I was fascinated by Creepy magazine when it first came out in 1964. It was actually too scary for me. I was already a big fan of Famous Monsters of Filmland and it's ebullient editor, Forrest j Ackerman. Soon the names Frazetta, Williamson, Crandall, Morrow, Torres and Archie Goodwin would enter my artistic vocabulary as I became aware of the talent behind the greatest horror comic ever published. But the editor, one James Warren, remained an enigma. This book is the best collection of interviews of comic book creators I have ever read. Night after night, I couldn't put it down. The interviewer, Jon B. Cooke, is brilliant, his questions incisive, revealing, but never mean. Boy, that Warren was a genius, but often an eccentric bum! At least he cared. I've heard a lot of rumors over the years, and apparently the interviewer has heard the same ones, because he gently prods the real truth out of his unsuspecting subjects, exposing them for the driven, hardworking, pragmatic, vulnerable, prideful, neurotic (in Wally Wood's case, tragically so), but inspired artists they were. The account of the early years made me feel a part of the birth of Creepy and Eerie, and the ultimate downfall of Warren Publishing was a mind-blower. The whole story is told in the form of interviews, with priceless preliminary sketches and rare photos of the artists and writers. It was like re-examining an important part of my childhood from an adult perspective. Also contains a handy checklist of the contents of each issue of Famous Monsters, Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella. Most of all I admire the restraint and good judgement of interviewer Jon Cooke.
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TwoMorrows Publishing presents "THE WARREN COMPANION" [Hardcover] [Deluxe Edition], edited by Welsh comics artists and historian David A. Roach and CBA editor Jon B. Cooke, this is the definitive and fully authorized book celebrating and examining the underrated Warren Publications, a must have for any serious comic book fan.
Was quite young when the legendary horror movie magazine 'Famous Monsters of Filmland' hit the newsstands, Warren Publications suddenly took the comic world by storm. Six years later in 1965 CREEPY #1 stunned, delighted and terrified its young readers. They were filled with compelling tales of terror exquisitely illustrated by many of the best artists of the day. The magazine proved to be just the tip of the iceberg of horror.
As Warren Publishing went on to produce some of the finest comic book stories in the history of the genre. In the pages of CREEPY, EERIE, VAMPIRELLA, BLAZING COMBAT, HELP!, THE SPIRIT, COMIX INTERNATIONAL, 1984, THE ROOK and many more, readers discovered extraordinary artists and writers coming together to create more extraordinary work. Sadly to say in 1983 the company suddenly disappeared from the planet.
In 1999, Comic Book Artist magazine published the most comprehensive history of the oft-neglected company to date in its Eisner Award winning fourth issue. But, until now, the riveting story of Warren Publishing was incomplete.
In addition to reprinting the contents of CBA #4, this volume contains many new interviews, features, articles, and the most comprehensive and exhaustive checklist ever complied on Warren Publishing's incredible output.
For product description and editorial review check this out on the Amazon site above my review.
Even though I own Comic Book Artist #3, this book is a very expanded edition of that magazine. It is the definitive guide to Warren magazines and covers/interviews everyone & everything left out of the magazine. It is a crime that sleazeballs are selling this for $100 - $200! I found it for cover price ($29) at a San Francisco comic store in late 2009. Scour every comic store, before supporting slime merchants! It is also unfortunate that Two Morrows didn't reprint this classic, since it would obviously make them money. Perhaps there is still some lingering dispute between John B. Cooke and Morrow over copyrights, or over the contents of Warren magazines--which seem counter to Two Morrows more wholesome outlook.
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This is a great and informative book if you loved the wonderful B&W (and ink wash) magazine-format comics from Warren Publishing from the mid 60's thru the early 80's. Primarily "Creepy", "Eerie", and "Vampirella". So why only 3 stars? Because, for some INSANE reason, the editors did a wonderful job collecting essays and interviews with many of the American writers, artists and collaborators at Warren, but gave only the most cursory of nods to the Spanish artists whose incredible and ground-breaking work almost entirely filled Warren's magazines from 1972 to the end of that decade.
To be fair, there is quite a detailed and informative text-only article devoted to them, but relogated to the very final appendix of the book. Sadly this seems to follow suit with the perceptions that have ghettoized them as somehow second-class, or so homogeneous that one artist's work was indistinguishable from another. If you know their work, however, nothing could be further from the truth. The Spanish artists had mastered the art of B&W composition in a way that equals the highest achievements in Film Noir or photography. These were serious commercial artists with an adult sensibility so above the next generation of 80's kids who learned to draw only from comic books, that it's hard to describe. And, like anything, as you become accustomed to a body of work, you begin to see how individual each creator's work was.Read more ›