The Weird World of Eerie Publications (Feral House, 2010) introduces the reader to Myron Fass, the gun-toting megalomaniac publisher who, with tyranny and glee, made a career of fishing pocketbook change from young readers with the most insidious sort of exploitation. You'll also meet Carl Burgos, who, as editor of Eerie Publications, ground his axe against the entire comics industry. Slumming comic art greats and unknown hacks were both employed by Eerie to plagiarize the more inspired work of pre-Code comic art of the 1950s.
Somehow these lowbrow abominations influenced a generation of artists who proudly blame career choices (and mental problems) on Eerie Publications. One of them, Stephen R. Bissette (Swamp Thing, Taboo, Tyrant), provides the introduction for this volume.
Here's the sordid background behind this mysterious comics publisher, featuring astonishingly red reproductions of many covers and the most spectacularly creepy art. The book is beautifully designed by Sean Tejaratchi of Craphound.
Click images below for hi-res gruesomeness!
Early Eerie Pubs issues featured reprints of precode horror stories that were first printed in Ajax/ Farrell comics like Voodoo and Haunted Thrills. Not gory enough for 60s readers, art director Ezra Jackson (father of a current Congresswoman) would draw in extra bloodletting. Jackson's favorite trick was to rip away the victim's cheek, exposing a neat row of white teeth! (Left is the Ajax original, right features Jackson's embellishments.
Myron Fass, publisher of the Eerie Publications and the undisputed "King of the One-Shots". Fass published thousands of magazines from the 50s through the 90s on every subject imaginable, as long as it would turn a profit. A gun enthusiast, tyrant, madman and genius, Fass's unorthodox management style horrified (but taught) his staff and his magazines offended and influenced millions of twisted young minds.
Chic Stone, who had a "real job" at Marvel Comics inking Jack Kirby's pencils on a number of best-selling Superhero comics, let his hair down at Eerie Pubs and delivered some unforgettable gore covers for the them, including this one for Terror Tales V1 #8 (May 1969).
Bill Alexander, a former Irving Klaw fetish artist, was Eerie Publications' premier cover artist, painting more than a quarter of their printed covers. This is from Weird V3 #5 (Dec. 1969). He was concurrently painting nudie comics for Fass's girly mags and covers for Star Distributions' jaw-dropping porno paperbacks.
Carl Burgos was Eerie Pubs' editor and visionary. Pissed off at an industry that he'd helped form (he created The Human Torch back in 1939), Burgos joined forces with Fass to give the finger to respectable comics everywhere with the Eerie Pubs. He also painted a few covers, like this one for the only issue of Tales from the Crypt (V1 #10- July 1968). Bill Gaines at EC still owned the rights to the title, so it's no surprise that with the next issue, the title was changed to Tales of Voodoo.
Multi-monster mayhem, gratuitous gore and bound beauties... these are the earmarks of a good Eerie Pub cover! This is Tales of Voodoo V7 #1 (Jan. 1974), art by Oscar Novelle, one of many South American artists whose work proliferated in the Pubs.
Dick Ayers was another Marvel Comics artist who enjoyed moonlighting with Fass and Burgos. Told to redraw old 50s horror comics but make them gorier, Ayers delivered in spades! This is the splash panel (!) for "A Corpse for the Coffin," one of more than two dozen eye-poppin' stories illustrated by Ayers for Eerie Pubs.
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Published 12:16 pm Tue, Jan 11, 2011
Art and Design, Comics