The Warren Magazines

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Eerie Ashcan Edition

1. cover: Jack Davis (Sept. 1965) reprinted from Creepy #2 (Apr. 1965)

1) Image Of Bluebeard! [Bill Pearson/Joe Orlando] 7p

2) Death Plane [Larry Ivie/George Evans] 6p

3) The Invitation [Larry Englehart, Russ Jones & Maurice Whitman/Manny Stallman] 7p

Notes: Publisher James Warren. Editor: Archie Goodwin. This is technically the first issue of Eerie, rushed into print overnight by Warren, Goodwin & letterer Gaspar Saladino to foil Eerie Publications from ‘stealing’ the title of Warren’s second horror magazine. Only 200 copies were printed. The stories included were all originally intended for either Creepy #7 or #8. The magazine was never actually distributed. Copies were dropped off at New York newsstands so that {one would guess} Warren could point them out to lawyers and say “See, we’ve already got a magazine called Eerie on the stands!” The Jack Davis cover came from an ad that ran in Creepy. In 1978, bootleg editions of this issue were released into the fan collector market. Warren ran several ads condemning the practice and offered a $500.00 reward for the arrest of the culprits but they were never caught.

Blazing Combat

1. cover: Frank Frazetta/frontis: John Severin (Oct. 1965)

1) Viet Cong [Archie Goodwin/Joe Orlando] 7p

2) Aftermath! [Archie Goodwin/Angelo Torres] 6p

3) Flying Tigers! [Archie Goodwin/George Evans] 6p

4) Long View! [Archie Goodwin/Gray Morrow] 6p

5) Cantigny! [Archie Goodwin/Reed Crandall] 6p

6) Combat Quiz [Archie Goodwin/Alex Toth] 1p

7) Mad Anthony! [Archie Goodwin/Russ Jones, Tex Blaisdell & Maurice Whitman] 6p

8) Enemy! [Archie Goodwin/John Severin]
Notes: Publisher: James Warren. Editor: Archie Goodwin. 35 cents. 64p issue. This series was Archie Goodwin’s crowning glory. Everything that Harvey Kurtzman’s Two-Fisted Tales & Frontline Combat were in terms of timeliness, art & story, Blazing Combat matches and, at times, surpasses. Frazetta’s covers were the best of his Warren career. The artists were great and Goodwin’s scripts {he wrote almost every story} were inspired. Probably the best war comic ever published. This magazine {along with Vampirella #3 & Eerie #17} is one of the hardest-to-obtain issues in the Warren canon. Both ‘Cantigny!’ and ‘Aftermath!’ have similar story plots, although both are quite good. The stories are all quite strong but I would rate ‘Enemy!’ as Goodwin’s best effort here. The best art belongs to everyone involved. The artwork is outstanding. This was a very controversial series for the times. Combat Quiz was exactly what it sounds like, a quiz with spot illos.
2. cover: Frank Frazetta/frontis: Gray Morrow (Jan. 1966)

1) Landscape [Archie Goodwin/Joe Orlando] 7p

2) Saratoga [Archie Goodwin/Reed Crandall] 6p

3) Mig Alley [Archie Goodwin/Al McWilliams] 6p

4) Face To Face! [Archie Goodwin/Joe Orlando] 6p

5) Kasserine Pass! [Archie Goodwin/Angelo Torres & Al Williamson] 6p

6) Lone Hawk [Archie Goodwin/Alex Toth] 6p

7) Combat Quiz [Archie Goodwin/Angelo Torres] 1p

8) Holding Action [Archie Goodwin/John Severin] 7p

9) Eerie Ad [Angelo Torres] 1p [on inside back cover]

Notes: ‘Landscape’ was easily the best story to appear in Blazing Combat. In fact, if one were to compile a collection of the best stories that comics have ever produced, ‘Landscape’ would be in the top five. {For the record, I’d put Al Feldstein/Bernie Krigstein’s ‘Master Race’, Alan Moore/David Lloyd’s ‘V For Vendetta’, Jim Steranko’s ‘Who Is Scorpio?’ and Will Eisner’s ‘Sand Saref’ as the other top four. Just my opinion, mind you.} The story concerns an old Vietnamese farmer who finally understands the true economics of war. Goodwin’s script, which clearly owed a debt to Kurtzman’s EC war stories, still stands on its own two feet and is devastating. Orlando employed a very different art style from his usual approach {so different, that letter hacks questioned whether he had actually done the artwork!} and the softness of his pencil work contrasted sharply with the horror that those pencils depicted. However, the story also killed the series. According to Warren, the American Legion began a quiet campaign among distributors, many of whom belonged to the organization, to let the magazine set on distributor shelves rather than be sent to the buying public. There were also problems from the armed forces (at the time a major purchaser of B&W comic magazines), who began to refuse to sell Blazing Combat on their bases or PX’s, due to its perceived ‘anti-war’ stance. Political hawks couldn’t have too thrilled with the rest of the book either. Frazetta’s grim cover was one of his most violent. An American soldier bayonets a German, with the bloody bayonet bursting out the German’s back, while another American soldier lies dead in the foreground, a bullet hole smoking through his helmet, while blood covers his face and the ground beside him. It’s possible that some of the stories within could have appeared anywhere, but ‘Kasserine Pass’ ws about an American defeat, ‘Face To Face!’ used four panels to show a US soldier beating a Spanish soldier to death with a rock, sound effects showing exactly how the head changes from solid to pulp under severe battering, while ‘Holding Action’ was about soldiers who mentally crack under the stress of combat. Hardly the sort of thing military brass would like 18-19 year old recruits reading just before they shipped out to Vietnam. Or the sort of thing members of the Legion might like 16-17-18 year olds reading before they considered enlisting. Famed artist Milton Caniff sent in a complementary letter.
3. cover: Frank Frazetta (Apr. 1966)

1) Combat Quiz [Archie Goodwin/Angelo Torres] 1p [frontis]

2) Special Forces [Archie Goodwin/Jerry Grandenetti & Joe Orlando] 8p [art credited solely

to Orlando]

3) Foragers [Archie Goodwin/Reed Crandall] 6p

4) U-Boat [Archie Goodwin/Gene Colan] 7p

5) Survival [Alex Toth & Archie Goodwin/Alex Toth] 6p

6) The Battle Of Britain! [Wally Wood/Dan Adkins & Wally Wood] 7p [art credited solely

to Wood]

7) Water Hole! [Archie Goodwin/Gray Morrow] 5p

8) Souvenirs! [Archie Goodwin/John Severin] 6p
Notes: Another great Frazetta cover showed a US soldier standing above a pile of dead Viet Cong. Best story and art goes to ‘Survival’ but every story here was well written and illustrated. A fine, fine issue. Publisher & comic fan Richard Kyle appeared on the letters’ page.
4. cover: Frank Frazetta (July 1966)

1) Combat Quiz [Archie Goodwin/Dan Adkins] 1p [frontis]

2) Conflict! [Archie Goodwin/Gene Colan] 7p

3) How It Began! [Archie Goodwin/Gene Evans] 2p

4) The Edge! [Archie Goodwin/Alex Toth] 6p

5) Give And Take [Archie Goodwin/Russ Heath] 6p

6) ME-262! [Archie Goodwin/Ralph Reese, Wally Wood & Dan Adkins] 7p [art credited to


7) The Trench! [Archie Goodwin/John Severin] 6p

8) Thermopylae! [Reed Crandall & Archie Goodwin/Reed Crandall] 8p

9) Night Drop! [Archie Goodwin/Angelo Torres] 7p

10) Easy Way To A Tuff Surfboard! [Archie Goodwin/Frank Frazetta] ½p reprinted from

Eerie #3 (May 1966)
Notes: Blazing Combat’s final issue showed no compromise with commercial demands. ‘Conflict’, ‘Give And Take’ and ‘Night Drop’ were all powerful, hard-hitting tales. Someone may have noted the dynamic art quality of DC Comics’ wash tone “paintings’ on their war titles, as five of the stories within are done in total or in part with wash tones. Particularly effective was Torres’ work on ‘Night Drop’. However, the best art job was Russ Heath’s striking ‘Give And Take’. The American soldiers in that story all look alike because Heath posed for the pictures himself. It may be odd to see so many look alikes in one squad but in the context of the story it worked quite well. Goodwin’s story seemed based on or inspired by a Bill Mauldin WWII cartoon that appeared in his book ‘Up Front’. The cartoon concerned a rare bottle of wine that a US soldier is willing to protect at any cost. On the letters’ page, fan Ed Lahmann (who would contribute to the Creepy Fan Club page) warns Warren about the dangers lurking for publishers who depict war too close to real life and reminded him about the controversy that EC endured for publishing similar hard-hitting stories. He was right on the mark but it was too little, too late as this was the end.

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