I figured for my first issue of Eerie to cover on this blog, I'd do the first issue of the magazine I ever read, Eerie #26. This issue, cover dated March 1970, came out just as Warren was getting back into the groove of things, and is actually the first issue of Eerie to feature all new stories since Warren's first golden age came to an end in 1967.
The cover of the issue, featuring a rather ugly looking alien is by Vaughn Bode (again!) and Basil Gogos, who was a common cover artist for Warren's Famous Monsters magazine. The cover is based on the first story in the issue, "I Wouldn't Want to Live There!" by Jack Sparling (art) and Bill Parente (story), who was also the editor at this time. The story features a trio of very ugly looking aliens who arrive on a strange planet only to get killed off due to the harsh weather there. In a plot twist that would be used many times throughout Warren's history in their sci-fi stories, the planet ends up being Earth. Ancient man sees the alien's ship, which looks like a wheel, and that is how that useful device first got introduced to our civilization.
Before I move on to the rest of the stories I want to step back a second to mention the frontis (the feature included in the front inside cover of Warren's mags) for this issue, "Eerie's Monster Gallery: The Body Snatchers" which was drawn and written by Tom Sutton. A frontis generally appeared in each of Warren's mags until around 1977 or so. Their content varied from extremely short one page stories, to horror themed true stories (which included this issue's feature) and portraits of Warren's three horror hosts.
The second story of the issue is "Southern Exposure Part II", from Tom Sutton (art) and Bill Parente (story) which is the continuation of a vampire story started in the previous issue. It's rather hard to cover without the first part of the story here, so I'll take a stab at the overall thing once I cover Eerie #25.
Next is "In the Neck of Time" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Al Hewetson (story). Tony Williamsune was actually the alias for a two artist team, Tony Tallarico and Bill Fraccio. Heweston would later become editor at Warren's biggest rival during the early 1970's, Skywald. The story's about a scientist who goes back in time and quickly becomes rich by stealing with his advanced technology. He eventually gets caught and hung. Nothing all that great here.
The story's best issue is "Spiders Are Revolting" which is drawn and written by Tom Sutton. The story features a couple buying a house at auction only to find it completely infested with spiders. They try to get away from the spiders, who are trying to take over the world by possessing human bodies, but have little luck. The story ends with the protagonist in a mental institution where the spiders are finally able to get to him by infesting the doctors tending to him.
"The Scarecrow" by Frank Bolle (art) and Nicola Cuti (story) is about a crazy girl who returns from a sanitarium years after her step mother's death and meets a boy at a carnival after being brought there by her father. When the boy is killed, the father, thinking the scarecrow is the killer, destroys it. But it ends up that ghost infested crows where the true killer after all, and with the scarecrow no longer around to scare them off...
"Tuned In" by Dick Piscopo (art) and Ken Dixon (story) is up next. The story features an actor playing a serial killer in a movie who goes crazy and starts killing people every time he hears a certain song from the movie. Rather poor story and even more poor artwork.
The issue wraps up with "Cyked-Out" by Jack Sparling (art) and Ken Dixon (story), which features a motorcycle gang of vampires going against a motorcycle gang of werewolves. A rather poor story to wrap up the issue in my opinion.
Not that great of an issue, but then few from this era of Warren's history were. At least there were no reprinted stories!