eddie Campbell] 2p

4) Dave Marshall Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

5) Encore [Dave Marshall] 11p

6) Tim Lucas/Simonida Perica-Uth Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

7) Sweet Nothings [Tim Lucas/Simonida Perica-Uth] 16p

8) James Robert Smith/Mike Hoffman Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

9) Wet [James Robert Smith/Mike Hoffman] 8p

10) Rick Grimes Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

11) Hell’s Toupee [Rick Grimes] 6p

12) Sick Animal Pin-Up [Rick Grimes] 1p reprinted from Parade of Gore #1 (1977)

13) Tom Marnick Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

14) Check-Out Time [Tom Marnick] 6p

15) Saying Grace Introduction [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

16) Saying Grace [Steve Bissette] 4p

17) Mark Askwith/Rick Taylor Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

18) Sharks [Mark Askwith/Richard G. Taylor] 7p

19) Cara Sherman Tereno Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

20) Life With The Vampire [Cara Sherman Tereno] 25p

21) S. Clay Wilson Profile [Tom Veitch] 2p [text article]

22) Black Pages [S. Clay Wilson] 4p [pin-ups]

23) Oh, Baby! Our Love Is Taboo [Bernie Mireault] 1p

24) Michael Zulli Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

25) Mercy [Michael Zulli] 6p

26) Richard Sala Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

27) Hate Mail [Richard Sala] 5p

28) From Hell Introduction [Alan Moore] 2p [text article]

29) From Hell: Prologue: The Old Men On The Shore [Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell] 9p

30) From Hell, Chapter One: The Affections Of Young Mr. S [Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell] 12p

31) Concrete Reads Taboo [Paul Chadwick] 1p

32) From Hell Pin-Up [Alan Moore] 1p [on inside back cover]

Notes: $9.95 for 144 pages. This magazine had to exist, if only to provide a home for ‘From Hell’, certainly the most impressive story/serial that Taboo would run. And that’s saying something since Taboo ran an extremely high number of high-quality stories in its lifetime. ‘From Hell’ gave many readers {including myself} reason to return to Taboo, even after long delays in publication might have caused attention to the title to drift. This lack of a timely appearance, coupled with stories or artwork that were extremely offensive to some and pretty much disturbing to everybody, probably hurt the magazine more than the format or cost. For the first installment, Moore delivers a complex and well researched Jack the Ripper story while Campbell delivers artwork both disturbing and lucid. In addition to ‘From Hell’, Tim Lucas delivered another fine story, Mark Askwith & Rick Taylor handed us ‘Sharks’ and Michael Zulli did double duty as writer/artist on his excellent story ‘Mercy’. S. Clay Wilson’s gory and horrific pin-up pages caused a great deal of trouble and delays when several printers declined to print the explicit images. There were also printer troubles with the cover. To his credit, Bissette refused to back down and eventually found a printer to run the presses for the book. However, the controversy surrounding such events would plague Taboo for the remainder of its run. In addition, the wait between binding the pages & attaching the cover meant that a great many copies of Taboo #2 would have the problem of the cover popping loose from the binding within minutes of opening the book.

3. cover: Michael Zulli/frontis: Rolf Stark/back cover: Simonida Perica-Uth (1989)

1) The Maternity Ward [Jack Venooker/Steve Bissette] ½p

2) Santa Sangre Pin-Up [Moebius] 1p

3) Bernie Mireault Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

4) Poker Face [Bernie Mireault] 11p

5) Rick Veitch Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

6) A Touch Of Vinyl [Rick Veitch & Jack Weiner/Rick Veitch] 10p

7) Phil Elliott/Glenn Dakin Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

8) Vulnerable [Glenn Dakin/Phil Elliott] 3p

9) Jim Wheelock Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

10) One Good Trick [Jim Wheelock] 6p

11) Tim Lucas/Mike Hoffman Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

12) Transylvania Mon Amour [Tim Lucas/Mike Hoffman] 30p

13) Rick Grimes Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

14) Cactus Water [Rick Grimes] 10p

15) Rolf Stark /Marlene Stevens Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

16) Love In The Afternoon… [Rolf Stark & Marlene Stevens/Rolf Stark] 15p

17) From Hell, Chapter 2: A State Of Darkness [Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell] 33p

18) From Hell Pin-Up [Alan Moore] 1p [on inside back cover]

Notes: $9.95 for 128 pages. Bissette & O’Connor are actually listed as co-editors for the first time. Best story is the new installment of ‘From Hell’. Best art is Rolf Stark’s work from the haunting ‘Love In The Afternoon…’. Good work also appeared from Rick Veitch and Bernie Mireault while Tim Lucas & Mike Hoffman gave us an excellent follow-up to #1’s ‘Throat Sprockets’. Strong, striking issue.

4. cover: Moebius/frontis: Nancy O’Connor/back cover: Brian Sendelbach (1990)

1) Dreaming And The Law [Phillip Hester] 2p

2) Phil Hester/Dave Sim Profiles [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

3) 1963 [Dave Sim] 1p [pin-up]

4) untitled [Charles Burn] 2p

5) Charles Burns/Neil Gaiman & Michael Zulli Profiles [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

6) Babycakes [Neil Gaiman/Michael Zulli] 4p

7) Matt Brooker aka D’Israeli Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

8) Cholesterol [D’Israeli] 6p

9) Mark Askwith & Rick Taylor Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

10) Davey’s Dream [Mark Askwith/Rick Taylor] 11p

11) Moebius Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article w/photo]

12) Alejandro Jodorowsky Profile [Steve Bissette/Moebius] 1p [text article w/photo]

13) Eyes Of The Cat aka Les Yeux Du Chat [Alejandro Jodorowsky/Moebius] 50p originally

printed in France in 1978

14) A History Of Alejandro Jodorowsky [Steve Bissette/Moebius] 2p [text article w/photos]

15) The Creators Of Les Yeux Du Chat Discuss The Story’s Origin, Its Execution, And Their

Thoughts On Today, Twelve Years Later [Jean-Marc Lofficier, Steve Bissette, Moebius

& Alejandro Jodorowsky] 4p [text article w/photos]

16) El Topo [Alejandro Jodorowsky/Spain Rodriguez] 4p originally printed in Europe in 19??

17) S. Clay Wilson Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

18) Retinal Worm [S. Clay Wilson] 5p

19) P. Foerster Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

20) La Fugue {The Escape} [P. Foerster] 5p

21) Tim Lucas/Steve White Profiles [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

22) Blue Angel [Tim Lucas/Steve White] 5p

23) Charles Vess Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

24) Morrigan Tales [Elaine Lee/Charles Vess] 18p

25) Rick Grimes Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

26) These Things Happen [Rick Grimes] 5p

27) L. Roy Aiken/Mike Hoffman Profiles [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

28) Neither Seen Nor Heard [L. Roy Aiken/Mike Hoffman] 11p

29) From Hell, Chapter Three: Blackmail or Mrs. Barrett [Alan Moore/Eddie Campbell] 19p

30) From Hell Pin-Up [Alan Moore] 1p [on inside back cover]

Notes: $14.95 for 168 pages. Tundra Publishing is credited with co-production. All of the Moebius pages were printed on yellow paper. Charles Vess’ ‘Morrigan Tales’ is a redrawn, rewritten and greatly expanded version of the story originally published in Sabre #1 (Aug. 1982). The best artwork here is easily from the French master Moebius. Steve White, Charles Vess, Mike Hoffman & Michael Zulli also provided high quality work. Best story is Alan Moore’s latest chapter of ‘From Hell’, with Tim Lucas, Elaine Lee, Neil Gaiman, Phil Hester and Alejandro Jodorowsky also delivering excellent stories. I find myself really disliking the work of Rick Grimes and P. Foerster. Their stories & art seemed like arid dead zones that blunted the appeal of the stories that book ended them.

5. cover: Jeff Jones/frontis: Melinda Gebbe/back cover: Michael Zulli (1991)

1) Seeing Is Not Believing [Douglas E. Winter] 3p [text article]

2) Introduction [James Ellroy] 1p [text article]

3) 39th And Norton [Tom Foxmarnick/Dennis Ellefson] 11p

4) Pin-Up [Jeff Nicholson] 1p

5) Jeff Nicholson Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

6) Through The Habitrails: It’s Not Your Juice [Jeff Nicholson] 1p

7) Through The Habitrails: Increasing the Gerbils [Jeff Nicholson] 4p

8) Through The Habitrails: Jar Head [Jeff Nicholson] 8p

9) Lost Girls Introduction [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

10) Lost Girls [Alan Moore/Melinda Gebbe] 8p [color]

11) Jeff Jones Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

12) Better Things To Do [Jeff Jones] 2p [text story]

13) Matt Howarth Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text story]

14) Baby’s On Fire [Matt Howarth] 6p

15) Rick Grimes Profile/Michael H. Price-Adrian Martinez Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text

article]

16) Akimbo [Rick Grimes] 6p

17) Verse From A Viscera Vase II [Michael H. Price/Adrian Martinez] 1p [poem]

18) Michael Zulli/Ramsey Campbell Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

19) Again [Michael Zulli] 27p from the story by Ramsey Campbell

20) S. Clay Wilson Profile [Steve Bissette] 1p [text article]

21) This Is Dynamite [S. Clay Wilson] 2p

22) From Hell Introduction [Alan Moore] 1p [text article]

23) From Hell, Chapter Four: “What Doth The Lord Require Of Thee?” [Alan Moore/Eddie

Campbell] 38p

24) Dawn At The Crematorium #28 [Rolf Stark] 1p [color painting, on inside back cover]

Notes: Steve Bissette now listed as sole editor. $14.95 for 130 pages. The frontispiece depicts the ‘Lost Girls’. The focus this issue was on erotic horror stories and the reader wasn’t spared much in the way of twisted, kinky and often disgusting horror fare. This also was a particularly strong issue in terms of story, with even the most disturbing tales being disturbing more for the quality of the story itself and not for the shocks contained within. S. Clay Wilson’s little two pager was nearly as controversial as his earlier pin-ups from #2. Alan Moore & Melinda Gebbie uncovered the first chapter of their strikingly beautiful sex novel, ‘Lost Girls’, which depicted the grown-up escapades of literary characters Dorothy Gale {The Wizard Of Oz}, Wendy Darling {Peter Pan} and Alice Lindell {Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland & Through The Looking-Glass}, years before The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen appeared. Although Jeff Nicolson is probably an acquired taste, the first chapters of his serial ‘Through The Habitrails’ were quirky and interesting, a trait that lasted throughout the serial. Matt Howarth delivered a fine short story as did the team of Tom Foxmarnick and Dennis Ellefson. Another lengthy and well-done chapter of ‘From Hell’ appeared. However, the best story and art belong to Michael Zulli’s superb adaptation of Ramsey Campbell’s damn creepy short story ‘Again’. Don’t read this one just before dropping off to sleep. I’d like to make special note of Rolf Stark’s back cover painting and his work in general. Stark’s interests may have focused solely on the Holocaust but his work was powerful and, while extremely grim and disturbing, beautiful in its intentions.




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