I am excited to announce a new initiative on this blog, a covering of the complete works of Skywald.
The foremost competitor to Warren, Skywald started publishing black and white horror magazines in 1970, and stood for Sol BrodSKY (the original editor) and Israel & Herschal WALDman (the publishers). While their initial issues included a number of reworked old stories from 1950s horror comics, Skywald soon broke into completely new material with each issue and their magazines initially come off quite similar to Warren, even featuring several of the same artists (ex. Tom Sutton, Ernie Colon, Bruce Jones, going under pseudonyms). In 1972, Brodsky departs the company, resulting in his assistant, Al Hewetson (a former Warren contributor) becoming editor. Hewetson immediately sets forth on developing a very unique style, which he calls "The Horror Mood" and Skywald's magazines soon editorially became quite unique and different from what Warren was publishing. Skywald would eventually become dominated by Spanish artists from Selecionnes Illustrada, much as what occurred at Warren, although it is for the most part a completely different set of artists (aside from the occasional who had some Warren work such as Ramon Torrents, Zesar Lopez and Jesus Suso Rego). Skywald would eventually go under in late 1974, due to Marvel flooding the market with their own black and white magazines. By that point they had put out around 60-65 or so issues of their three flagship titles, Nightmare, Psycho and Scream.
For many years I've heard about Skywald but have always had a difficult time obtaining any issues as they are considerably harder to find (and hence more expensive) than Warren magazines. That said, a company called Gwandanaland has recently gone about reprinting the entire Skywald library, finally giving me the opportunity to read for them for the first time. I have heard that the best way to approach Skywald is to read their magazines in chronological order, so that is what I plan to do here. While I can't guarantee the speed of output I had when I covered all the Warren magazines so many years back, I am hoping I can get at least one blog post out a week.