Horror News Network’s 2019 Comic Awards: James Warren Named Horror Comic Honoree of the Year

by Rob Caprilozzi

When speaking of horror comics, you’d be remiss by not mentioning those wonderful oversized black and white magazines produced by Warren Publishing. The man behind Warren Publishing was James Warren. The company’s first titles were the wildly popular Famous Monsters of Filmland and Monster World, both of which were edited by Forest J Ackerman.

In the mid-1960s, Warren expanded heavily into the world of horror comics by publishing Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella. Each of these magazine-sized comic books would play an integral part in horror comic history while introducing the reader to horror icons such as Vampirella, Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie.

During his career, James Warren was able to produce the macabre and legendary comics all while tactfully skirting the Comics Code Authority (CCA), an organization formed in formed in 1954 by as an alternative to government regulation, to allow the comic publishers to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States.  He did so by producing his comics in magazine sized format instead of standard comic book size which meant that that the CCA did not apply.  This prevented any censorship from that group on his books.

Working with Russ Jones and later Archie Goodwin on Creepy would prove to be huge for Warren as Goodwin would position the title to be a prominent force in the field of black-and-white comic magazines. The art was a sight to behold as many legends of the industry lent their talents to the book including Reed Crandall, Johnny Craig, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, Neal Adams, Alex Toth, Wally Wood, Angelo Torres and many more. Creepy would be published up to 1983 ending with issue #145.

Eerie was first published in 1966 and would follow the same stand-alone anthology format as Creepy until later issues when the series started to have continuing stories in the book. While the series may have been overshadowed in terms of popularity by its older brethren, Eerie packed the same quality thanks to many of the same creators that worked with Creepy. Eerie would be published until February 1983 and ended on issue #139.

In July of 1969 Warren Publishing would unleash an absolute iconic character with the release of Vampirella #1. Created by Forest J Ackerman and Trina Robbins, the world would get their first glimpse of the lovely vampire hailing from Drakulon. Archie Goodwin would later develop the character from horror-hostess to full-fledged hero and lead character.

With all of his contributions to the world of horror comics, Horror News Network is proud to honor James Warren with the 2019 Honoree of the Year.

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