A magazine rather than a comic book, Monsters Unleashed did not fall under the purview of the comics industry’s self-censorship Comics Code Authority, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than color comics of the time.
Monsters Unleashed primarily featured standalone horror stories, both original and reprinted, including from pre-Comics Code comics from Marvel Comics‘ 1950s iteration, Atlas Comics. It occasionally featured stories starring the Marvel Comics swamp monster Man-Thing, the Marvel version of the Frankenstein monster, the bestial Wendigo, the science-fiction adventurer Gullivar Jones. and the superheroine Tigra. It also included text features on monster movies
Elfquest (or ElfQuest) is a cult hit comic book property created by Wendy and Richard Pini in 1978. It is a fantasy story about a community of elves and other fictional species who struggle to survive and coexist on a primitive Earth-like planet with two moons. Several published volumes of prose fiction also share the same setting. Elfquest was one of the first comic book series to have a planned conclusion. Over the years Elfquest has been self-published by the Pinis through their own company Warp Graphics, then Marvel Comics,[ then the Pinis again, more recently DC Comics and then Dark Horse Comics.
Running concurrently with the longer-running Marvel comic Tomb of Dracula, the continuities of the two titles occasionally overlapped, with storylines weaving between the two. Most of the time, however, the stories in Dracula Lives! were stand-alone tales by various creative teams. Later issues of Dracula Lives! featured a serialized adaptation of the original Bram Stoker novel, written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Dick Giordano.
The magazine format did not fall under the purview of the Comics Code, allowing the title to feature stronger content — such as moderate profanity, partial nudity, and more graphic violence — than Marvel’s “mainstream” titles. The larger format allowed the interior artists to “stretch out” a bit more. Painted covers of the series were done by artists like Boris Vallejo, Neal Adams, and Luis Dominguez. Dracula Lives!‘ text and photo articles were mostly of the Count’s various film appearances. The title of the magazine’s letter column was “Dracula Reads!”
Begun by James Warren, Warren Publishing’s initial publications were the horror-fantasy–science fiction movie magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland and Monster World, both edited by Forrest J Ackerman. Warren soon published Spacemen magazine and in 1960 Help! magazine, with the first employee of the magazine being Gloria Steinem.
After introducing what he called “Monster Comics” in Monster World, Warren expanded in 1964 with horror-comics stories in the sister magazines Creepy and Eerie – black-and-white publications in a standard magazine format, rather than comic-book size, and selling for 35 cents as opposed to the standard comic-book price of 12 cents. Such a format, Warren explained, averted the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, the comic-book industry’s self-censorship body.