Monday, July 18, 2011

ANOTHER CREEPY WEEK: BEFORE UNCLE CREEPY'S LOATHSOME LORE

Any dedicated reader of the Warren CREEPY years knows that, in the earlier issues ran a series of one-page features entitled, LOATHSOME LORE. Each entry shocased a theme or topic that ranged from vampires to ghouls to -- well, you-name-it.

The idea for LOATHSOME LORE, while a decidedly welcome sight in every issue it appeared, was not, however, wholly original. Many ideas for gimmicks and other attempts at unique additions to a title during the great horror comic craze of the 1950's onward had two basic predecessors that publishers consistently "borrowed" from -- radio and WEIRD TALES magazine.

WEIRD TALES began publishing in 1923 and has continued, albeit with a few fits and starts, to its less-than-weird present-day incarnation. A long-running feature was WEIRDISMS, a one-page spread that described some sort of weird (there's that term again), strange or occult topic accompanied by an illustration drawn by outre artist Lee Brown Coye (b. 1907 - d. 1981).



Outre WEIRD TALES illustraor Lee Brown Coye




Many horror comic books adopted this very same format for use as what they called "filler" in those days, that is, something to fill the gaps in pages between stories, advertising, and text tales (see the currently-running DEADTIME STORIES here every week at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD), but keeping in line with the magazine's overall editorial theme.


From BLACK CAT MYSTERIES #30


From BLACK CAT MYSTERIES #30


From BLACK CAT MYSTERIES #29

It was not surprising then, to see CREEPY use this same concept within its own pages, since it was consciously designed as the modern-day version of the publications from which it derived its inspiration.

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