They were cheap. They were crude. They were funky. They were fun. They were MAD MONSTERS and HORROR MONSTERS, Charlton Publication's monster mags! These gloriously garish, contrived and creature-filled "corny"copias were, for a time, a kind of fix between issues of the only slighty more sophisticated FM. Some would say they aren't even worth the paper they're printed on. I beg to differ! And, for reasons only Freud (or maybe someone like Forry) would understand, these two 'zines rank among my all time favorite monster 'zines.
True, Charlton Publications are generally considered to be second-rate to everyone else who they were competing with. They owned their own printing plant, but that's not saying much. Their line of comic books have always been characterized as pale imitations, even though many of the greatest of industry talents worked for them (Steve Ditko, Wally Wood, Joe Gill) and the quality of the printing was downright amateurish at times. Ironically, today Charlton comics and other publications, including MAD/HORROR MONSTERS, are demanding increased prices in the collector's market. And it's not just because they're old. MAD/HORROR MONSTERS have a certain savage charm about them and are worthy of discussion alongside the rest of the pack. For instance, take a close look at the add for "The Cult of Horror" at the top of this post, which began appearing in both 'zines. Campy and downright zany, this schtick holds up against anything else like it at the time. Consequently, I will be talking more about these very rough, uncut diamonds in future posts.