Friday, July 22, 2011

ANOTHER CREEPY WEEK: A WARREN RARITY

MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD concludes "ANOTHER CREEPY WEEK" with an extra-special something for all you Warren-ophiles out there. Today we offer you a bit of a rarity. And, this time it's not from the fetid bowels of the MYSTERIOUS MANSION.

Remember friend Doug, as in DOUG'S HALL OF FLAME? Well, he's back, and boy, does he have a doosey to share. Unearthed from his own bowels, er, the bowels of his own Dungeon of Dread, is a bit of Warren ephemera that is not seen very often, and I'm not sure if it's been on the Web at all. It's . . . well, let Doug tell it in his own *gasp!* words . . .


In the pre-email, Twitter, instant communication era, receiving a card or letter in the mail was a very exciting occasion for a young person. I can remember during the summer, listening for the sound of the letter carrier’s footsteps on the walkway, the creaking of the metal cover over the mail slot, the sound of paper being pushed through the opening, and the flopping of paper and envelopes hitting the floor. Of course, I rarely received a letter or card. The mail was primarily for my parents.

One day in 1965 was dramatically different, however, as I received a card from UNCLE CREEPY himself!

I bought the first issue of CREEPY at a newsstand near my home and couldn’t believe how great a magazine it was! I anxiously awaited #2, but never saw it on the stands. When I found #3 sometime later, I decided I needed to subscribe. After raising some extra cash by washing neighbors’ cars and mowing lawns, I sent the required “two slimy dollars” to Warren Publications for a 6-issue subscription to CREEPY. I was determined not to miss any more issues!

After reading CREEPY #3, I wrote a fan letter to the magazine, probably in pencil on a piece of wide-ruled notebook paper. Given my poor penmanship, it is doubtful anyone could read the darn thing! It was never published, and I can’t remember what I wrote about. But I was rewarded some weeks later when my mother said, “Doug, you got a letter in the mail today.” My eyes grew wide as I saw the familiar visage of Uncle Creepy smiling at me from the white post card I held in my trembling hands. He graciously thanked me for my “(gasp!) letter” and informed me that CREEPY was being published every other month. After reading the message a couple of times, I exploded through our front door and ran through the neighborhood, showing the precious card to every kid I knew.

The rare CREEPY Post Card.

This little gem of a souvenir lay packed away, barely remembered for several decades before I stumbled upon it last month. Strangely, my reaction to seeing the card again after so many years was very similar to my reaction when I first received it: My heart pounded, my blood raced, and I had the urge to race outside and show it to everyone in the neighborhood. Trying to maintain some shred of dignity however, I resisted the impulse to share my card with the neighbors and only showed it to my wife. Her lukewarm reaction was a bit disappointing, so I contacted someone I thought might be more in tune with me on the subject of CREEPY.

I emailed a copy to David Horne, author of GATHERING HORROR and an expert on Warren Publications, who told me that he had never seen a card like this before and that he was not aware that Warren ever sent out form responses to fan mail. David noticed that the card has the Philadelphia address of Captain Company on it, rather than the New York address of Warren’s editorial offices. The card is not postmarked, so I don’t know from which state it was actually mailed. The 4 cents postage is pre-printed on the card; my home address is typewritten.

Have any of you in Monster Kid Land seen one of these cards before? David Horne and I both wonder if similar response cards were printed for EERIE, VAMPIRELLA, and BLAZING COMBAT. If so, neither of us has seen one, either in person or for sale. I would love to hear any additional information you might have about this.

Uncle Creepy inviting readers to write to him from the inside back cover of
CREEPY #1.

1 comment:

Yellow Phantom said...

I really enjoyed the Creepy week John. Creepy is my favorite of the Warren publications, and this past weeks worth of was a a real treat. Thanks man!

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