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                                    Marvel’s Black & White Horror Magazines



                This checklist is intended to provide information on Marvel Comics black & white horror magazines from 1971-1980 only.  Thus, The Savage Sword Of Conan, Doc Savage, The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu, etc. are not included here.  One-off issues of a regular series, such as Savage Tales #1 or issues of Marvel Preview/Bizarre Adventures, which were primarily horror will be.  As with my other pages, you might like to check out the interviews located at the end of this checklist.  Enjoy!


Savage Tales

    1. cover: John Buscema (May 1971)

                1) Conan The Barbarian: The Frost Giant’s Daughter [Roy Thomas/Barry Smith] 11p   from the

                                story by Robert E. Howard

                2) The Fury Of The Femizons [Stan Lee/John Romita] 10p

                3) The Story Behind The Scenes [Roy Thomas] 1p   [text article]

                4) Man-Thing! [Gerry Conway & Roy Thomas/Gray Morrow] 11p

                5) Black Brother! [Denny O’Neil/Gene Colan & Tom Palmer] 11p   [O’Neil’s story credited to

Sergius O’Shaughnessy]

                6) Next Issue Ad [John Romita] 1p   [Ka-Zar, Conan & Kull are featured.]

                7) Ka-Zar: The Night Of The Looter! [Stan Lee/John Buscema] 15p

                8) Next Issue Ad [John Romita] 1p   [Conan & Lyra of the Femizons are featured.]


Notes: $.50 for 64 pages.  Publisher & editor: Stan Lee.  Roy Thomas listed as Associate Editor.  Two science fantasy stories, one sword & sorcery and two horror tales make up this issue.  The Conan story is one of Thomas/Smith team’s best efforts.  This version features nudity, which was censored when the story was reprinted in the regular Conan comic.  That version also acquired a new splash page, bringing the page count up to 12, which has remained constant for all reprinting.  With one exception, the censored version is the version usually reprinted.  The exception occurred in 1974 when a 12 page version of the original art plus the added splash page appeared in The Savage Sword Of Conan #1 (Aug. 1974).  The long-running Marvel swamp monster, Man-Thing, also debuted this issue.  ‘The Femizons’ and the Conan adaptation had the best art while Conan also had the best story.   This was Marvel’s second B&W magazine attempt, following a one issue Spiderman book in 1968.  Although a second issue was clearly planned, it didn’t actually appear until Nov. 1973, with totally different contents than the original version of #2!  The original contents were parceled out in Marvel color books with the second Man-Thing story {with beautiful artwork by Neal Adams} appearing in Astonishing Tales, bookended by a Ka-Zar tale!  The Conan story appeared {again, with the nudity censored} in Conan The Barbarian #16.  A Kull story was also promised but I’m not sure if it ever appeared.  A science fiction story, ‘Dark Tomorrow’, actually did appear 2½ years later in the revived Savage Tales #2.  It would be two more years before Marvel attempted another black & white magazine venture.




Dracula Lives!

    1. cover: Boris Vallejo (June 1973)

                1) Dracula, 1973: A Poison Of The Blood [Gerry Conway/Gene Colan & Tom Palmer] 13p

                2) Dracula, 1691: Suffer Not A Witch! [Roy Thomas/Alan Weiss & Dick Giordano] 12p

                3) Dracula Is Alive And Living On Madison Avenue [Roy Thomas] 1½p   [text article]

                4) Monsters Unleashed Ad [Pablo Marcos] ½p

                5) Zombie! [?/Tony DiPreta] 6p   reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #5 (Feb. 1953)

                6) Ghost Of A Chance! [?/?] 2p   reprinted from Adventures Into Terror #8 (Feb. 1952)  

[originally entitled ‘The Miracle’]

                7) What Can You Say About A Five-Hundred Year Old Vampire Who Refuses To Die? [Marv

Wolfman] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                8) Fright! [Stan Lee?/Russ Heath] 7p   reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #5 (Feb. 1953)

                9) Dracula, 1890s: To Walk Again In Daylight! [Steve Gerber/Rich Buckler & Pablo Marcos] 10p

                10) Next Issue Ad [Neal Adams] 1p   art reprinted from The Tomb Of Dracula #1’s cover (Apr.



Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Roy Thomas.  Sol Brodsky, who was the first editor for the Skywald line of B&W horror magazines, is the production manager for the Marvel line.  $.75 for 72 pages.  The magazine’s only date is 1973 but this issue was actually June 1973.  This time Marvel launched a full scale assault on the B&W magazine market, essentially flooding the market with four horror magazines, a humor magazine, a revived Savage Tales and a movie gag photo magazine in 1973 alone.  Dracula Lives! was the first and it features one of Boris Vallejo’s best covers for the B&W market {not to mention it being his Marvel debut}.  Nowadays, Vallejo’s work seems overrated, with his heavy reliance on posed models producing artwork that often looks stiff and lifeless but between 1971 and 1977 he produced some of the most striking covers in the field for Warren, Skywald and Marvel.  This one is a symbolic painting featuring a vampire bat with Dracula’s head floating above a cobra, a female vampire, a caveman, a skull and assorted demons.  It’s quite dynamic.  To avoid problems with the continuing storylines from The Tomb Of Dracula, this magazine’s stories tended to take place during different time periods ranging from 1459 though 1973, etc.  One thing one should note about the Marvel books is that you paid a lot more for less actual comic pages.  This issue has only 35 new pages of story and art.  The rest of the magazine consists of pre-code 1950s era reprints and text articles.  One of the reasons for this was that Marvel paid its writers & artists more than either Warren or Skywald, their main rivals in the B&W horror market.  The other was that it probably was very expensive to launch a full line of magazines (especially with only three magazines’ worth of material) and cost cutting was absolutely required.  That said, if you didn’t like Famous Monsters Of Filmland or articles of that sort {I can see my teen-aged self wildly waving his hand here} than the articles were not only clearly padding but a snooze as well.  The pre-code reprints were often awful, with corny stories and lame artwork.  This wasn’t always true however, and this issue’s ‘Fright!’ is a stand out story, reprint or not, with great Heath artwork highlighting a nasty little tale concerning a brutal overseer of an insane asylum.  The best of the new material is the Thomas/Weiss/Giordano tale of Dracula influencing the Salem Witch Trials.  The other two stories are decent enough also.  For some reason five of the pages have panel borders or details in the panels colored in red.  Each of the stories had a one page introduction with photos from old movies used as artwork.  The next issue ad reprints Neal Adams’ art from the cover of The Tomb Of Dracula #1, with the art reversed or flipped.  A fair first issue. 


    2. cover: Jordi Penalva (Aug. 1973)

1) Dracula, 1459: That Dracula May Live Again! [Marv Wolfman/Neal Adams] 13p

2) An Editorial [Roy Thomas] ½p   [text article]

3) Tales Of The Zombie Ad [John Romita over Bill Everett?] ½p

4) Vampires Drink Deep! [?/Joe Sinnott] 6p   reprinted from Strange Tales #9 (Aug. 1952)  

[originally titled Drink Deep, Vampire!]

                5) Who Is Bram Stoker And Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me! [Chris

Claremont] 5p   [text story w/photos]

6) Dracula, 1944: The Terror That Stalked Castle Dracula! [Steve Gerber & Tony Isabella/Jim

Starlin & Syd Shores] 11p

                7) Vampire Tales Ad [Gil Kane] 1p   [Moebius, The Living Vampire is featured.]

                8) One Corpse…One Vote! [Stan Lee/Fred Kida] 6p   reprinted from ?

                9) Dracula, 1973: The Voodoo Queen Of New Orleans [Roy Thomas/Gene Colan & Dick

Giordano] 14p   [Simon Garth, The Zombie cameos]

                10) Next Issue Ad [Tom Palmer] 1p


Notes: Penalva’s cover starts a gothic cover tradition that lasts through #12.  On each cover, a beautiful blonde girl, usually clad in a white nightgown {although for this cover she’s dressed in only bra & panties} is menaced by Dracula, who’s dressed in what looks like an opera costume {basically, his standard color comic costume}.  Marv Wolfman, Gerry Conway, Don McGregor and Tony Isabella are listed as Editorial staff.  Marvel’s version of Dracula gets a terrific origin tale, courtesy of Wolfman & Adams.  Jim Starlin does only the layouts for the 1944 Dracula tale.  Simon Garth, the Zombie {from the B&W magazine Tales Of The Zombie} has a one panel cameo in ‘The Voodoo Queen Of New Orleans’.  As in the first issue, occasional pages have the color red in certain panel’s backgrounds, often for less than obvious reasons.  39 pages of original art & story.


    3. cover: Neal Adams/titlepage: Pablo Marcos (Oct. 1973)

                1) Dracula, 1459: Lord Of Death…Lord Of Hell! [Marv Wolfman/John Buscema & Syd Shores]


                2) The Haunt Of Horror/Savage Tales Ad [Kelly Freas & Barry Smith] 1p  

                3) The Vampire-Man [?/?] 5p

                4) Doc Savage/Tales Of The Zombie Ad [Rich Bucker & Pablo Marcos] 1p

                5) Bela Lugosi: Dracula Of Stage, Screen & Coffin [Doug Moench] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Solomon Kane & Dracula, 1553: Castle Of The Undead [Roy Thomas/Alan Weiss & The

Crusty Bunkers] 12p

                7) Vampire Tales Ad [John Romita] 1p   [Satana is featured]

                8) I Was Once A Gentle Man… [Chris Claremont] 6p   [text story w/photos]

                9) Strange Tales/Marvel Spotlight Ad [John Romita & Herb Trimpe] 1p   [Brother Voodoo & the

Son Of Satan are featured.]

                10) Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble [?/C. A. Winter] 5p

                11) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] ½p

                12) Dracula, 1973: Shadow In The City Of Light! [Gerry Conway/Alphonso Font] 11p

                13) Dracula Lives! Feature Page: Stan Lee Profile/Dracula Returns book review [Roy Thomas? &

Don Thompson] 1p   [text article w/photos]

                13) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p


Notes: Adams’ terrific painting of Dracula standing on a rain swept cathedral in Paris {holding the blonde in the nightgown} is the best cover to appear on an issue of Dracula Lives!  Marv Wolfman is listed as the associate editor and is probably the de facto editor at this point.  “Lord Of Death…Lord Of Hell’ is a sequel and continuation of Dracula’s origin tale.  The last page in the reprint story ‘The Vampire-Man’ has an obvious Jack Davis swipe on page 5, panel 2.  Solomon Kane was a Puritan adventurer created by Robert E. Howard, the creator of Conan & Kull, among many others.  This story details the clash {a Roy Thomas original} between Stoker’s Dracula & Howard’s Kane.  It’s a terrific tale with beautiful art by Weiss & the Bunkers.  The Crusty Bunkers were a loose, constantly shifting collection of artists headed by Neal Adams.  Adams clearly inked a lot of this story.  Other Bunkers included Russ Heath, Dick Giordano, Vicente Alcazar, Terry Austin, Joe Rubenstein, Pat Broderick, Dan Green, Weiss himself and many more. Several of those mentioned could have worked on this story as well.  The Vampire Tales ad features Romita’s original costume design for Satana, although she never actually wore this costume in a B&W magazine.  She may have done so in the color comics.  The Haunt Of Horror ad was for the digest prose magazine, not the later B&W comic magazine.  It showed the lineup and cover for the never published 3rd issue, with the {unpublished} cover by Freas and stories including ‘The Running Of The Demonhound’ by John Jakes, ‘Goldfish’ by R. A. Lafferty, ‘The New Witchcraft’ by Lin Carter, and ‘The Night People’ by Alan Brennart.  The ‘Demonhound’ story appeared in an issue of Savage Tales but the rest of the stories’ first appearances are a mystery.  I don’t believe ‘The Night People’ was ever printed.  The ‘Fire Burn And Cauldron Bubble’ reprint is a comic retelling of the death of Macbeth and has nothing to do with vampires.  It’s rather nicely done though.  The letters’ page debuts with an illo of Dracula by Pablo Marcos.  36 pages of new story & art.


    4. cover: Earl Norem/titlepage: Rich Buckler & Pablo Marcos (Jan. 1974)

                1) Marvel Magazines Ad [various] 1p   [frontis]

                2) Dracula, 1973: Fear Stalker [Marv Wolfman/Mike Ploog & Ernie Chan] 14p   [Chan’s art

credited to Ernie Chua]

                3) Tales Of The Zombie Ad [Boris Vallejo] 1p   [B&W repo of #3’s cover]

                4) In Search Of Dracula: A True History Of Dracula and Vampire Legends [Chris Claremont] 6p  

[text article w/photos]

                5) Transylvania: Vacation Spot Of Europe? [Dwight R. Decker/Pablo Marcos] 1p   [text article]

                6) When Calls The Vampire! [?/Joe Maneely] 6p   reprinted from Adventure Into Terror #10 (June


                7) Dracula, 1606: This Blood Is Mine! [Gardner Fox/Dick Ayers] 12p

                8) Dracula Lives! Feature Page: Yes, Marv Wolfman Is His Real Name! [Marv Wolfman] 1p  

[text article w/photos]

                9) Film Review: The Horror Of Dracula [Gerry Boudreau] 6p   [text article w/photos]

10) Of Royal Blood [?/Tony Mortellaro] 4p   reprinted from Journey Into Unknown Worlds #29

(July 1954)

                11) Marvel Magazines Ad [Pablo Marcos, Esteban Maroto, John Buscema? & Mike Ploog] 2p  

[Morbius, the Living Vampire, Satana, Gulliver Jones Of Mars & Frankenstein’s Monster

are featured.]

                12) Dracula, 1459: Look Homeward, Vampire [Gerry Conway/Vicente Alcazar] 11p  

                13) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p


Notes: Our cover blonde is wearing a pink dress & heels.  Ploog’s pencil art is sadly buried beneath Chan’s inks.  Dick Ayers did a lot of work for the schlocky Eerie & Stanley Publications and, unfortunately, his work on ‘This Blood Is Mine!’ looks more like work for those companies than for Marvel.  The story concerns Dracula’s fictional encounter with the real life Baroness Bathory, who really did drain the blood of virgins into her bathtub, since she believed that bathing in virgin blood would help preserve her youth.  The vampire in the reprint story ‘Of Royal Blood’ appears to have had his head redrawn to look more like Marvel’s version of Dracula.  The story ‘Look Homeward, Vampire!’ is the third part of Dracula’s origin tale and is easily the best written & illustrated story here.  37 pages of story & art.


    5. cover: Luis Dominguez/frontis & inside back cover: Gene Colan (Mar. 1974)

                1) Dracula [Roy Thomas/Dick Giordano] 12p   from the novel by Bram Stoker

                2) Transylvania On A Budget [Doug Moench] 2p   [text article w/photo]

                3) Movie Review: Dracula, Prince Of Darkness [Doug Moench] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                4) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                5) Dracula, 1785: A Duel Of Demons [Gerry Conway/Frank Springer] 10p

                6) Dracula: Demons In Darkness [Gerry Conway/Pablo Marcos] 6p   [text story, additional art

from The Tomb Of Dracula color comic]

                7) Coffin Chronicles [Carla Joseph/?] 2p   [text article]

                8) When A Vampire Dies… [Stan Lee/?] 5p   reprinted from Marvel Tales #128 (Nov. 1954)

                9) Book Review: The Dracula Archives [Chris Claremont] 3p   [text article w/photos]

                10) Dracula, 1974: Night Flight To Terror! [Marv Wolfman & Tony Isabella/Gene Colan & Pablo

                                Marcos] 10p

                11) The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu Ad [John Romita] 1p

                12) The Boyhood Of Dracula [Tony Isabella/Val Mayerik] 1p

                13) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [on back cover]


Notes: Size reduced to 64 pages.  The beginning of Roy Thomas & Dick Giordano’s superb adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, an adaptation that would not be concluded until 2005, with a gap between episodes of 29 years!  Regardless, this is extremely impressive, with a faithful script by Thomas and what is probably Giordano’s finest artwork.  A rare example of Gene Colan inking his own 1970s work {at least at Marvel} appears with his two page pin-up.  Pablo Marcos is all over this issue with ad work, inking, text story illos and what not—makes one wonder why he wasn’t given an opportunity to helm a solo story.  He would have done a great job!  Only 33 pages of original art & story this issue, if you don’t count {and I don’t and won’t} the text story.   


    6. cover: Luis Dominguez (May 1974)

                1) Dracula, 1974: A Death In The Chapel [Steve Gerber/Gene Colan & Ernie Chan] 10p   [Chan’s

art credited to Ernie Chua]

                2) Yes, Virginia, There Is A Real Dracula (Undead And Well In Wallachia) [Doug Moench] 8p

                                [text article w/photos]

                3) The Mark of A Vampire! [?/Mac Pakula) 4p   reprinted from Spellbound #22 (May 1954)   [one

page has been dropped from the story]

                4) Dracula: Blood Moon [Thompson O’Rourke/Ernie Chan] 6p   [text story, Chan’s art credited to

Ernie Chua]

                5) Dracula, 1789: Shadow Over Versailles [Tony Isabella/John Buscema & Pablo Marcos] 11p

                6) Dracula Has Risen From The Grave [Tony Isabella] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                7) The Haunt Of Horror Ad [Ralph Reese] 1p

                8) Dracula, part 2: Into The Spider’s Web [Roy Thomas/Dick Giordano] 12p   from the novel by

Bram Stoker

                9) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [on inside back cover]


Notes: Two good original stories and the great Stoker adaptation made this one of the better Dracula Lives!  For some reason, Chan’s inking on Gene Colan’s pencils was much better than his earlier inking on Mike Ploog’s.  ‘Shadow Over Versailles’ is an excellent story with a great ending.  The second adapted chapter of Dracula has a two-page rehash of the previous chapter with reformatted art from that chapter.  Something that Thomas & Giordano would do thoughout the 1974-1975 appearances of this adaptation series.   The actual adaptation is only 10 pages long.  Only 31 pages of new art & story here.


    7. cover: Luis Dominguez (July 1974)

1) Dracula, 1974: Here Comes The Death Man [Gerry Conway/Vicente Alcazar] 10p

2) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

3) Dracula: Blood Moon, part 2 [Thompson O’Rourke/Ernie Chan] 7p   [text story, Chan’s art

credited to Ernie Chua]

                4) The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu Ad [Paul Gulacy] 1p

                5) Dracula, 1690: Assault Of The She-Pirate! [Mike Friedrich/George Evans] 12p

                6) Marvel Magazines Ad [John Buscema & Ernie Chan] 1p

                7) Movie Review: Taste The Blood Of Dracula [Tony Isabella] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                8) Dracula, part 3: The Female Of The Species [Roy Thomas/Dick Giordano] 12p   from the novel

by Bram Stoker   [First two pages of a rehash of pervious episodes]

                9) Giant-Size Master Of Kung Fu Ad [Ernie Chan] ½p

                10) Coffin Chronicles [Carla Joseph] 3p   [text article w/photos]


Notes: Although the story’s only so-so, Alcazar’s art on ‘Here Comes The Death Man’ is the best in the issue, with Evans & Giordano also delivering fine art jobs.  Best story is the Stoker adaptation by Thomas with Friedrich’s pirate tale also being quite good.  From this point on the 1950s era reprints are dropped from the magazine.  32 pages of new story & art.


    8. cover: Luis Dominguez/frontis & titlepage: Pablo Marcos (Sept. 1974)

                1) Dracula, 1974: Last Walk On The Night Side [Doug Moench/Tony DeZuniga] 11p

                2) Dracula, 1926: Black Hand…Black Death! [Len Wein/Gene Colan & Ernie Chan] 10p  

[Chan’s art credited to Ernie Chua]

                3) Crazy Ad [Fumetti photo art] 1p   [Stan Lee is featured.]

                4) Dracula: Child Of The Sun [Chris Claremont/Pablo Marcos] 11p   [text story]

                5) Marvel Magazines Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p   [Frankenstein’s Monster, Werewolf By Night,

Conan, Simon Garth the Zombie, Dracula, Gulliver Jones & Satana are featured in a l’il

kids style illo.]

                6) Coffin Chronicles [Carla Joseph] 2p   [text article w/photos]

                7) Dracula, part 4: “And In That Sleep…!” [Roy Thomas/Dick Giordano] 14p   from the novel by

Bram Stoker   [The first two pages are a rehash of earlier episodes.]

                8) The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu [Neal Adams] ½p   [B&W repo of #3’s cover]


Notes: A striking splash page on the Stoker adaptation as Giordano continues to impress.  Thomas’ script is darn good too.  Tony DeZuniga also delivers a superior art job on the first half of Moench’s serial.  Too bad he couldn’t do both parts.  Marv Wolfman is now listed as editor (a job he’d been doing since at least #3) with Thomas as editor-in-chief and Tony Isabella as consulting editor.  33 new pages of art & story.


    9. cover: Luis Dominguez (Nov. 1974)

                1) How To Ward Off Vampires [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [frontis, Chan’s art credited to

Ernie Chua]

                2) Dracula, 1974: The Lady Who Collected Dracula [Doug Moench/Frank Robbins & Frank

Springer] 10p   [part 2 of ‘Last Night On The Wild Side’ from the previous issue]

                3) Dracula, 1600s: Scarlet In Glory! [Doug Moench/Paul Gulacy & Mike Esposito] 10p

                4) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                5) Movie Review: The Scars Of Dracula [Gerry Boudreau] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Dracula, 1934: A Night In The Unlife! [Gerry Conway/Alfredo Alcala] 10p

                7) Dracula, 1903: Twice Dies The Vampire! [Gerry Conway/Sonny Trinidad] 10p

                8) Planet Of The Apes Ad [Bob Larkin] 1p   [B&W repo of #2’s cover]

                9) Next Issue Ad [Dave Cockrum] 1p   [Lilith, Daughter Of Dracula is featured.]


Notes: The cover blonde has switched to a green nightie.  More ads in this issue but also an increase of comic pages.  40 pages of new art & story.  The Robbins/Springer art on the second half of ‘Last Night On The Wild Side’ is so unlike DeZuniga’s from the previous issue that it looks bad by comparison.  Robbins would have been great doing a 1930s-1940s era Dracula story, so it’s really a bit of a shame.  Sonny Trinidad provides the best artwork here while Doug Moench’s ‘Scarlet In Glory!’ is the best story.


  10. cover: Luis Dominguez/frontis: Don Maitz & Duffy Vohland (Jan. 1975)

                1) The Marvel Bullpen Page Goes Black And White And Read All Over [Marv Wolfman] 1p  

[text article]

                2) Dracula, 1809: The Pit Of Death [Doug Moench/Tony DeZuniga] 10p

                3) Crazy Ad [photo] 1p   [Stan Lee in an Uncle Sam suit is featured.]

                4) Movie Review: Dracula A.D. 1972 [Gary Gerani] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                5) Dracula, part 5: Ship Of Death [Roy Thomas/Dick Giordano] 10p   from the novel by Bram


                6) Lilith, Daughter Of Dracula: The Blood Book [Steve Gerber/Bob Brown & The Crusty

Bunkers] 16p   

                7) A Vampire Stalks Melrose Abbey [Doug Moench/Winslow Mortimer] 2p

                8) Savage Tales Ad [John Romita] 1p   [Ka-Zar & Shanna are featured]


Notes: The first half of the Moench/DeZuniga’s serial ‘The Pit Of Death’ is quite good and features the best story & art for the issue.  Lilith’s story is continued from her appearance in Vampire Tales #6.  As mentioned above, the Crusty Bunkers were a loose group of various inkers operating out of Neal Adams’ studio.  Adams almost always had a hand in the inking and certainly does here.  The Moench/Mortimer two-pagers were originally intended as frontis/inside back cover pieces, although it was rare that they were actually used for that.  38 pages of original art & story.  Don McGregor & Len Wein are now listed as assistant or associate editors.


  11. cover: Steve Fabian/frontis: Bob Hall (Mar. 1975)

                1) Dracula, 1809: Pit Of Death, part 2: Agent Of Hell [Doug Moench/Tony DeZuniga] 11p

                2) The Vampire Of Mednegna [Doug Moench/Winslow Mortimer] 2p

                3) Dracula, part 6: If Madness Be Thy Master…! [Roy Thomas/Dick Giordano] 12p   from the

novel by Bram Stoker

                4) Lilith, Daughter Of Dracula: Nobody Anybody Knows [Steve Gerber/Bob Brown, Frank

Chiramonte & Pablo Marcos] 21p

                5) Next Issue Ad [Ken Bald] 1p   [B&W repo on next issue’s cover]

                6) Tales Of The Zombie Ad [Earl Norem] 1p   [B&W repo of #10’s cover]


Notes: SF & fantasy great Steve Fabian contributes a cover, putting the blonde girl in a purple nightie.  Future Eclipse publisher Dean Mullaney sends in a letter, revealing that he was a pretty intense Marvel fanboy in the day.  Moench’s ‘Pit Of Death’ serial concludes in fine fashion.  The new chapter of Bram Stoker’s Dracula was pretty good too.  With an almost equal number of pages as Dracula, Lilith almost took over the magazine.  46 pages of new story & art, which was about equal to a Warren 64 pager. 


  12. cover: Ken Bald/frontis: photo of Christopher Lee reading Dracula Lives! #4 (May 1975)

                1) Fearsome Features, Far-Out Fabrications, And Fictional Configurations! [?] 1p   [text listing of

Mavel magazines]

                2) Dracula, 1597: Parchments Of The Damned! [Doug Moench/Sonny Trinidad] 10p

                3) Dracula, 1597: Parchments Of The Damned, part 2: The Stealer Of Dracula’s Soul [Doug

                                Moench/Yong Montano] 10p

                4) Dracula, 1597: Parchments Of The Damned, part 3: Paper Blood [Doug Moench/Steve Gan]


                5) Christopher Lee: Hammer’s Hero Of Horror [Doug Moench] 8p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Dracula, 1465: The Sins Of The Fathers [Gerry Conway/Tom Sutton] 10p


Notes: All three parts of a serial run with the most effective art appearing in the chapter by Sonny Trinidad and Steve Gan.  The best art & story, however, go to the Conway/Sutton effort, ‘The Sins Of The Fathers’.  Sutton drew versions of Dracula for both Warren and Marvel and both versions are great.  It’s worth buying this issue just for his work alone.


  13. cover: Earl Norem/frontis: Vicente Alcazar (July 1975)

                1) Factful Features And Fantastic Frivolity Formed And Fermented From Frugal-Minded

Armadilloes! [?] 1p   [listing of Marvel comics currently on sale]

                2) Dracula, 1885: Bounty For A Vampire [Tony Isabella/Tony DeZuniga] 12p 

                3) Kull & The Barbarians/Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction Ad [Michael Whelan & Frank

Brunner] 1p   [B&W repos of #2 & #4 repectively]

                4) Dracula, 1974: Bloody Mary [Rich Margopoulos/George Tuska & Virgilio Redondo] 10p

                5) Doc Savage Ad [movie poster art] 1p

                6) Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction Ad [Robert L. Kline] 1p

                7) The Toad [Tom Sutton] 7p

                8) A Dracula Portfolio [Russ Heath] 3p

                9) Dracula, 1471: Blood Of My Blood! [Gerry Conway/Steve Gan] 11p

                10) Marvel Preview Ad [Tony DeZuniga] 1p   [The Punisher is featured]

                11) Marvel Movie Preview Ad [Earl Norem] 1p   [B&W repo of #1’s cover]

                12) Marvel Magazines Ad [various] 2p


Notes: Final issue.  The blonde babe has vanished from the cover.  Archie Goodwin is listed as a consulting editor. Dean Mullaney & future Marvel writer Ralph Macchio send in letters.  ‘Blood Of My Blood’ is the best Dracula story although ‘Bounty For A Vampire’ is also good.  Best art honors go to Russ Heath’s gory portfolio pieces.  So good that one wishes that Heath could have done a Lilith or Dracula story for Marvel.  Sutton’s excellent ‘The Toad’ was the only non-Dracula or Lilith original story ever published in Dracula Lives!  It had a beautiful job on both story and art.   A rare non-Warren appearance for writer Rich Margopoulos.  A Dracula Lives! Annual would appear in place of a 14th issue.




The Haunt Of Horror (digest version)

1. cover: Gray Morrow (June 1973)

            1) The Unspoken Invitation [Gerry Conway] 2p   [text article]

            2) Conjure Wife [Fritz Leiber/John Romita & Gene Colan] 69p    reprinted from Unknown Worlds

(Apr. 1943)

            3) Dr. Warm: The First Step [George Alec Effinger/Frank Brunner] 20p   [story credited to John

K. Diomede]

            4) Neon [Harlan Ellison/Walt Simonson] 10p

            5) Loup Garou [A. A. Attansio/Mike Ploog] 11p

            6) In The Wind [Gerry Conway] 1p   [text article]

            7) Seeing Stingy Ed [David R. Bunch] 3p

            8) The Lurker In The Family Room [Denny O’Neil] 5p   [text article]

            9) A Nice Home [Beverly Goldberg/?] 3p

            10) Ghost In The Corn Crib [R. A. Lafferty/Dan Green] 6p

            11) Nightbeat [Ramsey Campbell/Frank Brunner] 5p

            12) Boo Kreview: The Book Of Skulls/Dying Inside/The Dreaming City/The Sleeping Sorceress

[Baird Searles] 4p   [text article]

                13) Author’s Page [Gerry Conway] 2p

                14) Usurp The Night [Robert E. Howard/?] 17p   reprinted from ? (? 1970)


Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Gerry Conway.  Associate editor: George Alec Effinger.  $.75 for 160 pages.  This is not a comic magazine but an actual prose digest, like the Magazine Of Fantasy & Science Fiction, etc.  It’s included here strictly because Marvel later used the title for a B&W comic magazine and I didn’t want people to get confused.  All stories are prose unless otherwise indicated.  That said, this is a really good little magazine.  Leiber’s novel is a genuine classic {you can find it today in an edition published by Tor entitled Dark Ladies} and many of the other stories are quite good reading, especially the Lafferty and Howard.  Ellison had the last two pages of his story switched in editing and the story was printed out of sequence.  That mistake was corrected in the next issue.  The title of the book review section is accurate—that’s how it’s spelled in both issues.  The artwork is quite nice with special mention for Ploog’s & Brunner’s contributions.


    2. cover: Kelly Freas (Aug. 1973)

                1) Conditional Terror [Gerry Conway/Walt Simonson] 2p   [text article]

                2) Devil Night [Denny O’Neil/John Buscema] 13p

                3) Pelican’s Claws [Arthur Byron Cover/Dan Green] 6p

                4) Dr. Warm: The Jewel In The Ash [George Alec Effinger/Walt Simonson] 20p    [story credited

to John K. Diomede]

                5) Conjure Wife, part 2 [Fritz Leiber/Walt Simonson] 69p

                6) Kilbride [Ron Goulart/Frank Brunner] 10p

                7) In The Wind [Gerry Conway] 1p   [text article]

                8) Finders Keepers [Anne McCafferty/Billy Graham] 10p

                9) Digging Up Atlantis [Lin Carter/?] 6p   [text article]

                10) Special Feature [Gerry Conway] 1p   [text article]

                11) Neon [Harlan Ellison/Kelly Freas] 8p   reprinted from The Haunt Of Horror #1 (June 1973)

                12) Author’s Page [Gerry Conway] 1½p   [text article]

                13) Mono No Aware [Howard Waldrop/?] 5½p


Notes: Final issue.  Ellison’s story was reprinted with the ending pages corrected.  Each story had the same ending illustration provided by Walt Simonson.  The next issue section, ‘In The Wind’ listed a number of stories intended for the third issue, including John Jakes’ ‘The Running Of Ladyhound’, George Zebrowski’s ‘Fire Of Spring’, R. A. Lafferty’s ‘Goldfish’, Alan Brennert’s ‘The Night People’, Ramsey Campbell’s ‘Writer’s Curse’, a new Dr. Warm story by George Alec Effinger {aka John K. Diomede} and non-fiction articles by Lin Carter & Denny O’Neil.  The intended cover, by Kelly Freas, could be seen in ads in the various B&W magazines.  That cover, and several of the stories mentioned, never saw print.




Monsters Unleashed!

    1. cover: Gray Morrow (July 1973)

                1) The Man Who Cried Werewolf! [Gerry Conway/Pablo Marcos] 10p   from the story ‘The Man

Who Cried Wolf!’ by Robert Bloch

                2) Ghosties And Ghoulies And Things That Go Bump In The Brain… [Roy Thomas] 1p   [text

article w/photo]

                3) The Thing In The Freezer [Marv Wolfman/Syd Shores] 5p

                4) Vampire Tale [Stan Lee/Doug Wildey] 5p    reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #16 (June


                5) The Haunt Of Horror Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

                6) Solomon Kane: Skulls In The Stars [Roy Thomas/Ralph Reese] 10p   from the story by Robert

E. Howard

                7) Portrait Of The Werewolf As A Young Man: The Odyssey Of Larry Talbot [Tony Isabella] 4p  

[text article w/photos]

                8) One Foot In The Grave [Stan Lee/Tony DiPreta] 4p   reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #1

(June 1952)

                9) The Fake! [Stan Lee/?] 5p   reprinted from ?

                10) World Of Warlocks! [Gardner Fox & Roy Thomas/Gene Colan] 10p

                11) Next Issue Ad [Mike Ploog] 1p


Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Roy Thomas.  $.75 for 72 pages.  Like their other horror B&Ws, photo from old movies are used to provide introductions to each story.  Monsters Unleashed not only had an awkward title but was also the most unfocused and downright poor B&W that Marvel published.  It never seemed to be sure what it was really about.  Dracula Lives! featured Dracula. Vampire Tales featured, well, vampires. Tales Of The Zombie was headlined by the zombie, Simon Garth, and was also accompanied by various voodoo stories.  Even the latter version of The Haunt Of Horror seemed more focused, even as it did 180 degree spins in intent and content.  Thomas promises in the editorial that the focus would be on monsters of all stripes. Ok, so based on this issue you’d think that this book was intended as a home for the literary horror adaptations that the color books Journey Into Mystery and Chamber Of Chills had been delivering.  Not a bad idea at all but that approach never continued past #2.  Two of the stories herein were actually sword & sorcery tales that would have fit right in at Savage Tales.  Not really straight monster stories at all, although the Solomon Kane adaptation certainly straddles both genres.  With the second issue, Marvel would take a different direction, attempting to do B&W versions of some of their color comic monsters but those efforts were beset with deadline problems, hampered by stories that made no sense unless you read the color books and cursed with embarrassingly poor serials.  The magazine often seemed padded, even more so than Marvel’s other B&Ws.  That’s not to say that good material didn’t appear here.  This first issue is not bad at all.  The Bloch adaptation is quite acceptable and the Kane adaptation is great.  ‘World Of Warlocks!’ seems stodgy but Colan’s pencils & inks are fun to see.  32 pages of new art & story.


    2. cover: Boris Vallejo (Sept. 1973)

1) Frankenstein 1973 [Gary Friedrich/John Buscema & Syd Shores] 13p

2) Vampire Tales Ad [Gil Kane] 1p

3) Monster Rally [Roy Thomas] 1p   [text article w/photo]

4) Book Review: Karloff: The Man, The Monster, The Movies [Tony Isabella] 6p   [text article


                5) Lifeboat! [Gerry Conway/Jesus Blasco] 8p

                6) Tales Of The Zombie Ad [Pablo Marcos] ½p          

                7) The Madman [Stan Lee/Bill Everett] 7p   reprinted from Menace #4 ( 1954)

                8) Monster Madness/Dracula Lives! Ad [photo/Neal Adams] 1p   [Adams’ art from Dracula’s

origin tale]

                9) The World’s Most Wanted Monster: The Saga Of The Karloff Frankenstein [Martin Pasko] 6p  

[text article w/photos]

                10) Strange Tales/Marvel Spotlight/Savage Tales Ads [John Romita, Herb Trimpe, Barry Smith]

2p   [Brother Voodoo, the Son of Satan & Conan are featured.]

                11) Sword Of Dragonus [Frank Brunner & Chuck Robinson/Frank Brunner] 8p   reprinted from

Phase #1 (Sept. 1971)

                12) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] ½p

                13) The Roaches! [Gerry Conway/Ralph Reese] 10p   from the story by Thomas M. Disch


Notes: Great cover by Vallejo featuring Frankenstein’s monster.  Thomas announces a new direction in the second issue.  This time concentrating on serials, with the first being the monster of Frankenstein.  The best horror work Marvel ever produced was the first six issues of The Monster Of Frankenstein, a color comic that adapted Mary Shelley’s novel, coupled with a new wraparound story.  Gary Friedrich’s adaptation and expansion of the novel was top notch and it was beautifully complemented by Mike Ploog’s artwork {you can find those stories in stunning B&W in The Essential Frankenstein—in fact, those six issues are the only reason to buy that book}.  However the storyline was set in the 1890s or thereabouts and Marvel wanted a more contemporary series.  So Friedrich, with artists Buscema & Shores, bumped the monster up to 1973, leaving how he got there a bit of a mystery.  It’s a good start for this series, with a strong script and excellent artwork.  John Buscema does such a good job, in fact, that one wonders why his artwork for the color book {he would take over with #7} was so dreadful.  Maybe this issue’s art is so good simply due to Shores’ strong inking.  ‘Sword Of Dragonus’ is a reprint from a fanzine and is very good, with the best art of the issue.  A sequel to this story would appear in the 3rd issue of Mike Friedrich’s independent magazine Star*Reach.  Best script goes to Gerry Conway’s excellent adaptation of ‘The Roaches!’  31 pages of new story & art.


    3. cover: Neal Adams (Nov. 1973)

                1) Marvel Magazines Ad [John Buscema, JAD, Kelly Freas, Pablo Marcos, Rich Buckler & Herb

Trimpe] 1p   [frontis—Savage Tales/Vampire Tales/Crazy/Tales Of The Zombie/Dracula

Lives! & the never published digest version of The Haunt Of Horror #3 are featured.]

                2) Man-Thing! [Roy Thomas & Gerry Conway/Gray Morrow] 11p   reprinted from Savage Tales

#1 (May 1971)

                3) Monsters Unleashed! Ad [Neal Adams] 1p

                4) The Cyclops [Stan Lee/Jack Davis] 4p   reprinted from Journey Into Unknown Worlds #50


                5) Frankenstein A.K. (After Karloff) [Martin Pasko] 4p   [text article w/photos]

                6) The Death-Dealing Mannikin [Kit Pearson & Tony Isabella/Winslow Mortimer] 8p

                7) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

                8) Contact! [Tom Sutton] 2p   reprinted from Tower Of Shadows #6 (July 1970)

                9) Swamp Girl [?/?] 5p   reprinted from Mystic #19 (

                10) Preview: The Son Of Satan [Carla Joseph/Herb Trimpe]  4p   [art from various Son Of Satan


                11) The Cold Of The Uncaring Moon [Steve Skeates/George Tuska & Klaus Janson] 7p

                12) Birthright! [Roy Thomas/Gil Kane & the Crusty Bunkers] 13p

                13) Monsters Unleashed! Feature Page: Playboy’s Gahan Wilson/The Story Behind The Swamp

[Don Thompson & Roy Thomas/Gahan Wilson & Neal Adams] 1p   [text articles]

                14) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [Gullivar Jones Of Mars is featured.]


Notes: Man-Thing is cover featured.  Marv Wolfman is now listed as associate editor, although he actually functions as the editor.  The second offering of Frankenstein 1973 was delayed when Syd Shores suddenly died in the midst of inking the story.  The Man-Thing reprint was undoubtably rushed in as a replacement.  ‘Birthright!’ was completed by Neal Adams’ Crusty Bunkers when the original inker {who appears to be Ralph Reese on pages 1-3} got caught short for time.  Al Williamson was listed in fanzine records as an artist for SF/fantasy story that was to appear in Monsters Unleashed!  His contribution never appeared and I suspect that ‘Birthright’ was that story.  Best story and art goes to ‘The Cold Of The Uncaring Moon’, a decent little werewolf tale.  28 pages of new art & story.  The letters’ page debuts.


    4. cover: Frank Brunner (Feb. 1974)

                1) They Might Be Monsters [Tony Isabella/Pablo Marcos] 1p   [frontis]

                2) Frankenstein 1973: The Classic Monster! [Gary Friedrich/John Buscema, Syd Shores &

Winslow Mortimer] 10p

                3) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                4) The Hands! [Stan Lee/Gene Colan] 5p   reprinted from Adventure Into Terror #14 (

                5) Our Martian Heritage: An Excursion Into Fantasy [Chris Claremont] 4p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Gullivar Jones, Warrior Of Mars: Web Of Hate [Tony Isabella/Dave Cockrum] 11p

                7) Gullivar Jones: First Man On Mars [The Bullpen/Jim Steranko] 1p   [text article, details the

history of Gullivar Jones]  

                8) A Monster Reborn [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 5p

                9) Dracula Lives! Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p

                10) Book Review: The Monster Maker—A Review Of Ray Harryhausen’s Film Fantasy

Scrapbook [Tony Isabella] 7p   [text article w/photos]

                11) Vampire Tales/Werewolf By Night Ads [Esteban Maroto/Mike Ploog] 1p

                12) The Killers [?/Bernie Krigstein] 5p   reprinted from Adventure Into Weird Worlds #10 (

                13) To Love, Honor, Cherish…’Til Death [Chris Claremont/Don Perlin] 8p

                14) In Memoriam: Lon Chaney, Jr. [Martin Pasko] 1p   [text article w/photo]


Notes: A four month gap separates #3 & #4.  Brunner’s cover was originally intended for the cancelled Haunt Of Horror digest.  Syd Shores had inked the first seven pages of the Frankenstein 1973 episode when he died unexpectedly and Win Mortimer finished the inking, also re-inking the head of the monster throughout.  Gullivar Jones was a science fantasy strip, based on a novel by Edwin L. Arnold that predated Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter Of Mars novels.   It had previously appeared in the color comic, Creatures On The Loose #16-21.  Bernie Krigstein has a large and justly earned reputation as an artist but his reprint appearance here is just standard 1950s art.  Nothing special.  For all the ballyhoo of the return of Frankenstein’s monster {after six months who really remembered the first episode?} and the B&W debut of Gullivar Jones, the best story here {and it’s a little gem!} is Steve Gerber and Pablo Marcos’ oddly tender tale of a lonely rabbi’s restoration of faith by way of a golem.  One of Marvel’s best stand-alone stories.  35 pages of new art & story.


    5. cover: Bob Larkin/frontis & inside back cover: Frank Brunner (Apr. 1974)   Brunner’s art is a reprint

from Man-Thing #1’s cover

                1) Man-Thing: All The Faces Of Fear! [Tony Isabella/Vicente Alcazar] 11p

                2) Movie Review: The Golden Voyage Of Sindbad Or What To Do Till The Genie Comes [Gerry

Conway] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                3) Peter Snubb: Werewolf [Tony Isabella/Ron Wilson] 1p

                4) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                5) The Dark Passage [Stan Lee/Ogden Whitney] 5p   reprinted from Adventure Into Terror #10 (

                6) Glenn Strange, Frankenstein: Monster Of Dodge City [Don Glut] 2p   [text article w/photo]

                7) Demon Of Slaughter Mansion! [Don McGregor/Juan Boix] 10p  

                8) Monsters Unleashed! Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [Frankenstein’s Monster is featured.]

                9) Monsters In The Media [Carla Joseph] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                10) The Haunt Of Horror Ad [Ralph Reese] 1p   [art from an interior story]

                11) Werewolf Tale To End All Werewolf Tales! [?/Paul Hodge] 4p   reprinted from Journey Into

Unknown Worlds #29 (

                12) Frankenstein 1974: Once A Monster…! [Gary Friedrich/John Buscema & Winslow Mortimer]



Notes: Man-Thing returns with a cover appearance and a new story.  It’s not too bad, and Alcazar’s art is darn good.  Pages 8 & 9 of ‘Demon Of Slaughter Mansion!’ are printed out of order.  The Frankenstein 1974 episode lists John Buscema as penciler and you can see his work on occasion but 90% of this story appears to be Mortimer’s art.  Buscema probably did the layouts.  From an excellent first episode and a decent second this serial had begun to lurch about, appearing this issue with an overly complicated plot about mindswapping that barely made sense at all.  Friedrich appeared burnt out completely.  It would only get worse.  32 pages of new story & art.  Size reduction to 64 pages.


    6. cover: Boris Vallejo (June 1974)

                1) Thunderbird [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [frontis, Chan’s art credited to Ernie Chua]

                2) Frankenstein 1974: Always A Monster! [Doug Moench/Val Mayerik] 12p

                3) Monsters In The Media [Carla Joseph] 3p   [text article w/photos]

                4) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

                5) The Strange Children! [?/?] 5p  reprinted from Adventure Into Terror #19 (

                6) Dracula Lives! Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p

                7) Book Review: The Dinosaur Dictionary [Alan Gold] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                8) Darkflame! [Gerry Conway/Carlo Freixas] 7p

                9) Vampire Tales [Luis Dominguez] 1p   [B&W repo of #4’s cover]

                10) Werewolf By Night: Panic By Moonlight [Gerry Conway/Mike Ploog] 6p   [text story]

                11) Giant-Size Spiderman/The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu Ads [Gil Kane & John Romita/Paul

Gulacy] 2p   [Spider-Man, Dracula & Shang Chi are featured.]

                12) The Maggots! [?/Hy Rosen] 3p    reprinted from Adventure Into Terror #19 (

                13) The Waters Of Werewolves [Doug Moench/Winslow Mortimer] 2p

                14) The Scrimshaw Serpent [Doug Moench/Alphonso Font] 10p


Notes: A dismal issue!  Vallejo delivers a blah cover for Frankenstein’s Monster.  Moench & Mayerik take over the Frankenstein Monster’s serial, reviving {without explanation} characters who had clearly died in earlier stories, dealing in more mindless mindswapping and, in general, mucking the place up.  Maybe Friedrich’s bizarre previous tale would have been hard to follow but Ye Gods!!!  Moench was, and is, a pretty decent writer but he clearly had no clue as to how to handle the Monster.  Mayerik’s art was an improvement over the Buscema/Mortimer team but he was still in his early, lumpy stage of art, with most of the characters appearing to be constructed of gobs of clay thrown rather randomly into the shapes of humans.  The worst of it, though, was that as bad as this story was {and believe me, it stinks!} the regular color comic {which Moench & Mayerik had also taken over} was even worse!  From premiering as the best of Marvel’s horror attempts to crumbling to the worst by far in only six months was the most horrifying thing about the Monster’s strips.  With the lead story being such a disaster, the back–ups for this magazine needed to be pretty good.  No luck here.  The reprints, usually pretty bad anyways, are even worse this issue.  They appear to have been chosen by the always handy method of picking a comic off the shelf {in this case, Adventures Into Terror #19} and reprinting anything that looks vaguely useable.  ‘Darkflame!’ could easily be mistaken for one of the 1950s reprints since the art was so bad.  The Werewolf By Night text story has a great two-page Ploog splash but the rest of the art is badly reproduced Ploog work from the color comic.  Only ‘The Scrimshaw Serpent’ is worth reading here and it’s, at best, an average tale.  Just a lousy issue, although Monsters Unleashed hadn’t hit bottom yet.  Future comic artist Ken Meyer, Jr. sends in a rather critical letter dealing with issue 4.


    7. cover: Richard Hexcox/titlepage: ? (Aug. 1974)

                1) The Burning Man [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [frontis, Chan’s art is credited to Ernie Chua]

                2) Frankenstein 1974: A Tale Of Two Monsters! [Doug Moench/Val Mayerik] 14p

                3) Marvel Magazines Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p

                4) The Monster In The Mist! [?/Al Williamson] 4p   reprinted from Astonishing #60 (Apr. 1957)

                5) The Frankenstein Legend [Alan Gold] 4p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Bleeding Stones [Doug Moench/Vicente Alcazar] 10p

                7) Werewolf By Night: Panic By Moonlight, part 2: Madness Under A Mid-Summer Moon [Gerry

Conway/Pat Broderick & Klaus Janson] 8p   [text story]

                8) The Savage Sword Of Conan Ad [Boris Vallejo] 1p   [B&W repo of #1’s cover]

                9) Blind Man’s Bluff! [Gerry Conway/Carlos Freixas] 7p

                10) Planet Of The Apes Ad [Bob Larkin] 1p   [B&W repo of #1’s cover]

                11) Monsters In The Media [Carla Joseph] 2p   [text article w/photos]

                12) Next Issue Ad [George Perez & Frank Giacoia] 1p   [Gullivar Jones is featured.]


Notes: Editor: Tony Isabella.  Moench & Mayerik continue to frail about, trying to dig themselves out of the chasm they leaped into the previous issue.  They also attempt a blatant ripoff of the Swamp Thing’s character Arcane.  Bizarrely enough, the 1950s reprint has the best art here, with a nice clean effort by Al Williamson.  Best story is probably ‘Bleeding Stones’.  28 pages of new art & story.


    8. cover: Earl Norem (Oct. 1974)

                1) Monsters From The Sea [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [frontis, Chan’s art is credited to Ernie


                2) Monsters Confidential [Tony Isabella] 1p   [text article]

                3) Frankenstein 1974: Fever In The Freak House [Doug Moench/Val Mayerik] 15p

                4) Monsters Unleashed Ad [? & Duffy Vohland] 1p   [Frankenstein’s Monster is featured.]

                5) Man-Thing: Several Meaningless Deaths [Steve Gerber/Pat Broderick & Al Milgrom] 7p   [text


                6) Swamp Stars Of The Silver Screen [Don Glut] 6p    [text article w/photos]

                7) One Hungers [Neal Adams/Neal Adams & Dan Adkins] 7p   reprinted from Tower Of Shadows

#2 (Nov. 1969)

                8) Gullivar Jones—Warrior Of Mars: A Martian Genesis! [Tony Isabella & Doug Moench/George

Perez, Duffy Vohland & Rich Buckler] 14p

                9) Next Issue Ad [Herb Trimpe] 1p   [The Wendigo is featured with art reprinted from The

Incredible Hulk #181.]


Notes: If anything, this issue is worse than #6, with Moench & Mayerik delivering a lame, boring story inspired {if that’s the word} in equal parts by DC’s Swamp Thing and Marvel’s own origin of Doctor Doom.  At least the ‘Always A Monster!’ episode from #6 had delivered the horrid interest that a plane wreck or car crash had.  This story, however, is simply dreary.  Gullivar Jones features artwork by a very young George Perez, with results that looks rushed and very uneven.  This was Gullivar’s last episode and deservedly so.  The only quality story here is the five year old Neal Adams tale which displayed a respectable amount of mystery and great art.  30 pages of new art & story, none of it worth a damn.


    9. cover: Earl Norem/titlepage: Dave Cockrum (Dec. 1974)

                1) The Atomic Monster [Tony Isabella/Arvell Jones & Duffy Vohland] 1p   [frontis]

                2) Monsters Confidential [Tony Isabella] 1p   [text article]

                3) Frankenstein 1974: The Conscience Of The Creature [Doug Moench/Val Mayerik] 16p

                4) Monsters Of The Movies Ad [Bob Larkin] ½p   [B&W repo of #4’s cover]

                5) The Jewel That Snarled At Slight Greed [Don Perlin & Doug Moench/Don Perlin] 10p

                6) Man-Thing: Several Meaningless Deaths, part 2 [Steve Gerber/Pat Broderick & Al Milgrom]

6p   [text story]

                7) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                8) The Wendigo: Snowbird In Hell [Chris Claremont/Yong Montano] 11p

                9) Savage Tales Ad [John Buscema] 1p   [Ka-Zar is featured]

                10) Next Issue Ad [Marie Severin & Duffy Vohland] 1p   [Tigra is featured.]


Notes:  The Wendigo is cover featured while Man-Thing appears on the titlepage.  Future Marvel writer Ralph Macchio sends in a letter.  The Frankenstein’s Monster story is rather pointless but it did have Mayerik delivering his best work to date on the strip.  The improving art doesn’t save the story but it’s at least nice to look at.  The cute little Moench/Perlin fantasy ‘The Jewel That Snarled At Slight Greed’ seems out of place in this magazine.  Best story here, though.  The Wendigo had originally appeared as a Hulk villain in The Incredible Hulk #181 but largely misfired as the lead of his own story.  38 pages of new art & story.


  10. cover: Jose Antonio Domingo? (Feb. 1975)    [Credtied to JAD, see below.]

                1) They Might Be Monsters [Tony Isabella/Pablo Marcos] 1p   [frontis]   reprinted from Monsters

Unleashed! #4 (Feb. 1974)

                2) The Marvel Bullpen Page Goes Black And White And Read All Over [Marv Wolfman] 1p  

[text article]

                3) The Frankenstein Monster: The 11:10 To Murder [Doug Moench/Val Mayerik] 19p

                4) Beauty’s Vengeance [Doug Moench/Sanho Kim] 8p

                5) Vampire Tales/The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu Ads [JAD?/Earl Norem] 1p   [B&W repos of #9

& #7’s covers]

                6) Tigra, The Were-Woman: The Serenity Stealers [Tony Isabella & Chris Claremont/Tony

DeZuniga] 15p

                7) Next Issue Ad [Sanho Kim] 1p  


Notes: Editor: Don McGregor.  The cover art, credited to JAD, doesn’t really look like Domingo’s slick style of artwork.  It may be Sebastia Boada’s work but I’m not sure.  Domingo had another cover credited to him for Vampire Tales that also doesn’t look like his work.  Future Marvel writer Peter B. Gillis sends in a letter.  The Frankenstein Monster episode would have you believe that a train carrying the president of the United States would have an open freight car, and could be hopped by a cute blonde and a 7 foot tall monster with no one noticing.  ‘Beauty’s Vengeance’ is a quite lovely tale with delicate artwork by Kim, a greatly underrated artist.  The Tigra story dates from her brief horror appearances, before she became a super-hero and joined the Avengers.  The next issue ad featured art for a never published Doug Moench/Sanho Kim story entitled ‘Overload’.  It also advertised the next installment of The Frankenstein Monster serial, which wouldn’t actually appear until The Legion Of Monsters #1.


  11. cover: Frank Brunner (Apr. 1975)

                1) The Creature From The Black Lagoon! [Scott Edelman/Dave Cockrum] 1p   [frontis]

                2) An Editorial Felled [Don McGregor] 1p   [text article]

                3) Gabriel, Devil-Hunter: An Angel Felled [Doug Moench/Sonny Trinidad] 22p

                4) The Empire [Gerry Conway/Rico Rival] 10p

                5) This Is The Valiant One, Signing Out! [Don McGregor/Billy Graham] 12p


Notes: Final issue.  This is pretty much a fix-up issue, with the unexpected appearance of the Gabriel, Devil-Hunter story that was probably intended for the never published The Haunt Of Horror #6 while ‘This Is The Valiant One, Signing Out!’ was originally done in 1971 and intended for a Warren magazine.  Even with all that, this is the best issue of this title since #4.  Dean Mullaney, future publisher of Eclipse Comics, sends in a letter.  A Monsters Unleashed Annual appeared in the late summer/early fall of 1975. 




Tales Of The Zombie

    1. cover: Boris Vallejo (Aug. 1973)

1) Simon Garth: The Altar Of The Damned! [Roy Thomas & Steve Gerber/John Buscema & Tom

Palmer] 13p

                2) Vampire Tales Ad [Gil Kane] 1p

                3) Simon Garth: Zombie! [Stan Lee/Bill Everett] 7p   reprinted from Menace #5 (Aug. 1954)

                4) Iron-Head [?/Dick Ayers] 5p   reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #1 (

                5) The Sensuous Zombie [Tony Isabella] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Back To Back & Belly To Belly At The Zombie Jamboree Ball! [Roy Thomas] 1p   [text


                7) Monsters Unleashed! Ad [Pablo Marcos] ½p           

                8) The Thing From The Bog! [Kit Pearson & Marv Wolfman/Pablo Marcos] 10p

                9) The Mastermind [Tom Sutton] 2p   reprinted from Chamber Of Darkness #7 (Oct. 1970)

                10) Marvel color comics Ad [various] 2p   [B&W repos the covers of Werewolf By Night #7,

Monsters On The Prowl #24, Conan The Barbarian #28, Creatures On The Loose #24,

The Tomb Of Dracula #10, Marvel Spotlight #10, The Incredible Hulk #166 & Kull The Conqueror #8.]

                11) Simon Garth: Night Of The Walking Dead [Steve Gerber/John Buscema & Syd Shores] 11p


Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Roy Thomas.  $.75 for 72 pages.  Vallejo’s best cover for a comic magazine graces this issue.  There isn’t much new or trendsetting to the cover, just a bold striking image that perfectly captures the drama and mystery of the Simon Garth {aka The Zombie} strip.  This book is worth buying just for the cover, which, to my knowledge, has never been reprinted.  In fact, although there are plenty of Vallejo collections out there, very little of his B&W comic magazine covers are included in them.  Rather odd, as they formed the foundation of his reputation.  Simon Garth was Marvel’s best B&W serial, largely because it actually had a satisfying ending.  Most of Marvel’s serials were open-ended.  You couldn’t do anything too drastic with Dracula, or Morbius or Man-Thing because their stories were never intended to end.  However, Simon Garth was already dead and his spiritual quest to find final peace was the main theme behind almost all of his adventures.  He was lucky to have great scripts from Steve Gerber and Tony Isabella & equally great artwork from a variety of artists, but mainly Pablo Marcos.  His origin tale is quite interesting as it was based on a 19 year old pre-code story by Stan Lee & Bill Everett, reprinted in this issue.  For this appearance this superior reprint story was slightly rewritten and Garth’s Zombie persona was given long hair via art touchups.  For the new parts John Buscema provided layouts and Tom Palmer & Syd Shores’ the finished art.  It was an impressive debut.  Like all of the Marvel horror mags, photos from old movies were used to provide story introductions. Simon Garth would appear on the cover for all ten issues.  34 pages of new art & story.


    2. cover: Boris Vallejo/titlepage: Pablo Marcos (Oct. 1973)

                1) Simon Garth: Voodoo Island! [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 12p 

                2) Vampire Tales Ad [JAD] 1p   [B&W repo of #2’s cover]

                3) In Memoriam: Bill Everett [Jim Steranko] 1p   [text article w/photo]

                4) Voodoo Unto Others [Tony Isabella/Winslow Mortimer] 6p

                5) Vampire Tales Ad [John Romita] 1p   [Satana is featured]

                6) Acid Test! [Stan Lee/George Tuska] 5p   reprinted from Menace #5 (Oct. 1954)

                7) Introducing Brother Voodoo! [Tony Isabella/John Romita, Gene Colan & Dan Adkins] 4p  

[text article]

                8) Twin Burial [Nicola Cuti/Ralph Reese] 10p   [Cuti’s story credited to Chuck Robinson]

                9) From Out Of The Grave! [?/Gene Colan] 5p   reprinted from Adventures Into Terror #29 (

                10) Monsters Unleashed!/Savage Tales Ads [Boris Vallejo/Barry Smith] 1p   [Vallejo’s art is a

B&W repo of #2’s cover]

                11) Voodoo: What’s It All About, Alfred? [Chris Claremont] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                12) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] ½p

                13) Simon Garth: Night Of The Spider! [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 10p

                14) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [Simon Garth is featured.]


Notes: Another great Vallejo cover and two great Simon Garth tales.  The Brother Voodoo text piece gave the color comic history of the Marvel character.  Cuti was an editor at Charlton at this time and he used fan writer Chuck Robinson’s name to hide the fact that he was writing for another company.  38 pages of new art & story.  Steranko’s eulogy for Bill Everett is an excellent model for anyone needing to write one.


    3. cover: Boris Vallejo (Jan. 1974)

                1) Simon Garth: When The Gods Crave Flesh! [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 22p

                2) With The Dawn Comes…Death! [Chris Claremont] 6p   [text story w/photos]

                3) Net Result! [?/Tony DiPreta] 5p   reprinted from ?

                4) Savage Tales/Dracula Lives! Ads [Barry Smith/Luis Dominguez] 2p   [Dominguez’s art is a

B&W repo of #4’s cover.]

                5) Warrior’s Burden [Tony Isabella/Vicente Alcazar] 6p

                6) Movie Review: Night Of The Living Dead [Don McGregor] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                7) I Won’t Stay Dead! [?/Bill Walton] 5p   reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #10 ( )  

[originally titled ‘He Wouldn’t Stay Dead!’]

                8) Jilimbi’s Word [Doug Moench/Enrique Romeo Badia] 9p

                9) Zombie Feature Page: Steve Gerber Profile/Code Name: Trixie [Steve Gerber & Gerry

Boudreau] 1p   [text article w/photos]

                10) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [Simon Garth is featured.]


Notes: Three month gap between issues.  Marv Wolfman is listed as associate editor and probably is the actual editor.  This is a pretty good issue, despite a rather weak cover by Vallejo, with a dandy Simon Garth episode and two very good stand-alone stories.  ‘Warrior’s Burden’ is a fine samurai tale while ‘Jilimbi’s Word’ has very good artwork by Badia.  35 pages of new art & story.  The letters’ page begins with a new illo by Pablo Marcos.


    4. cover: Boris Vallejo/frontis & on inside back cover: Pablo Marcos (Mar. 1974)

                1) Simon Garth: The Law And Phillip Bliss! [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 11p

                2) Movie Review: James Bond Meets Baron Samedi or Live And Let Die Revisited [Don

McGregor/Frank Springer & Pablo Marcos] 7p   [text article w/photos]

                3) The Drums Of Doom! [Gerry Conway/Rich Buckler, Vic Martin & Winslow Mortimer] 5p

                4) Neo Witch Craft [Lin Carter] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                5) Courtship By Voodoo [Tony Isabella/Ron Wilson] 1p

                6) Nightfilth Rising [Doug Moench/Winslow Mortimer] 7p

                7) Four Daughters Of Satan [John Albano/Ernie Chan] 8p   [Chan’s art credited to Ernie Chua]

                8) Simon Garth: Dead Man’s Judgement!, The Law And Phillip Bliss, part 2 [Steve Gerber/Pablo

                                Marcos] 12p

                9) Zombie Feature Page: Pablo Marcos Profile [Marv Wolfman] 1p   [text article w/photos]

                10) Dracula Lives! Ad [Luis Dominguez] 1p   [B&W repo of #5’s cover]


Notes: Another striking cover {his last for this title} by Boris Vallejo, although Simon Garth’s feet are huge compared to the rest of his body.  He must be a very lucky dead guy.  For some reason, Tales Of The Zombie had its allotment of new art & story increased months before any of the other B&W magazines did.  This issue has 46 new pages.  Rich Buckler provides only layouts for ‘The Drums Of Doom!’, with Win Mortimer appearing to do the bulk of the artwork.  As usual, the best story and art is from the Simon Garth two parter but ‘Four Daughters Of Satan’ is also quite good.  The extra-large pin-up on the frontis & inside back cover features Simon Garth.  The magazine size is reduced to 64 pages.


    5. cover: Earl Norem/frontis & on inside back cover: Pablo Marcos (May 1974)            

1) Simon Garth: Palace Of Black Magic! [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 22p

                2) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

                3) Movie Review: White Zombie: Faithful Unto Death [Doug Moench] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                4) Who Walks With A Zombie! ?/Russ Heath] 4p   reprinted from ?

                5) With The Dawn Comes Death, part 2 [Chris Claremont] 5p   [text story w/photo & artwork

from ‘The Cold Of The Uncaring Moon’ by George Tuska & Klaus Janson, reprinted

from Monsters Unleashed! #3 (Nov. 1973).]

                6) Brother Voodoo Lives Again [Doug Moench/Gene Colan & Dan Adkins] 3p   [text article

w/artwork from a Strange Tales story]

                7) Voodoo War! [Tony Isabella/Syd Shores & Dick Ayers] 8p

                8) Death’s Bleak Birth! [Doug Moench/Frank Springer] 9p

                9) Next Issue Ad [Earl Norem] 1p   [B&W repo of next issue’s cover] 


Notes: Earl Norem, Marvel’s go-to cover artist for this period, becomes the regular cover artist from here on out.  Art Stampler, who wrote prose stories for the Skywald B&W’s sends in a letter.  Simon Garth is featured in a large pin-up on the frontis & inside back cover.  Chris Claremont’s text story is concluded after skipping an issue.  ‘Death’s Bleak Birth!’ has the best story & art here.  39 pages of new story & art.


    6. cover: Earl Norem/frontis & titlepage: Pablo Marcos (July 1974)

                1) Tales Of The Zombie Prologue [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 1p   [text synopsis of previous

issues with reformatted art from those stories]

                2) Simon Garth: Child Of Darkness! [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 19p

                3) Dracula Lives! Ad [Gene Colan] 1p

                4) The Plague Of The Zombies [Gerry Boudreau] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                5) The Savage Sword Of Conan Ad [John Buscema & Ernie Chan] 1p

                6) Movie Review: Sugar Hill [Jim Harmon] 3p   [text article w/photos]

                7) The Compleat Voodoo Man [Chris Claremont] 4p   [text article w/photo & art for a Brother

Voodoo story]

                8) Brother Voodoo: End Of A Legend! [Len Wein & Doug Moench/Gene Colan & Frank

Chiaramonte] 17p  

                9) The Voodoo Beat [Carla Joseph] 3p   [text article w/photos]


Notes: Future Marvel writer Ralph Macchio sends in a letter.  The Brother Voodoo story was almost certainly intended for the never published Strange Tales #174 and displays all the overwrought melodrama of a typical Marvel color comic of that period.  36 pages of new art & story but only the Simon Garth story is really worth reading.


    7. cover: Earl Norem/frontis: Alfredo Alcala/titlepage: Pat Broderick (Sept. 1974)    [Alcala &

Broderick’s artwork is from interior panels]

1) Simon Garth: Prologue/Epilogue [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 2p

2) Simon Garth: The Blood-Testament Of Brian Collier [Doug Moench/Alfredo Alcala] 30p

3) Marvel Magazines Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p

4) Voodoo In The Park [Kenneth Dreyfack/Dan Green] 3p   [text article]

5) Haiti’s Walking Dead [Doug Moench/Winslow Mortimer] 2p

6) Book Review: Inside ‘Inside Voodoo’ [Chris Claremont/Pat Broderick] 4p   [text article]

7) A Second Chance To Die [Carl Wessler/Alfredo Alcala] 7p

8) Crazy Ad [fumetti strip] 1p   [Starring Stan Lee]

9) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p


Notes: Editor: Tony Isabella.  Moench & Alcala do a 30 page fill-in to give the regular Simon Garth team a breather.  It’s a pretty good effort.  Alcala also illustrates another story by former EC writer Carl Wessler.  It’s not bad, either.  All in all, a solid issue with 41 pages of new art & story.


    8. cover: Earl Norem (Nov. 1974)

                1) Voodoo Killers [Tony Isabella/Michael Kaluta] 1p   [frontis]

                2) The Happy Hougan Speaks [Tony Isabella] 1p   [text article]

                3) Simon Garth: A Death Made Out Of Ticky-Tacky! [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 22p

                4) The Haunt Of Horror Ad [Enrique Romeo Badia] ½p   [Satana is featured.]

                5) Jimmy Doesn’t Live Her Anymore [David Anthony Kraft/Michael Kaluta] 4p   [text story]

                6) Night Of The Hunted! [Larry Lieber/Ron Wilson, Mike Esposito & Frank Giacoia] 8p

                7) Tales Of The Happy Humfo [Chris Claremont/Michael Kaluta] 4p   [text article]

                8) Makao’s Vengeance [David Anthony Kraft/Alfredo Alcala] 6p

                9) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                10) The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu/Planet Of The Apes Ads [Ron Wilson & Mike Ploog] 1p

                11) Savage Tales Ad [John Buscema] 1p   [Ka-Zar is featured]


Notes: The installation of Tony Isabella as editor last issue must have been a late decision as he does his editorial introduction here.  He was evidently determined to shake this magazine up a bit as his first order of business was to announce the replacement of Pablo Marcos on the Simon Garth serial.  He promised that Steve Gerber would remain as writer but that proved to be untrue.  He also mentioned dropping the text pieces for actual prose stories, beginning with this issue’s ‘Jimmy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore’, bringing back Brother Voodoo {outside of the Living Mummy, one of the dullest of Marvel supernatural characters} and, in #11, debuting a new serial entitled ‘Voodoo Island’, which was to be written by Isabella & Moench.  In the midst of all that, Gerber & Marcos deliver their best Simon Garth story, Michael Kaluta graces the issue with spot illos and a one-pager and Alfredo Alcala spices up Dave Kraft’s ‘Makao’s Vengeance’.  A good, solid issue.


    9. cover: Earl Norem (Jan. 1975)

                1) Was He A Voodoo-Man? [Tony Isabella/Winslow Mortimer] 1p   [frontis]

                2) The Marvel Bullpen Page Goes Black And White And Read All Over [Marv Wolfman] 1p  

[text article]

                3) Simon Garth: Simon Garth Lives Again [Tony Isabella/Virgilio Redondo & Alfredo Alcala]


                4) Simon Garth: A Day In The Life Of A Dead Man [Tony Isabella & Chris Claremont/Yong

Montano & Alfredo Alcala] 12p

                5) Simon Garth: The 2nd Death Around! [Tony Isabella/Ron Wilson & Pablo Marcos] 11p

                6) Savage Tales Ad [John Romita] 1p   [Shanna, the She-Devil & Ka-Zar are featured]

                7) Herbie The Liar Said It Wouldn’t Hurt [Doug Moench/Alfredo Alcala] 7p


Notes: Dean Mullaney sends in a letter.  Simon Garth’s serial does what all the best Warren B&W heroes had done.  It ended!  With an ending that made sense and remained true to the character that the reader had been following for the last nine issues.  The magazine was actually intended for cancellation with this issue, but got a last minute reprieve.  In true Marvel tradition, the powers that be not only revived the magazine but  fully intended to revive Simon Garth in the very next issue, but {Thank God!} it didn’t happen and since the magazine actually was cancelled with #10, that really didn’t hurt this finale.  Before we got to the last page, however, a lot of turmoil would take place.  First, although it was his title and possibly his plot, Gerber didn’t script this story.  According to Editor Tony Isabella, Gerber’s heavy workload forced him to leave the strip.  Isabella himself filled in on at least the scripting, with some help from newcomer Chris Claremont.  The script for the third episode was lost so Isabella wrote the final chapter over a weekend, feeding the pages to the artists.  Second, the artwork for the issue was clearly done in a bit of a rush.  Alcala {a fine artist} didn’t do the complete art job.  He inked the first two chapters while all three chapters were penciled by different artists.  Who would ink the third chapter?  Why, only the guy who was bumped off the strip in the first place--Pablo Marcos!  Yet, for all the backstage drama that was going on, Simon Garth got a fine sendoff.  ‘Herbie The Liar…’ is also a pretty good story.   A fine issue.


  10. cover: Earl Norem/frontis: Tom Sutton (Mar. 1975)

1) The Partial Resurrection Of A Voodoo-Haunted Editorial [Don McGregor] 1p   [text article]

2) Brother Voodoo: The Resurrection Of Papa Jambo [Doug Moench/Tony DeZuniga] 21p

3) Next Issue Ad [Rico Rival] 1p   [Simon Garth is featured.]

4) Eye For An Eye, Tooth For A Tooth [Gerry Conway/Virgilio Redondo & Rudy Nebres] 9p

5) Malaka’s Curse! [Carl Wessler & John Warner/Vicente Alcazar] 7p

6) Grave Business [Tom Sutton] 10p


Notes: Final issue.  Although Simon Garth appears on the cover, he doesn’t have a story inside.  Sutton’s frontis illustration is painted in gray tones and both the illustration and the story it was intended for may have originally been intended for a Charlton comic.  Ralph Macchio sends in a letter.  David Anthony Kraft & Don McGregor take over as co-editors.  Caught 30 pages short for this issue with the disappearance in the mail of the intended Simon Garth story, the new editors scrambled to come up with voodoo style stories to accompany the return of Brother Voodoo.  John Warner rapidly scripted a story that they apparently didn’t have time to send back to plotter Carl Wessler while Sutton’s Lovecraftian tale {which at least featured dead guys} was probably drafted into service by Don McGregor, who was a major Sutton fan.  As for the Brother Voodoo story they were to accompany?  When you’ve got a crap character, you get a crap story, although Moench & DeZuniga make a real effort here.  Still, the best story and art easily belong to Tom Sutton’s effort, which was both stylish and well-crafted.  The next issue ad promised the return of Simon Garth in ‘The Partial Resurrection Of Simon Garth!’.  They even promised that “this time, nothing can stop him!”  Except, of course, having your magazine cancelled out from under you.  In addition to the Simon Garth story, a tale called ‘A Fire Within’ by Bill Mantlo, Don Heck & Bob McLeod was expected.  To my knowledge, neither of these stories ever appeared.  Outside of Dracula Lives!, Tales Of The Zombie was probably the most satisfying read of all the Marvel B&W horror mags and its absence was a real loss.  A Tales Of The Zombie Annual came out in the late summer of 1975.



Vampire Tales

    1. cover: Esteban Maroto (Aug. 1973)

1) Morbius [Steve Gerber/Pablo Marcos] 14p

2) Blood Is Thicker… [Roy Thomas] 1½p   [text article w/photo]

3) Savage Tales Ad [Barry Smith] ½p

4) To Kill A Werewolf! [Stan Lee/Bill Everett] 5p   reprinted from Menace #9 (Jan. 1954)   

[originally titled ‘The Fangs Of The Wolf!’]

5) The Vampire: His Kith And Kin; An Analysis In Five Parts Of The Book by Montague

Summers [Chris Claremont] 4p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Crazy/Tales Of The Zombie Ad [Marie Severin/Bill Everett & John Romita?] 1p

                7) The Vampyre! [Ron Goulart & Roy Thomas/Winslow Mortimer] 13p   from the story by John


                8) Satan Can Wait! [?/Paul Reinman] 5p   reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #15 (Apr. 1954)

                9) The Worst (No Kiddin’!) Vampire Films Ever Made! [Mark Evanier] 4p   [text article


                10) Dracula Lives!/The Haunt Of Horror Ad [Neal Adams] 1p   reprinted from the cover of The

Tomb Of Dracula #1 (Apr. 1972)

                11) Revenge Of The Unliving! [Gardner Fox/Jordi Bernet] 8p

                12) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p


Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Roy Thomas.  $.75 for 72 pages.  Marvel had a curious habit of limiting the scope and range of their horror magazines.  This one featured stories based solely on vampires although they couldn’t use Dracula as he already has his own color and B&W magazine.  This should have caused the magazine to suffer, but this was actually one of Marvel’s best B&W’s.  As in the other horror magazines, photos from old movies introduced each story.  Morbius was not a supernatural vampire, but one created by science {in the pages of Spiderman}.  Thus he was actually living and not one of the undead.  The irony here is that, unlike most of Marvel’s vampires, who fit right in with the human crowd, Morbius actually looked dead, with white corpse skin and a half-decayed nose.  The adaptation of the Polidori story is interesting as the original story is one of the first English language fiction tales featuring vampires, predating Dracula by 50 or more years.  The Bill Everett art on the reprint is actually quite nice.  As with all the Marvel monster magazines, precode reprints and text pieces take up a large percentage of the pages.  35 pages of new story & art.


    2. cover: Jose Antonio Domingo  (Oct. 1973)    [Credited to JAD]

                1) Morbius: The Blood Sacrifice Of Amanda Saint! [Don McGregor/Rich Bucker & Pablo

Marcos] 11p

                2) V Is For Vampire! [Roy Thomas] 1p   [text article w/photo]

                3) Dracula Lives! Ad [Neal Adams] 1p   [B&W repo of #3’s cover]

                4) Witch Hunt! [?/Mannie Banks] 4p   reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #15 (Apr. 1954)

                5) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

                6) The Haunt Of Horror/Monsters Unleashed! Ad [Kelly Freas/Mike Ploog] 1p

                7) A Vampire By Any Other Name: A Look At Lugosi’s Non-Dracula Roles [Doug Moench] 6p  

[text article w/photos]

                8) Five Claws To Tryphon [Gardner Fox/Jesus Blasco & John Romita] 10p

                9) A Generation Of Vampires: Part Two Of A Five-Part Study Of Montague Summers’ The

Vampire—His Kith And Kin [Chris Claremont] 4p   [text article w/photo, art from issues

of The Tomb Of Dracula]

                10) Satana [Roy Thomas/John Romita] 4p

                11) Tales Of The Zombie Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p

                12) At The Stroke Of Midnight [Jim Steranko] 7p   reprinted from Tower Of Shadows #1 (Sept.


                13) Savage Tales Ad [Barry Smith] ½p

                14) Hodiah Twist: The Praying Mantis Principle [Don McGregor/Rich Buckler, Carlos Garzon &

Klaus Janson] 11p


Notes: Marv Wolfman is listed as the associate editor and probably became the de facto editor around this time.  A very good issue with Don McGregor taking over the scripting chores on Morbius and moving him firmly in a horror direction that was much more satisfying than the lame SF stories that his color series was giving him.  Nice art here from Buckler & Marcos as well.  McGregor also debuted his Sherlock Holmes clone, Hodiah Twist, in an interesting adventure.  Twist was originally conceived as a story of a never published Warren magazine.  Again, Buckler provided the pencils with the help of fine inking from Garzon & Janson.  Satana debuted in a little vignette that was actually better than any of her regular adventures {with the exception of her appearance in Marvel Preview}.  A tight script by Thomas and exceptionally good art from Romita highlighted a good little mystery tale.  A deadline problem is probably the reason Jesus Blasco didn’t complete ‘Five Claws To Tryphon’.  John Romita stepped in to finish the last four pages but their art styles didn’t really mesh and the story certainly suffered from it.  Surprisingly, the best story and art go to a reprint!  Jim Steranko’s classic ‘At The Stroke Of Midnight!’ was only four years old and one wonders why Marvel didn’t chuck out most of their lame 1950s reprints and just use the decent reprints that were available from various Marvel’s short-lived venture into color horror anthologies.  Only three or four of the 40 or so quite decent stories produced during 1969-1971 and some 20-30 more in 1972-1973 were reprinted.  Steranko’s tale looked even better in black & white than it did in its color comics’ debut.  36 pages of new story & art.


    3. cover: Luis Dominguez (Feb. 1974)

                1) Satana: The Kiss Of Death [Gerry Conway/Esteban Maroto] 10p  

                2) The Collection [Russ Jones & Bhob Stewart/Paul Reinman] 4p

                3) Vampire Hunting For Fear And Profit: The Vampire—His Kith And Kin, part 3 [Chris

Claremont] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                4) Don’t Try To Outsmart The Devil! [Stan Lee/Carmine Infantino] 8p   reprinted from

Adventures Into Terror #13 (

                5) Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Satana (But Were Too Awestruck To Ask)

[Carla Joseph/Esteban Maroto & John Romita] 5p   [text article]

                6) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

                7) Bat’s Belfry [Don McGregor/Vicente Ibanez] 9p   from the story by August Derleth

                8) Marvel Comics Ad [various] 1p

                9) Savage Tales Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [B&W repo of #3’s cover]

                10) Vampires In Time And Space [Tony Isabella/Pablo Marcos] 1p

                11) Morbius: Demon Fire! [Don McGregor/Rich Buckler & Klaus Janson] 12p

                12) Next Issue Ad [Esteban Maroto] 1p   [art from an upcoming story]

                13) Vampire Tales Feature Page: Support Your Local Short Auto-Biographer [Don

McGregor/Marie Severin] 1p   [text article]

                14) Monsters Unleashed!/Crazy/Dracula Lives! Ad [Frank Brunner, Kelly Freas & Pablo Marcos]

2p   [Brunner’s art is a B&W repo of #4’s cover]


Notes: Four months passed between #2 & #3’s appearances.  Morbius is cover featured.  Warren star Esteban Maroto moved over to Marvel for a short period.  His art here is quite good, with a very sexy Satana.  Satana moved after this appearance to the new B&W magazine, The Haunt Of Horror.  The letters’ page debuts with an illo of a vampire bat as the masthead.  Best story and art here are split between the Satana and Moebius episodes, although I’m tempted to include the Satana tryout illos from Maroto & Romita as well.  They are quite striking.  32 pages of new art & story.


    4. cover: Boris Vallejo (Apr. 1974)

1) Morbius, The Living Vampire: Lighthouse Of The Possessed [Don McGregor/Tom Sutton] 13p

                2) Everything You Wanted To Know About Vampires (But Were Afraid To Ask), Part 4 Of A

Five-part Series Based On The Vampire—His Kith & Kin by Montague Summers [Chris

Claremont] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                3) Vampire Tales Feature Page: Notes On A Piece I Don’t Want To Write [Gerry Conway] 1p  

[text article, profile]

                4) Somewhere Waits The Vampire [?/Paul Reinman] 5p   reprinted from Journey Into Unknown

Worlds #27 (Dec. ? 1952)

                5) A Vampire’s Home Is His Castle [Doug Moench/Lombardia] 9p

                6) Movie Review: Hell House Is Dying [Don McGregor] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                7) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                8) The Vampire’s Coffin! [?/Tony DiPreta] 5p   reprinted from Mystery Tales #15 (? 1954)

                9) The Drifting Snow [Tony Isabella/Esteban Maroto] 11p   from the story by August Derleth

                10) Lilith: The First Vampire [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [on inside back cover, Chan’s art

credited to Ernie Chua]

                11) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [on back cover, Moebius & Satana are featured.]


Notes: Size reduction to 64 pages.  McGregor’s Morbius story was originally intended as a Vampirella story.  McGregor changed Vampi and her supporting cast to Morbius and his crew, but the story is otherwise unchanged.  Tom Sutton does the art honors on the Morbius strip and demonstrates why he was the definitive artist for our living vampire.  It’s a standout effort on Sutton’s part but the art and story honors here go to Tony Isabella & Esteban Maroto’s superb adaptation of Derleth’s ‘The Drifting Snow’.  This is one of the most impressive stories the Marvel B&Ws published.  Very striking.  Only 34 pages of new story & art but a top issue.


    5. cover: Esteban Maroto (June 1974)

                1) The Vampire Viscount Of France [Doug Moench/Winslow Mortimer] 2p   [frontis & on inside

back cover]

                2) Morbius, The Living Vampire: Blood Tide! [Don McGregor/Rich Buckler & Ernie Chan] 14p  

[Chan’s inking credited to Ernie Chua]

                3) Movie Review: Count Yorga—Vampire Of The Year [Don Glut] 6p   [text article 2/photos]

                4) The Living Dead [Roy Thomas/Alan Kupperberg & Dick Giordano] 8p

                5) Devil’s Den [Carla Joseph] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Morbius, The Living Vampire: …The Way It Began! [Roy Thomas/Gil Kane & Frank Giacoia]

11p   reprinted from Spider-Man #102   [edited down from the 35 page Spider-Man


                7) The Vampire Wants Blood! [Doug Moench/Val Mayerik] 9p

                8) The Haunt Of Horror Ad [Ralph Reese] 1p   [art from interior panel]

                9) Dracula Lives! Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p


Notes: Future Marvel writer Ralph Macchio sends in a letter.  ‘The Living Dead’ is an interesting story but the stiff artwork cripples it.  Likewise, the artwork again diminishes the story on ‘The Vampire Wants Blood!’.  Mayerik’s art would soon vastly improve over his lumpy effort here.  Best story here is ‘Blood Tide’ but the best art is from the reprinted Kane/Giacoia artwork on Morbius’ origin.  33 pages of new art & story.


    6. cover: Boris Vallejo/frontis & titlepage: Pablo Marcos (Aug. 1974)   

                1) Lilith, Daughter Of Dracula [Marv Wolfman & Steve Gerber/Bob Brown & Tom Palmer] 10p  

                2) Marvel Magazines Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p

                3) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

                4) A Novel Way To Die!: Part 5 Of A Series Based On The Vampire—His Kith & Kin by

Montague Summers [Chris Claremont] 6p   [Pablo Marcos & a B&W repo of Dracula

Lives! #3’s cover by Neal Adams] 6p   [text article]

                5) Angie’s Soul [Chris Claremont/Barcells] 8p

                6) Blood Death [Doug Moench/Alfredo Alcala] 8p

                7) TV Review: Dark Shadows [Gerry Boudreau] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                8) The Color Of Crimson Gold [Doug Moench/Vicenta Alcazar] 11p

                9) Devil’s Den [Carla Joseph] 3p   [text article w/photos]

                10) Tales Of The Zombie Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p


Notes: There are considerable signs of artistic touchups on Vallejo’s cover, with the culprit appearing to be John Romita.  Lilith is featured on the cover & the titlepage while Morbius is featured on the frontis.  Marv Wolfman is now listed as full editor although he’d probably been doing the actual editing since #3.  Ralph Macchio sends in another letter.  Lilith previously appeared in the color comic Giant-Size Chillers #1.  She had only one appearance here in Vampire Tales, soon transferring over to Dracula Lives!   Brown & Palmer were a good art team.  Best story here is ‘Angie’s Soul’ by Chris Claremont.  37 new pages of art & story.


    7. cover: JAD/frontis & titlepage: ?  (Oct. 1974)

                1) Morbius, The Living Vampire: Where Is Gallows Bend And What The Hell Am I Doing

There? [Don McGregor/Tom Sutton] 18p

                2) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                3) Sip The Sweet Poison [Doug Moench/Billy Graham] 9p  

                4) Marvel Magazines Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p

                5) The Devil’s Den [Carla Joseph] 2p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Bats [Doug Moench/Paul Gulacy & Duffy Vohland] 7p

                7) Iron Fist Ad [Gil Kane & ?] 1p

                8) Agents Of The High Road [Doug Moench/Howard Chaykin] 9p


Notes: The unknown artist doing the frontis & titlepage art is probably one of the Filpino artists.  Ralph Macchio sends in another letter.  ‘Bats’ is a wordless story.  Best art & story is the superb Morbius episode.  Probably the best Morbius story ever.  The Moench/Chaykin ‘Agents Of The High Road’ is also quite good.  43 pages of new art & story, bringing the magazine up to the level of a Warren 64 page comic.


    8. cover: Jose Antonio Domingo (Dec. 1974)   [Credited to JAD]

                1) The Heart Devourer [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [frontis, Chan’s art is credited to Ernie


                2) Morbius, The Living Vampire: High Midnight [Don McGregor/Mike Vosburg & Frank

Chiarmonte] 19p

                3) Tales Of The Zombie Ad [Alfredo Alcala] ½p         

                4) The Vendetta [Carla Conway {aka Carla Joseph} & Gerry Conway/Joe Staton] 6p

                5) The Inheritance [Carla Conway & Gerry Conway/Alfredo Alcala] 10p

                6) Blade, The Vampire Slayer: Beware The Legions! [Marv Wolfman/Tony DeZuniga] 11p


Notes: Ralph Macchio sends in another letter.  Vosburg & Chiarmonte’s art on Morbius was in a Tom Sutton mode.  Nice try but they’d have done better to follow their own styles.  ‘The Vendetta’ had snappy Staton art.  Blade was a Dracula villain {or hero, actually, since Dracula was such a rotter} from Drac’s color comic.


9. cover: Jose Antonio Domingo? (Feb. 1975)   [Credited to JAD]

            1) The Vampire Of The Inn [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [frontis]

            2) The Marvel Bullpen Page Goes Black And White And Read All Over [Marv Wolfman] 1p  

[text article]

                3) Blade, The Vampire Slayer: Bloodmoon [Marv Wolfman & Chris Claremont/Tony DeZuniga]


                4) Monsters Unleashed/The Haunt Of Horror Ad [Sebastia Boada?/Dick Giordano] 1p   [B&W

repos of #10/#5’s covers]

                5) Blood Lunge [Doug Moench/Russ Heath] 5p

                6) The Bleeding Time [Gerry Conway & Carla Conway/Virgilio Redondo, Alfredo Alcala & Tony

DeZuniga] 10p

                7) Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction Ad [Rick Bryant] 1p

                8) Blood Stalker! [Larry Leiber/Jesus Blasco] 9p

                9) Planet Of The Apes/Monsters Of The Movies Ad [Bob Larkin] 1p   [B&W repos of #4/#5’s


                10) Shards Of A Crystal Rainbow [Doug Moench/Tony DeZuniga] 7p

                11) Next Issue Ad [Sonny Trinidad] 1p   [Moebius is featured.]

                12) Marvel Magazines Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p   [Caricatures of Dracula, Conan, Werewolf By

Night, Frankenstein’s Monster, Gulliver Jones, Simon Garth, Satana & Moebius are



Notes: Although JAD is listed as the cover artist, it really doesn’t look anything like his usual sleek work.  The cover is signed by a Martin Poll or Poli and it looks quite a bit like the work of the Skywald artist Jose Martin Sauri, who also signed his work as Martin Sauri and was usually credited at Skywald as Robert or Bob Martin.  Another cover attributed around this time to JAD (Monsters Unleashed #10, which can be glimpsed in an ad in this book) also looks nothing like JAD’s normal work.  The artist for the Monsters Unleashed book, however, looks more like Sebestia Boada’s work but Boada clearly did not do this cover.  Boada, like Jose Domingo, aka JAD, was also a Skywald cover artist so it’s possible that one or both of the unknown artists were ghosting for JAD or simply that Marvel got the credits wrong.  Both this and the Monsters Unleashed covers are pretty good, by the way.  Future Eclipse publisher Dean Mullaney sends in a letter.  Doug Moench’s ‘Shards Of A Crystal Rainbow’ is the best story here with Russ Heath’s ‘Blood Lunge’ providing the best artwork.   The Blade serial was continued in Marvel Preview #3.


  10. cover: Richard Hescox/frontis: Paul Gulacy & Duffy Vohland (Apr. 1975)  

1) Exposed At Last!  The Munificent Marvel Maniacs!: Stan Lee, Marv Wolfman, Don McGregor,

David Anthony Kraft, John Warner, Roy Thomas, Len Wein & John Romita mini-

profiles [Marv Wolfman] 1p   [text article]

                2) Morbius, The Living Vampire: A Taste Of Crimson Life [Doug Moench/Sonny Trinidad] 25p

                3) Monsters Of The Movies/Planet Of The Apes Ad [? & Bob Larkin] 1p   [B&W repos of #7/#6’s


                4) A House Of Pleasure, The House Of Death [Doug Moench/Mike Vosburg & Howard Nostrand]


                5) Blindspot! [Gerry Conway/Virgilio Redondo & Alfredo Alcala] 9p

                6) The Savage Sword Of Conan/The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu Ad [Boris Vallejo/Neal Adams]

1p   [B&W repos of #5/#11’s covers]


Notes: Moebius is featured on both the cover & frontis.  Dean Mullaney & Ralph Macchio both send in letters.  The lengthly Morbius story is split up into three chapters subtitled ‘Fast Of Blood’, ‘Temptation’ & ‘Feast Of Blood’ respectively.  It also has the best story and art here, although Moench takes the Living Vampire in a much more familiar Marvel-style action adventure path than McGregor had been doing.


  11. cover: Richard Hexcox/frontis: Pete Lijauco (June 1975)

1) Fearsome Features, Far-Out Fabrications, And Fictional Configurations! [Archie Goodwin] 1p  

[listing of Marvel magazines & comics on sale]

                2) Morbius, The Living Vampire: Death Kiss [Doug Moench/Sonny Trinidad] 34p

                3) Hobo’s Lullaby [John Warner/Yong Montano] 9p

                4) Next Issue Ad [Tony DeZuniga] 1p   [Blade is featured]

                5) Marvel Preview Ad [John Romita & Tony DeZuniga] 1p   [The Punisher’s debut is featured.]


Notes: Final issue.  Archie Goodwin is the editor.  A 12th issue is promised but the story intended for that issue, a full-length Blade story, would appear in Marvel Preview #3 instead.  A Vampire Tales Annual would appear in place of the 12th issue.




The Haunt Of Horror

1. cover: Bob Larkin/frontis & titlepage: Alfredo Alcala (Apr. 1974)

1) The Rats! [Gerry Conway/Ralph Reese] 8p

2) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

3) The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu Ad [Dick Giordano] 1p

4) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

5) The Hint Of Horror [Roy Thomas/Alfredo Alcala] 1p   [text article, art is a negative image of

the frontis art]

                6) Heartstop [George Alec Effinger/Walt Simonson] 21p   [text story]

                7) The Last Man! [?/Russ Heath] 5p   reprinted from ?

                8) His Own Kind! [Roy Thomas/Val Mayerik & Mike Esposito] 9p   from the story by Thomas M.


                9) Dracula Lives! Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p

                10) The Nightmare Patrol [Gerry Conway/Ernie Chan] 8p   [Chan’s art credited to Ernie Chua]

                11) In The Shadows Of The City [Steve Gerber/Vicente Alcazar] 7p


Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Roy Thomas with Marv Wolfman listed as associate editor.  $.75 for 64 pages.  This magazine reused the cancelled digest magazine’s title.  The stated intent of this magazine was to present a ‘quieter’ brand of horror.  That approach lasted for just this issue, even though some of Marvel’s best B&W horror tales appeared in this issue.  Bob Larkin’s werewolf cover is one of the best he did for either Marvel or Warren comics.  The prose story ‘Heartstop’ was originally intended for the digest Haunt Of Horror.  Most of Marvel’s horror stories weren’t very scary.  That’s not too surprising, considering that Marvel made its reputation on providing strong serial adventures.  Thus, most of the horror material were actually action-adventure yarns with an underpinning of horror.  This issue, however, had some stories that went straight after horror, with the Gerber/Alcazar offering, ‘In The Shadows Of The City’ being downright creepy.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this story was Marvel’s best achievement in short-form horror {The Monster Of Frankenstein #1-6 being the best long-form horror achievement}.  Gerber’s excellent, uncomfortable, first-person script depicts a serial killer’s nocturnal hunt for victims with the reader himself as the ultimate victim.  That was bad enough, but Alcazar’s disquieting artwork and character design only intensified the horror by stripping away much of the sense of fantasy or fiction from the tale.   The bleak urban portrait puts one in mind of the Warren story, ‘Creeps’, by Archie Goodwin, John Severin & Wally Wood which had a unbalanced man so thoroughly appalled by the “creeps’ he saw everyday that he eventually became one himself.  This story may be even more bleak.  It’s not just the idea that urban blight and the creatures that dwell within that blight are there and menacing you, it’s that they’re targeting you directly that is the most horrifying aspect of this story.  32 pages of new art & story.


    2. cover: Earl Norem/frontis & titlepage: Pablo Marcos (July 1974)

1) Gabriel, Devil-Hunter [Doug Moench/Billy Graham] 14p

2) “Something Wicked!” [Chris Claremont] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                3) The Hint Of Horror [Roy Thomas] 1p   [text article]

                4) The Exorcist Tapes [Chris Claremont, Marv Wolfman, Gerry Conway, Carla Joseph, Steve

Gerber, Don McGregor, Sandy McGregor, Glynis Wein, Len Wein & Michele Wolfman]

13p   [text article w/photos]

                5) Crazy Ad [Kelly Freas] 1p

                6) Gran’ma Died Last Year [Doug Moench/Gene Colan & Frank Chiarmonte] 10p

                7) Satana: A Fire In Hell [Gerry Conway/Pablo Marcos] 8p   [text story]

                8) Satana: Bloody Is The Path To Hell! [Gerry Conway/Enrique Romeo Badia] 10p


Notes: The “quiet’ approach to horror is chucked right out the window as Haunt Of Horror debuts the delirious and hell haunted ‘Gabriel, Devil-Hunter’ series while moving Satana over from Vampire Tales.  The Moench/Graham Gabriel tale is just fine and easily the best story here.  The prose Satana story is an adaptation of Conway’s original script which Esteban Maroto was supposed to have illustrated.  Due to some miscommunications between Europe & the US, it had to be rapidly converted into a prose story to bridge the gap between Satana’s first full length story, which appeared in Vampire Tales, and her third story, debuting here.  ‘The Exorcist Tapes’ is probably the most boring and idiotic non-fiction article that Marvel published.  Thirteen loooong pages of a transcript of the Marvel bullpenners sitting around chatting about the movie The Exorcist.  Gabriel is featured on the cover and titlepage while Satana is featured on the frontis.  34 pages of new art & story.


    3. cover: Jose Antonio Domingo (Aug. 1974)   [Credited to JAD]

                1) Gabriel, Devil-Hunter: House Of Brimstone [Doug Moench/Billy Graham, Pablo Marcos,

Frank Giacoia & Mike Esposito] 17p

                2) The Restless Coffin! [Doug Moench/Pat Broderick & Al Milgrom] 3p

                3) The Exorcist Tapes, part 2 [Chris Claremont, Gerry Conway, Steve Gerber, Carla Joseph, Don

McGregor, Sandy McGregor, Glynis Wein, Len Wein, Marv Wolfman & Michele

Wolfman] 12p   [text article w/photos]

4) Flirting With Mr. D. [Doug Moench/Billy Graham & Marie Severin] 4p   [text article,

Graham’s art from the first episode of Gabriel, Devil-Hunter]

                5) Crazy Ad [photos] 1p   [Fumetti strip starring Stan Lee]

                6) Marvel Magazines Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p

                7) The Swamp Stalkers [Larry Lieber/Larry Lieber & Winslow Mortimer] 8p

                8) Tales Of The Zombie/Savage Tales Ad [Boris Vallejo & John Buscema] 1p   [the Vallejo art is

a line drawing of #1’s cover]

                9) They Wait Below [?/Bernie Krigstein] 4p   reprinted from ?

                10) Last Descent To Hell [Doug Moench/Frank Springer] 8p    [last page on the inside back cover]


Notes: Editor: Tony Isabella.  The concluding three pages for the Gabriel story were destroyed when Billy Graham spilled coffee all over them, so Pablo Marcos, with inkers Frank Giacoia & Mike Esposito, illustrated the concluding {now stretched out to seven} pages of the story over a very long weekend.  Moench’s article on the Gabriel series mentions the unintentional sick joke aspect of having an artist with the same name as evangelist Billy Graham working on a series where demons and Hell itself is regularly invoked.  Outside of the excellent cover, this is a rather mediocre issue, with the pointless ‘The Exorcist Tapes’ making {Thank God!} its final appearance.  36 pages of new art & story


    4. cover: Bob Larkin/frontis & inside back cover: Neal Adams (Nov. 1974)

1) Satana: This Side Of Hell [Tony Isabella/Enrique Romero Badia] 12p

2) Marvel Magazine Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p

3) The Hint Of Horror [Tony Isabella] 1p   [text article w/photo]

4) Savage Tales Ad [John Buscema] 1p    [Ka-Zar is featured]

5) Fright Pattern! [Jack Younger/Syd Shores & Wayne Howard] 5p

6) Satana: Doorway To Dark Destiny [Chris Claremont/Pat Broderick & the Crusty Bunkers] 12p  

[text story]

                7) The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu/Tales Of The Zombie Ads [Ron Wilson/Pablo Marcos] 1p

                8) Deathwatch! [Gerry Conway/Yong Montano] 8p

                9) Crazy Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                10) Gabriel, Devil-Hunter: To Worship The Damned [Doug Moench/Sonny Trinidad] 15p

                11) Next Issue Ad [Bob Hall & Duffy Vohland] 1p   [on back cover, Gabriel is featured]


Notes: Gabriel is cover & frontis featured.  Future Eclipse publisher Dean Mullaney and future comic writer Peter Gillis send in letters.  The Adams two-page pin-up is reproduced from his pencils.  40 pages of new art & story.


    5. cover: Dick Giordano/frontis: Pablo Marcos (Jan. 1975)

1) The Marvel Bullpen Page Goes Black And White And Read All Over [Marv Wolfman] 1p  

[text article]

                2) Gabriel, Devil-Hunter: The Possession Of Jenny Christopher [Doug Moench/Sonny Trinidad]


                3) Three Spiders On Gooseflesh [Doug Moench/George Evans] 9p

                4) Marvel Magazines Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p

                5) Destiny: Oblivion [David Anthony Kraft/Paul Kirchner & Rudy Nebres] 7p

                6) Satana: If This Be Hell…? [Chris Claremont/George Evans] 13p

                7) Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction Ad [Rick Bryant & Kelly Freas] 1p   [Freas’ art is a B&W

repo of #1’s cover]

                8) Savage Tales Ad [John Romita] 1p   [Ka-Zar is featured]

                9) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos & George Evans] 1p   [on back cover]


Notes: Final issue.  Satana is cover & frontis featured.  Too bad Giordano didn’t do more covers for Marvel.  This one is quite good.  The Gabriel story is also a solid effort.  A sixth issue is promised but never appears.  The next issue ad promised a Gabriel story entitled ‘Messenger Of The Devil’ by Moench & Marcos that never appeared, at least under that title.  Another Gabriel story entitled ‘An Angel Felled’ by Moench & Trinidad did appear in Monsters Unleashed! #11.  In addition, a Satana story by Claremont & Evans entitled ‘Return Of The Elder Gods’ is promised.  This is probably the same story promised for The Legion Of Monsters #2, although that one was titled ‘Night Of The Demon—Night Of The Damned’.  In either case, the story has never been published although it appears to have been completed.  Claremont mentions it in his introduction to Satana’s appearance in Marvel Preview #7 and both ads show different pages of Evans’ art.  All in all, The Haunt Of Horror was a decent magazine that never really got a chance to hit its stride.




Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction

    1. cover: Kelly Freas & John Romita/frontis: Esteban Maroto (Jan. 1975)

                1) 1975: A Space Odyssey [Roy Thomas] 1p   [text article]

2) Slow Glass Prologue/Epilogue [Tony Isabella/Gene Colan & Tom Palmer] 5p   from the “Slow

Glass” concept created by Bob Shaw

                3) The Day Of The Triffids [Gerry Conway/Ross Andru & Ernie Chan] 15p   from the novel by

John Wyndham   [Chan’s art credited to Ernie Chua]

                4) A View From Without… [Neal Adams] 8p   reprinted from Phase #1 (Sept. 1971)

                5) The Bradbury Chronicles [Shel Dorf & Ray Bradbury] 10p   [text article, interview]

                6) Marvel Magazine Ad [Alfredo Alcala] 1p

                7) Smash Gordon: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Mongo! [Frank Brunner] 4p  

reprinted from Heritage 1A (1972)

                8) Savage World [Wally Wood/Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Angelo Torres & Roy G. Krenkel] 8p  

reprinted from witzend #1 (July 1966)

                9) Past And Present Master: An Interview With Kelly Freas [Gerry Conway & Kelly Freas/Kelly

Freas] 4p   [text article, interview]

                10) Hey Buddy, Can You Lend Me A… [Michael Kaluta] 5p   reprinted from Scream Door #1


                11) Light Of Other Days [Tony Isabella/Gene Colan & Mike Esposito] 7p   from the story by Bob


                12) Next Issue Ad [Rick Bryant] 1p


Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Roy Thomas.  $1.00 for 80 pages.  After hiring famed SF artist Kelly Freas to do the cover and provide an interview, Marvel manages to screw it up by having John Romita repaint the two young people on the cover.  Why I don’t know.  Freas’ original artwork, which was reprinted in a later issue, looked just fine to me. As to the question of why I’m including Marvel’s science fiction magazine but not including their sword & sorcery entries, the reason is this: Marvel’s S&S books were action adventure books.  Yes, they did have monsters in the giant spider or gila monster vein but they were never intended to scare anyone.  Nor did they.  However, this magazine, which presented adaptations of actual science fiction stories and novels as well as original stories, did provide chills.  To be honest, probably more actual chills than the four or five regular horror magazines Marvel published.  Hence its inclusion here.  That said, this magazine is a direct descendent of the color comic Worlds Unknown which ran from May 1973-Apr. 1974 {the relevant issues, anyway.  Two more issues were produced which adapted the movie ‘The Golden Voyage Of Sindbad’, a fantasy film}.  That color comic adapted stories by Theodore Sturgeon, Keith Laumer, Frederik Pohl & Fredric Brown, among others, and did quite a good job of it but was hampered by the comics code and ultimately killed off by the difficulty of adapting anything meaningful when the color books’ page counts kept dropping.  Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction was the ideal solution, since the comics code didn’t apply and story pages weren’t mandated by the strict 15 or 17 page count the color comics had.  This first issue is quite good, especially considering much of it consists of reprints {but not lame 1950s era SF stories—thank God!} and the lead adaptation, ‘The Day Of The Triffids’ was clearly intended to be the original occupant of Worlds Unknown #7-8.  In fact, the only story that was probably done specifically for this issue was the fine ‘Slow Glass’ adaptation and the prologue/epilogue sections, which also used the ‘Slow Glass’ concept.  The best story and art here is Neal Adams’ powerful ‘A View From Without…’ which was written & illustrated in the late 1960s and originally appeared in a fanzine circa 1971.  One of Adams’ best and most innovative art jobs, the controversial story concerned an alien’s observations regarding an US led attack on a Vietnamese village and the horrifying aftermath.  It also has one of the most chilling endings, aimed directly at the male comic reader between the ages of 14-18, that comics have ever produced.  A towering achievement that deserves to be in print today.  Other reprints include a cute Flash Gordon parody by Frank Brunner and a fine early fanzine effort by Michael Kaluta as well as a couple of interesting interviews.  The ‘Savage World’ story’s art was done in 1954 for Buster Crabb Comics but it was unused.  In 1966 Wally Wood wrote a new script {the original had been lost} for the artwork and published the story in the first issue of his landmark fanzine witzend.  Judging by the care in production, story selection and the matching of strong artist/writer teams for those stories, this must have been a project quite close to editor Roy Thomas’ heart.


    2. cover: Michael Kaluta/frontis: Alex Nino (Mar. 1975)   Nino’s frontis art is reprinted from The

Hannes Bok Memorial Showcase Of Fantasy Art (197?)

                1) The Shape Of Things That Came [Roy Thomas/Rick Bryant] 1p   [text article]

                2) Slow Glass Prologue/Epilogue [Tony Isabella/Frank Brunner & Klaus Janson] 5p

                3) War Toy [Tony Isabella/George Perez & Rico Rival] 12p

                4) Unknown Worlds Ad [Rick Bryant] 1p

                5) There Are No Yesterdays: A Conversation With Alfred Bester, Author Of The Demolished

Man [Denny O’Neil & Alfred Bester/Rick Bryant & Stanley Pitt] 5p   [text article


                6) Adam…And No Eve [Denny O’Neil/Frank Robbins & Jim Mooney] 6p   from the story by

Alfred Bester

                7) The Hunter And The Hunted [Michael Kaluta] 4p   reprinted from Abyss #1 (Nov. 1970)

                8) Science Fiction, Fans, And The Hugo (Not Necessarily In That Order) [Don Thompson] 4p  

[text article w/photos]

                9) Specimen [Bruce Jones] 8p   reprinted from Abyss #1 (Nov. 1970)

                10) The Day Of The Triffids, part 2 [Gerry Conway/Rico Rival] 20p   from the novel by John


                11) Next Issue Ad [Alex Nino] 1p

                12) Monsters Of The Movies/The Savage Sword Of Conan Ads [Bob Larkin/Boris Vallejo] 1p  

[B&W repos of #5 & #4’s covers]


Notes: Kaluta’s original version of this cover did not include the robot, which was also featured in the story ‘War Toy’.  Either way, it was a pretty nifty cover with three soldiers and a robot in the classic ‘raising the flag on Iwo Jima’ stance.  The Bester interview included a full page of Australian artist Stanley Pitt’s adaptation of Bester’s ‘The Stars My Destination’.  An adaptation of Harlan Ellison’s “Repent, Harlequin!” Said The Ticktockman’ was supposed to appear this issue but was delayed until the next.  ‘War Toy’ was a good story, although the only way you could detect George Perez’s artwork here was in his distinctive shaping of the panel borders.  Rival’s inking completely covered any penciling traces.  The best story here is again a fanzine reprint, this time Kaluta’s odd little space war tale ‘The Hunter And The Hunted’.  Don Thompson’s article related the history of Science Fiction’s fan-based awards, the Hugos.  A solid issue.


    3. cover: Michael Whelan/frontis: Gray Morrow (May 1975)

                1) A Night At The Space Opera [Roy Thomas/Rick Bryant & Kelly Freas] 1p   [text article]

                2) Slow Glass Prologue/Epilogue: The Star-Magi [Tony Isabella/Gene Colan & Frank

Chiarmonte] 6p  

                3) Occupation Force [Gerry Conway/George Perez & Klaus Janson] 5p

                4) Unknown Worlds Ad [Robert L. Kline] 1p

                5) …Not Long Before The End [Doug Moench/Vicente Alcazar] 15p   from the story by Larry


                6) Conan The Barbarian Treasury Edition Ad [Barry Smith] 1p   [B&W repo of #4’s cover]

                7) Marvel Preview Ad [John Romita & Tony DeZuniga] 1p   [The Punisher is featured]

                8) Sandworms And Saviors: A Conversations With Frank Herbert, Author Of Dune [Ed

Leimbacher & Frank Herbert/Rick Bryant, Ed Hannigan & ?] 7p   [text article w/photo]

                9) Kull & The Barbarians/Marvel Preview Ads [Michael Whelan/Neal Adams] 1p   [B&W repos

of both #1’s covers]

                10) Gestation [Bruce Jones] 7p

                11) Next Issue Ad [Rick Bryant] 1p

                12) SFWA: The Thing That Spawned Nebulas [Don Thompson/Rick Bryant] 4p   [text article


                13) “Repent, Harlequin!” Said The Ticktockman [Roy Thomas/Alex Nino] 17p   from the story by

Harlan Ellison


Notes: Thomas’ editorial includes a B&W repo of Kelly Freas’ un-retouched cover for #1.  Whelan’s artwork is from very early in his professional career and is pretty much a generic space scene.  Still, this is an excellent issue with two great adaptations.  ‘…Not Long Before The End’ is a marvelous Niven tale and it is done up proudly by Moench & Alcazar.  It’s ironic that Niven’s tale, which relates the harm that can come when the oafish barbarian swordsmen take over the world, was done by Marvel, the comic home of the premiere {and often oafish looking} barbarian swordsman, Conan.  Ellison’s on record that he dislikes this adaptation of his award winning story but I think it’s beautifully done, preserving Ellison’s thoughtful story with a carefully considered script by Thomas and wild {and wildly appropriate} artwork by the gonzo madman himself, Alex Nino.  The best story in this issue, although it had stiff competition.  The ‘Slow Glass’ prologue & epilogue is a futuristic takeoff on O. Henry’s ‘The Gift Of The Magi’.  The letters’ page debuts with letters from Robert Bloch, Dean Mullaney, Bob Shaw & Ray Bradbury.  The letters’ page also promises an adaptation of Bloch’s classic tale ‘A Toy For Juliette’ although it never happens.  Bloch’s story was later adapted beautifully by Rick Geary for an independent comic in the mid 1980s.  The SFWA article relates the history of Science Fiction’s professionals-based awards, the Nebulas.


    4. cover:  Frank Brunner/frontis: Robert L. Kline (July 1975)

1) The Savage Sword Of Conan/Kull & The Barbarians Ads [Alex Nino/Michael Whelan] 1p  

[B&W repos of #6 & #2’s covers]

                2) Slow Glass Prologue/Epilogue: An Official Inquiry [Tony Isabella/Don Heck & Frank

Chiaramonte] 6p

                3) The Enchanted Village [Don Thompson & Maggie Thompson/Dick Giordano] 11p   from the

story by A. E. Van Vogt

                4) Doc Savage Ad [?] 1p   [B&W repo of #1’s cover]

                5) The Dreaming Kind: A Conversations With SF Master Author A. E. Van Vogt [Alan Brennert

& A. E. Van Vogt/Rick Bryant] 6p    [text article w/photo]

                6) Otis Adelbert Kline: Visionary Of Venus [David Anthony Kraft] 1p   [text article w/photo]

                7) A Vision Of Venus [Tim Conrad] 5p   from the story by Otis Adelbert Kline

                8) Unknown Worlds Ad [Robert L. Kline] 1p

9) FANtasic Worlds [Don Thompson & Maggie Thompson/Steve Harper, Kelly Freas & Rick

Bryant] 4p   [text article w/photo, Freas’ art is from a paperback cover]

                10) Good News From The Vatican [Gerry Conway/Ading Gonzales] 7p   from the story by Robert


                11) Encounter At War [Jan Strnad/Richard Corben] 13p   reprinted from ? (1972)

                12) Kick The Can [Bruce Jones] 8p

                13) Next Issue Ad [Frank Brunner & Duffy Vohland] 1p  


Notes: The adaptations aren’t quite as stunning this issue {although all three are quite good} but the originals and reprints rise up to their level, making this a very satisfactory issue.  The best story here is the Strnad/Corben reprint, although it would have been nice if someone had bothered to redo the shaky lettering.  ‘Good News From The Vatican’ was the best adaptation.  Not much in the way of action but a very sly and sneaky spoof.  ‘The Enchanted Village’ and ‘Kick The Can’ were also very good.  Brunner’s cover, with minor modifications, could have fit easily on a horror magazine and appears to be a tribute to the old EC science fiction covers.  The next issue ad featured Brunner’s pencil study for what became #6’s cover, with somewhat amateur-looking inking by Duffy Vohland.  The letters’ page includes an obituary for longtime Marvel letterer Artie Simek along with a letter from future artist Ken Meyer, Jr.  It also promises several stories written by Bruce Jones and illustrated by the likes of Al Williamson, Gray Morrow and Berni Wrightson.  Only the Morrow one would actually appear in Unknown Worlds.  The Williamson story appeared in Creepy in 1976 and I suspect the Wrightson story was never actually started or, at least, finished. 


    5. cover: Sebastia Bodia/frontis: Howard Chaykin (Sept. 1975)   [Bodia’s cover art credited to one of his

middle names—Puigdomenech!]

1) Unknown Worlds Ad [Robert L. Kline] 1p

2) Slow Glass Prologue/Epilogue [Roy Thomas/Gene Colan & Frank Chiarmonte] 3p

3) Paradise Found [Bruce Jones/Gray Morrow] 14p

4) The Many Many Worlds Of Larry Niven: A Conversation With The Award-Winning “Hard”

SF Author [Alan Brennert & Larry Niven/John Allison, ? & Rick Bryant] 6p   [text

article w/photo]

                5) All The Myriad Ways [Howard Chaykin] 10p   from the story by Larry Niven

                6) FANtastic Worlds [Don Thompson & Maggie Thompson/Michael Kaluta] 3p   [text article]

                7) Addict [Don Glut/Virgilio Redondo] 9p

                8) Half Life [John Allison] 10p   reprinted from Orb #2 (1974)


Notes: Size reduced to 72 pages.  The superior adaptation of Larry Niven’s ‘All The Myriad Ways’ included here was preceded by an earlier adaptation done by Jeff Jones in 1971.  The Jones’ adaptation was intended for the never published Science Fiction Odyssey, a SF magazine developed by Skywald Publications.  That story did end up appearing in a Skywald horror magazine under the new title ‘All The Ways And Means To Die’, and was probably retitled because someone at Skywald didn’t think readers would know what the word ‘myriad’ meant.  Allison’s reprinted story was accompanied on the letters’ page by a plug for the Canadian fanzine Orb, where it originally appeared.  Several sketches of Boada’s cover can be seen in pencil form in his recent artbook entitled Fatal Visions. 


    6. cover: Frank Brunner/frontis: Pat Broderick (Nov. 1976)

                1) Foreword Is Forearmed [Roy Thomas/Rick Bryant] 1p   [text article]

                2) Slow Glass Prologue/Epilogue [Roy Thomas/Gene Colan & Dan Adkins] 3p

                3) Behold The Man [Doug Moench/Alex Nino] 23p   from the story by Michael Moorcock

                4) Thru A Glass Slowly: An Article About (And By) SF Author Bob Shaw [Roy Thomas & Bob

Shaw/Gary Brodsky & Brian Moore] 4p   [text article w/photo]

                5) Old Soldier [Bruce Jones] 7p

                6) Mind Games [John Allison] 10p

                7) Visitation [Don Glut/Reuben Yandoc] 10p


Notes: Final issue.  Thomas’s nervous editorial cautions the reader to enjoy Moorcock’s story {which concerns a time traveler who goes back in time to observe the death of Jesus Christ but then accidentally becomes Christ on the cross) but not to take it too much to heart.  The letters’ pages announce the magazine’s cancellation.  In between, appears the superb adaptation of Moorcock’s powerful classic.  A beautiful script by Moench and stunning artwork from Nino don’t soften Moorcock’s bitter rage from the original story one iota.  Next to this, the Marvel-created stories appear a little old-hat but they are well done and interesting.  A seventh issue did appear, although it was called a special, showing up in the late fall of 1976.  You’ll find the particulars farther down this checklist.  For my money, this was Marvel’s best B&W magazine, period.




Masters Of Terror

    1. cover: Gray Morrow/frontis: Gil Kane & Tom Palmer (May 1975)    frontis reprinted from Journey

Into Mystery #2 (Dec. 1972)

                1) “I Hate Horror Comics” [Tony Isabella] 1p   [text article]

                2) It [Roy Thomas/Marie Severin & Frank Giacoia] 21p   from the story by Theodore Sturgeon,

reprinted from Supernatural Thrillers #1 (Dec. 1972)  

                3) The Horror From The Mound! [Gardner Fox/Frank Brunner] 8p   from the story by Robert E.

Howard, reprinted from Chamber Of Chills #2 (Jan. 1973)   [original comic title ‘The

Monster From The Mound’]

                4) The Terrible Old Man [Roy Thomas/Barry Smith, Dan Adkins & John Verpoorten] 7p   from

the story by H. P. Lovecraft, reprinted from Tower Of Shadows #3 (Jan. 1970)

                5) Master-Pieces [Tony Isabella] 2p   [text article]

6) The Drifting Snow [Tony Isabella/Esteban Maroto] 11p   from the story by August Derleth,

reprinted from Vampire Tales #4 (Apr. 1974)

                7) The Shambler From The Stars! [Ron Goulart/Jim Starlin & Tom Palmer] 8p   from the story by

Robert E. Howard, reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #3 (Feb. 1973)

                8) Time Out For Terror [Don Thompson & Maggie Thompson/Wayne Howard] 2p   [text article]

                9) Terror Toons [Stu Schwartzberg] 1p   [cartoons]

                10) Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper! [Ron Goulart & Roy Thomas/Gil Kane, Ralph Reese & Neal

Adams] 10p   from the story by Robert Bloch, reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #2

(Dec. 1972)

                11) Next Issue Ad [Jim Steranko] 1p   reprinted from the cover of Supernatural Thrillers #2 (Feb.



Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Tony Isabella.  $1.00 for 72 pages.  This was a reprint magazine but very much a superior one.  One thing Marvel did, probably better than anyone, was to adapt famous horror stories with care, craft and precision.  This magazine reprinted the best of those so one got very good value for their dollar.  The cover is painted by Morrow but based solidly on the cover for Supernatural Thrillers #1 by Jim Steranko.  The adaptation by Thomas & Severin of Theodore Sturgeon’s classic swamp monster tale, ‘It’ is damn near as good as the original, and the original is one of the all-time horror classics.  Beautiful job and one unlikely to be reprinted anytime soon as Marvel appears to have lost or misplaced the original contracts for most of their literary adaptations of the 1970s, which would have specified the manner in which those stories could be reprinted.  I’ve already mentioned my admiration for ‘The Drifting Snow’ in the Vampire Tales notes.  ‘Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper!’ is a gem also.  In fact, there’s not a poor story here.  Just fine entertainment.


    2. cover: Dan Adkins/frontis: Gil Kane & Tom Palmer/back cover: Gray Morrow (Sept. 1975)    frontis

reprinted from the cover of Journey Into Mystery #1 (Oct. 1972) & back cover {a B&W

repo} reprinted from the cover of Monsters Unleashed #1 (July 1973)

                1) What’s A Nice Editor Like You Doing In A Magazine Like This? [Tony Isabella] 1p   [text


                2) The Invisible Man [Ron Goulart, Val Mayerik & Dan Adkins] 21p   from the novel by H. G.

Wells, reprinted from Supernatural Thrillers #2 (Feb. 1973)

                3) The Man Who Cried Werewolf! [Gerry Conway/Pablo Marcos] 10p   from the story ‘The Man

Who Cried Wolf’ by Robert Bloch, reprinted from Monsters Unleashed! #1 (July 1973)

                4) Master-Pieces [Tony Isabella] 2p   [text article]

                5) Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction/The Legion Of Monsters Ads [Frank Brunner & Duffy

Vohland/Neal Adams] 1p   [The Legion Of Monsters is a B&W repo of #1’s cover]

                6) Dig Me No Grave! [Roy Thomas/Gil Kane & Tom Palmer] 8p   from the story by Robert E.

Howard, reprinted from Journey Into Mystery #1 (Oct. 1972)

                7) Terror Toons [Stu Schwartzberg] 1p   [cartoons]

                8) The Music Of Erich Zann! [Roy Thomas/Johnny Craig] 8p   from the story by H. P. Lovecraft,

reprinted from Chamber Of Darkness #5 (June 1970)  

                9) Pickman’s Model [Roy Thomas/Tom Palmer] 7p   from the story by H. P. Lovecraft, reprinted

from Tower Of Shadows #9 (Jan. 1971)

                10) Time Out For Terror [Don Thompson & Maggie Thompson] 2p   [text article]

                11) The Roaches! [Gerry Conway/Ralph Reese] 10p   from the story by Thomas M. Disch,

reprinted from Monsters Unleashed! #2 (Sept. 1973)

                12) Reader’s Poll [Tony Isabella] 1p


Notes: Final issue.  As before, the cover painting is based on a Jim Steranko cover for Supernatural Thrillers #2.  Another fine issue, with ‘The Roaches!’ probably being the best adaptation, although all of the stories are quite good.  The Thomas/Craig adaptation was originally entitled ‘The Music From Beyond!’ when it originally appeared.  Two fine magazines to search for in back issue bins.




Vampire Tales Annual

    1. cover: Bob Larkin (Summer 1975)

                1) Vampires In Time And Space [Tony Isabella/Pablo Marcos] 1p   [frontis]    reprinted from

Vampire Tales #3 (Feb. 1974)

                2) Morbius: Lighthouse Of The Possessed! [Don McGregor/Tom Sutton] 13p   reprinted from

Vampire Tales #4 (Apr. 1974)

                3) Blood Death [Doug Moench/Alfredo Alcala] 8p   reprinted from Vampire Tales #6 (Aug. 1974)

                4) Hodiah Twist: The Praying Mantis Principle! [Don McGregor/Rich Buckler, Carlos Garzon &

Klaus Janson] 11p   reprinted from Vampire Tales #2 (Oct. 1973)

                5) Satana Pin-Up [Esteban Maroto] 1p   reprinted from Vampire Tales #3 (Feb. 1974)

                6) Satana: The Kiss Of Death [Gerry Conway/Esteban Maroto] 10p   reprinted from Vampire

Tales #3 (Feb. 1974)

                7) Blood Lunge [Doug Moench/Russ Heath] 5p   reprinted from Vampire Tales #9 (Feb. 1975)

                8) The Vampire Wants Blood! [Doug Moench/Val Mayerik] 9p   reprinted from Vampire Tales #5

(June 1974)

                9) Morbius: Blood Tide! [Don McGregor/Rich Buckler & Ernie Chan] 14p   reprinted from

Vampire Tales #5 (June 1974)


Notes: An announcement on the letters’ page confirms that this is the final issue of the regular Vampire Tales although it has new numbering & volume numbers.  $1.25 for 88 pages.




Monsters Unleashed! Annual

1. cover: Ken Bald (Summer 1975)

            1) Thunderbird [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [frontis]   reprinted from Monsters Unleashed! #6

(June 1974)

                2) The Cold Of The Uncaring Moon [Steve Skeates/George Tuska & Klaus Janson] 7p   reprinted

from Monsters Unleashed! #3 (Nov. 1973)

                3) They Might Be Monsters [Tony Isabella/Pablo Marcos] 1p   reprinted from Monsters

Unleashed #4 (Feb. 1974)

                4) World Of Warlocks [Gardner Fox & Roy Thomas/Gene Colan] 10p   reprinted from Monsters

Unleashed! #1 (July 1973)

                5) Lifeboat! [Gerry Conway/Jesus Blasco] 8p   reprinted from Monsters Unleashed! #2 (Sept.


                6) Savage Sword Of Conan Ad [Gil Kane] 1p  

                7) Demon Of Slaughter Mansion [Don McGregor/Juan Boix] 10p   reprinted from Monsters

Unleashed! #5 (Apr. 1974)

                8) Birthright! [Roy Thomas/Gil Kane & The Crusty Bunkers] 13p   reprinted from Monsters

Unleashed! #3 (Nov. 1973)

                9) To Love, Honor, Cherish …’Til Death! [Chris Claremont/Don Perlin] 8p   reprinted from

Monsters Unleashed! #4 (Feb. 1974)

                10) Man-Thing: All The Faces Of Fear [Tony Isabella/Vicente Alcazar] 11p   reprinted from

                                Monsters Unleashed! #5 (Apr. 1974)

                11) Marvel Preview Ad [Dan Adkins] 1p   [Sherlock Holmes is featured.]

                12) Thunderbird [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   reprinted from Monsters Unleashed! #6 (June


                13) Monsters From The Sea [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   reprinted from Monsters Unleashed

#8 (Oct. 1974)


Notes: $1.25 for 88 pages.  An announcement on the letters’ page confirms the magazine’s cancellation.  Keeping pace with the general sloppiness of the regular Monsters Unleashed! title, the ‘Thunderbird’ filler page appears twice in the same issue while ‘Demon Of Slaughter Mansion’ still has pages 8 & 9 reversed!




Tales Of The Zombie Annual

    1. cover: Earl Norem/frontis: Pablo Marcos (Summer 1975)    frontis reprinted from Tales Of The

Zombie #6’s Simon Garth story’s splashpage (July 1974)

1) Simon Garth: The Altar Of The Damned! [Roy Thomas & Steve Gerber/John Buscema & Tom

Palmer] 13p   reprinted from Tales Of The Zombie #1 (Aug. 1973)

                2) Simon Garth: Zombie! [Stan Lee/Bill Everett] 7p   reprinted from Menace #5 (Aug. 1954)

                3) Simon Garth: Night Of The Walking Dead! [Steve Gerber/John Buscema & Syd Shores] 11p  

reprinted from Tales Of The Zombie #1 (Aug. 1973)

                4) Twin Burial [Nicola Cuti/Ralph Reese] 10p   reprinted from Tales Of The Zombie #2 (Oct.


                5) Warrior’s Burden [Tony Isabella/Vicente Alcazar] 6p   reprinted from Tales Of The Zombie #3

(Jan. 1974)

                6) Jilimbi’s Word [Doug Moench/Enrique Badia Romero] 8p   reprinted from Tales Of The

Zombie #3 (Jan. 1974)   [Page one is deleted from the original printing]

                7) Death’s Bleak Birth! [Doug Moench/Frank Springer] 9p   reprinted from Tales Of The Zombie

#5 (May 1974)

                8) A Second Chance To Die [Carl Wessler/Alfredo Alcala] 7p   reprinted from Tales Of The

Zombie #7 (Sept. 1974)


Notes: $1.25 for 88 pages.





Dracula Lives! Annual

    1. cover: Gray Morrow (Summer 1975)

                1) How To Ward Off Vampires [Tony Isabella/Ernie Chan] 1p   [frontis]   reprinted from Dracula

Lives! #9 (Nov. 1974)

                2) Factful Features And Fantastic Frivolity Formed And Fermented From Frugal-Minded

Armadilloes! [Marv Wolfman] 1p   [text article]

                3) That Dracula May Live Again! [Marv Wolfman/Neal Adams] 13p   reprinted from Dracula

Lives! #2 (Aug. 1973)

                4) Lord Of Death, Lord Of Hell [Marv Wolfman/John Buscema & Syd Shores] 12p   reprinted

from Dracula Lives! #3 (Oct. 1973)

                5) Doc Savage Ad [Tony DeZuniga?] 1p   [pencil sketches]

                6) Look Homeward, Vampire! [Gerry Conway/Vicente Alcazar] 11p   reprinted from Dracula

Lives! #4 (Jan. 1974)

                7) Solomon Kane & Dracula: Castle Of The Undead [Roy Thomas/Alan Weiss & the Crusty

Bunkers] 12p   reprinted from Dracula Lives! #3 (Oct. 1973)

                8) A Duel Of Demons [Gerry Conway/Frank Springer] 10p   reprinted from Dracula Lives! #5

(Mar. 1974)

                9) Shadow Over Versailles [Tony Isabella/John Buscema & Pablo Marcos] 11p   reprinted from

Dracula Lives! #6 (May 1974)


Notes: $1.25 for 88 pages.  There’s an announcement on the letters’ page stating that this is the last issue of Dracula Lives! {thus it probably came out in either Aug. or Sept. 1975} while also advertising the first issue of The Legion Of Monsters. 




The Legion Of Monsters

    1. cover: Neal Adams/frontis: Pablo Marcos (Sept. 1975)   [Dracula, the Manphibian and Frankenstein’s

Monster are cover featured while Frankenstein’s Monster is featured on the frontis.]

                1) Support Your Local Monster [Tony Isabella/Marie Severin] 1p   [text article]

                2) Frankenstein’s Monster: The Monster And The Masque [Doug Moench/Val Mayerik, Dan

Adkins & Pablo Marcos] 15p

3) Manphibian: Vengeance Crude [Marv Wolfman & Tony Isabella/Dave Cockrum & Sam

Grainger] 10p

                4) The Legion Report [Don Thompson & Maggie Thompson/Sandy Plunkett] 4p   [text article


                5) The Flies! [Paul Kirschner, Ralph Reese & Gerry Conway/Paul Kirschner & Ralph Reese] 9p

                6) Monster Madness [Stu Schwartzberg] 1p   [cartoons]

                7) Dracula, part 7: Death Be Thou Proud! [Roy Thomas/Dick Giordano] 15p   from the novel by

Bram Stoker   [the first five pages are rehashed story & art from previous episodes]

                8) Monster Gallery [Hermoso D. Pancho, Pete Lijauco & Gray Morrow] 3p   [pin-ups]

                9) Next Issue Ad [Pablo Marcos] 1p   [Satana & Dracula are featured.]

                10) Masters Of Terror Ad [Jim Steranko] 1p   art reprinted from the cover of Supernatural

Thrillers #2 (Feb. 1973)


Notes: A very short-lived attempt {this is the only issue} to keep the headliners alive {as it were} from the various cancelled Marvel B&W horror magazines.  Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Tony Isabella with Archie Goodwin listed as the Editor-In-Chief.  $1.00 for 72 pages.  The Frankenstein’s Monster story was originally intended for Monsters Unleashed #11.  The Dracula adaptation for Dracula Lives!  This was Manphibian’s only appearance, I believe, which was probably just as well as he was an awful character.  The Stoker adaptation has the best script & art but ‘The Flies’ is a good, grisly story also.  The next issue ad promised a Morbius story, which would eventually appear in Marvel Preview, a Satana story by Chris Claremont & George Evans, ‘Night Of The Demon—Night Of The Damned’, originally intended for the never published The Haunt Of Horror #6 {this story has never appeared although it was described as completed in a recounting of Satana’s career that appeared in Marvel Preview #7} and the next installment of the Dracula adaptation, which actually wouldn’t appear until Stoker’s Dracula #2 in Dec. 2004!




Marvel Preview/Bizarre Adventures

    3. cover: Gray Morrow/frontis: Gene Colan (Oct. 1975)

1) Blade: The Night Josie Harper Died! [Chris Claremont/Tony DeZuniga] 56p

2) A Short Picto-History Of Blade [Scott Edelman] 2p   [text article, with art reprinted from

Blade’s various appearances]

                3) Next Issue Ad [Rich Buckler] 1p


Notes: Marvel Preview was a B&W magazine in the vein of DC’s Showcase.  Each issue featured a different concept or character.  Sometimes the story was in the form of a pilot, testing the waters for a possible series, others were definite stand-alone stories.  I’m including only those issues that were solidly horror issues or predominately horror.  This issue, edited by Marv Wolfman, presents the contents of what was supposed to be Vampire Tales #12.  After Vampire Tales was cancelled the entire issue was simply printed here.


    7. cover: Bob Larkin/Vicente Alcazar (July 1976)

                1) Why A Devil’s Daughter…? [John Warner] 1p   [text article]

                2) Satana: The Damnation Waltz [Chris Claremont/Vicente Alcazar] 15p

                3) Satana: La Dimphonie Diable {The Devil’s Symphony} [Chris Claremont/Vicente Alcazar] 16p

                4) From The Devil, A Daughter [Chris Claremont/Mike Nasser & Esteban Maroto] 4p   [text

article]   Maroto’s art reprinted from Vampire Tales #3 (Feb. 1974)

                5) Just A Little Over A Year Ago Today… [Bill Mantlo/Terry Austin] 2p   [text article]

                6) The Sword In The Star!, Part 2: Witch World! [Bill Mantlo/Keith Giffen] 18p


Notes: John Warner is the editor.  The Satana stories were originally intended for The Haunt Of Horror and were essentially a rebooting of the character.  Alcazar’s art is just beautiful and Claremont’s story is strong enough to make one wish this version had continued on.  ‘The Sword In The Star’ is a science fantasy story and was the second episode in a proposed 12 part backup series for the aborted Star Lord SF magazine.  The first episode had appeared in an earlier issue of Marvel Preview.  I remember as a kid, quite liking this story.  I believe only the two episodes ever appeared.


    8. cover: Ken Barr/frontis: Vicente Alcazar (Oct. 1976)

                1) The Man-God Conspiracy: A Marvel Apologia [John Warner/?] 1p   [text article]

                2) Morbius: The Madman Of Mansion Slade [Doug Moench/Sonny Trinidad] 21p

                3) Monsters Unleashed...Again [Ralph Macchio/Dave Cockrum, Vicente Alcazar, Alfredo Alcala,

Gray Morrow, ? & Sandy Plunkett] 5p   [text article, Morbius & Simon Garth appear in

spot illos.]

                4) Blade: Into The House Of Terror [Marv Wolfman/Gene Colan] 6p

                5) The Reality Manipulators [Don McGregor/Mike Ploog] 11p   [Marie Severin is credited with

the gray tones—a first for Marvel {or any other B&W book I can think of}]

                6) Curse Of Anubis! [Russ Jones & John Warner/Val Mayerik] 10p


Notes: Blade & Morbius, the Living Vampire are cover featured while Man-Thing appears on the frontis. 

This was a collection of stories left over from the horror magazines cancelled in 1975.  They were published only because Marvel Preview had a hole in its schedule when the Man-God story intended for this issue didn’t appear.  The issue was sub-titled The Legion Of Monsters.  The Morbius story was originally intended for Vampire Tales #13.  Bob Rodi sends in a letter.  Best art here is the work by Mike Ploog.  Best story is the Morbius tale by Doug Moench.  Macchio’s article is a history of Marvel’s earlier horror effort.  Worthwhile reading for a complier like myself.  The artist who provided the Man-Thing illo in that article is unknown to me.  Anybody know who it is?


  12. cover: Earl Norem/frontis & titlepage: John Buscema & Ernie Chan (Oct. 1977)

                1) Editorial [Roger Slifer/Tom Sutton] 2p   [text article]

                2) Lilith, Daughter Of Dracula Prologue [Steve Gerber/George Perez & Pablo Marcos] 2p

                3) Lilith: Profits Are Plunging! [Steve Gerber/Bob Brown & Frank Springer] 14p

                4) The Rampaging Hulk Ad [Jack Kirby & Jim Starlin] 1p

                5) Slinking Through The Psycho-Ward [Doug Moench/Michael Kaluta] 7p

                6) Death Of The Living Dead! [David Anthony Kraft/Bob Brown & Pablo Marcos] 8p

                7) Marvel Magazines Ad [Jim Starlin, Brian Moore, Earl Norem & Kelly Freas] 1p   [B&W repos

of the covers of The Rampaging Hulk #7, The Savage Sword Of Conan #25, Crazy #? &

Marvel Preview #12]

                8) Dracula, Lord Of Vampires Pin-Up [John Buscema] 1p  

                9) Dracula, 1975: Picture Of Andrea [Doug Moench/Sonny Trinidad] 20p

                10) Marvel Bullpen Bulletins [Stan Lee, et al] 2p   [text article]


Notes: Edited by Roger Slifer and subtitled The Haunt Of Horror, this was Slifer’s attempt to revive that title.  It was supposed to have a tryout issue here and then come out as a quarterly but the quarterly never appeared.  All of the stories included here were inventory from 1975, with both the Lilith & Dracula stories probably intended for the never published Dracula Lives! #14, while ‘Death of The Living Dead!’ was clearly intended for Tales Of The Zombie, and ‘Slinking Through The Psycho-Ward’ was probably for the original Haunt Of Horror B&W magazine.  Sutton’s artwork {the only original art in the book} for Slifer’s editorial is a nice pin-up of the Marvel horror crew, including Lilith, Dracula, Morbius, Frankenstein’s Monster, Werewolf By Night, the Living Mummy and Man-Thing, along with editors Roger Slifer & Ralph Macchio.  Lilith is cover featured while Dracula appears on the frontis.


  16. cover: Gene Colan & Tom Palmer/frontis: John Buscema (Oct. 1978)

                1) Out Of The Dark [Richard Marschall] 1p   [text article]

                2) Hodiah Twist: The Hero-Killer Principle! [Don McGregor/Gene Colan & Tony DeZuniga] 23p  

[story miscredited to Richard Marschall]

                3) Voices! [Marv Wolfman/Gene Colan & Tom Palmer] 8p

                4) The Rise Of The Private Eye [Ron Goulart] 2p   [text article]

                5) Lilith: Death By Disco! [Steve Gerber/Gene Colan & Tony DeZuniga] 22p

                6) Robin Hood Portfolio Ad [Howard Chaykin] 1p

                7) Scenes From The Magic Planet Portfolio Ad [Richard Corben] 1p

                8) Next Issue Ad [Gil Kane] 1p   [Blackmark is featured]

                9) Cody Starbuck Portfolio Ad [Howard Chaykin] 1p   [on back cover]


Notes: Edited by Richard Marschall, this is a rather odd issue.  Subtitled Masters Of Terror, all of the stories are horror while Goulart’s article and Buscema’s frontis were clearly intended for some sort of crime magazine.  I’ve never heard anything about such a title from Marvel, however.  Hodiah Twist was a Sherlock Holmes homage who’d previously appeared in Vampire Tales #2 (Oct. 1973) and in a Killraven story in Amazing Adventures.  This new Hodiah Twist story had been in the works since at least 1973 when McGregor began mentioning it as the followup story to Twist’s original outing.  The story itself is uncredited.  On the titlepage, Richard Marschall is credited as the author but Marschall himself credits McGregor in his editorial.  It is McGregor’s work, with his credit deleted as punishment for not signing Marvel’s controversial work-for-hire contract.  Twist had battled a vampire in his debut and this time out battles a werewolf.  Unlike previous horror outings in Marvel Preview, all of the actual stories appear to have been done especially for this issue.


  29. cover: Walt Simonson (Dec. 1981)

                1) Editorial [Denny O’Neil] 1p   [text sentence]

                2) The Lawnmower Man [Stephen King/Walt Simonson] 21p   from the story by Stephen King

                3) Greenberg The Vampire [J. M. DeMatteis/Steve Leialoha] 25p

                4) Epic Illustrated Ad [John Bolton] 1p   [Marada, the She-Wolf is featured.]

                5) Mirror, Mirror [Bruce Jones/John Buscema & Bob Wiacek] 8p

                6) Next Issue Ad [Val Mayerik & ?] 1p   [Paradox & Sihouette are featured]

                7) Bucky Bizarrre! [Steve Skeates/Steve Smallwood] 2p


Notes: Edited by Denny O’Neil.  Marvel Preview was retitled Bizarre Adventures with its 23rd issue.  It had been three years since the last horror appearance in this magazine but the long wait was over.  This is one of the best horror issues that Marvel produced.  Stephen King & Walt Simonson do a spectacular job adapting & illustrating King’s story while J. M. DeMatteis displays for the first time the writing chops that would lead to Moonshadow and Abadazad. Greenberg may be the first Jewish, homosexual vampire in history.  In fact, he may be the only one.  GCDB lists the title of this story as ‘My Uncle, The Vampire’ but that title doesn’t appear on either the story itself or the title page, just ‘Greenberg The Vampire’.  The only poor story here was ‘Mirror, Mirror’.  Jones’ script was fair enough but the stiff, awkward Buscema/Wiacek artwork sank the story completely.  Bucky Bizarre appeared in most of the Bizarre Adventures issues.  He was a comical space traveler who often had little to do with the theme of the issue.  Ok effort, if you like that sort of thing.


  31. cover: Joe Jusko (Apr. 1982)

                1) From The Warp Of Dennis O’Neil: Slaughter Thy Neighbor? [Denny O’Neil] 1p   [text article]

                2) The Philistine [Denny O’Neil/Frank Miller] 8p

                3) Dr. Deth With Kip & Muffy [Larry Hama] 10p

                4) The Hangman [Mark Gruenwald/Bill Sienkiewicz] 12p

                5) Violence Wears Many Faces [John Byrne] 2p

                6) Recondo Rabbit [Larry Hama/Mark Armstrong] 8p

                7) Let There Be Life! [Tom DeFalco/Herb Trimpe] 5p

                8) Pacific Comics Ad [Jack Kirby & Mike Grell] 1p   [B&W repos of the covers of Captain

Victory #2 & Starslayer #1]

                9) A Frog Is A Frog [Stephen Perry/Steve Bissette] 10p

                10) Bucky Bizarre! [Steve Skeates/Steve Smallwood] 3p


Notes: This was probably Bizarre Adventures’ {or for that matter, Marvel Preview’s} best issue.  A beautiful and controversial cover by Joe Jusko depicts a pretty blond hooker opening up her trenchcoat to reveal not only her scantily clad body but a overwhelming load of guns, knives & grenades.  The independent publisher, Renegade Press, did a takeoff {illustrated by Paul Smith} of this cover for an equally controversial ad campaign in the mid 1980s.  With the exception of the lame ‘Let There Be Life!’, every story was good and at least two were exceptional.  Sienkiewicz was still operating as a Neal Adams clone but his gory story here was still quite good.  Larry Hama either worked as one of Wally Wood’s assistants or was heavily influenced by him—his Dr. Deth strip could have easily fit into witzend.  ‘The Philistine’ had a good Denny O’Neil script, coupled with excellent Frank Miller artwork.  Since this issue was a violence-themed issue, all of the stories mentioned had heavy doses of explicit violence, however the best stories were the quieter ones.  John Byrne’s wordless vignette deals with a religious group invading the town library and hauling books off the shelves to burn them in the street.  The only book identified is Darwin’s Origin Of The Species but any book would clearly do to the smiling throng depicted in the last panel.  Short but chilling.  ‘A Frog Is A Frog’ is the second best {following ‘In The Silence Of The City’ from The Haunt Of Horror #1} B&W horror story Marvel published.  A young boy, wrapped up in gory fantasies {including this very issue of Bizarre Adventures}, slowly realizes that his best friend is a budding serial killer.  Bissette was only a few months away from taking over Swamp Thing and his dark, creepy artwork is absolutely perfect here.  Perry’s dark, dense script is equally fine, expertly detailing that love all boys undergoing puberty have of the perverse, which is just as easily depicted in comics as it can be in books, movies or videogames, and then paralleling that oddly normal and understandable love of the good kid with the truly perverse sickness and bloodlust of his pal.   There’s also a twist ending that manages to be gentle, right, comforting and chilling at one and the same time.  This story is a genuine horror and comic classic and well worth seeking out for the true horror fan.


  33. cover: Michael Sullivan/back cover: Steve Bissette (Dec. 1982)

                1) From The Warp Of Dennis O’Neil [Denny O’Neil] 1p   [text article]

                2) Simon Garth: Damballah’s Deeds [Doug Moench/Dave Simons] 16p

                3) Slayride! [Bruce Jones/Bob Hall] 10p

                4) The Survivor [J. M. DeMatteis/Geoff Isherwood, Ian Akin & Brian Garvey] 9p

                5) Dracula, 1459: The Blood Request [Stephen Perry/Steve Bissette & John Totleban] 25p

                6) Buck Bizarre! [Steve Skeates/Steve Smallwood] 3p

                7) Next Issue Ad [Larry Hama] 1p   [on inside back cover]


Notes: Yet another effort by Marvel to revive their horror titles.  Each of the four stories here are sectioned off under previous Marvel horror titles—Tales Of The Zombie for the Simon Garth tale, The Haunt Of Horror for the DeMatteis story, and The Tomb Of Dracula for, naturally, the Dracula story.  The odd one was the Bruce Jones story, which appeared under the heading of the Vault Of Evil, which wasn’t a B&W title {perhaps one of their precode color reprint titles?} and was uncomfortably close to EC’s Vault Of Horror.  The Simon Garth story was not a revival of the character.  The story takes place between adventures in the original serial.  A good solid issue with no clunkers in the lot.  Particularly noteworthy was the Perry/Bissette/Totleban effort on the Dracula story, which was woven around the origin story of Marvel’s Dracula that had appeared in Dracula Lives! #2-#4.  This Bissette/Totleban art effort was done just before or concurrently with their Swamp Thing debut and is worth seeing simply for the strong graphics.  However, the story is pretty damn solid as well.



Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction Special

1. cover: Don Newton/Rick Bryant (Nov. 1976)

            1) Interrupted Journey [Roy Thomas/Michael Kaluta] 1p   [text article]

            2) A Martian Odyssey [Don Glut/Reuben Yandoc] 13p   from the story by Stanley Weinbaum

            3) The Last Horizon: A Conversation With Theodore Sturgeon [Alan Brennert & Theodore

Sturgeon] 5p   [text article w/photo]

                4) Journey’s End! [Bruce Jones/Alex Nino] 8p

                5) The Forest For The Trees [Bruce Jones/Vicente Alcazar] 10p

                6) FANtastic Worlds [Don Thompson & Maggie Thompson/Michael Kaluta] 4p    [text article


                7) Clete [Bruce Jones] 13p

                8) Preservation Of The Species [Bruce Jones/Reuben Yandoc] 13p   [miscredited to Redondo]

                9) Sinner [Archie Goodwin] 4p   reprinted from witzend #1 (July 1966)

                10) Arena [Gerry Conway/John Buscema & Dick Giordano] 15p   from the story by Fredric

Brown, reprinted from Worlds Unknown #4 (Nov. 1973)

                11) Threads [Mat Warrick/Ading Gonzales] 3p   [Story may actually be by Mal Warrick, a fanzine &

science fiction writer of the time]


Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editor: Roy Thomas.  $1.25 for 96 pages.  This came out almost a year after the last regular issue of Unknown Worlds.  The inking for the story ‘Preservation Of The Species’ is clearly Reuben Yandoc’s.  It’s possible the pencils were by one of the Redondo brothers and, if that’s the case, the penciler was probably Virgilio Redondo but until someone can tell me different, I’m going to award sole credits to Mr. Yandoc.  How was this as an issue?  Well, not bad, not great.  The reprints were high quality.  The new adaptation was well done.  I enjoyed the Sturgeon interview and most of the new stories are decent if not spectacular.  ‘Clete’ is very well done, as is ‘Threads’.  I suspect the John Allison adaptation of James Tiptree, Jr.’s story ‘The Man Who Walked Home’ which was completed and published in the fanzine Andromeda #1 in 1977, was originally intended for Unknown Worlds.  Other than that story, however, this issue seems to have picked up all the loose ends and leftover stories. 




The Tomb Of Dracula

1. cover: Bob Larkin & photos/frontis: Gene Colan & Bob McLeod (Oct. 1979)

            1) “Welcome To My House!  Enter Freely And Of Your Own Will!” [Marv Wolfman/Gene

Colan] 1p   [text article]

                2) Dracula, 1979: Black Genesis [Marv Wolfman/Gene Colan & Bob McLeod] 43p

                3) The Newest Dracula [Jason Thomas] 5p   [text article w/photos]

                4) The Hulk! Ad [Marie Severin] 1p

                5) Movie Review: Love At First Bite! [Tom Rogers] 3p   [text article w/photos]

                6) Howard The Duck Ad [Gene Colan, et al] 1p  

                7) Legend: According To The Movies [Tom Rogers] 6p   [text article w/photos]

                8) Marvel Magazine Notes [?] 1p   [text article]

                9) Next Issue Ad [Gene Colan & Tom Palmer] 1p

                10) The Savage Sword Of Conan/Epic Illustrated Ads [John Buscema/Peter Ledger] 2p


Notes: Publisher: Stan Lee.  Editors: Richard Marschall & Marv Wolfman.  $1.25 for 64 pages.  This magazine combined the concepts of the old B&W, Dracula Lives!, and the recently cancelled color comic, which had also been titled The Tomb Of Dracula.  In the last issue of the color comic, the long time creative team of Wolfman, Colan & Palmer had killed off Dracula, so the first order of business was to revive him.  This was done in fine fashion, although Marvel’s habit of reviving characters previously declared dead was and is always irritating.  Unfortunately, the color book inker, Tom Palmer, was not present.  Apparently, a backstage editorial feud was taking place, with editor-in-chief Jim Shooter attempting to break up the fiefdoms that longtime editor/writers like Roy Thomas and Marv Wolfman had obtained during the course of the 1970s at Marvel.  Shooter’s directive was apparently that no writer could have himself as an editor.  Both Wolfman’s & Thomas’ contract renewals were coming up and Shooter was flexing his power as editor-in-chief, in this case to deny the revived Dracula strip its regular inker.  The short term result of that pressure was that in less than a year both Thomas & Wolfman departed Marvel for the friendlier pastures of DC Comics, along with a host of other 1970s Marvel creators, including Gene Colan, Jim Mooney, Doug Moench & more.  At this point in time, the horror boom of 1971-1975 was long over and while Marvel maintained a presence in the B&W magazine field, this title was the first regular horror title since the cancellation of The Legion Of Monsters in 1975.  As such there was a lot riding on it and, sadly, as good as this book was, it really showed fans nothing new.  Not enough of the color comic’s fans followed along for Dracula’s B&W revival and the B&W readers just didn’t pick up the book.  Part of that, in my opinion, was the dreadful editorial idea of having the cover layout {for the first three issues} look like a movie magazine’s.  Larkin painted a great cover, but it was reduced to less than the size of a digest magazine’s cover while photos of Frank Langella and George Hamilton {both of whom were appearing in vampire movies at the time} floated along beside.  It just looked much more like one of those quickie one-shot, unauthorized movie tie-ins than a horror comic. 


    2. cover: Bob Larkin & photos/frontis: Tom Palmer (Dec. 1979)

1) The Savage Sword Of Conan Ad [John Buscema] 1p

2) Dracula, 1979: The Dimensional Man [Marv Wolfman/Steve Ditko] 36p

3) Howard The Duck Ad [Gene Colan & Dave Simons] 1p

4) “Dracula” Director John Badham: The Making Of The Movie [Steve Swires] 2p   [text article


5) Movie Review: Nosferatu, The Vampyre [Tom Rogers] 5p   [text article w/photos]

6) Dracula, 1459: Court Of The Dead! [Marv Wolfman/Frank Robbins, John Romita & John

Tartaglione] 15p

                7) Next Issue Ad [Gene Colan & ?] 1p

                8) Meteor/Warriors Of The Shadow Realm [Gene Colan & Tom Palmer/John Buscema] 2p   [last

ad on inside back cover]


Notes: Rick Marschall is gone and Lynne Graeme is in as the new co-editor.  A bold move by Wolfman as he hires Steve Ditko to illustrate the second adventure of the revived Dracula.  Ditko had long since ceased to be a fan favorite but somebody must have been remembering those beautiful B&W stories he had done for Warren Publications in 1966-1967.  And Ditko certainly attempted to deliver the goods!  His artwork looked nothing like any previous Marvel representation of Dracula but it was still very good, possibly his best work since the late 1960s.  Unfortunately, Marvel’s reproduction methods were far below the quality that Warren had employed for Ditko’s work in 1966-67 and his delicate gray tones appeared to be washed out, giving the artwork a bland, grayish appearance rather than the somber, moody effect obviously intended.  Fans reacted badly {something they might have done, anyway, since Ditko & Colan’s styles were so far apart} and there were no further artistic experiments of that sort attempted again.  Frank Robbins’ artwork was also not to the fans’ liking, although his story didn’t come in for the criticism that Ditko’s did.  It was a shame, really.  Both artists delivered good work, but their art styles were so out of tune with the time that I suspect that any work they might have done would have been raked over the coals.  The letters’ page debuts, with letters commenting on the last issue of the color comic as well as the first issue of the new magazine.


    3. cover: Bob Larkin/frontis: Jerry Bingham (Feb. 1980)

                1) Dracula, 1979: And From Order, There Will Come—Chaos! [Marv Wolfman/Gene Colan &

Tom Palmer] 36p

                2) Bloodline: A Probable Outline Of The Career Of Cout Vlad Dracula [Peter Gillis/Gene Colan

& Tom Palmer] 6p   artwork is reprinted from various issues of the color comic The

Tomb Of Dracula

                3) Next Issue Ad [Joe Jusko] 1p

                4) Metamorphosis Of A Vampire [Lynn Graeme/Gene Colan & John Romita, Frank Miller] 3p  

[text article]

                5) Lilith, Daughter Of Dracula: One Curse, With Love [Lora Byrne] 2p   [text story]

                6) Dracula, 1979: Soul Of An Artist [Marv Wolfman/Gene Colan & Tom Palmer] 14p

                7) A Memo From Marv [Marv Wolfman] ½p   [text article, on letters’ page]


Notes: The photos on the cover are dropped but the cover art is only slightly increased in size.  Both Dracula stories are well written & illustrated.  It was especially nice to see the return of Tom Palmer as Colan’s inker.  However, this was the last teamup of the Wolfman/Colan/Palmer crew as Wolfman announces his leaving beginning with the next issue.  The ‘Metamorphosis Of A Vampire’ article concerns a revamping of Lilith, Dracula’s Daughter with new costumes designs by Gene Colan/John Romita & Frank Miller.  Miller’s version is quite striking but, to my knowledge, was never used.


    4. cover: Gene Colan & Tom Palmer/frontis: Freff (Apr. 1980)

1) Dracula, 1980: Angelica [Roger McKenzie/Gene Colan & Tom Palmer] 37p

2) The Dark Beyond The Door: Walking (Nervously) Into Stephen King’s World [Freff & Stephen King]

4p   [text article w/photos]

                3) Dracula, 1823: Death Vow! [Roger McKenzie/John Buscema & Klaus Janson] 20p

                4) Next Issue Ad [Gene Colan & Freff] 1p   [on inside back cover]


Notes: Lynn Graeme is now sole editor.  Palmer paints the cover over Gene Colan’s pencils.  The cover painting now takes up the full cover.  Roger McKenzie takes over the writing chores and, based on this issue, was superbly suited to write this series.  ‘Angelica’ is quite good and ‘Death Vow’ is even better.  Both have tight plot turns and Dracula himself is given a nasty edge to his evil that matches {and in some respects} surpasses Wolfman’s version of the character.  How McKenzie would have done long term on this character we’ll never know, as he lasted only one more issue, but it’s certainly an impressive debut.  Good as Colan & Palmer’s art on ‘Angelica’ is, the art honors here go to a striking art job by John Buscema & Klaus Janson on ‘Death Vow!’  The interview with Stephen King is quite early in his career, taking place shortly after the publication of The Shining.  King’s three children pose with him for photos, which is a pretty good clue that he wasn’t in a security conscious mode yet.  The next issue ad features a Gene Colan illustration taken from a splash page from the color Tomb Of Dracula, with new inking by Freff, whose full name is Connar Freff Conlan.


    5. cover: Howard Chaykin/frontis: Freff (June 1980)

1) Dracula, 1980: Sanctuary [Roger McKenzie/Gene Colan & Dave Simons] 15p

2) Lilith, Daughter Of Death! [Ralph Macchio & Lynn Graeme/Gene Colan & Tom Palmer] 25p

3) P. Craig Russell’s The Curse Of The Ring Portfolio Ad [Craig Russell] 1p

4) Dracula, 1980: Pavane For An Undead Princess! [Peter Gillis/John Buscema & Bob McLeod]


                5) The Tomb Of Dracula Ad [John Romita] 1p

                6) The Dark Beyond The Door, part II: Smack In The Middle Of Stephen King’s World [Freff &

Stephen King] 4p   [text article w/photos]

                7) In A Literary Vein…: Hotel Transylvania/The Palace/Blood Games [Gil Fitzgerald] 1p   [text


                8) Shadow Shows [Tom Rogers] 1p   [text article]

                9) Next Issue Ad [Gene Colan & ?] 1p   [on back cover]


Notes: Howard Chaykin debuts as the cover artist and he’s quite good too.   I don’t usually mention frontispiece artwork but Freff’s work here is quite distinctive.  McKenzie’s ‘Sanctuary’ is quite good but certainly suffers from being only a lead in to the Lilith/Dracula story.  This was McKenzie’s final shot at Dracula and that’s a shame, as I think he could have really done something with this strip.  Lilith returns in a tacky costume that looks nothing like either version spotlighted in #3.  This one gives her the usual cape, along with a bat-symbol bra, bikini panties topped by a slit-to-the-waist transparent skirt, and finished off with pirate boots.  Pretty much as awful looking as it sounds.  ‘Pavane’ was a decent enough story and a real effort was made to make the art special but all it really did was point out the fact that Buscema needed an inker {like the previous issue’s Klaus Janson} who understood horror and its needs.  McLeod’s inking would have been perfect for a SF or fantasy tale but it didn’t really work here.  The next issue ad features Colan’s splash page art for the next issue but the unknown inker is not Dave Simons, who actually inked the published page. 


    6. cover: Howard Chaykin/frontis: Haim Kano (Aug. 1980)

                1) Editorial [Lynn Graeme/Dave Simons] 1p   [text article]

                2) Dracula, 1862: A House Divided [Jim Shooter/Gene Colan & Dave Simons] 30p

                3) The Hulk Ad [Ron Wilson] 1p

                4) Lilith: Violets For A Vampire [Lynn Graeme & Ralph Macchio/Bill Sienkiewicz & Eric Von

Krupp] 14p

                5) Vampires ‘Round The World [Tom Rogers/Marie Severin] 4p   [text article]

                6) Epic Illustrated/Bizarre Adventures Ads [Paul Gulacy/Joe Jusko] 2p

                7) Chelsea Quinn Yarbo: An Alternate Reality [Lora Byrne & Chelsea Quinn Yarbo/John

Tartaglione] 4p   [text article]

                8) Marvel Magazine Ad [Rudy Nebres] 1p   [Red Sonya is featured]

                9) Marvel Preview Ad [Michael Golden] 1p

                10) In A Literary Vein…: The Dead Zone [Gil Fitzgerald] 1p   [text article w/photo]

                11) Shadow Shows: The Fog [Tom Rogers] 1p   [text article w/photo]

                12) Dracula Pin-Ups [Gene Colan, Joe Rubinstein & Tom Palmer] 2p   [last pin-up on inside back



Notes: Final issue.  At least Drac went out in style.  For all the controversy and drama that accompanies Jim Shooter’s every move in comics, the one thing he’s usually had going for him is his storytelling ability.  From his work as a teenager on the Legion Of Superheroes to his two abortive efforts at starting his own companies in the 1990s he’s usually been able to tell a good story.  He does so here with a fine Dracula tale set during the American Civil War.  Bill Sienkiewicz, still in his Neal Adams clone mode, does the Lilith entry and has the smarts to put her in regular, everyday clothes.  Not a trace of the idiotic costume she was wearing only an issue earlier.  The Yarbo interview has a nicely done pencil portrait of the author by longtime Marvel inker John Tartaglione.  Gene Colan & Dave Simons provide the best art.  The final pin-up has Dracula promising “I Will Return!”  He never really did but it was a very nice way to end his series.  One final Dracula story would appear in Bizarre Adventures in 1983 and that was it until Marvel revived The Tomb Of Dracula for a mini-series in 2004, apparently after a highly successful reprinting of the original Dracula stories in their Essential B&W volumes.




                                                                A 2005 Interview with Tony Isabella!


RA: Hello and thank you for the interview.  Can you give us a little background on yourself?


TI: Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1951.  Currently live in Medina, Ohio, with my wife Barbara, son Eddie (16) and daughter Kelly (13).  In my 30-years-plus career, I have been a reporter, editor, writer, retailer, distributor, appraiser, promoter, publicist, consultant, speech writer and held the usual assortment of teenage and student jobs along with several others that defy easy explanation.  Besides comic books, I have a keen interest in social and political issues.  I try to bring my real-world sensibilities to my writing and likely bring more of my progressive views to the work than is financially prudent of me, given the current and hopefully temporary political climate.  In the comics industry, it likewise doesn’t help that I’m over 50 and a vocal supporter of creator rights.


RA: When and how did you discover comics?


TI: I learned to read from comics at the age of four.  My mother used to buy IW comics at Woolworth’s, which was a big department store in downtown Cleveland.  As I understand , Israel Waldman would buy art and printing plates from defunct comics companies and repackage the material under new covers.  I don’t believe they were sold on newsstands.  They were bagged three comics for a quarter and sold in department stores and the like.


My ever-thrifty mom would buy mostly ‘funny animal’ comics and read them to me.  Occasionally, there’d be an issue of the western comic RED MASK in the mix.  I didn’t think about the writers or artists at the time, but I really liked Red Mask and the Blonde Phantom by Frank Bolle and the Presto Kid—a magician cowboy—by Dick Ayers.


When my younger brother came along in 1954—I had a sister who was a year older—Mom had less time to read to us, though she still did it whenever she could.  Based on what I’d learned from her, I was able to puzzle out the reading by myself.


RA: Who were your influences in the comic field?


TI: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Roy Thomas, Robert Kanigher, Len Wein.  Those were the writers or editors whose work were the most direct influences.  I also picked stuff from Julius Schwartz, Dick Giordano, Denny O’Neil, Murray Boltinoff, Bill Finger, Will Eisner, Frank Robbins, Chester Gould, Milton Caniff and too many others to name.


RA: How about writers outside the field?


TI: William Shakespeare, Harlan Ellison, Ed McBain, Neil Simon, Mel Brooks, Lester Dent, Dave Barry, Max Allen Collins, Don Pendleton, Studs Terkel and the afore-mentioned too many others to name.


The thing is…I’m still picking up influences.  Though the comics industry tends to write off creators of my advance years, many of us are still growing, still learning, and still ready to dazzle you anew.  Heck, look at Steve Gerber’ HARD TIME.  Here’s a writer who wrote convincingly and movingly of teen alienation back in the ‘70s and he’s doing it again and better thirty years later.


RA: Were you involved in fandom?


TI: Yes.  I wrote letters to comics editors and had something like 50 of them published.  I wrote for various fanzines from the mid-50s to when I started work at Marvel in October, 1972, and continued to contribute the odd piece here and there afterwards.  I was a member of CAPA-Alpha, the first and best of the comics amateur press associations.  My fan writing got me noticed by Roy Thomas and that lead to my being hired by Marvel.


You could fairly say I’m still involved in fandom, though there is a business element to most of my being involved.  I participate in some online forums and mailing lists.  I work with my pal Roger Price on Mid-Ohio-Con.  I’m even a member of CAPA-Alpha again, though not a very active one.


RA: How did you enter professional comics?


TI: I always want to work in comics and made regular attempts to sell scripts.  What ultimately got me to Marvel was this: I was working for a Cleveland newspaper.  The guild (union) went on strike.  Cleveland being a town where the powerful and wealthy can get whatever they want, out picket line was attacked by Cleveland mounted policemen.  I was knocked to the pavement in the frenzy and got up to see a horse’s hoof descend a couple of inches from my face.  I got up, headed home, and called Roy Thomas—with whom I had been having a friendly correspondence—asking if there were ANY jobs at Marvel.  They needed someone to work with Stan Lee and Sol Brodsky on their line of British weeklies.  The job needed someone with a knowledge of the Marvel Universe—a much smaller, less complicated place back then—and minimal editing/writing skills.  I was hired and I was in New York two weeks later.


RA: I rather liked the horror oriented Tigra {before she became an Avenger}.  Can you tell us a little about her creation?


TI: There were a lot of hands involved in that one.  I’m fairly sure I came up with the idea of turning Greer Nelson into Tigra.  When editor Roy Thomas asked me to write the first issue of Giant-Size Creatures, it all fell into place.  Gil Kane did character designs and my friend Duffy Vohland did some kibitzing while I was working out that first story.


There was a heavy super-hero atmosphere to that first story because that was what I was really into at the time and I would leap at any chance to use Hydra in a story.  But it was my intention that Tigra would appear in both horror and super-hero tales.  I never thought she had to be one or the other. 


I enjoyed writing Tigra.  Her speech pattern was basically Spider-Man with some feminine notes.  Wise-cracking women have always held considerable appeal for me.


RA: How did your work for Marvel’s B&W line begin?


TI: I was already working with Sol on the British weeklies and, since he was also worked on the B&W magazines, I naturally fell into working on them as well.  One of the things I did was assist Stan on Monster Madness, which consisted mostly of old horror movie stills to which Stan would add humorous dialogue with a smattering of text articles.  Stan was impressed with my work, as were Sol and Roy.  Marv Wolfman had been brought in to edit the magazines about this time but the workload was greater than he could reasonably be expected to handle.  That’s when I got promoted to editor of some of those titles.


RA: You worked on Monsters Unleashed #7-10, Tales Of The Zombie #7-10, The Haunt of Horror #3-5 and Masters of Terror #1-2.  How much autonomy did you have in editorial matters?  Could you pick & choose writers and artists? 


TI: You left out The Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu, Planet Of The Apes, and The Legion Of Monsters.  We were putting out magazines as fast as we could and, while horror comics were a big part of out line-up, we were always trying out other things as well.


The issue numbers aren’t as clear-cut, either.  I once tried going through all the magazines for another interview and there were some issues that were mostly my stuff, other issues which looked like I was just pulling together inventory, and still other issues wherein I was surprised at how many of my buys were featured.


I had considerable but not complete autonomy.  I would usually run any character appearances by Roy to make sure I wasn’t stepping on anyone’s toes.  He and Stan were also involved in the cover designs and copy.


As new kid on the editorial block, I didn’t usually get the writers and artists I wanted.  They were being kept pretty busy on Marvel’s color comics and, when they had time for a B&W gig, it was usually for Roy or Marv.  I worked with a lot of new talent and older pros.  Sometimes it was just a case of getting people I knew could fill pages for me with material which was not outstanding but was readable and entertaining.


RA: What were your plans for the magazines’ direction?


TI: Had I stayed on staff longer—it wasn’t much fun at Marvel after Roy Thomas stepped down—Monsters Unleashed would have gone to an all-series format.  My plan was to rotate “stars” {the Frankenstein Monster, Werewolf by Night, Man-Thing, and the Living Mummy} with promising supporting players {Tigra, Gullivar Jones of Mars, and others}.


Tales Of The Zombie would have remained pretty much as it was with a long Simon Garth story and shorter anthology pieces.  That plan changed when I was told the magazine was being canceled which is why I plotted and co-wrote an end to the Garth series.


When I came on, Haunt of Horror was already being twisted around to attract the Exorcist crowd.  I would have mucked up that plan had I stayed on because I didn’t see a whole lot of commonality between Gabriel, Devil-Hunter and Satana.  Gabriel wa well done, but very predictable.  Satana was a mess.  I wrote one Satana script myself just to clear the decks.  Eventually I would have decided on one or the other series for the lead, dumped the other, and rebuilt the title around the survivor.


Masters of Terror.  My hope there was the magazine would sell well enough that I could start commissioning new adaptations and attract the bigger talents to them.  Not all of Marvel’s adaptations worked well, but when they did, they were outstanding.


RA: Can you describe for us an average day {yeah, I know there’s no such thing, but humor me} in the Marvel bullpen? 


TI: For me, it usually involved getting there around 7 am and putting in close to a 12-hour day.  I was young, energetic, and carrying a killer workload.  A couple times a month, I would end up working so late that I used a sleeping bag I kept under my desk.  I was never as organized as I wanted to be, which would have helped me keep to regular (and shorter) hours.


RA: Whom did you enjoy working with?


TI: Darn near everybody there.  The only guy I really disliked was this arrogant accountant-type who thought he was the only professional in the place.  He would literally get angry when he’d see editors and such cracking jokes.  We had words a few times and he tried to get me fired at least once.  Failed miserably.


One of the bookkeepers could be annoying.  There was a great deal of double-billing going on at Marvel and she always wanted to make sure the work was actually completed before it was paid for, which, admittedly, it wasn’t always.  Sometimes you had to do that to get a job in on time.  We worked it out, though, once she understood that my signature on a freelancer’s voucher meant that I was taking responsibility for the work.  I got burned once or twice and had to write scripts for free for writers who screwed me, but there was no instance of Marvel getting ripped off on vouchers I had approved.


From time to time, there would be back-biting going on.  I never paid much attention to it and got bloodied once or twice.  But, to go back to the positive, I really did enjoy working with almost everyone at Marvel.  I mean, Stan, Roy, Sol, Larry Lieber, George Roussos, Dick Ayers, Marie Severin, Mike Esposito, Frank Giacoia, and literally too many others to mention.  I was in fanboy heaven most of the time.


RA: Monsters Unleashed was noted among the Marvel B&Ws for not only for having a very clunky title but for the appearance of having no clear direction as to its format, long term goal or the type of horror it was aiming for.  Early issues appeared to change editorial directions with each appearance.  It seemed cursed with series that were either still born {Wendigo} or whose quality plummeted after the initial {Frankenstein’s Monster}.  You came in about halfway through its run, when it appeared at its most chaotic.  I’m not sure any editor could have saved this magazine at that point but you certainly did improve the quality of the one-off stories, although the series’ entries continued to lurch and frail about.  What were the problems with that particular magazine that Zombie & Haunt Of Horror {or any of the other B&W magazines} did not appear to have?


TI: “Monsters Unleashed” was a terrific title, but I’ll agree about the lack of direction somewhat.  I had a direction I was working toward for the magazine, but I never quite got there.  I wanted rotating series featuring Marvel’s more macabre characters.  Run Werewolf By Night as a lead for a few issues, then replace him with Man-Thing, then replace him with the Frankenstein Monster and so forth.  Not unlike what 2000 AD does with the various strips backing up Judge Dredd.  Of course, if I ever had a character that could have been the MU equivalent of Judge Dredd in terms of “star” power, I would have featured him, her, or it every issue.


There were no special problems beyond the usual too much work and not enough time to fine-tune the magazine…as well as not having enough quality talents to fill the pages as I would have liked.  I had some good writers and some great artists, but I never had the talent pool I needed.


RA: I very much liked the Simon Garth strip in Tales Of The Zombie.  Why did Steve Gerber & Pablo Marcos leave the strip towards the end of its run?


TI: There was no drama involved.  Steve was busy writing for the color comics, which, after all, were the company’s bread-and-butter books and couldn’t continue on Simon Garth.  Pablo was likely working on other things as well.  Keep in mind that Zombie #8 was their last Simon Garth story and #9 was planned to be the last issue of the mag.  Had the run not been extended another issue or two, there would have been no more Simon Garth stories.  In retrospect, I do wish I had gotten Steve & Pablo to write what was supposed to be the last story—even though I thought that Chris Claremont and I did a good job on it—but my strong memory is that Steve simply was not available when the script was needed. 


RA: From the nature of the final Simon Garth story, I assume you took over the writing reins at fairly short notice.  It was a very unusual step for Marvel to provide an actual end for a series, although Warren did it quite a lot.  Marvel generally preferred openended series.  That said, it was a very strong ending and entirely appropriate to the general theme of that series—a man trying to redeem his life after he has died.


TI: Here’s how it went down.  Before I had decided on a replacement for the departing Gerber, I had a meeting with Stan Lee during which he told me Tales Of The Zombie wasn’t doing well and would be canceled and replaced with a new mag.  That’s the moment I came up with the idea of writing a last Simon Garth story and Stan enthusiastically approved the notion.  I knew I needed a writer who could sell what had to be an emotionally satisfying end to the series.  Of those I thought could do it, the only ones available to me were myself and Chris Claremont, who was my assistant editor.  So we wrote the tale ourselves.  It was the best and most expedient way to get the kind of series’ conclusion I wanted.


Ending the series seemed like a natural thing to do.  The magazine hadn’t sold well.  I didn’t see the Zombie character as having any great potential in the color comics.  But here was the chance to do something extraordinary for those few readers who had supported the title during its short run.  I leapt at that chance and, save for the scheduling mishaps that plagued that story {the third chapter’s script was lost in the mail and had to reconstructed over a weekend} and the subsequent and expected return of the series, I was enormously pleased with the final result.


RA: Whose decision was it to revive him? 


TI: I don’t know.  I left staff shortly after finishing my work on what I’d thought was to be the last issue of Tales Of The Zombie and on the concurrent issues of the other magazines I edited.  Somewhere around that time, the decision to cancel the title was reversed and the next issue quickly planned by my successors.  I wasn’t kept in the loop, so I can only assume that they couldn’t get the new story finished in time.


RA: What happened to that revival story—‘The Partial Resurrection Of Simon Garth’?  It missed the deadline for Tales Of The Zombie #10 {the actual last issue} and never appeared.


TI: My memory is that ‘Partial Resurrection’ did see print somewhere, but that could be nothing more than my having seen some pages of it lying around the office on one of subsequent visits.  Although I was no longer on staff, I did continue to edit and write for the company on a freelance basis.


RA: Masters Of Terror was a reprint magazine that you handled, which had quite high quality in both stories and art.  Did you cherry-pick those stories yourself?


TI: Naturally.  Marvel wanted some extra magazines out there and didn’t want to spend a lot of money on them.  So I came up with Masters Of Terror and The Legion Of Monsters.  One was all reprints, the other all inventory material.  I edited these issues on a freelance basis with the understanding that, if they were successful, I’d continue to edit them.  I was trying to position myself as, more or less, an independent contractor who would be working more closely with Stan and Sol than the company’s staff editors.  As part of the deal, I got office space at Marvel.


In the case of Mastes, I had two issues to establish the viability of the title and used the best stories available to me.  I’d hoped the magazine would be successful enough to warrant being continued with all-new adaptations of classic stories by the likes of Robert Bloch, Harlan Ellison, and others.  Sadly, that didn’t happen, but I was quite pleased with those two issues.


RA: Was it enjoyable working on the B&W line?


TI: To a point.  There was never enough money or time to make the mags as good as I would have liked, but I did enjoy the work and working with the writers and artists.  The fun started going out of it fast after Roy Thomas stepped down as editor-in-chief.  There were too many folks jockeying for position in his absence and the place was never the same.  Back then, the best of all possible worlds for me would have been to have had a small fiefdom of black-and-white and color titles and to be reporting to Stan and Sol.  There were some discussions along those lines, but the office politics would have been impossible to overcome.  I eventually threw in the towel and moved back to Cleveland. 


RA: Why did the Marvel horror line get cancelled in one fell swoop?  Was it simply that they weren’t making a profit, or was the competition from Warren and Skywald a factor?  Did horror comics just become passé?


TI: It probably came down to sales, as it usually does.  The mags were somewhat expensive to produce in terms of manpower and the material.  It took a lot of work to fill every issue.  I doubt that competition from Warren or Skywald was even remotely a factor.  However, horror sales were slipping across the industry and that trend was almost certainly a factor.


If I had to speculate—I was not involved in the decisions to drop those titles—I would guess that Marvel decided to keep the B&W titles which were doing well at the time (Savage Sword Of Conan, Crazy, Deadly Hands Of Kung Fu, Planet Of The Apes) and turn its magazine efforts towards new things like Epic, Howard The Duck, The Rampaging Hulk, Marvel Preview/Bizarre Adventures, and even The Tomb Of Dracula.  Savage Sword and Crazy were the most successful, but most of the others had longer runs than the horror titles which launched the magazine line.


RA: Whose work in comics do you follow today?


TI: My comics reading is more hit-or-miss than I would like due to the necessity of reading and reviewing so many different things for my TONY’S TIPS and TONY’S ONLINE TIPS column.  I think the only titles which I’ve managed to read regularly are 2000 AD, Judge Dredd Megazine, and Shonen Jump.  I like the anthology/serial formats of those titles.


Beyond that, my favorites would include manga titles like Iron Wok Jan, Cheeky Angel, Battle Royale, and TTO, Jeff Smith’s Bone, Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo, and others.  I really do like all kinds of comics…from Archie to Fantagraphics to Marvel to DC’s wonderful Golden Age reprints and all around the industry.  I just don’t have enough time to keep up with everything that, if I had more time, I would like to keep up with.


RA: Any final thoughts?


TI: Just this: Despite the ups and downs of the comics industry, and the ups and downs of my own career, I am very happy to have been a part of the field in my own small way.  I got to work with many of my comic-book creator heroes along the way and also to entertain (I hope) a great many readers.  That’s not too shabby.


Fans of my work, past and present, can keep up with what I’m doing and thinking by visiting TONY’S ONLINE TIPS at:


Best wishes to all.


RA: And thank you, Tony Isabella!






                                                                A 2005 Interview With Walt Simonson


RA: Hello, Mr. Simonson.  You’ve had a long and varied career in comics, with work done for most of the major comic companies.  Where did you first encounter comics?


WS: I first discovered comics when I was a kid growing up in suburban Washington, D.C. in Maryland.  I don’t remember the first comic book I read.  All I really remember is that sometime before the age of 10, I was reading comics.  And pretty much, I read whatever comics were coming out—westerns, superheroes, non-fiction, ghost stories, Classics Illustrated, funny animals, science fiction.


RA: When you were starting out in the business, who were your comic influences?


WS: In my early days professionally, my influences would have included Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Holdaway (the original artist on the MODESTY BLAISE newspaper strip), and shortly after getting into comics, I discovered the work of the French artists, Moebius and Jean-Claude Maziares.


RA: I’ve seen pages of your early fan strip, The Outsiders.  Can you tell us a little about that?  Warren writer Gerry Boudreau was the scripter.  Where did you meet him?


WS: I met Gerry when I was in art school at the Rhode Island School of Design.  He was attending the University of Rhode Island at the same time and our mutual interest in comics drew us together.  This was about 1971.  He wanted to be a writer and we eventually decided to collaborate on a comic book we created together called THE OUTSIDERS.  They were a team of superheroes based on the Aristotelian elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.  I drew and lettered the comic and Gerry wrote it.  We did two issues and their publication, as fanzines/ashcans or whatever you want to call them, was financed by the URI literary magazine.  The comics were published in black and white and distributed gratis (I think) around campus.


RA: Did you see the early Warrens, when Archie Goodwin was writing the bulk of them? An astonishing number of future comic professionals first debuted their comics work on the fan pages that Goodwin started at Warren.  Did you ever submit to their fan page?


WS: I came across the Warren magazines fairly early on but not right at the beginning.  I remember seeing work by Joe Orlando, Al Williamson, Roger Brand and a few others.  I enjoyed the magazines and picked them up when I could find them.  I didn’t see them on a regular basis but kept an eye out for them as best I could.  And I back collected a few issues here and there through mail order dealers.  I never did submit any drawings for their pages.


RA: Where & how did you make your professional debut?  What was your first work at Marvel?  Besides Marvel & DC, did you work for any of the other major comic companies of the time—Charlton, Gold Key, etc.?


WS: After I graduated from RISD, I took a portfolio of work—a comic that I had written, lettered and drawn—to New York City and went to DC Comics.  There, I had the good fortune to be able to show my work to Carmine Infantino, who was DC’s head honcho at that time.  He liked what I showed him and saw to it that I was given some short stories to draw.  And from there, I was able to parley those stories, largely thanks to Archie Goodwin, into more jobs and eventually a career. 


The first work I did for Marvel were a few spot illos and a drawing or two for a pulp horror magazine they published (for only two issues, I think) called THE HAUNT OF HORROR about 1973.  I didn’t do any comics work for them until a year or two later when I drew an adaptation of Robert E. Howard’s essay, THE HYBORIAN AGE.  I did help friends on a couple of jobs where I contributed a panel or a page or two, but I think that was without credit.  I also contributed some pencils to a MASTER OF KUNG FU issue that was a round-robin job, several pencilers trying to get the comic book done in 20 seconds because it was so late.  But I think THE HYBORIAN AGE was the first regular gig I had for Marvel that I did by myself.


I also did three TWILIGHT ZONE jobs for Gold Key comics the first year I was in New York.  The first two were 4 page stories; the last a 6 page story.  They would have been published in 1973/74 or thereabouts.  The first TZ job was entitled ‘Nature’s Way’ in TZ #50.  That was my second professional job after my first job for DC.


RA: When did you first meet Archie Goodwin?  What was your first work for him? 


WS: I met Archie the first day I went to DC looking for work.  And a short story I did for him for STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES called ‘U.F.M.’ {which stood for Ultimate Fighting Machine} was my third professional job.  It was a short SF story written by Gerry Boudreau.  Archie liked it well enough to feed me a little work after that and I wrote and drew a couple of Battle Album pieces for him—one on the German battleship, Tirpitz, and one on the Phantom F-4 fighter jet.  I also did my first cover for him on a reprint issue of G.I. COMBAT, a Haunted Tank cover.  And I did a little 3 page story written by Don Krarr about the Alamo.  Archie told me later that the Alamo story, as short as it was, was the story that persuaded him to offer me the art chores on a new backup series he was going to start and put in the back of DETECTIVE COMICS called MANHUNTER.  And the work on ‘Manhunter’ was really the work that established me professionally.  Archie became a close friend and we were able to work in harmony together very effectively.


RA: You appeared in Star*Reach #1 with a very amusing sword & sorcery spoof.  It was written by Ed Hicks.  Who was Ed Hicks?  By the way, I really enjoyed the little running/tripping man who appeared at the bottom of each page and who squashed himself on the panel border on the last page.  Reminded me a bit of James Tiptree’s ‘The Man Who Walked Home’.  How did you get involved with Star*Reach?


WS: Ed Hicks was a friend of mine at RISD and the sword & sorcery spoof was something we did together over the break between the end of classes and graduation in May, 1972.  It was really just done for fun without any thought of having it published.  I happened to have it on hand when Mike Friedrich, who was starting up Star*Reach, got in touch with me and several of my friends—Howard Chaykin and Jim Starlin, among others—in his search for material to publish.  I already had the story finished but because it hadn’t been done with publication in mind, it wasn’t quite the right proportions for a comic book.  So I drew the little strip of the running man beneath it to fill the proportions out correctly.  I hadn’t read Tiptree’s story then {although it became one of my favorites later}, but I’ve always loved animation and a Walter T. Foster book on animation by Preston Blair inspired me to draw the little strip as I did.


RA: One of the best B&W stories I’ve ever read was your collaboration with Archie Goodwin on ‘The Temple Of The Spider’ for Seaboard/Atlas.  How did that story come about? 


WS: Archie began doing some work on Seaboard once they had started up and I was interested as well.  For one thing, Seaboard was paying about double the going rate for pages and this was in the pre-royalty days so that was pretty good money then.  I’d seen a bunch of samurai movies that had been playing a revival house in NYC about that time and was just discovering the work of directors like Kurosawa.  As a child, I’d read some of the Japanese ghost stories of Lafcadio Herne including one involving a shape-changing goblin spider.  So Archie and I got together and worked out that story for one of Seaboard’s black & whites.


RA: Your art style has always struck me as ideal for American versions of samurai stories.  I could see you doing a really good adaptation of Throne Of Blood or The Seven Samurai.  Is that anything that might interest you?


WS: I’ve always enjoyed samurai stories and many of the elements of Japanese design and I would certainly enjoy doing another samurai story sometime.  It’s possible that I’d prefer to do a new story rather than an adaptation but those are great stories and it would be fun and challenging to try to adapt them to a comics format.


RA: Was the Seaboard story ‘Gorgo vs Rodan’ finished?  How long was it?  Any chance it may see the light of day?  It was apparently part of a series, since the coming attractions box for the never published Weird Tales Of The Macabre #3 cites the first story in the series as being done by Gabriel Levy and Howard Nostrand.  Yours must have been intended as the 2nd or 3rd story.


WS: I did complete the Monster X/Winged Terror story.  It was called ‘Capital Punishment’ but was never published.  Mine was the third chapter of an ongoing series written by Gabe.  The first two were also completed as I remember seeing them in the office.  The first chapter was drawn by Nostrand {Monster X} and the second by Enrique Romero Badia {Winged Terror}.


I don’t have the originals myself.  They were lost when Seaboard/Atlas went out of business.  I do have a set of photostats around somewhere, through the courtesy of Jeff Rovin who got them to me on what I think was his last day in the Seaboard offices.  But I’ve no idea if they’ll ever see the light of day.  I believe Jon Cooke ran a few panels in COMIC BOOK ARTIST as illustrations in a long interview I did for him. 


RA: What’s happened {or is happening} with your adaptation of Archie Goodwin’s novella, ‘Stalker: The Darkstar File’?  That’s story’s long been a favorite of mine since I first read it back in 1975. 


WS: It was never completed.  I don’t remember why now although it may have been that the book it was intended for didn’t continue and so the project just faded away after awhile.  I drew a page or two and inked them but never finished the story.  It’s possible that the pages I drew were intended more as submission samples rather than actual publication because I think I lettered them myself and while I’m not a bad letterer, I’m certainly not the best professional grade.


RA: You worked on several stories for Warren, but never inked your own work.  Why was that?  What do you remember about your Warren work?  Did you have any favorites?


WS: I actually did ink/tone one job called ‘Relic’, a SF story written by Bob Toomey.  We did another story with the same characters called ‘Quirks’ that Terry Austin inked.  I’ve forgotten which of them came first.  And I inked three Carmine Infantino jobs for Warren and penciled another job that Klaus Janson inked over me.


I think I was just busy with other four-color work back then and didn’t have time to ink the B&W stories. 


RA: Bob Toomey mentioned that you rewrote parts of his script for the second ‘Quirks’ story for Warren.  He was grateful as he felt you strengthened the story.  Did you often rework scripts?


WS: I don’t really remember rewriting his script but it’s nice of him not just wanting to clock me for it!  I don’t generally rewrite scripts, almost never in fact.  But I’ve frequently worked closely with writers at the plotting stage when the story is taking shape.  I’ve been doing that since Archie and I worked on ‘Manhunter’ together.  He wrote the first few and then as we went along, we began working together on plots.  It was still mostly Archie with me just kibitzing, but I enjoyed working with writers and making some contribution to the stories.  In some cases, the contributions were significant.  In other cases, I just made minor suggestions here and there.


RA: When did you meet Louise Jones?  Was that at Warren?  You did most of your Warren stories while she was editor.  Were you married at that point? 


WS: I met Louise through mutual friends before she was working in comics.  She got a job at Warren and we began dating at almost the same time.  She’d been in magazine publishing already and the Warren job was a step up.  But I had no connections to Warren at the time and had nothing to do with her getting the job there.  Or even with her getting into comics.  Just coincidence.


RA: What were your impressions of Jim Warren or Bill DuBay?


I didn’t know either Jim or Bill well but comics then were a pretty small business and I’d met both of them.  I thought Jim was a very interesting, complex guy.  He could be a wild man one moment and then the most charming creature on God’s green Earth the next.  I knew Bill casually but I don’t think I did any work for him.  I did pencil a Warren frontispiece that Berni Wrightson inked, a headless horseman drawing that owed a lot to the work of J. C. Leyendecker and that may have been for Bill but it was done mostly because Berni was already doing work for Warren.  I don’t think I ever dealt with Bill professionally myself.


RA: As you mentioned, you did do several inking jobs over Carmine Infantino’s pencils.  I quite liked those efforts, as you managed to retain the essence of Infantino’s work while giving it a more modern, or perhaps, exotic flavor.  Alex Nino did much the same sort of thing.  A great many inkers worked on Infantino’s pencils at that point, including many who did no other work for Warren.  Was this an unspoken expression of support by the artists after Infantino’s abrupt firing from DC in 1976?


WS: [With Infantino] it was largely a combination of two things.  The first was that Louise was the senior editor at Warren and she was on good terms with a lot of folks in the comics business.  They were happy to work for her.  The second was that a lot of us were fans of Carmine’s comics and were excited about the prospect of being able to work on his pencils, [especially] since his art hadn’t been available to work on in a long time.  Between that and Louise’s encouragement, Carmine was inked at Warren by any number of really fine artists who volunteered to jump in.  I don’t think there was a political statement being made, at least not deliberately.


RA: How did you come to adapt Stephen King’s ‘The Lawnmower Man’?  That’s probably the best comics adaptation of any King story to appear to date, including the ones Berni Wrightson did for CREEPSHOW.  Did you work directly with King?  How different is it working from an author’s prose story as opposed to working from a comic plot or script?  Do you have the same control over what goes in or out of the page or script?  What was King’s reaction to the adaptation?


WS: I think Denny O’Neil, the editor on the project, asked me if I wanted to draw a King story.  As I recall, Marvel had obtained the rights to adapt one of the stories taken from King’s first collection of short stories.  My recollection is that several of the stories in the collection {but not all} were available and Denny thought that ‘The Lawnmower Man’ would work best in a graphic story format.


I drew the story right from King’s prose.  Then the artwork was sent to King and he wrote the script from the pencils.  We were working Marvel-style, which was the same way Roy Thomas and I had adapted Howard’s THE HYBORIAN AGE            essay to comics earlier.  I don’t find it difficult.  After all, when you’re working Marvel-style, you’re working mostly from a prose plot supplied by the writer.  I didn’t try to draw ‘The Lawnmower Man’ to include every scrap of dialogue in pictures.  I just tried to tell the story as effectively visually as I can.  I thought King did a wonderful job adapting the script, adding touches as needed and really filling out the story to fit the visuals.


But I never dealt with King directly and never spoke to him either during the job or afterwards so I’ve no idea what he thought about the finished work.  But I’m pretty happy with it.


RA: You also worked on the B&W magazine THE RAMPAGING HULK, although Alfredo Alcala’s inks somewhat overpowered your pencils.  Still, I thought your work with him was good for both of you.  You gave the work a fluidity and power that was often absent in Alcala’s own illustrations and Alfredo’s inks give your work a heavy, brooding look that worked just fine for the Hulk.  Unfortunately, the story line in the magazine was silly in the extreme—losing any sense of the original 1962 Jekyll-Hyde tension that Kirby, Lee & Ditko put into the strip.  {Sorry for the editorializing here, I’ve always loved that artwork but was and am disappointed at how silly the accompanying story was—kick me in the kister here, if you need to.}  Were you working from full scripts there or was it done in Marvel-style.  Did you enjoy the results?


WS: I did.  I thought the stories were fun.  And although I do think the original Hulk had the Jekyll/Hyde thing going, didn’t the comic also have stories that included the Hulk fighting the Toad Men from somewhere or other?  That was difficult to take too seriously.  There was a lot of the old Marvel/Atlas monster influence in the early Hulk stories and while the monster stories were often written deadpan, they were filled with monsters that, from a different point of view, were wonderfully funny. 


Although it’s been a long time, I think that Doug Moench and I were working Marvel-style on the stories.  I’m pretty sure I was working from plots rather than from complete scripts.  I was also doing layouts rather than full pencils—didn’t seem much point in penciling tight for Alfredo.  And at that time, I wanted to learn more about being able to get layouts down on the page decisively and quickly.  So doing lengthy stories like the ones in the issues of THE RAMPAGING HULK were perfect for me.


RA: What comic artists or writers do you follow or influence you today?  Anybody you’d like to work with that you haven’t yet?


WS: The one comic book I read consistently, month in and month out, is USAGI YOJIMBO by Stan Sakai.  Consistent, enjoyable, running the gamut from comedy to tragedy, with great characterization.  Always a pleasure.


As far as working with other folks, I’m pretty much game to go in any direction.  There are so many other writers and artists I haven’t worked with yet, that I wouldn’t know where to begin! 


RA: Any writers and artists you follow outside the comics field?


WS: I’m just finishing up the Inspector Morse novels of Colin Dexter.  I’ve enjoyed them immensely and while I’m not always sure what the hell is going on with the murder mystery, I really like Dexter’s handling of characterization and his word-smithing.  He writes rather wonderfully.


I’m also in the middle of a book entitled THE DRAGON SEEKERS about the early fossilists {people who hunted fossils both professionally and academically} in the era right before Darwin.  Fascinating stuff about a critical time in the sciences of geology and paleontology.


RA: I’ve always enjoyed the way your art looks in B&W but it doesn’t happen too often.  Any chance you’ll send in a story to the revived NEGATIVE BURN or see if DC might do an Essential type B&W volume of your work there?  ‘Captain Fear’ would be great in B&W!


WS: I would be delighted to see the ‘Captain Fear’ story reprinted in B&W, partly because it wasn’t very well reproduced either time it was printed and it’s a job I like a lot.  But I expect the chances of it coming out in B&W anytime soon are pretty remote.  Heck, at this point, I’d settle for decent printing in color!  But I’ve got several things on my plate at the moment, including some work once I’ve completed the Elric story so I don’t see myself doing any work for B&W reproduction anytime soon.  But someday!


I did do a short ‘Star Slammers’ story published by Dark Horse in DARK HORSE PRESENTS #114, in 1996.  It was a sort of brief prequel to the STAR SLAMMERS series that I wrote and drew in the early ‘90s.  And it was a set-up for another Slammers story I may do down the road.  That short story was in B&W.


RA: Thank you, Mr. Simonson!






                                                A 2005 Interview With Steve Bissette About Bizarre Adventures!


RA: For some time, Bizarre Adventures advertised a serial or a standalone story that you were supposed to be doing called ‘Kestrel Falconer’.  Can you tell us about that?


SB: In my Kubert School years when we were all trying to get our foot in the door [of either Marvel or DC], I was one of the fortunate ones.   I had already sold work to Heavy Metal—via John Workman, who was the art director there—before I graduated from the Kubert School.  I was one of the first in our class to get my foot in the door in any New York publishing house.  The other early gigs for me were with Bob Stine—he’s  now known as R. L. Stine, the very same man who writes the Goosebumps series—who was the editor of the Scholastic magazine line.  Scholastic art director Bob Feldgus had contacted Joe Kubert about the school doing some of the artwork for Bob Stine’s horror stories in a magazine they were going to launch for a magazine called Weird Worlds.  It was essentially a monster magazine for school kids.  Joe asked me to take on that job and I did the first story for them and although it was signed as by “The Joe Kubert School’, I did everything on the artwork, under Joe’s very strict guidance!  That’s the kind of sample work I was doing, providing the samples I first brought up to Marvel.


The first Marvel editor I saw was Rick Marschall, if I remember correctly.


RA: He’d have been the editor when Bizarre Adventures was still called Marvel Preview.


SB: Yeah!  Rick Marshall and Ralph Macchio were the team in that particular office.  Ralph Macchio was the assistant editor or associate editor.  Ralph and Rick were like a comedy team when you went in there.  They were completely bouncing off each other, goofing on freelancers, management and so on.  They would answer the phone and make jokes about whoever was on the other end of the line, which was a little intimidating because you realized that whenever you called up their office they were riffing off of you.  {laughs}  It was always much easier to go up in person because, at least to your face, they weren’t going to yank you around like they were doing on the phone—or if they did, you’d at least be in on the joke. 


Anyway, Rick liked my samples.  He offered me one gig, which was ‘Into The Shop’, which I drew—adapted really, “Marvel Style”—from a Ron Goulart short story. 


However, the first strip I did was a very strange strip by Roger Stern.  I lucked into it.  I happened to be in the office when another artist had either backed out of a deadline or blown a deadline.  Rick said to me, “You!  Can you do a story?  We need X amount of pages.  Can you do it in two weeks?”  I didn’t even know what it was and I said “Yes, of course I can.” {laughs}


I took it back to Grafton, Vermont, which is where I was living at that time, and I finished it all within the deadline.  I was back two weeks later to the day to hand deliver the job to Rick at his office.  Based on that, I think that’s how I got ‘Into The Shop’.  You might be able to tell me which one came first.


RA: ‘Into The Shop’ was published first.  The other story was actually published in the first issue after the title change—when it went from Marvel Preview to Bizarre Adventures. 


SB: Ok, so ‘Into The Shop’ was the first gig—that’s right, I was still living in Dover, NJ with Rick Veitch, John Totleben and Tom Yeates at that time.  I did that job in Dover, passing pages to Rick Veitch for airbrush toning in spots.  John penciled the waitress on the splash page.  ‘Into The Shop’ was handed to me as a Ron Goulart short story.  It was just photocopied from the pulp it had been published in—it was not broken down into a script.  I was handed a short story and told by Rick Marschall “We’ve got the rights to do this story and you’ll have to do the breakdowns.”  And that was my crash course in the “Marvel method”, where the artist essentially handles all the key storytelling aspects [while the writer provides a basic plot and the final script].  I was told that my pages were sent on to Ron Goulart.  He certainly got the credit, but I’ve no idea who actually scripted it.  I’ve always assumed it was Ron Goulart.  Although I never met Ron, he’s always been very complementary to me in print, in his various articles and books.  I’m hoping he has warm and fuzzy feelings about how I handled the job.  So that was my first gig for what became Bizarre Adventures. 


That was a key story for me in a couple of ways.  That was the first story that I really got a handle on drawing consistent characters.  The way I did it was that I based each character on a movie actor, with the lead, obviously, being played by Clint Eastwood.  That was suggested to me by Vince Fago.  Vince was one of the early comic shop artists, going back to the 1940s.  He had a sweatshop that would do comics for a number of the very early comic publishers.  He later had a comic strip and he edited and handled the production chores on all those Classics Illustrated paperback editions that the Redondo Studio did in the early-mid 1970s.


RA: The ones that Alex Nino, Frank Redondo & his brothers, etc. did?


SB: You got it.  Vince Fago, at the time, was living in Bethel, Vermont and was getting on in years. When I met him he must have been in his late sixties.  I had run into this woman at a bar in Waitsfield, Vermont, while traveling through my old stomping grounds.  If I remember correctly her name was Deborah Merchant, and she saw I was sketching on napkins and stuff and said ‘Hey, I’m working with a cartoonist right now!”  She was working in some capacity with Fago in their household.  She invited me to meet him and I took her up on the invite and crashed at Vincent Fago’s that night.  He took a look at my portfolio and put his finger right on what was missing.  He said ‘You’re not able to draw human faces and keep consistent faces from panel to panel and you’ve got to get a handle on that.”  He suggested to me “Choose actors.  Choose actresses.  Choose people you can get photo references from and use them to teach yourself this skill.  You have to learn this.”  That’s what I did and ‘Into The Shop’ was the first complete story I did following Vince Fago’s advice. 


To make a long story, short—Rick Marschall edited the first issue of Bizarre Adventures [a 1980 issue of Marvel Preview was subtitled Bizarre Adventures and featured reprints of Howard Chaykin’s ‘Dominic Fortune’ character.  It wasn’t until #23 that the actual title change took place—RA].  It ended badly for Rick--he was at a San Diego con, during the Jim Shooter years at Marvel, and while he was at San Diego, they canned him.  They fired him.  He didn’t know he’d been fired until he got back.  I saw this sort of thing happen at least three times at Marvel.  Standard operating practices for them.  {laughs} 


RA:  Marschall’s leaving happened just before the mass exodus of editors, writers and artists from Marvel, many of whom were dissatisfied with then editor-in-chief Jim Shooter and those “standard operating practices.”


SB: Part of that exodus might have been prompted by that sort of behavior on the part of management.  I have no idea what prompted the firing, but I did see how badly it was handled, and how demoralizing it was the people in the bullpen.  It was unbelievable to me that with one phone call I had lost my editor, much less the first editor to give me work at Marvel.  I liked Rick.  I always got on well with him.  We haven’t seen each other in ages and ages though we did exchange postcards now and again well into the 1990s.  I subscribed to Hogan’s Alley [a magazine that Rick Marschall now edits] right from the get go. I got on well with him.   I believe it was Rick who also gave Tom Yeates his first gig at Marvel, drawing a Rolling Stones story or one-shot comic zine—alas, it was never published.  Too bad, Tom had done a crackerjack job on that art.  It was lovely.


Well, anyhoot, Rick Marshall was unceremoniously given the boot.  The next editor to come in was Lynn Grahame.  I don’t know what Lynn’s background was and I don’t know what happened to her after she left Marvel.  She did a few issues of Bizarre Adventures and then she vanished from the Marvel offices.  She contacted me soon after to see if I’d be up for drawing a script she’d written on spec, which I couldn’t afford to do, and I’ve never heard from heror seen her since then.  The one consistent for me was that Ralph Macchio was still the assistant editor.  Ralph became my touchstone during that time. 


So, Lynn Grahame was taking over the helm on Bizarre Adventures.  It was a little disorienting in that she loved my work, she wanted me to do more, but that any time she would accept an idea I proposed, she would want to write it.  And this is my very long response to your initial and very short question… {laughter}…she loved the idea of ‘Kestrel Falconer’.  The basic idea was that this young woman could move effortlessly through time.  She didn’t need a machine or device.  It was just an ability she had.  I was always looking for a hook to do stories during prehistoric times.  It was a constant struggle to find some excuse to do so.  If you look back at my work, I’ve done very few stories with dinosaurs, although that was primarily what I was hoping to do at one point or another.  ‘Kestrel Falconer’ was intended to be the method by which I could do those types of stories.  I pitched ‘War That Time Forgot” stories to Joe Kubert when we were doing back-up stories for Sgt. Rock—no go, the closest I got was my giant hermit crab story, which did see print.  So ‘Kestrel Falconer’ was intended to provide a vehicle for those types of stories.


My premise for ‘Kestrel Falconer’ was that she was following this young man who was a scientist through time.  The ‘hook’ was, he was causing all the mass extinctions—that all the mass extinctions in history were the results of his experiments.  He was essentially working with various forms of biological warfare, trying to perfect a means of wiping out individual species.  What would happen, however, was that his experiments would go wrong and it would wipe out blankets of species, causing these mass extinctions.  My story was founded in paleontology, in that I was going to have him move through the deep, pre-human, pre-historic times, culminating in his causing the extinction of the Neanderthal.  That was going to be his final act—interacting with prehistoric man and destroying them completely.  The coda of my story was going to be that Kestrel begins to suspect that he was also responsible for the great plagues of mankind.  The Black Plague and so on.  There was also a romantic hook, in that he was very handsome, quite charismatic and Kestrel was attracted to him, but repulsed by his amorality and his sociopathic behavior. 


Lynn decided that was a neat premise but she wanted to do the script.  For her proposed script, she decided that this scientist was a racist and that his plague was only going to affect African-Americans.  She decided this was the scientist’s character flaw and she reconceived the entire tale as more of a gothic love story.  That was fine with me.  I liked her idea but I kinda flinched at the same time because her African-American thing pulled the story away from the stuff that I wanted to tell: the prehistoric material, the apocalyptic mass extinctions, and so on.  When you’re an artist, you want to draw what you want to draw and she was pulling it more and more into an urban landscape, reflecting her own life and environment.  It appeared to be heading towards a story about New York City and that didn’t interest me as an artist at all.  I also thought the racism angle diminished the story’s scope considerably: I mean, wasn’t it bad enough that he had wiped out almost all life on earth many times?  No, Lynn wanted to play the race card—oh, well, she was the editor, and now the writer-editor.  It was her call.  At least, I felt so at the time.


Well, Lynn set up the time on the schedule.  She was supposed to have the script to me in April of that year and she never got a script done, while I was getting calls from her as an editor asking me where were the pages?  I said, “Lynn, there’s no script.”  That became a sort of bizarre game we were playing and it became real old very fast.  I eventually started doing pages without a script, only two or three of them, and I still have them in my collection.  One of them I brought to full painted, completed form because she wanted to move Bizarre Adventures into doing more painted art.  Val Mayerik did a story that way and so on and so forth.  But Lynn just never finished the script.  It may have never been started.  I never saw a single page, that’s for sure.


I still have a script of hers in my collection.  After she left Marvel, she got in touch with me and asked if I’d be willing to draw one or two of her stories if we could find a home for them in an anthology magazine.  One of them, I think, was called ‘Holes’ and the premise of ‘Holes’ was that holes began to appear in the material world until they started to appear in people.  It was an interesting premise and I certainly would have pursued it but then Lynn just sort of dropped out of sight and I never heard from her again.  We certainly never completed anything. 


When Lynn was fired, Denny O’Neil was brought in. 


RA: Denny was the one who did most of the horror issues of Bizarre Adventures.


SB: Exactly.  I loved working with Denny.  I had been deeply affected by his writing for DC during the 1970s, his Batman and, specifically his Green Lantern/Green Arrow.  I was certainly familiar with much of his work going back to his Charlton days and it was fun to work with an editor that I knew was also a writer.  There was a bond there that I had enjoyed when I worked with Joe Kubert, when you know the person you’re working with and for is also a creative individual.  That was very liberating.  I ended up doing a couple of stories with Denny.  Denny also cultivated a relationship with my friend, Steve Perry, who at that point I invited in, and Steve and I ended up doing that Dracula story, ‘The Blood Bequest’, together.  It was a very productive time.  It was fun working with Denny.  I wish it could have continued.


RA: Well, you may or may not have looked at the site where this interview is going—


SB: I haven’t as yet.  I didn’t want to prejudice myself before the interview.


RA: That may be a good thing. {laughs}  Sometimes I’m a little bit blunt. 


SB: Well, that’s good.  I like blunt.


RA: Well, I’ve written commentaries on both your Dracula story and ‘A Frog Is A Frog’ and, frankly, I think that the Frog story is the second best B&W story that Marvel ever published, just behind the Steve Gerber/Vicente Alcazar story from The Haunt Of Horror #1—‘In The Shadows Of The City’.  It’s a pretty close call, though. 


SB:  Thank you!  That was a tough story.  First, because as I was drawing it, my first wife, Nancy [now Marlene] O’Connor, and I were going through our first pregnancy which ended tragically in a miscarriage while I was drawing that story.  We not only had a miscarriage, we had a miscarriage at home.  We were alone when it happened.  We went to the hospital after the fact.  I still made my deadline.  But it was horrible, like torture.  It was rough, a really rough time in our life.  All kinds of things were poured into that story as a result—my impending parenthood, our collective pain, the agony in the home, the struggle to just get the story done—all that was poured into those pages of art and that story.


What really fueled that story was a murder case here in Vermont.  I don’t remember the names of the individuals involved but it was quite upsetting at the time, and later was cover in-depth via a ‘true crime’ book [Death Of Innocence: A Case Of Murder in Vermont by Peter Meyer, 1985].  Two pre-teen boys sexually molested and murdered a very young pre-teen girl up in Essex Junction, Vermont.  It sucker-punched the entire state.  We had never, in our recorded history, had that kind of a crime here in Vermont.  That was the sort of crime we Vermonters associated with urban areas.  You know, that sort of thing happened elsewhere…sadly, that’s no longer the case.  It hit me hard because I had grown up there in Essex Junction.  I knew the stretch of railroad tracks where the crime was committed.  I lived there until I was about 4½ years old and visited there as a pre-teen often.  I had relatives there.  So it personalized the atrocity in odd ways—that was the catalyst of the story.


I called up my friend Steve Perry and said, ‘Steve.  We’ve got to do something about this.”  It was really disturbing and upsetting and I wanted someway to articulate the strong feelings it stirred.  So here’s Denny O’Neil offering to do any story we want for the planned Bizarre Adventures violence issue.  For me, I didn’t want to waste the opportunity.  I wanted to do something that really cut to the bone.  A story about what causes that kind of extreme, irrevocable behavior; what causes that kind of crime.  That was the catalyst. 


Steve, being the excellent writer that he is, pulled away from doing a docudrama, so to speak.  He didn’t want to tangle with anything that was too close to what had happened in real life.  He wanted to use that as a springboard for a story that would illuminate these two fictional characters, Wally and Boomas, and find out what made them tick. 


So I’m drawing the story, while slogging through this personal tragedy at home with the difficult pregnancy, and I’m pouring into the story all my fears and concerns as a parent to be.  [Nancy and I] really wanted to have this child and we were fortunate.  Nancy healed up after recovery from the miscarriage itself and we tried again and we had a daughter, Maia Rose, who’s doing very well and is about to turn 23 years old.  I always wanted to be a parent.  That’s why we got married.  And on the other hand, here I was dealing with this very real death—real life and death stuff, and it was happening in my household as I’m finishing the art on that story.  Here I am also, trying to come through like a professional.  I had not missed any professional deadlines at that time.  My reputation was still good.  And I made the deadline, I got it in on time, despite what was happening personally.  Ralph Macchio appreciated that. 


However, my reward was a phone call from Marvel, a single phone call, saying “Steve, we can’t give you the reasons, but even though we promised you a copyright on your story, you can’t keep copyright on your story.’  It was taken away with one phone call.  I had signed the blanket work-for-hire contract that Marvel put out in 1978.  It was a condition of being paid for work completed on ‘Into The Shop.’  I don’t know if you remember when all that stuff came down. 


Neal Adams had posted public warnings in The Comics Journal and The Comics Buyer’s Guide saying to young professionals, LIKE ME, “Don’t sign this.” However, I was forced to sign it.  I finished the story ‘Into The Shop’ and was given that contract the day I had delivered the final pages.  I was told “We can’t pay you unless you sign this contract.” It was basically extortion, really.  It wasn’t just my rent that hung on payment for ‘Into The Shop’, it was the monthly rent for all my buddies—Tom Yeates, Rick Veitch, John Collin and myself lived in the same apartment.  We were living hand to mouth.  One of us would be able to come up with the rent that month based on the freelance work we could cobble together.  So I signed and, based on that retroactive contract, with one phone call, I was told we would no longer have the copyright to ‘A Frog Is A Frog’. 


We were given no explanation but I always presumed that it was because we featured the cover to that issue of Bizarre Adventures in the story itself.  It was absolutely a key function of that story that the characters were reading the very comic that you, as a reader, were reading.  But Marvel gave no explanation. 


One day I’m going to reprint that story, not so much as a rebuff to Marvel, but because Steve Perry never did sign that blanket work-for-hire contract, and in fact signed nothing regarding Marvel’s claim of copyright on the story.  Nor did I, really; I mean, there was no followup from Marvel on the phonecall, they were just asserting the claim the 1978 blanket work-for-hire contract provided, despite the agreement up to that point that the story belonged to Steve and I, that we owned the copyright.  Push come to shove,  Marvel doesn’t really have a legal leg to stand on, to claim that they own the copyright to that story. 


RA: Just change the cover in the story.


SB: Exactly, we’re just going to change the cover.  One day I’m going to find a home for that story.  I’ve already arranged with and paid Steve Perry for the rights to reprint it one time in an anthology and I do want to run it.  What I’ll do is run the cover of that anthology in place of the Bizarre Adventures cover that was originally there.  There’s also a minor change that Steve has agreed to—expanding one page to a more expansive two-page sequence, thus altering the content significantly—that would arguably revamp the story enough to offer further legal protection.


RA: Great!  I’d buy it.  Again.


SB: Well, I’ll rush it into print again, given what you’ve just said to me.  {laughs} But the point is, it was a real sucker punch for me and after that, and it was a hard life lesson.  I never again, NEVER AGAIN, put a deadline for a comics publisher in front of life issues.  After that, my family always, always came first.  I never again let a deadline intrude on life issues, much less life-and-death issues.  I’ve paid the price for it.  I’ve gotten the reputation for missing deadlines but…fuck them.  That was such an ordeal that my wife and I were going through and I worked through it diligently, and then THAT was the reward, having my copyright taken away.  It just tore me up.  After that I made a vow to myself—“I’m a parent now. I’ve got kids.  They come first.  My life comes first.  The people in my life come first.  I don’t give a shit about these publishers.”  Marvel’s behavior showed me the real extreme of how the industry worked.  They were just that callous.  


If the cover was why they took the copyright away—and it had to be something like that, because look at that issue.  Every other cartoonist in there has their own copyright.  If it was the cover, then there were other ways to deal with that legal matter.


RA: That’s true.  The copyright notices are listed right under the first page of many of the stories. 


SB: In fact, Frank Miller told me that his story in that issue was the first story that he ever owned.  At that time, Frank was really hot.  He was on a roll with Daredevil and it was really catching fire with sales and publicity and accolades from the comic press—but he owned none of it.  So, anyhoot,  we were treated as if, and paid as if, we owned the copyright on ‘A Frog Is A Frog’ but it was taken from us with one phone call.  There were plenty of solutions.  If they’d have told us, it’s the cover, we’d have changed it to protect our copyright, or provided a byline for the cover copyright and signed a contract stipulating any reprint would not feature that cover in the artwork.  But that wasn’t presented to us as an option.  There were no negotiations.  That was just a real turning point for me.  I’ve never since put a comic publisher’s needs in front of my family because it wasn’t worth it.


That’s the story, though, of the blood and sweat within that story.  {laughs}  Very literally. 


RA: Well, there’s one thing that I’d like to mention that I put in my review: that, in both the art and the script, there’s a really good job of portraying that natural fascination that teenage boys—boys going through puberty—have  with perversity.   Not just sexual perversity, maybe not even mainly sexual perversity, but the stuff that allows them to enjoy horror magazines like the EC books, Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, the Skywald material, true crime stuff, Garbage Pail kids, dead baby jokes, etc.  The fact that kids, boys especially, love horror comics.  I thought ‘A Frog Is A Frog’ contrasted that natural interest in perversity with the psycho-sexual perversity that the disturbed boy in the story had very effectively.  That natural inclination was used as a backdrop to the actual events taking place in the story.


SB: I hope it read as such that we were also pointing out that the comics aren’t a catalyst or a cause.  It was the thoughts and fantasies and the personality of the perpetrator that drives him to the extreme he goes through.  The kid’s already got problems.  One of the frustrations in doing this story was that we wanted to give a snapshot of both boys’ lives at home but there just wasn’t space.  When you’re doing a short story—‘A Frog Is A Frog’ is ten pages—every page, every panel counts.  I’m really glad I cut my teeth in comics doing self-contained short stories because you really learn how to tell a story.   You also really learn how to cut to the bone.  You have to trim away the fat, even if you love that fat.  It’s gotta go.  You’ve got a minimum of pages where every panel of every page is vital.  If it doesn’t move the story or the characters or the atmosphere forward in some way it goes.  Steve and I really struggled with that.  We ended up keeping the family scene with the good boy, Boomer, while we dropped the scenes with the disturbed Wally’s family.  We did retain the father/son scene where there’s warmth and a clear home life there that’s nurturing for that particular character.  We had to leave out the other boy’s home life because what he did in that story took care of the lack of background on his home life.  What he did made it clear that the kid was disturbed, that he did not have a happy home life.  We didn’t want to go with a glib explanation for his behavior.  We wanted to leave that open, instead of hammering it home.  We thought the reader was smart enough to put that together. 


RA: It was probably more horrific for the reader to not have the bad kid’s motivations spelled out.


SB: Exactly.  His actions communicate his pathology quite clearly, though we weren’t in any way explicit about what he’d done.  That’s the same reason that we decided, not to sound too clinical, to NOT show the crime.  We would not show what he had done in that treehouse.  Seeing just the nail and the blood the torn piece of fabric was all you needed to know.  We left it at that and I think it’s a much more powerful story for that.  That wasn’t something we arrived at after the fact.  It was in Steve Perry’s first draft of the script.  He knew from the start that this kid is nailing frogs to the wall and the reader would make the leap at the end as to what he had done to this little girl, or enough of what he might have done, to be mortified.  NOT knowing made it much, much worse.  I’m very proud of that story.  I still think it’s one of the best things I ever did in comics, period. 


RA:  I think it’s one of the top 15 or 20 stories I’ve ever read in comics.  I really like that one.  A perfectly horrific story with a great many things to say to the reader on many levels.


SB: Well, thank you.  The sad thing is that so few people have seen it.  Bizarre Adventures did not sell particularly well.  It was definitely a lower echelon Marvel publication.  Depending on what part of the country you live in, the print jobs were atrocious.  As an artist, I was really exploring what I could do with black & white half-tones.  I was really pushing the envelope with that story as well as with ‘The Blood Bequest’, for what the printing methods of the time could reproduce.   I saw after the fact, when I was at conventions signing issues, that with some of the issues that were distributed out there—well, the printing was just awful.  The grays would coagulate into patches of black.  Marvel’s printing of Bizarre Adventures was just not at the level of what I was enjoying over at Scholastic.  So, I abandoned that approach to my art, which is too bad.  I was doing some solid work, but it wasn’t appropriate for the venues available to me.


RA: Marvel had the shoddiest printing of any of the B&W magazines.  They were much worse than either Warren or Skywald.  The contrast was often glaring.  Even Charlton, whose printing process was probably the worse of all the comic companies of the time--their B&W magazines looked as good as anything Marvel did and Marvel was the biggest publisher of the day doing B&W comic magazines.


SB: So the problems with ‘A Frog Is A Frog’ led to ‘The Blood Bequest’ being my last half-tone story.  At that point in comics history, particularly with that publisher, Marvel, the print quality just wasn’t up to handling the artwork I was doing.  I was using the wrong tools.  I ultimately took responsibility for that and stopped doing it.  It was sad, because I thought I’d really worked up to a level of skill and expressive abilities that it was hard to step away from. 


RA: Well, I agree that those two stories are some the blackest, darkest B&W stories I’ve ever seen, in terms of the color on the page. 


SB: If you could see the originals, you’d be startled at the subtle gradations of tone and so on, that just are not visible in the printed version.  I was working with tonal college, painted primarily with wash and water color.  I was really pushing what was possible.  The editors loved it!  When they looked at the originals, they’d go “Ah, this is great!”  But it printed terribly.  And this was before Photoshop and PC’s—I was doing pretty much elaborate collage in some panels and page, expanding on what was possible in a black-and-white painted venue.


RA: OK, the Dracula story, ‘The Blood Bequest’, came out just before or at the same time that you started on Swamp Thing, which at that time was scripted by Martin Pasko.  Was ‘The Blood Bequest’ done before?


SB: It was done just before.  In fact, that latter part of that story was done with John Totleban as a litmus test of how well we could work together in a pressure-cooker situation.  Denny O’Neil was still editor.  He had really loved ‘A Frog Is A Frog’ and he asked Steve and I if we’d tackle a Dracula story for a Halloween issue of Bizarre Adventures.  Marvel thought that photo cover for that issue was a great idea.  I hated that cover!  {much laughter} 


RA: I thought it stunk.  Preppy boy sucks blood!


SB: Perhaps if they’d gotten him bigger fangs, or selected a leaner, older model for the Dracula figure…I don’t know, it looks like a poster for a Mexican monster movie, sans wrestler hero. 


RA: It was even stranger, since I know they had a Paul Gulacy cover or cover layout available because they used it for an ad in an earlier issue. 


SB: I could never figure out why they did that.  I mean, we could talk about Marvel until the sun goes down.  I’ve got some great stories for you. 


RA: That poor guy was the most non-threatening vampire that I’ve ever seen. 


SB: Exactly!  {laughter}  I remember leaving the Marvel offices around that time and there was this wino out on the street and I remember thinking he’d have been a great Dracula for that cover! 


RA: The cover guy looked like he stepped out of a frat bar at Harvard or something.


SB: Right!  He may have even been one of the staff members. I never got the story behind that cover.  At that time they had John Bolton doing covers for them.  Bolton was the first of that generation of British cartoonists to make the transition over to America, through his work for Marvel at that time.  John initiated that wave of British talent entering US comics, really.  They could have gotten John to do the cover.  There were plenty of better options. 


RA: Yeah, strange.  If there was one cover that could kill a magazine, that one would have done it.


SB: Well, there was only one issue after that one.


RA: Right.  And that last issue wasn’t a magazine version any more.  It was sort of a cross between a B&W and a color comic.  It was a black, white & red Christmas issue with terrible stories & art. 


SB: Yeah, it went to a comic format for the last issue.  I never understood the printing in red.


RA: It was a pretty ugly book.


SB: Anyway, Denny asked Steve Perry and I to team up again and do a Dracula story.  What Steve and I wanted to do was a real origin story.  We cooked up Varnae the Vampire, which obviously came from the pre-Bram Stoker vampire novel, ‘Varnae The Vampire’.  Steve and I had been friends since college.  He knew my interests.  He knew my strengths.  We cooked up the idea that the first vampire would be proto-human.  He was a Gigantopithecus, a true prehistoric man; a pre-human.  This was the first vampire—the  primal vampire—and that’s what we hooked the entire story on. 


We went back to Marv Wolfman’s and Neal Adams’ origin story of Dracula himself that appeared in Dracula Lives #2.  That was one of Neal Adams’ best Marvel jobs.  It was just a brilliant story and origin.  We literally timed some of the key sequences in our story to fit between the panels of key sequences of the Wolfman/Adams story.  You can pick them out.  We wove our story in among their story.  We actually copied three panels of Neal Adams’ story so that it would become obvious to the attentive reader where these events fit into the previous account of the origin of Marvel’s Dracula—honoring our wellspring, and really weaving our retroactive account of ‘the real story’, quite extensively into the tapestry Marv and Neal had created. 


There were a couple of problems.  First off, it was a very tight deadline.  That story was drawn over the summer of 1982.  During that time period the wife and I moved not once, but three times.  {laughs}  The housing situation changed because a landlord passed away and it was very difficult to stay on top of that story while moving three separate times.  I was working very, very late hours.  I would go to work right away when I got up and I would work straight through until I couldn’t stay away any longer.  I remember one night working on one of my favorite pages from that story.  It’s the one with a huge closeup of Varnae and that panel actually began to scare me.  Not just disturb me but scare me!  It was one of the few times something I’d drawn really got under my skin.  That’s when I went to bed.  I loved it though.  I said “Wow! I finally drew something that bothered me.” I was also still recovering emotionally from both the miscarriage and Marvel’s ill treatment of Steve and I over ‘Frog’—the latter a condition most freelancers work under, one time or another, if not their entire career.


Second, there was a lot of unrest in Denny’s office at that time.  He was under a lot of pressure.  I’m not aware of what it was, and he never told me after the fact.  Our fear was that Denny would get canned from Bizarre Adventures like Rick Marschall and Lynne Grahame and the magazine would get canceled before we had finished ‘The Blood Bequest’.  We were really working hard to stay on top of it.  So when John Totleben volunteered to come out and stay with me for a few days, I jumped on it.  He and I had already been confirmed for the job of doing Swamp Thing after Tom Yeates left the title.  We’d done some audition pages for Len Wein [a DC editor at that time] and Len went with it.


Anyway, John came out and we wrapped up that story.  John did the finished work on a number of pages in there.  The page where Varnae walks out into the sunlight and allows himself to decay, for example, is classic Totleben.  If you look at the original: the printing obliterates that being as visible as it is on the original.  John handled much of that sequence.  ‘The Blood Bequest’ was where John and I discovered that we worked well together—hell, we got along beautifully.  It was a hoot!  We had a lot of fun.  Our spirits were high and even though it was an uncomfortable situation, a pressure cooker situation, we got it done. 


Adding to all this was the fact that two of Nancy’s and my best friends were about to have their second child.  I remember my wife got on the bus to go to Stowe, Vermont, when she got the call that the contractions had started.  I finished the last two pages—I was doing the pages out of order—the pages in which Nimrod dies.  The worst two pages in the story {laughs}—God, they were just abysmal—were the last two that were finished.  I got them out via Fed-Ex that morning and I got on the bus that night, then walked the ten miles from the bus stop in Waterbury to their home in Stowe and showed up just after our friend successfully delivered their second child.  Man, what a loopy time that was.  It’s amazing anything of any quality came out of it all.


It was a real interesting time in my life—I can say that now, having survived it all.  But you put your finger right on it.  That story came out just around the time my first or second Swamp Thing issue came out.  It was indeed John’s and my first professional gig together. 


RA: Thanks, Steve!  For fans of Mr. Bissette or the B&W books, you can read additional Steve Bissette material on my Taboo page, also located at  He also has his own site at and blog at  Enjoy!




                                           A 2006 Interview With Tim Conrad!


RA: Thanks for agreeing to the interview, Tim.  We appreciate it.  Can you tell us a little about your background?


TC: Man, that’s been a loong time.  God!  As of next Friday, I will officially be a senior citizen.  I’m going to actually turn 55! 


I was born and raised right here in Springfield, Illinois.  I’ve lived here pretty much my whole life.  The only time I’ve been away was when I went to college about 90 miles away in Macomb and for about five years in the early 1990s I lived in Taylorville.  But otherwise it’s all been Springfield. 


About 50 years ago I happened into a Five & Ten and, for a dime, bought a copy of Superboy.  That was my first comic and everything kind of went from there.  I read comics fanatically all through my childhood.  That and Edgar Rice Burroughs.


I loved Burroughs!  He was an awful writer but a great storyteller.  But the main thing for me was the creatures.  The visual aspects of his worlds.  I liked the images that he created—the ruined cities, the Mars creatures and—boy!  In fact, I heard they’re going to make a movie from A Princess Of Mars.  Boy, I can’t wait to see that with all this current computer animation!  I can’t wait to see how they do the green guys.  {laughs}


Than, like a lot of kids, I pretty much quit reading comics and Burroughs in high school.  I started reading what you might call hardcore literature.  I went off to college to major in hardcore literature.  It was at that time when Marvel Comics came out with Conan The Barbarian.  I fell in love with Barry Smith’s artwork and got into my own artwork again.  Also loved Jeff Jones and Mike Kaluta, they were right up there too.


Then a year or so after I got out of college, I found out about a comic convention up in Detroit, which isn’t too far away from here.  Just for the fun of it, me and a friend of mine decided to go up to the convention.  Barry Smith was going to be the guest there and I wanted to meet this guy.  So we did, and we had such a good time that we decided to go to the one in New York a few months later.  Before doing that, I happened to sit down and draw a picture of Conan in Barry Smith’s style, which is the style I really liked then, and I took that to New York with me.  Roy Thomas came along.  He liked it and bought it and that put me in the business. 


RA: That drawing appeared in Savage Sword Of Conan?


TC: Yeah, that’s right.  I did a detailed map of Conan’s world too and it was published there also. 


RA: The first story I noticed of yours was in 1975.  You did a short adaptation of an Otis Kline science fantasy tale for Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction. 


TC: Right, that was a 5 pager.  That was the very first thing that Roy gave me to do.  I did that, then the next thing you know, he asked me to do a Conan story.  I did that.  Then the projects got bigger and the stories got longer. 


RA: The first big project I remember you doing was an adaptation of Robert Howard’s ‘Worms Of The Earth’.  A Bran Mak Morn story.  That was a fairly early job too, wasn’t it?


TC: It was in that same time frame.  I had done only a few odds and ends for Savage Sword.  Then Roy called me up one day and said that they had a story that Barry Smith had started but he’d only penciled the first four or five pages. 


RA: Every reference I read says that Barry penciled at least seven or eight pages but I only see his work in maybe the first five. 


TC: Well, he actually did do more.  It was kind of weird.  The first three pages were really finished pencils.  Very finished pencils.  Then the next two pages were pretty finished. Then there was a page that was half finished.  He’d done all the blue pencil but he hadn’t gotten into the real hardcore penciling yet.  Then there were several more pages where the penciling gradually got less and less and less.  The last page was more or less thumbnail work.  I had to pick up more and more and more of the penciling work.  That was probably kind of good because it made for a very gradual, gentle transition from Barry’s work to mine.  My artwork isn’t the same as Barry Smith’s.  That gradual transition made it easier for the reader to accept my work.  It was a good deal.


RA: I know that the story was originally started in 1973 and intended for the first issue of Mike Friedrich’s independent comic, Star*Reach.  It was supposed to be a complete 32 page adaptation in the very first issue.  For whatever reason, Barry seemed to lost interest in the project at some point early on.


TC: Really?  I don’t know if I knew that at the time or what.  I have no idea why Barry dropped the project.  Uh, look, there’s something I should tell you right now.  It’ll help you understand any confusion I may be showing?  About 11 years ago, in Jan. 1995, a 93 year old lady ran over me and my motorcycle.  I was in a coma for several months.  My left side doesn’t work anymore.  I had what they call a traumatic brain injury.  One of the weird effects of that whole experience is that my memory is like Swiss cheese.  There’s plenty of it.  The information’s there but all of a sudden there’s these really weird holes or gaps.  I just can’t always grab the memory when I want to. 


RA: Damn.  Umm, I’m sorry to hear that.  I’ll keep it in mind.  If there’s something you know but can’t remember today, we can always do followup questions later.  Do you want me to include that information in the interview?


TC: Sure, I don’t care!  No reason to put it off the record.  It’s there.


RA: OK.  Then, if you don’t mind the question, are you still able to draw?  I mean, I haven’t seen your work in about 15 years or so.  I don’t know if you’re left handed or right handed.


TC: Oh, yeah, thank God!  I’m right handed.  My left side is the one that doesn’t work anymore.  I can still draw.  Even better than that, for the first time in my life, I get to draw just what I want to draw.  Everything I did before was something that somebody paid me to do, so I was always drawing what somebody else wanted.  Now, for the first time in my life, I just sit here and paint what I want to paint. 


RA: That sounds all right.  What is the subject matter of your current paintings?


TC: They’re what I call manscapes.  I’ve invented a word!  They’re really elaborate, extensive paintings of places like Tokyo and New York City.  Places that man has invented or built or placed on the world.  Not landscapes but manscrapes.  I’m currently looking for references for the largest garbage dump in the world! {laughs}  You get the drift?


It’s the 21st century and this planet has a disease that’s called human beings.  You can’t go anywhere without seeing the effect of people on the whole planet.  I think landscapes were a 19th and 20th century concept so I’m going for manscapes. 


RA: That sounds interesting.  How large are the paintings we’re talking about?


TC: Anywhere from 18” X 20” to 3’ X 4’.  I’ve actually done some on canvas, which I’ve never done before, but mostly they’re on heavyweight illustration board. 


RA: What kind of medium are you using?


TC: It’s somewhat of a mixed medium.  About 90% of it is acrylic and 10% Prisma Pencil.  Prisma is a brand name.  The pencil is a soft-colored pencil that’s about halfway between the hardness of a regular colored pencil and the softness of a crayon.  It’s somewhere in-between.


It’s kind of nice to be working on them.  I haven’t exhibited any of it yet so, therefore, I haven’t sold any of it yet but…


RA: You might want to exhibit it on ebay.  I know that somebody, I think it’s…maybe Mike Zulli, whoever, but he puts up paintings for sale on ebay.  He scans the painting so folks can see what they’re bidding on and seems to getting some pretty good offers on it.  


TC: I’ve thought of that too.  Problem with technology is that this 21st century stuff is kind of passing me by.  I’ve got a scanner but it’s not big enough for the paintings!  I have to figure out how to scan them so you can see the whole painting.  Maybe use a digital camera.  I’ll have to get my oldest son, he’s in college in computer stuff, to show me how.  {laughs}


RA: Well, I’m glad to know you’re still painting.


TC: So am I!  Yes, indeed.


RA: Now on your work on ‘Worms Of The Earth’, was that done with an airbrush? 


TC: No!  Well, it probably had some airbrushing in it but, for the most part it was just pen & ink and…well, at that time, they made this range of magic markers that had all different shades of gray.  From 10% to 100% gray.  That’s what I did the majority of ‘Worms Of The Earth’ in. 


RA: That story really seems to have marked a giant leap forward in your artwork.


TC: Thanks!  That technique led directly to Toadswart d’Amplestone.  Do you remember that serial? 


RA: Yes, I do.  It ran in Epic Illustrated.  I really liked that story.  I wish it was still in print.


TC: Yeah, it’s out of print now.  That one was done in acrylics.  There was an acrylic set that came out in the same format as the magic markers.  Different shades of gray, in the same format of 10%, etc.  Shades of gray acrylic.  That’s what I did Toadswart d’Amplestone in.  They don’t even make that stuff anymore.  {laughs}  Happens all the time to artists.  You find something you really like…a type of paper, a particular marker or pen…and the company drops the product.  Art stuff can have a short shelf life.  Of course, when you get to be my age, EVERYTHING has a short shelf life.  {laughs}


In fact, for the last couple of years, I’ve been sitting in front of the computer, using photoshop.  Are you familiar with that?


RA: Well, I’m not an artist but I do know of it.  Can’t use it, but I know of it.


TC: Well, to me, it’s a new medium!  That’s all.  Just a new medium.  I can apply all of the theoretical aspects of art that I’ve learned over 30 years.  I just have to apply them to this new medium.  It’s a learning process and that’s what I’m doing. 


RA: That reminds me of a story I read today.  Alan Moore’s From Hell book is apparently having some difficulty getting a new printing.  The original artwork was all done on film and the printer apparently was having problems dealing with anything that wasn’t digital.  The collected book’s only about seven or eight years old but that’s how technology is changing things.


TC: Wow, that’s amazing.  Well, the way it is now, I wouldn’t actually have to send out the actual art.  Just scan it and send the digital images.  There’s probably artists who do all their work on the computer and there is no actual piece of art.  Just the digital image. 


RA:  True.  Back to the comics, Roy Thomas talked about Almuric for a long time before it actually appeared.


TC: Right.  Originally that was going to be a monthly comic thing.  A regular monthly comic book format, maybe appearing in Marvel Feature.  Then Epic Illustrated comes out and Roy decided he wanted it to go in there and that’s when I decided to do it totally hand colored.


RA: It was nicely done.  I think that Epic is also where I first saw your cover art paintings. 


TC: Yeah, besides Almuric, I wrote and drew some color stories for Epic.  I also did some covers.  This would all have been in the late 1970s, early 1980s.  I also did Toadswart for Epic.  My oldest son was born in 1981.  My second son was born in 1984.  It was a couple of years after that that I decided I had to get a real job.  Hard to raise a family on freelancing.


RA: What was the real job?


TC: I went into advertising.  I became the marketing director and vice president for a chain of banks.  You know, “real work.”  That kind of stuff.  I kept my hand in the fantasy and comic work as much as I could but it wasn’t very much.  A story or cover here and there.  I did cover paintings whenever I had the chance.  I pretty much quit interior work altogether.


RA: Yeah, the last story I think I saw of yours was one called ‘The Alley’ in a Rich Corben book.  That would have been 1991 or so.


TC: Yeah, that would have been his last self-published comic.  Horror In The Dark.  You know, I’ve got a stack of old comics sitting here so I can reference them while we talk.  {laughs}  I did that last one for Corben.  I also did some work for Eclipse.  I did an Airboy cover, #39, I think, that I really liked.  Maybe some stuff for Pacific, too.


RA: Actually you did a fair amount of stuff for Pacific.  You had a couple of backup strips in one of Jack Kirby’s books. 


TC: Boy, I don’t remember that at all and I don’t see any Kirby books here. 


RA: They were in the back of his Captain Victory comic.  Two stories—one was called ‘Rainmaker’ and the other was ‘Off On A Comet’.


TC: Oh, yeah!  I remember that now.  Vaguely.  Don’t know why I don’t have copies of them. 


RA:  I always thought that your stuff and Kirby were an odd match.  About 180 degrees apart in approach. 


TC: Oh, for sure.  I think I just did them for whatever editor I was working with at the time.  He probably needed backup stories and I either had a few on hand or was willing to do them for him. 


RA: Well, the editor would have been David Scroggy.  Around late 1982 or early 1983.


TC: Yeah, that name sounds familiar. 


RA: Your other Pacific stories were in Twisted Tales #1, Pacific Presents #3-4 and your own one-shot title, Thrillogy.  I really liked the story, ‘All Hallows’, in Twisted Tales.  Kind of like a Nightmare On Elm Street story, although your story came out long before the first movie.


TC: Right, that’s the one where the kid gets burned.  Bruce Jones wrote that.  He did a good job.


RA: Looking at the story right now, the parallels to the Nightmare films seems even more pronounced.  It’s got three kids who got their buddy killed on All Hallows night years before.  He’s doused with gasoline and burned alive, which is pretty darn close to the Freddy Kruger origin. 


TC: Yeah.  It does kind of look like that.  Maybe Bruce outta sue them.  It was his story all the way.  {laughs}


RA: He’s probably noted the similarity himself.  He was in TV and movies himself for a while in the mid-1980s.  Anyway, you did a series for Pacific Presents—‘Eerie Smith and Walter Weary’, that ran for two episodes, but the third and final one never appeared because Pacific went out of business.  Was the story ever actually finished?


TC: Nope.  Just those first two chapters.  That’s all I did.  In fact, I was surprised when I was going through my comics because I remember the first chapter.  I did a cover for that one and a copy of the cover is hanging in my studio.  For some reason I like that cover.  But I didn’t remember the second chapter being published.  But it’s right here,  in a book where the cover is by Ian Akins. I just didn’t remember that they had published the second chapter of Eerie Smith until I found it in that comic today. 


RA: I actually quite like that story.  It’s a bit like Alan Moore’s ‘Jack B. Quick’ series, mixed with a bit of Mr. Peabody & Sherman.  Kinda of wish it’d gotten finished.


TC: Yeah, I had a lot of fun with that.  I read the second part today for the first time in 23 years and I have no idea where I was going with it.  {laughs}  No idea whatsoever! 


RA: Sometimes that’s the best kind of story.  If you surprise yourself with the ending, you stand a pretty good chance of surprising the reader too.


TC: Right!  I think that Pacific was a new company and they let the writer do just about anything they wanted, which was really good.  I set Eerie Smith up so I could go anything with it but then Pacific went under…  Ah, well. 


RA: You did a number of portfolios in the early 1980s.


TC: Yeah, I did them for a guy in Kansas City.  One was called The Elements and the other was called Nightmares.  No, there were two of them in the dream series—one called Nightmares and another called Daydreams. 


RA: You also did the Thrillogy book.  It had the science fiction story in it with that beautiful first page.  Almost as detailed as Al Williamson’s ‘Food For Thought’ story from Incredible Science Fiction, back in the 1950s. 


TC: Yeah, I had three stories in that.  The SF one, and the caveman story and the medieval story.  You know, I’m looking through this and I’m thinking is how bad the coloring was. 


RA: Well, it certainly is in spots.  I actually like the faded rose hues used for the SF story, though.  The story’s set on Mars and all those reds and pinks actually work.  The medieval one would probably have looked better in black & white.  Looking at the whole book, it does look a bit washed out.  Certainly not the typical coloring you see at that time.


TC:  I’m looking at the inside cover and the whole book was colored by a friend of mine here in town.  He was a guy who always wanted to get into comics and never quite made it.  It  was lettered by another friend of mine.  Looks like the whole book was produced in town! 


You know, there was a time when the comic companies were making the switch from newsprint paper to better grade paper where everybody was having trouble with coloring.  They were still using the same palette for the better paper that they used for the cheap pulp paper and it didn’t absorb as much as the cheap stuff.  The color just sat there.


RA: Right, everything just sat there.  It was all really bright, like a Looney Tunes cartoon.  You couldn’t do subtle color at all.  Took about a year to a year-and-a-half before they figured out how to adjust the color so it looked good. 


TC: You know, I’m looking through ‘Red Rover, Red Rover’ [the SF story] and, man, there’s a lot of red here.  But you know, I modeled for the main character, that’s me.  The little kid in the story—that was my son as he appeared at the time. 


RA: Then you also modeled for the Walter Weary character in ‘Eerie Smith’.  It looks to be the same guy.


TC: That’s right.  That’s me.  Jim Bertrand, who did all this coloring for Thrillogy, he modeled for Eerie Smith.  That’s the weird thing about going back through all these stories.  All my friends and all my family—they’re all in here.  That’s kind of nice, I guess.  A comic memory book.  I’ve pretty much always worked from models. 


RA: You’re not alone in that.  Have you ever seen Russ Heath’s ‘Give And Take’ story?


TC: No, I don’t think I have.


RA: It’s a black & white story he did for Archie Goodwin’s Blazing Combat back in the 1960s.  It’s a takeoff on an old Bill Mauldin cartoon about a GI who finds a rare bottle of Italian wine and is trying to protect it at all costs so he can get it out of Italy and back home to Mommy and Daddy.  Anyway, his squad is pinned down and he’s doing everything he can to protect that bottle of wine, even endangering himself & his fellow GI’s to do so.  The funny thing is, Heath used himself for every member of the squad.  The guy with the bottle is talking to his squad leader and they’re both the same guy!  {much laughter}  Everybody’s the same guy!  It actually works in the context of the story, but probably only Heath could have pulled that off.


TC: Alex Ross uses a lot of models.  He’s good at it too.  He’s about the only artist I really follow today.  I loved the artists that got me interested in comics.  Berni Wrightson, Neal Adams, Barry Smith, Jeff Jones, Frank Brunner and such, but they all seemed to have vanished.  Jeff Jones is a fine arts artist but the others seem to have vanished in the wind.  I don’t keep up with comic writers.  My son likes Neil Gaiman and he tells me I need to read his new book.  I’ve read his first one but I’ll probably read it again before I start this new one.  That’s the thing I’ve discovered about this brain injury I’ve got.  I can read a novel and six months later pick it up and read it again and not remember it at all. 


RA:  Well, I guess that means you enjoy it the same way every time then too.


TC: That’s right!  I do!  I’ve learned to take advantage of that. 


RA: You were working in advertising up until your motorcycle accident?


TC: Yeah. 


RA: So, technically, you’re retired now?


TC: Yeah, I’m on disability.  That and my wife’s job.  She’s a special ed teacher.  But, yeah, I’m retired early.  We’ve been thinking of moving to Arizona.  It’s hot there but it’s better than being too cold.  Don’t want to go outside when it’s cold.


RA: Well, I hope to see your artwork coming out more often.


TC:  Me too.  Nobody’s given me any calls lately but I wouldn’t mind getting back in the game.  It’s one of those things that happens when you get older.  All the people I used to work with in comics are gone.  A lot of them have left the business…or died!  I got in the business from offers from Archie Goodwin & Roy Thomas.  Guys like that don’t seem to be in the business anymore.  Still, it’d be interesting to get my toe back in comics.  Good excuse to go into the studio. 


RA: Roy’s still around.  He’s revived his Alter Ego comic history magazine.  He’s been doing a good job with it.  Anyway, I know you have to go.  I want you to know I appreciate your time and the opportunity to do this interview.  I thank you for taking the time.


TC: I’ve enjoyed it.




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