When I was a kid, life was so normal. Other than my parents fighting, my lousy grades in school, the Viet Nam War, crap like that. I started reading early. I read deep, young. I was reading Aristotle in grade school. I was reading Sci Fi by Heinlein, Issac Asimov, Arthur C. Clark, Bradbury, on and on. So I was expecting, wishing for, crazy to experience the new, the unusual, the different, the wondrous.
It was about that time that I found Creepy and Eerie magazine. They were over sized. They were weird, drew odd looks from people. This was perfect. I liked Eerie magazine the best, but they were all good. Included in this genre were "Tales from the Crypt", "Monsters of Filmland", "Monster Mania", and others.
Brief tangent: I got a phone call last night from a friend who read this, and said I should have mentioned, Vampirella. Publishing History: Vampirella originally published by Warren Publishing for 112 issues from 1969–1983. Numerous series and mini-series published by Harris Comics from 1988 to 2009. A new Vampirella series published by Dynamite Entertainment from 2010 to the present.
This lead me to think about another media entirely, that of TV. Vampira, who hosted the Vampira Show on the Los Angeles ABC television affiliate KABC-TV from April 30, 1954 through April 2, 1955. The series was produced and created by Hunt Stromberg, Jr. and featured the Vampira character created by Maila Nurmi. And if you mention her, you really have to mention the more modern vamp, Elvira. Although, Vampira was quite annoyed with Elvira, because she never gave Vampira any credit for setting the pace, scope and style that made Elvira so famous.
I had been an avid reader of "Mad" magazine and Cracked, but Mad was the best. Still, my favorite was Eerie. This lead the way for the underground comics that later came out and which I blogged about elsewhere a while back and will again tomorrow morning.
Check out the article on this history of Creepy and Eerie:
Creepy / Monster Mag article on PopFiction