Tuesday, November 5, 2013

1984: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Part 2)

A scene from Rex Havoc
Today's post is part 2 in a multi-part series about 1984/1994. Find the previous part here.

Issues 5 through 8 of 1984 continues many of the themes of the first 4 issues of the magazine, while also taking it in new directions (sometimes good, sometimes bad). It should be noted that as a whole these next 4 issues are nowhere as controversial or offensive as the first 4 issues, with no story even close to the racism of issue 3's "The Harvest" (although racism would return later on to the pages of the magazine), and no plagiarism scandals either. The nudity and sex, as well as a general misogynist attitude is present as usual however. That said, in general I'd say the quality of these 4 issues is slightly down in comparison to the first 4.

I'll begin with the continuing series, which start to gain a larger presence in these issues. The Rex Havoc series, which premiered in issue 4, continues with several entries in these next 4 issues. The first story in the series, from issue 4, was terrific, and the first story here, issue 5's "The Spud from another World!" is a good one, parodying the movie "The Thing From Another World". By issue 6 however, the drawn out nature of the stories (which are generally around 20 pages each) becomes quite apparent and the series continues to dip precipitously in its final appearance later on (which will be in my next entry). Speaking of disappointing series, Idi Amin has two additional stories here. They are much like those from the first 4 issues; gorgeous artwork but an aimless story with idiotic dialogue. The series ends with Idi and Dogmeat finding a man even crazier than Idi, with multiple personalities, and Dogmeat runs off, being unable to take it anymore. I felt like doing the same as this series drew to a close! I'll miss the beautiful Esteban Maroto artwork, but not the story. Unfortunately Maroto goes on quite a long hiatus from 1984 after this, possibly as mentioned in the previous article because many of these stories may not have been intended for the magazine in the first place and they ran out of them.

On the other hand, Richard Corben and Jan Strnad provide 4 more fine installments of Mutant World. While its never the most in depth and thought provoking series, this series continues to be a blast to read and has typical quality color artwork from Corben. Unfortunately the final segment would be the last interior comic art Corben ever did for Warren. While I've never been a fan of Rudy Nebres' art style, Twilight's End, for which he provides the art and Jim Stenstrum provides the story is a fairly good one, with a rather apocalyptic and unexpected ending in its final part. Certain Warren series, particularly in the latter years could go on a bit too long, but they did a good job here in keeping the series relatively short and to the point.

The final part of Mutant World

Issue 7 premieres "Ghita of Alizarr", with story and art by Frank Thorne. Thorne had worked on Red Sonja for Marvel and produced the similar Ghita for Warren, albeit with an increased level of nudity and sex. While the sexual themes of the series can be a bit over the top at times (Ghita is a whore and is raped by a reanimated corpse in the first story, for starters), it is generally an entertaining series and a fine addition to the Warren line, appearing in the majority of the remaining issues of 1984/1994. Thorne's artwork is also quite good and a nice contrast to the styles of the Warren regulars.

Also beginning in this run, with issue 8 is "Herma", with art by Jose Gonzalez and story by Bill Dubay. This series was originally published in the publication Cunado El Comic es Arte: Pepe Gonzalez, which came out in Spain the same year as this issue of 1984, although the art had actually been done around 5 years earlier. For this appearance, the color was removed, the panels re sized and Dubay almost certainly rewrote the script. A rather light-hearted comedic series, that similar to Twilight's End is thankfully kept short enough such that it ends before it really goes down in quality. Gonzalez's artwork here is absolutely gorgeous and rereading these stories, this is easily the sexiest artwork to ever appear in a Warren magazine. I'm generally partial to Esteban Maroto's women, but Gonzalez outdoes even him here (and Maroto appears to have swiped several panels from both this initial story and the stories that appear in future issues). Along with the story "Lullaby", mentioned in the previous entry, and some of the latter Vampirella stories, this is the best Jose Gonzalez artwork you'll see in a Warren magazine.

If there's a highlight to these issues, aside from Mutant World, its the Alex Nino stories, of which there are 6 here. Nino's art is ultimately the best thing to come out of the 1984/1994 series as a whole, and he does a good job in all of the stories here. "Teleport 2010" and "Painter's Mountain" are 2 very strong efforts happily lacking the sex-antics that perpetuate throughout much of 1984's stories. "Timothy Sternbach & the Multi-Colored Sunrise!", "Once Upon a Holocaust" and "Zincor and the Fempire" are good efforts as well though, with really only "Liaison Aboard a Skylab" being a weak story where the sex-antics (among aliens in this case) are a bit over the top.

Issue 5's "I Wonder Who's Squeezing Her Now" is unique for having no science fiction or supernatural related themes in any fashion, rather focusing on how a man's life falls apart when his wife starts having an affair and he decides to do the same. The story was originally intended for the never realized magazine "POW" and sat on the shelves for several years before seeing print in 1984. It featured the last Wally Wood art to appear in a Warren magazine, as well as the first work from Ernie Colon to appear in a Warren magazine since Warren's dark ages.
Frank Thorne's Ghita of Alizarr
Frank Thorne's Ghita of Alizarr

Among the remaining stories, issue 7's "Freeze A Jolly Good Fellow!" is the highlight, with an unexpected yet funny ending. Issue 5's "The Box" was another interesting story, although criticized a bit in the letter pages. Many of the remaining stand-alone stories come off as filler, and uninteresting filler at that. Issue 6's "The Warhawks" lampoons DC's The Blackhawks, yet is way too long and drawn out. "Issue 8's "Madmen and Messiahs", featuring a future where Ted Kennedy is a crazed President and his own nephew fights against him in a revolution is quite ridiculous. Other stories like "Luke the Nuke Brings It In!" "Kaiser Warduke and the Indispensable Jasper Gemstone" come off as boring drivel, there's little to get interested in with these stories.

Overall, there's definitely some interesting aspects to these issues, even with the controversy and general quality down a bit in comparison to the first 4 issues. We'll see both areas heading in different directions as we enter the next phase of issues, to be covered in my next entry.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vampirella 12

Today in my first individual issue coverage in a long time, I will be going over Vampirella #12. This issue is notable for having the first appearance of Manuel Sanjulian, who did the cover, as well as Jose Gonzalez, who did his first of numerous Vampirella stories. Frank Brunner provides the story and art for this issue's frontis, titled "The Sirens!"

First is "Death's Dark Angel" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story features Vampirella being captured by an old man, W.W. Wade, who also controls a demon called Skaar. Wade wants to cheat death and thinks he can do so by getting Vampirella to bite him. He captures the Van Helsings as well. Vampirella eventually does bite him, but because she's not a traditional vampire, it kills him for good. Gonzalez's art is so-so here, but over time it would greatly improve.

Next is "Amazonia and the Eye of Ozirios!" by Billy Graham (art) and Gardner Fox (story). Amazonia had previously appeared in a couple of stories in Creepy and Vampirella. The evil Dread Throkklon captures or kills numerous innocents, bringing them to his castle Grimkrag. Queen Amazonia heads to the castle to take him on and finds the eye of ozirios glaring at her. Many men attack her but she defeats them (including an entire page of no dialogue or captions, featuring her hacking away at many foes). Eventually however she is captured by Throkklon and set on a cross, to be burned alive. When more forces arrive, Throkklon is distracted and Amazonia is able to escape, then stab the eye, which causes Throkklon and his men to fade away, as they were actually dead men brought back to life by the eye.

Third is "Quest" by Jeff Jones (story & art). This story features a mere 2 panels per page, with some nice artwork by Jones. The story features a hunter pursuing a woman, who is attacked by another man, then flees using some elephants. She is attacked by a saber tooth tiger, but the hunter arrives, seemingly to save her, but in reality to kill her. The twist at the end reminds me of a little bit of "Yellow Heat", my favorite Warren story.

Fourth, and final story in this issue is "To Kill a God!" by Wally Wood (story & art). This story takes place in Egypt, with the Romans having invaded and taken over. The Roman Governor, Marcus, rescues the Egyptian Princess Cleopatra from reanimated corpses attacking her, summoned by the God Anubis. The two fall in love, but she is later attacked again by Anubis's forces. Cleopatra fears that Anubis will kill Marcus so she heads off to the river Styx give herself to him. Marcus heads there and takes on Anubis himself, who is revealed to be a werewolf. The two, having both been bitten by him, do not return to Egypt, considering themselves monsters, but instead head to Transylvania. I have heard this story was an attempt by Wood to show that he still had it after he had faced some criticism over how much effort he was putting into his work and how much his assistants were providing. Its some of the best and sexiest art you'll ever see from Wood.

Monday, September 2, 2013

1984: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (Part 1)

Today's post is the first in a multi-part series covering 1984/1994 magazine, a part of the Warren publishing family that tends to get a lot less play than the other Warren magazines. This first post mainly focuses on the first 4 issues of the magazine.

1984 is kind of like the black sheep of the Warren publishing family. When one thinks of Warren, they think of Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella, but 1984 doesn't get much mention. All 3 of these titles are in the process of being reprinted in fine, hard covered volumes but we don't see that for 1984 and likely won't. 1984 will probably be most remembered for being way too over the top in its presentation and causing controversy after controversy.

1984 premiered in the summer of 1978, during an era when Warren's titles were on a slow decline from their heights during the mid-70s. 1984 ended up being the one concept for an "adult" Warren magazine that actually saw print. Seven years before, there had been plans to publish a magazine called "POW!", and there had even been a cover prepared by Frank Frazetta (which eventually saw print in Eerie #81), but it never came to fruition. In 1976 Josef Toutain of Selecionnes Illustrada attempted to develop an adult science-fiction style magazine called "Yesterday... Today, Tomorrow" which also never saw print. By 1978 however the competitor magazine Heavy Metal had come out and was extremely successful. I think it’s not much of a coincidence that Warren's adult science fiction magazine, edited by Bill Dubay, finally premiered not long afterwards.

Unfortunately for the readers of 1984, "adult" meant not necessarily mature storytelling, but rather a heavy reliance on sex. In fact a letter sent in and published in the fifth issue put it across pretty well, calling it "Bill Dubay's Future Sex Fantasies". Sex acts and misogyny is quite apparent through these early issues of 1984 and would remain so through its run. The very first story published in 1984, "Last of the Really Great, All-American Joy Juice" features a spaceship carrying all the semen left in the world whose pilots are soon come upon by some brutally ugly but sex crazed women. Ludicrous and bizarre plots like these fill the early issues of 1984. You've got men or women knowingly having sex with aliens or monsters ("Momma, Can You Hear Me" from issue 1, "Bring Me the Head of Omar Barsidian" from issue 3 and "Mondo Megillah" from issue 4). Issue 2's "Messiah" features a sex scientist who describes for pages on end the research he has done into the sex of numerous alien worlds. Oversized genitalia caused by radiation (which we thankfully do not see) is featured in both "Quick Cut" from issue 1 and "The Last Of the Red Hot Lovers" from issue 2. Radioactive semen which causes women to explode is also featured in the latter story. "Scourge of the Spaceways" from issue 2 features a plot point where anyone having sex with a woman will have their penis rot away and fall off. The big twist of "Lullaby" from issue 4 is a man having sex with his mother. Need I go on? This is just some of the craziness you get to see in these first 4 issues.

"Idi Amin", gorgeous art, horrible story

To its credit, 1984 has some amazing artwork, and for a while didn't feature any advertisements, so you've got a magazine full of it. Esteban Maroto in particular puts in an amazing job on his stories in these issues, although his story in issue 4 features some notable swipes from Jeff Jones' "Idyll". Richard Corben has 5 color stories in these issues, all of which are impressive. Alex Nino was the most featured 1984 artist throughout its run and he has  five stories here as well, all which look great. Jose Gonzalez's work in issue 4's "The Lullaby" is about as beautiful an art job as you'll ever see from him in a Warren magazine. The one unfortunate thing about this is it shows just how much better 1984 could have been. I think it’s very clear in a lot of these cases that these stories weren't originally supposed to be as over the top sex-centric as they ended up being. Many stories in these issues have plot and dialogue that hardly correspond with the artwork. The already mentioned "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" is a prime offender. None of the written storyline about the "Hungs", brutes with oversized genitalia taking on the "Glows", for whom having sexual intercourse with a woman will cause her to explode appears in the artwork. The art for this story was in all likelihood about a medieval battle between two armies. "Messiah" to a smaller extent comes off the same way. The "Idi Amin" series, which has its first 2 stories here in the first 4 issues comes off as a bit depressing to me as I so much would have liked to see what this story was originally about. The artwork, featuring an Egyptian queen and her brutish companion in a post-apocalyptic Egypt is just gorgeous. Unfortunately it’s overlaid with a story about how Ugandan Dictator Idi Amin was turned into a woman by the US Government's "Department of Dirty Tricks". This is a series where pages go by with the exact same story and concepts being rammed down our throats over and over again. The majority of dialogue from Idi is horrendously stupid. Only a few pages into the story there is blatant contradictions abound where it is said that Idi Amin was too well guarded to assassinate, yet the DDT was still able to gain access to him to change him into a woman? It’s absurd. No official source that I am aware of pegs down where these Idi Amin stories were originally from, but I would suspect they (or at least the first one) were intended for the "Yesterday... Today, Tomorrow" magazine, which was supposed to have a story featuring a Sphinx, which does appear in the first story. "Lullaby" likely was originally from somewhere else as well, as I can't see Warren having Jose Gonzalez do a non-Vampirella story when he was in so much demand on that title (and writer Jim Stenstrum is credited as "Alabaster Redzone" which was done when he would rewrite stories). Speaking of poor storylines, two back to back stories in issue 2 feature one of the most overplayed plot twists in science fiction when it is revealed that the planet where everything bad is happening or is about to happen is... Earth! This is a lame plot twist, but to see it used in back to back stories (both by the same author, Dubay) is quite ridiculous.

Wood's "The End" becomes a nonsensical tale about a TV writer
Continuing to focus on rewritten stories, the first 2 issues of 1984 feature a butchered Wally Wood story titled "The End" which was split up into 2 heavily rewritten stories titled "Quick Cut" and "One Night, Down on the Funny Farm!" Both rewritten stories are idiotic. Dubay's obsession with oversized genitalia is a major plot point of the first story which is pretty brutal in its treatment of women. While the second story is not as offensive, it’s just as stupid, featuring a nonsensical story about a network TV writer that appears in a fantasy world. None of which makes sense when you look at the artwork of course. Wally Wood was so upset at what Dubay did that he'd never do any work for Warren again.

Of course no article about the early issues of 1984 should be told without the story of "Mondo Megillah", the story that arguably caused the end of Warren Publishing. This story goes back to the very beginning of 1984, before it was turned into the sleazy magazine that it became. At one point in its development, 1984 was supposed to feature adaptions of science fiction stories from well-known authors (which unfortunately never came to pass). Writer Gerry Boudreau had convinced Bill Dubay that he could get permission from Harlan Ellison to do a comic book adaption of his story "A Boy and His Dog". Dubay gave him permission to write the story, but Boudreau was never successful in getting permission from Ellison, who refused to allow any such adaption to appear in a Warren magazine. Desperate for stories for the speedy Alex Nino to illustrate however, Dubay gave him the script that Boudreau had written, swapping out "boy" for "girl" and "dog" for
"monster". With the art being finished, there was no way Dubay could simply bury the story and not publish it. He handed it off to Jim Stenstrum, who rewrote the story as best he could and rearranged panels. Despite this, the story still came off as plagiarism and was later discovered by a writer from the Comics Journal, who had tipped off Ellison. Ellison sued Warren and the company went bankrupt not long after a settlement was made.

Sex filled, ruining what could have been fine stories, even committing plagiarism. Could it get any worse? It does! Issue 3 of 1984 features the single most offensive story in Warren history, "The Harvest". This story features a future where the corporations have set up various gaming preserves. A father and his son go to one of these preserves and go hunting where it is revealed that they are hunting black people. In fact all black people in the world have been gathered up and put in these preserves, treated as animals, and are brutally murdered to provide food for the white protagonists. Could it get even worse than that? It does! The ending of the story features the boy shooting a pregnant woman, with the father tearing her baby out of her and talking about serving it as veal. Responses in the letter column published in a later issue tries to explain this story as bringing the problem of racism to its extreme and to teach a lesson. But it truly has no redeemable value to it and is for all intents and purposes just trash. When you consider some other things that would appear in Warren's magazines (some more which will see in later issues of 1984), how does Bill Dubay not come off as a racist?

Richard Corben's "Ogre"
So is 1984 completely bad? I'd say no. I know I've spent a lot of time in this article on the bad things about 1984, but there is some good work here. I've already praised a lot of the artwork earlier. As misogynistic as it comes off, I do think "Scourge of the Spaceways" from issue 2 is a fairly good and unique story. "Mutant World" and "Ogre", the Richard Corben stories are all entertaining. All of the Alex Nino stories are fairly strong, admittingly with sex or gross out humor attached. "Rex Havoc and the Asskickers of the Fantastic" has a good start in issue 4, with a genuinely funny story about the Asskickers of the title and the monsters such as vampires and the like seeking the same rights as humans.

Anyway, that's my views on the first 4 issues of 1984. Please stay tuned for a follow up at some point in the future covering future issues.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Warren Publishing Statistics (Part 3)

Today's feature covers Warren's most prolific cover artists. These stats include Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, 1984/1994, The Rook, Blazing Combat and The Goblin. It also features any annuals of these magazines. These totals do not include any reprints of previous covers (reprints from external sources, which were particularly apparent during Warren's last couple of years are included). Likewise, any covers that were created by reprinting and coloring internal panels are also not included. I have included back covers as well when they were formal covers (as opposed to ads or reprinted material).

Warren's Most Prolific Cover Artists (in aggregate):
1. Manuel sanjulian - 62 covers
1. Enrich Torres - 62
3. Ken Kelly - 52
4. Frank Frazetta - 30
5. Richard Corben - 14
5. Jordi Penalva - 14
7. Bob Larkin - 12
8. Jim Laurier - 10
9. Patrick Woodroffe - 9
10. Gray Morrow - 7
10. Don Maitz - 7
10. Rudy Nebres - 7
10. Vaughn Bode - 7
10. Barbara Leigh (photographs) - 7

Creepy's Most Prolific Cover Artists:
1. Ken Kelly - 25 covers
2. Manuel Sanjulian - 19
3. Frank Frazetta - 14
4. Gray Morrow - 4
4. Vic Prezio - 4
4. Enrich Torres - 4
4. RIchard Corben - 4
4. Kenneth Smith - 4
4. Richard Courtney - 4

Eerie's Most Prolific Cover Artists:
1. Manuel Sanjulian - 26 covers
2. Ken Kelly - 20
3. Frank Frazetta - 7
4. Vic Prezio - 6
4. Richard Corben - 6
4. Jordi Penalva - 6
7. Luis Dominguez - 5
7. Jim Laurier - 5

Vampirella's Most Prolific Cover Artists:
1. Enrich Torres - 52 covers
2. Manuel Sanjulian - 14
3. Ken Kelly - 7
3. Barbara Leigh (photographs) - 7
5. Frank Frazetta - 5
6. Jose Gonzalez - 4
7. Kim McQuaite - 3

1984's Most Prolific Cover Artists:
1. Patrick Woodroffe - 6 covers
2. Alex Nino - 4
3. Richard Corben - 3
3. Steve Fastner - 3
3. Rich Larson - 3
6. Jim Laurier - 2
6. Jordi Penalva - 2
6. Manuel Sanjulian - 2

The Rook's Most Prolific Cover Artists:
1. Bob Larkin - 7 covers
2. Jordi Penalva - 5

Frank Frazetta was responsible for all 4 Blazing Combat covers.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Warren Swipes (Part 2)

Today's post is the second in a series showing some of the swipes that I've spotted in Warren comics over the years. While the first entry (see here) focused on swipes from outside sources, this one focuses on swipes that are completely contained within stories that appeared in Warren's magazines. Note: In all instances the original is posted first, then the swipe.

WARNING - This post contains nudity

Exterminator One/Love Strip
Exterminator One was a continuing series drawn by Paul Neary that appeared in Eerie. The second part of the series (appearing in Eerie #63) introduces a character named Slaughter who acts as an antagonist against the Exterminator. The character's design was a direct copy of the main character of the comic story "Love Strip" as drawn by Luis Garcia that appeared in the french publication Pilote. Several panels are direct swipes from that story, a couple of notable examples I have included here. The character from Love Strip was modeled after Spanish comic book artist Carlos Giminez, a friend of Garcia's who had contributed art on that story. Ironically enough, Warren ended up reprinting Love Strip in Vampirella (in issue 44), and the issue ended up coming out right about the same time as the issue that featured this Exterminator story.

The Castle, The Dungeon and All/The Winter of the Last Combat

Vicente Alcazar, who had a number of stories in Warren's comics (mostly in Creepy) came off as a sort of Luis Garcia-lite, and there were several instances where his stories contained swipes of Garcia's work. The one today is from the story "The Castle the Dungeon and All", from Vampirella 51. This image was a swipe from the Luis Garcia story "The Winter of the Last Combat", which also appeared in Pilote. This was another story reprinted in Vampirella (issue 43) as "The Wolves at War's End".

Three Old Women

This particular image of an old woman was used in three seperate Warren stories, by three seperate artists, making it particularly notable. I am not sure of the original source. Of the three, the Ramon Torrents story was the first published, although that doesn't necessarily mean the other two swiped from him.

These are from the stories:
The Stone of Power (Creepy 53) - art by Ramon Torrents
Return Trip (Vampirella 27) - art by Jose Gonzalez
Memoirs (Vampirella 30) - art by Fernando Fernandez

Herma/The Saga of Honey Dew Melons

"The Saga of Honey Dew Melons", which appears in 1984 #1 features some amazing and sexy Esteban Maroto art, although like his story in the subsequent issue (covered in the prior entry), it contains multiple swipes. This one features multiple panels taken from "Herma" by Jose Gonzalez. Incidentally enough Herma ended up being reprinted in a later issue of 1984 (issues 8 - 10), causing one to believe that Gonzalez may have swiped from Maroto, but Herma was originally done several years earlier.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Warren Publishing Statistics (Part 2)

Today I'll be covering the writing side of the Warren stories. Similar to the previous post, this covers Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, Blazing Combat, 1984/1994, The Rook and The Goblin. The totals do not include Famous Monsters of Filmland, Help! or The Spirit.

From a writing standpoint, I've taken a similar stance as I have with the art in regards to the 1 page frontispieces and have not included them in these totals. Also note that these may not be as accurate as the art numbers, there were certain instances where credits were not provided in the magazines. For those I have utilized credits from other sources such as The Warren Companion, Gathering Horror or Richard Arndt's Warren bibliography. Also Warren stories were frequently rewritten, and the credits for the stories as a result are not always accurate. For example, all of the Dax stories in Eerie were credited to Esteban Maroto, but were rewritten by various writers who were not credited. There were numerous instances where stories were drawn and then completely rewritten (or an entirely new story was created and put on a story that had been written by someone else) and typically the original author for such stories is unknown.

Warren's Most Prolific Writers (in Aggregate)
1. Bill Dubay - 293 stories
2. Archie Goodwin - 191
3. Budd Lewis - 156
4. Gerry Boudreau - 137
5. Rich Margopoulos - 107
6. Nicola Cuti - 103
7. Bruce Jones - 97
8. Steve Skeates - 72
9. Doug Moench -  70
10. Jim Stenstrum - 64
11. Roger McKenzie - 62
12. Bill Parente - 44
13. Bob Toomey - 35
13. Cary Bates - 35
15. Don McGregor - 34
16. Don Glut - 31
17. Esteban Maroto - 26
17. Robert Michael Rosen - 26
19. John Ellis Sech - 22
19. Victor de la Fuente - 22
19. Buddy Saunders - 22
22. Carl Wessler - 21
22. T. Casey Brennan - 21
24. Frank Thorne - 17
25. Kevin Duane - 16
26. Timothy Moriarty - 15
26. Mike Butterworth - 15
28. Fernando Fernandez - 14
28. John Jacobson - 14
30. Michael Fleischer - 13
30. Jack Butterworth - 13
30. Greg Potter - 13
33. Jan Strnad - 12
33. Gardner Fox - 12
33. Bruce Bezaire - 12
33. Al Hewetson - 12
37. Jose Bea - 11
37. Bill Warren - 11
37. Otto Binder - 11
40. Len Wein - 10
40. Tom Sutton - 10

Creepy's Most Prolific Writers
1. Archie Goodwin - 89
2. Gerry Boudreau - 53
3. Budd Lewis - 49
4. Bill Dubay - 48
5. Roger McKenzie - 41
6. Bruce Jones - 36
7. Nicola Cuti - 35
8. Rich Margopoulos - 30
9. Doug Moench - 29
10. Bob Toomey - 22
11. Steve Skeates - 21
12. Bill Parente - 20
13. Don McGregor - 15
13. Robert Michael Rosen - 15
15. Jim Stenstrum - 12
16. Cary Bates - 11
16. T. Casey Brennan - 11
18. Otto Binder - 10

Eerie's Most Prolific Writers
1. Budd Lewis - 83
2. Bill Dubay - 69
3. Archie Goodwin - 61
4. Steve Skeates - 35
5. Rich Margopoulos - 25
6. Doug Moench - 24
7. Nicola Cuti - 23
8. Gerry Boudreau - 21
8. Bruce Jones - 21
10. Bill Parente - 20
10. Jim Stenstrum - 20
12. Victor de la Fuente - 19
13. Cary Bates - 15
14. Don McGregor - 13
14. Esteban Maroto - 13
16. Buddy Saunders - 12

Vampirella's Most Prolific Writers
1. Bill Dubay - 66
2. Gerry Boudreau - 59
3. Rich Margopoulos - 43
4. Nicola Cuti - 39
5. Bruce Jones - 35
6. Don Glut - 18
7. Doug Moench - 17
8. Steve Skeates - 16
9. Mike Butterworth - 15
10. Budd Lewis - 13
10. Archie Goodwin - 13
12. Esteban Maroto - 12
12. Roger McKenzie - 12
12. Fernando Fernandez - 12

1984/1994's Most Prolific Writers
1. Bill Dubay - 72
2. Jim Stenstrum - 22
3. Frank Thorne - 17
4. Kevin Duane - 12
5. John Ellis Sech - 10
6. Rich Margopoulos - 9
7. Jan Strnad - 7
8. Budd Lewis - 6
8. Nicola Cuti - 6
10. Bruce Jones - 5

For The Rook, Bill Dubay was first with 29 stories, no one else was in double digits. Also, for Blazing Combat, Archie Goodwin was credited with 28 stories, only 2 others were credited with writing, a single story each (Wally Wood and Reed Crandall).

Bill Dubay's dominance over writing in Warren is quite apparant particularly in 1984/1994, for which he has more than three times as many stories as the second placer. Most of these stories appeared in the latter half of Warren's run following his resignation as editor of Creepy/Eerie/Vampirella in 1976.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Warren Publishing Statistics (Part 1)

The first blog post from me in about a year and a half, but I hope to not make this an isolated event. Today will feature the first in a multiple part feature. May not be everyone's cup of tea, but I hope to have some more traditional features in future posts.

The appendix to the Warren Companion offers a section featuring some statistics relating to Warren's staff, in particular focusing on the most prolific story artists, cover artists and story writers in Warren's history. This post is inspired in part based on that feature, largely because I thought providing some more detailed information may be helpful, as well as trying to address some mistakes I found (for example Ididro Mones, a prolific artist was left out entirely). For a self proclaimed stats geek like myself this is something that interests me a lot, and I compiled this data while slowly building up my Warren collection over the years.

This first post focuses on Warren's most prolific story artists. Only full length stories are included (1 page frontispieces are not, althoguh they will be included in a future post). Magazines included when compiling this data included those published in Creepy, Eerie, Vampirella, Blazing Combat, 1984/1994, The Rook, The Goblin and the occasional comic story included in Famous Monsters/Monsters World (of which there were few). I have not included anything included in Help! or The Spirit since I don't own any issues of those publications. For collaborations, each artist involved was credited for a full story.

I've included the top 40 overall, as well as any artist with double digit figures for individual magazines, except for 1984/1994 which I included the top 10. Note that for The Rook, Lee Elias, with 13 stories was the only one in double digits so a ranking for that title has been omitted.

Warren's Most Prolific Artists (in Aggregate)
1. Jose Ortiz - 116 stories
2. Esteban Maroto - 100
3. Luis Bermejo - 78
4. Rafael Auraleon - 72
5. Leo Duranona - 66
6. Alex Nino - 64
7. Tom Sutton - 60
8. Jose Gonzalez - 59
8. Rudy Nebres - 59
10. Martin Salvador - 58
11. Gonzalo Mayo - 56
12. Leopold Sanchez - 53
13. Richard Corben - 50
14. Carmine Infantino - 46
15. Ramon Torrents - 42
16. Alfredo Alcala - 40
16. Isidro Mones - 40
18. Bill Fraccio (as "Tony Williamsune") - 33
18. Tony Tallarico (as "Tony Williamsune") - 33
18. Paul Neary - 33
18. Reed Crandall  - 33
22. Jose Bea - 32
22. Jerry Grandenetti - 32
24. Ernie Colon - 31
25. John Severin - 30
25. Abel Laxamana - 30
27. Joe Orlando - 29
27. Val Mayerik - 29
29. Alex Toth - 28
30. Pablo Marcos - 23
30. Victor de la Fuente - 23
32. Jack Sparling - 22
33. Pepe Moreno Casares - 21
34. Angelo Torres - 20*
35. Delando Nino - 19
35. E.R. Cruz - 19
37. Lee Elias - 18
38. Frank Thorne - 17
38. Fred Carillo - 17
38. Felix Mas - 17
* Torres provided the last page of the story "Wardrobe of Monsters" in Creepy #2 which has not been included in this total.

Creepy's Most Prolific Artists
1. Martin Salvador - 44 stories
2. Leo Duranona - 29
3. Carmine Infantino - 28
4. Jose Ortiz - 23
4. Richard Corben - 23
6. Luis Bermejo - 22
6. Tom Sutton - 22
6. Reed Crandall - 22
6. John Severin - 22
10. Esteban Maroto - 18
11. Joe Orlando - 17
12. Alfredo Alcala - 16
12. Isidro Mones - 16
12. Val Mayerick - 16
12. Fred Carillo - 16
16. Ernie Colon - 15
16. Alex Toth - 15
16. Adolfo Abellan - 15
19. Auraleon - 14
19. Alex Nino - 14
21. Leopold Sanchez - 13
22. Bill Fraccio (as "Tony Williamsune") - 13
22. Tony Tallarico (as "Tony Williamsune") - 13
22. Jose Bea - 13
22. Angelo Torres - 13
26. Pablo Marcos - 11
26. Grey Morrow - 11
28. Pepe Moreno Casares - 10
29. Jose Gual - 10

Eerie's Most Prolific Artists
1. Jose Ortiz - 40 stories
2. Tom Sutton - 28
2. Esteban Maroto - 28
4. Leopold Sanchez - 27
5. Luis Bermejo - 26
6. Leo Duranona - 24
7. Paul Neary - 23
8. Victor de la Fuente - 20
9. E.R. Cruz - 18
10. Gonzalo Mayo - 17
11. Jerry Grandenetti - 16
12. Richard Corben - 14
12. Bill Fraccio (as "Tony Williamsune") - 14
12. Tony Tallarico (as "Tony Williamsune") - 14
15. Isidro Mones - 13
16. Martin Salvador - 12
16. Jaime Brocal - 12
18. Carmine Infantino - 10
18. Ernie Colon - 10
18. Jack Sparling - 10
18. Eugene Colan - 10

Vampirella's Most Prolific Artists
1. Jose Gonzalez - 54 stories
2. Rafael Auraleon - 52
3. Esteban Maroto - 41
4. Jose Ortiz - 36
5. Gonzalo Mayo - 33
5. Ramon Torrents - 33
7. Luis Bermejo - 19
8. Leopold Sanchez - 13
8. Leo Duranona - 13
10. Jose Bea - 12
11. Rudy Nebres - 11
11. Isidro Mones - 11
11. Fernando Fernandez - 11
11. Felix Mas - 11
15. Tom Sutton - 10
15. Luis Garcia - 10

1984/1994's Most Prolific Artists
1. Alex Nino - 37 stories
2. Rudy Nebres - 19
3. Frank Thorne - 17
4. Abel Laxamana - 16
5. Jose Ortiz - 14
6. Esteban Maroto - 13
7. Delando Nino - 12
8. Richard Corben - 9
8. Vic Catan - 9
10. Jose Gonzalez - 5

Some interesting facts:
-Warren's usage of international artists is particularly apparent, of the top 10 only 1 artist is American (Tom Sutton). Spanish Artists from Seleciones Illustrada make up 6 of the top 10, including the top 4.
-Reed Crandall was the most prolific of the former EC artists to work for the company, appearing near the bottom of the top 20.
-Alex Nino's dominance in 1984/1994 is quite apparant, with him having nearly twice as many stories as the second placer. Numerous issues contain multiple stories from him.
-Jose Gonzalez has a whopping 54 stories in Vampirella, which is more stories in a single magazine than any other artist, although a mere 5 in Warren's other titles, all of which appear in 1984/1994.