Who Were Warren Publishing?

Begun by James Warren, Warren Publishing's initial publications were the horror-fantasy--science fiction movie magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland and Monster World, both edited by Forrest J Ackerman.

Warren soon published Spacemen magazine and in 1960 Help! magazine, with the first employee of the magazine being Gloria Steinem. After introducing what he called "Monster Comics" in Monster World, Warren expanded in 1964 with horror-comics stories in the sister magazines Creepy and Eerie, black-and-white publications in a standard magazine format, rather than comic-book size, and selling for 35 cents as opposed to the standard comic-book price of 12 cents.

Such a format, Warren explained, averted the restrictions of the Comics Code Authority, the comic-book industry's self-censorship body: The Comics Code saved the industry from turmoil, but at the same time, it had a cleansing kind of effect on comics, making them "clean, proper and family-oriented" We would overcome this by saying to the Code Authority, the industry, the printers, and the distributors: 'We are not a comic book; we are a magazine. Creepy is magazine-sized and will be sold on magazine racks, not comic book racks".

Creepy's manifesto was brief and direct: First, it was to be a magazine format, 8½" × 11", going to an older audience not subject to the Code Authority." By publishing graphic stories in a magazine format to which the Code did not apply, Warren paved the way for such later graphic-story magazines as the American version of Heavy Metal; Marvel Comics' Epic Illustrated; and Psycho and other series from Skywald Publications.

Russ Jones was the founding editor of Creepy in 1964. A year later, Archie Goodwin succeeded him, with Joe Orlando acting as a behind-the-scenes story editor. Goodwin, who would become one of comics' foremost and most influential writers, helped to establish the company as a leader in its field. From 1965 to 1966, Warren also published the four-issue Blazing Combat, a war-comics magazine with anti-war themes, controversial at the time