Wednesday, January 04, 2006

EERIE Publications - Part 2!

More Eerie fun.... in our second and final installment for now.... but don't worry, there's a half dozen sitting 'round the casa del datajunkie waiting their turn on the scanner glass. The more research i do on Myron Fass the more i love this guy. How can you not? He's to magazine publishing what H. G. Lewis is to film-making, only he's as mad as a sack of rats. Good old gun-toting Myron (or "Mad" Myron as i've seen him referred to in print by old time pros who knew him in his younger days as a comic book artist in the Pre-Code era) actually BEAT Stanley Harris (later of Harris Publications) in front of the entire office staff over some disagreement. That's what i call SOME disagreement! But hey! What's not to like? He gave Al (SCREW) Goldstein (another loon from all reports) his start in the magazine industry for example, and had a long and lucrative career publishing what probably amounts to hundreds of different titles on the most lurid and sensationalistic topics, once bragging he made $4 million on the Kennedy assasination with quick to the presses one-shots about the national tragedy. What a sweetheart.
It is indeeed then, Myron's unique "word view" that in a major way fueled the Eerie horror magazine line. It also seems he knew Dick Ayers and many other old school artists in the 50's too, so the connection between the pool of art talent Eerie used may have roots lost in antiquity there, as to who knew who and so on. Fass obviously knew Carl Burgos and "Ezra Jackson" (now known to be a pseudonym, thanks to new data at hand) and others. This just gets weirder and weirder....
.... and he had a rep for going around strapped.
Packing a gat.
And there's also a great story from Ross Andru and Mike Esposito on how Myron (who couldn't drive for sh*t) demanded to drive the three of them through New York one night, nearly killing them all several times by just ignoring any red lights they came across. Mad seems to be an understatment, to say the least.
After getting out of publishing he later surfaces in Florida as a gun dealer by the name of "Chief Merion Riley-Foss". Wow! i also think it's important to remember that Myron's policy maintaining a magazine had to sell 20,000 to be viable to him to continue (an amazingly low print run to my mind) seems to be partially responsible for this bizarre line of horror magazines relative longevity both on the newstands of the day and in the current collectors market and eBay.
The fact that many people have never ever seen them adds a certain mysterious cachet the the whole thing...

The legendary "The Slimy Mummy" by Chic Stone. Here's a quote. "No person dares to think what FOUL and UNNATURAL horrors lurk beneath the black surface of the Earth waiting to crush human life between their slimy fingers... yet of all these monsters none are so APPALLING, so TERRIFYING as-- THE SLIMY MUMMY!" 'Nuff said!
Also in this issue: "Experiment in Terror" - a nice Pre-Code reprint,
TERROR TALES Sept. 1970 or here too!

"Swamp Monsters", this issues' lead tale by Dick Ayers, is probably more of a crime story in some ways... and yet to me it is the most extreme Eerie story that Dick did. Don't just take my word for it... if you're not faint of heart, i dare you to meet The Duchess, Bombo and Lula out on the bayou....
Also in this issue: "Ghouls Graveyard" by "Reynoso"...
TALES FROM THE TOMB April 1970 or here too!

Even though the other tales in this issue, the lead story, "The Old Ghoul" and "Dead Witch" by Dick Ayers are both pretty good, the notorious "Bloodbath" by Chic Stone (which some of you have asked about) takes the prize as the #1 gonzo/looney off-the-wall story that these guys EVER published. Yow!
TALES FROM THE TOMB Aug. 1970 or here too!

"Corpse for the Coffin" by Dick Ayers is of the usual "high" standard, as is"Thing in the Cellar" by Chic Stone... a very nasty 4 pager, plus "Tigers Paw" - pure Iger shop Pre-Code horror trash...
WITCHES_TALES August 1970 or here too!

"Voodoo Witch" - is more typical Eerie fare, but "The Spider" by "Darling" Dick Ayers - yet another precode "adaption" - is quite a treat. "Thing In the Parlor" is more trashy fun, and the ish gets closed out by "Witch Doctor" by Chic Stone.
TALES OF VOODOO Jan 1971 or here too!

"House of Monsters" by the "eye-popping" Dick Ayers starts this ish with one of his nastier splash panels, and it just gets worse from there. One of Eerie's most gruesome yarns. "The Witch and The Werewolf" by "Ezra Jackson" is interesting in that there is no dialogue throughout the story till the last panel..... weird. "The Spirits" is pretty weak, but still fun. "Horror Club" by Fraga, however, is one of my favorire Eerie stories, in that it exemplifies all that is nasty and visceral about this body of work. Full of wonderful lines like "Her laugh rippled his blood like a subtle poison" (sounds like someone i know) and "Her arms circled his neck like silent, pale snakes". Wow! "Better Off Dead!" is an effective tale in the Pre-Code vein, mean and stupid, crudely drawn.... i love it! The contents of this issue, when viewed as a whole, is pretty nihilistic and mean-spirited.
HORROR TALES Jan. 1970 or here too!

... and that's all on that one for the forseeable future! Whew!
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