- Full Description
Bill Schelly’s Empire of Monsters features numerous eye-opening, often outrageous anecdotes about James Warren, a colorful, larger-than-life figure whose ability as a publisher, promoter, and provocateur makes him a fascinating character study. He was the visionary publisher of Famous Monsters of Filmland, the magazine that fueled the movie monster craze of the 1960s, and inspired filmmakers Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Joe Dante. With Creepy and Eerie, Warren popularized the black-and-white comics magazine and ran covers by the legendary painter Frank Frazetta before Frazetta was a superstar.
Warren’s magazines established a new category of popular fiction, a transitional step toward the graphic novel. They included art by over 30 Hall of Fame talents such as Wallace Wood, Steve Ditko, Alex Toth, Neal Adams, Bernie Wrightson, Al Williamson and many others. His most famous creation (co-created with Forrest J. Ackerman) was the sensual Vampirella, who debuted in her own magazine in 1969 and still being published today.
Warren also published Help!, Harvey Kurtzman’s satirical magazine that featured early work by Gloria Steinem, Terry Gilliam, Robert Crumb, and Diane Arbus.
And lastly, no reader of his magazines can forget his famous Captain Company mail order offers. From the six foot tall Frankenstein by Jack Davis, to spider-monkeys, projectors, hot rod model kits, costumes and monster masks, Warren sought to weasel every nickel and dime out of his readers with all the weird and wonderful things he could retail. From Prince Valiant reprints to his own back issues, he pumped his fan base in the back pages of his magazines, each and every month.
Warren has threatened for years to publish his own autobiography but it has yet to see print. As is often the case, it's best if someone independent does a biography, because they don't have any axe to grind nor skeletons someone might want left in the closet. Schelly is renowned as one of the finest biographers in comics today. His books on John Stanley, Joe Kubert, Otto Binder and others, as well as his histories of fandom and its founders, are always top drawer and filled with newly unearthed anecdotes and inside stories that can often be eye-opening to even the most veteran fan (like me).
I have no doubt this will carry on the tradition and I'll review it as soon as I have read it. It's a biggie, 350 pages including a full index, a color section, and lots of illustrations and photos throughout.
- Additional Information
Item Code JAMESH Publisher Fantagraphics Publish Date 2019 ISBN 9781683961475 Print Status Out of Print Binding Hard Cover - No Dustjacket Dimensions 6x9 # Pages 272pg Color Text/Partial Color
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