The Best Of The Rest! Web Of Horror, Atlas/Seaboard & Others

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Last updated 15 September 2008. 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.


The Best Of The Rest!

Web Of Horror, Atlas/Seaboard & Others

Web Of Horror


Web Of Horror was published by Major Publications (also publishers of Cracked and a host of men’s adventure magazines) and was the first serious rival to the Warren B&W line of the 1960s. It showcased many young professionals who would soon rise to prominence in the 1970s and, for that alone, should be remembered. Check out the end of the checklist for an interview with Web Of Horror editor Terry Bisson.
1. cover: Jeff Jones (Dec. 1969)

1) Webster’s Welcome [Terry Bisson/Berni Wrightson] 1p [frontis]

2) Growth [Nicola Cuti/Wayne Howard] 6p

3) Blood Thirst! [Terry Bisson/Syd Shores] 7p

4) The Game That Plays You! [Dick Kenson/Berni Wrightson] 6p

5) Web Of Horror Comic Artist Contest [Terry Bisson/Ralph Reese] 2p

6) Dead Letter [Terry Bisson?/Donald Norman] 6p

7) The Skin-Eaters [Terry Bisson/Ralph Reese] 4p

8) Island Of The Walking Dead [Carl Dimond/Donald Norman] 11p

Notes: Publisher: Robert Sproul. Editor: Terry Bisson. $.35 for 64 pages. The magazine’s host and mascot was a rather cute spider named Webster. At this point in time, at least half of the contents of Warren’s Creepy & Eerie magazines consisted of reprints. Web Of Horror had all new stories, many from the ‘young turks’ who would shortly usher in a new level of excitement to both Marvel & DC, creating a treasure trove for collectors. This all-new stories approach probably prompted Warren to discontinue its own reprints. The competition threat also caused Jim Warren to issue his “them or us” letter to his free lancers, bluntly stating that you could work for Warren or you could work for other B&W horror comic publishers but you couldn’t work for both. Of the youngsters appearing here, Berni Wrightson was likely the most notable, having made his professional debut less than a year earlier. Reese had been an assistant to Wally Wood, but his story here is the earliest I’ve seen him credited with a solo effort so it may well be his professional solo debut. Cuti had made his professional debut only a couple of months earlier in a Warren magazine. The old pro here is Syd Shores, who illustrated Captain America back in the 1940s. Editor Bisson would go on to become a major SF writer, winning many awards. The comic art contest consisted of an elaborate two page spread with an open space for a budding artist to add their own art & dialogue. The intended prize was apparently for the winner to get his or her first publication credit but the magazine ended before the first winner could be announced. The best story here, ‘Island Of The Walking Dead’ reads as though it were intended as a series, although this was the main characters’ only appearance. It’s somewhat hampered by an uninspired art job. The script was originally 15 pages in length. Best art is Reese’s effort. Throughout the run of this series, the cover art would be reprinted on the back without copy, thus, for all intents & purposes, appearing as a color pin-up. According to a Berni Wrightson interview that appeared in Infinity #2, Web Of Horror pay rates were $40 a page for pencils & ink with a $5 boost if the artist lettered the page as well. Stories were $13 a page for scripters while covers went for $250.

2. cover: Jeff Jones (Feb. 1970)

1) Webster’s Welcome [Terry Bisson/Ralph Reese] 1p [frontis]

2) Mother Toad [Terry Bisson/Berni Wrightson] 5p

3) Ashes To Ashes! [Ron Barlow/Roger Brand] 6p

4) Sea Of Graves [Otto Binder/Michael Kaluta] 7p

5) Web Of Horror Comic Artist Contest [Terry Bisson/Michael Kaluta] 2p

6) Breathless! [Marv Wolfman/Berni Wrightson] 7p

7) The Unmasking! [Wilson Shard/Bill Fraccio & Tony Tallarico] 6p [Fraccio/Tallarico’s art credited to Alfred

Payan.]

8) Man-Plant From The Tomb [Otto Binder/Ralph Reese] 6p


Notes: The title logo was different for all three Web issues as well as for the unpublished 4th issue, with the best published version appearing on #3. The letters’ page debuts with an original illo by Berni Wrightson & Jeff Jones. ‘Sea Of Graves’ was Kaluta’s second published professional appearance, following a war story for Charlton that appeared in Flash Gordon #18, dated Jan. 1970. The name, Wilson Shard, on the Fraccio/Tallarico drawn story, sounds like a penname. Best story & art goes to the Binder/Reese combo on ‘Man-Plant From The Tomb’.

3. cover: Berni Wrightson (Apr. 1970)

1) Webster’s Welcome [Terry Bisson/Frank Brunner] 1p [frontis]

2) Dead End [Otto Binder/Michael Kaluta] 6p

3) Curse Of The Yeti [Otto Binder/Ralph Reese] 7p

4) Santa’s Claws [Frank Brunner] 7p

5) Web Of Horror Comic Artist Contest [Terry Bisson/Berni Wrightson] 2p

6) Strangers! [Syd Shores] 7p

7) Point Of View [Bruce Jones] 6p

8) Feed It! [Mike Friedrich/Berni Wrightson] 6p
Notes: Final issue. The comic artist contest featured here was to be the last of the try-out pages. The winner of the first contest was to be announced in the never published fourth issue. The second letters’ page appears, with several fans definitely disliking Kaluta’s artwork {don’t know why, it looked quite nice to me}. For some reason, the letters’ page from the previous issue was reprinted as well. Best story and art for this issue {and best story and art that appeared in this title, period} belongs to the excellent little chiller ‘Feed It!’ by Friedrich & Wrightson. Bruce Jones makes his professional debut. Nowadays better known for his scripts for the likes of the Hulk and Batman, Jones began his career as a writer/artist. His artwork was quite good too, somewhat in the style of Al Williamson & Roy Krenkel. This was Frank Brunner’s professional comic debut as well, although he’d had strips appearing in the movie magazine Castle Of Frankenstein. Following this issue, Bisson quit as editor to join a commune (well, it was the 1970s) and, later, establish a career as an award-winning SF writer. Berni Wrightson & Bruce Jones convinced Robert Sproul to let them become the new editors. They had assembled a 4th issue when one weekend they went out to Long Island to meet with Sproul for a conference, only to discover him gone to Florida {or simply across town} along with a large quantity of the art and stories intended for future issues of Web Of Horror. Not all of the stories disappeared however, as Frank Brunner bluffed his way into the Sproul’s offices towards the end, claiming that he was the new editor and rescuing a goodly amount of stories which ended up in various fanzines of the time. The following items were intended for the never published Wrightson/Jones edited Web Of Horror.

4. cover: Berni Wrightson [published in Scream Door #1]

1) Webster’s Welcome [Michael Kaluta] 1p [published in Reality #2]

2) Quasar! [Steve Hickman] 7p [published in Reality #1]

3) Death Is The Sailor [Len Wein/Michael Kaluta] 7p [published in Reality #1 & 2]

4) Eye Of Newt, Toe Of Frog [Gerry Conway/Frank Brunner] 7p [published in Vampirella #10]

5) Outside-In [Bruce Jones] 7p [published in Reality #2]

6) Rat! [Tom Sutton] 7p [credited to Sean Todd {see the reference to Warren’s “them or us” letter above}, published

in Scream Door #1]

7) Out On A Limb [Berni Wrightson] 6p [published in I’ll Be Damned #4]

8) Hey, Buddy, Can You Lend Me A…? [Michael Kaluta] 5p [published in Scream Door #1]

9) Sword Of Dragonus [Chuck Robinson & Frank Brunner/Frank Brunner] 8p [published in Phase #1]
Stories that vanished included the following:

1) A SF story by Clark Dimond & Ralph Reese featuring pirates & galleons in outer space!

2) a Berni Wrightson story entitled ‘The Monster Jar’

3) Two Michael Kaluta stories

Frank Brunner has long stated that the first Dragonus story, ‘Sword Of Dragonus’ was also intended for a future issue of Web Of Horror. After Web collapsed, Warren offered to publish it as well, but Brunner wanted to retain the rights to this because he believed Dragonus would make a good continuing series. Thus, ‘Sword Of Dragonus’ ended up in the only issue of the fanzine Phase. A second Dragonus story would appear in Star*Reach. {See the Star*Reach page}




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