Sunday, February 4, 2018

Tales of Terror from Eclipse Comics

I was surprised to learn recently when I googled this title, that Tales of Terror only ran for thirteen issues, which I still own. The publisher, Eclipse Comics, is long gone, too. At one time, Eclipse Comics was the number # 3 comic book company after Marvel and DC. The collapse of of the mid-1990s direct market distribution system, a now defunct business model that experienced its heyday in the 1980s, is cited for the demise of this once great company. I bought their books regularly and still have them. Tales of Terror # 1 dates from July, 1985, and # 13 hit the racks about a year later. Some of the top talents in that era worked on this title. Tales of Terror # 1 includes tales from Steve Bissette, Michael Gustovich, Bill Pearson, Nicholas Koenig, Dell Barras, and Mark Wheatley. The editor for Eclipse was cat yronwode (all lower-case, as she preferred), whose essays leading off each Eclipse comics were filled with charm, anger, insight, history, facts, and reminisces which I always found appealing. Tales of Terror was never as creepy as the famous EC horror comics of the 50s, but the stories were solid. They promoted Tales of Terror as “The Illustrated Horror Magazine for Mature Readers.” Occasional nudity and gore elevated the interest. Those thirteen issues were a lot of fun – Bruce Jones, Gray Morrow, Tom Yeates, Beppe Sabatini, Cara Tereno, Scott Hampton, Chuck Dixon, Bob Orzechowski, Norm Breyfogle, John Bolton, Timothy Truman, and so many others made these issues interesting to read and collect. There were a great many horror comics on the market in the 1980s, but Tales of Terror had the greatest potential. They usually ran three stories per issue, so something was bound to be good and I was never disappointed. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your estimate. I too have all 13 copies and I take them out and look them over from time to time. I find the stories surprisingly imaginative. By the way I originally bought them in a small magazine and "smoke shop" in Astoria Oregon, which is also no longer there.


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