By etragedy 0 Comments
Remember the days of Famous Monsters of Filmland, Creepy, Savage Tales, Eerie, Monsters Unleashed, etc.?
They weren't exactly new - they were themselves a revival of the E.C./William Gaines comics of the 1950s, often with content inspired by the previous horror revival of the 1930s (Universal's monster series & pulp magazines like Weird Tales specifically). So it seems a trend that comes around every other decade... that is, until the 1990s. What happened? I think they've died their final death, and we will never see the likes of them again - largely because of the Internet. Here's why:
Firstly, they served a kind of niche for fans who were eager for more news, reviews and supplementary content about their favorite genres and characters - exactly the niche the Internet fills for most branded products today.
Secondly, publishing as a whole has been threatened by the existence of the Internet. Most publications whether it be the L.A. Times or Vogue or Playboy or Superman, they have all historically operated at a high volume, low profit margin sales model - but the Internet can deliver content at an astoundingly higher volume and at an astoundingly lower cost (virtually free in most cases), stealing their audiences and undercutting their print counterpart's sales at best, and threatening their entire business model at worst.
And finally, there was a sort of elusive, naivete involved in them - circumventing the comics code, and providing, tantalizingly 'racy' and 'ghoulish' images, which are already unbelievably tame by today's standards (any old Victoria's Secret catalog, and HBO TV series would prove that), but which certainly could never compete with what can be found on the Internet, no matter how hard they would try to shock us now.
Yet somehow - reading these comics can transport you to a childhood place where you stood on tiptoes in a news stand smelling of fresh cigars, newsprint and bubblegum to plop down whatever change you could scrape together in hopes that the sales clerk wouldn't see the 'mature readers' stamp, and you'd be able to make off to some deserted tree house to experience the thrills, entertainment and naughtiness of this fictional wonderland now gone-by.