Monsters Unleashed (1973)


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.

 

Nexus V1 – Capital Comics (1981)

Nexus is a comic book series created by writer Mike Baron and penciler Steve Rude in 1981. The series is a combination of the superhero and science fiction genres, set 500 years in the future.

The series debuted as a three-issue black-and-white limited series (the third of which featured a 33 RPM flexi disc with music and dialogue from the issue), followed by an eighty-issue ongoing full-color series. The black-and-white issues and the first six color issues were published by Capital Comics; after Capital’s demise, First Comics took over publication.

On the creation of the series: Baron noted that they had originally pitched a series called Encyclopaedias to Capital Comics, but the company rejected this, saying they were looking for a superhero title. Over a drink at a restaurant, Baron outlined his ideas for Nexus to Rude.

Nexus was entirely Baron’s idea. He even came up with the lightning bolt for the costume. All that we needed then was a name… a few weeks passed. Baron calls, and, without preamble, just says “Nexus.” We finally had our name.”

Eerie (1970’s)

Eerie was an American magazine of horror comics introduced in 1966 by Warren Publishing. Like Mad, it was a black-and-white newsstand publication in a magazine format and thus did not require the approval or seal of the Comics Code Authority. Each issue’s stories were introduced by the host character, Cousin Eerie. Its sister publications were Creepy and Vampirella.

The first issue, in early 1966, had only a 200-issue run of an “ashcan” edition. With a logo by Ben Oda, it was created overnight by editor Archie Goodwin and letterer Gaspar Saladino to establish publisher Jim Warren’s ownership of the title when it was discovered that a rival publisher would be using the name. Warren explained, “We launched  Eerie because we thought Creepy ought to have an adversary. The Laurel and Hardy syndrome always appealed to me. Creepy and Eerie are like Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre.”

Wizard: The Guide to Comics (1991)

Wizard launched in July 1991. With issue #7, the magazine switched to glossy paper and color printing. Wizard strongly supported new publishers Valiant Comics and Image Comics, heavily promoting their new releases.

With its high-end production values and embodiment of the comic speculator boom, Wizard was an instant hit, with a monthly circulation of more than 100,000 copies.

The magazine also spawned several ongoing magazines dedicated to similar interests such as ToyFare for toys and action figures, Inquest Gamer for collectible game cards, Anime Insider for anime and manga, and Toy Wishes for mainstream toy enthusiasts.

Vampire Tales (1973)

Vampire Tales ran 11 issues cover-dated 1973 to June 1975. With sister titles including Dracula LivesMonsters Unleashed and Tales of the Zombie, it was published by Marvel Comics‘ parent company, Magazine Management, and related corporations, under the brand emblem Marvel Monster Group. Published b-monthly, the magazine cost 75 cents.

The magazine starred Morbius the Living Vampire, in a feature written primarily by Don McGregor, with pencilers including Pablo MarcosRich BucklerTom Sutton, and Mike Vosburg, and later by writer Doug Moench, with artist Sonny Trinidad. The vampire hunter Blade starred in two stories by writer Marv Wolfman and artist Tony DeZuniga, in issues #8-9 (Dec. 1974 – Feb. 1975). Steve Gerber contributed a Morbius story to issue #1 (Aug. 1973) and a story starring Lilith, Dracula’s daughter, to issue #6 (Aug. 1974).

Issue #2 (Oct. 1973) introduced Satana, the Devil’s Daughter, in a four-page teaser by writer-editor Roy Thomas and artist John Romita Sr.; and detective Hodiah Twist and his assistant Conrad Jeavons, created by Don McGregor and penciler Carlos Garzon.

Famous Monsters of Filmland (Silver Age)

Famous Monsters of Filmland was originally conceived as a one-shot publication by Warren and Ackerman, published in the wake of the widespread success of the Shock Theater package of old horror movies syndicated to American television in 1957. But the first issue, published in February 1958, was so successful that it required a second printing to fulfill public demand. Its future as part of American culture was immediately obvious to both men. The success prompted spinoff magazines such as SpacemenFavorite Westerns of FilmlandScreen Thrills IllustratedCreepyEerie, and Vampirella.

Cages (1990)

Cages is a ten-issue comic book limited series by Dave McKean. It was published between 1990 and 1996, and later collected as a single volume.

Cages is a story about artists, belief, creativity and cats, illustrated in a stripped-down pen and ink style.

Lloyd Llewellyn (1986)

Lloyd Llewellyn (sometimes abbreviated LLLL) is a comic book by Daniel Clowes. The black-and-white series, published by Fantagraphics Books, ran for six issues from April 1986 to June 1987. A final “special” issue was published in December 1988.

The series’ title character is a detective who has humorous adventures inspired by film noir and stereotypical 1950s lounge culture. Llewellyn has a sidekick who goes by the name of Ernie Hoyle. The series’ police sergeant is called “Red” Hoerring. The series’ visual style is influenced by lowbrow art.

The story “The Nightmare” from Lloyd Llewellyn #6 foreshadowed the approach of Clowes’s next comic, Eightball, by breaking the conventions of the series’ crime setting and turning to social satire. Also in that issue, the author announces:

… And who knows … somewhere along that lonesome road we might see a new LLLL mag with a brand new format so dazzling, so breathtaking, so monumentally fantastic that I haven’t even thought of it yet!

Early issues of Eightball included several additional Lloyd Llewellyn episodes. The character also made various cameo appearances in other Eightball stories.

Dracula Lives (1970’s)

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 VallejoNeal 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!”

Monster World (1964)

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.