Tuesday, December 20, 2016

WEIRD TALES OF THE MACABRE NO. 1 (PART 1)


WEIRD TALES OF THE MACABRE
Vol. 1 No. 1
January 1975
Seaboard Periodicals
Publishers: Martin Goodman, Charles Goodman
Editor: Jeff Rovin
Cover: Jeff Jones
Pages: 68

Since the concept of a magazine-sized horror comic was hatched in 1964 in the form of CREEPY by Warren Publishing, there have been many others since then who haven taken their best shot, most recently, THE CREEPS, by "Warrant" Publishing. CREEPY is the last mag standing from the earlier days, and only because it was "rebooted" a few years ago by Dark Horse, this time into a comic book-sized comic. With few exceptions, all the others over the years have been kicked to the curb, most of them falling through the grate into the storm drain of magazine history.

Seaboard's WEIRD TALES OF THE MACABRE was one of them. Lasting for just two issues, it was one of the magazine titles by breakaway publisher Marty Goodman that appeared, along with a couple of dozen comic books in the 1970s designed to take on the Juggernaut that was Marvel. The "Atlas/Seaboard" line as it became known, had its roots in the pre-Marvel days before the 60s explosion of super heroes, publishing crime and horror/sci-fi/fantasy titles such as CRIME CAN'T WINSTRANGE TALES, and TALES OF SUSPENSE.

It was Goodman who sold out his shares and left Marvel to start Seaboard in a valiant (but not very remarkable) try at dethroning the reigning Kings of Comics, Marvel and DC. As it was, despite the siren's song of the best rates in the business and the hitherto rare return of artwork that seduced a deep talent pool of well-known writers and artists, none of the Atlas comics titles lasted for more that 4 issues.

In fitting retrospect, WEIRD TALES OF THE MACABRE beckons readers to its pages with a truly weird and truly macabre cover illustration by the gifted artist Catherine Jones (nee, Jeffrey). Inside boasted the talents of ex-Warren editor Jeff Rovin and writers and artists like Pat Boyette, Ernie Colon, Marty Pasko, Ramon Torrents and Villanova. In his editorial, Rovin promised lots of exciting things to come, even a companion to WTOM called TALES OF THE SORCERESS (which ended up being published as DEVILINA). There was even the text feature, "The Many Horrors of Dan Curtis", which lended a little timely monster pop culture.

Whatever the combination, WTOM and the rest of Seaboard's titles couldn't stay above water. In retrospect it would have instead been interesting to see what could have been if Seaboard could have gotten out of the shallow water of the comic business.




























 
 

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