Vic Prezio at Warren, Part One

« Stop that whimperin’, Emma — or I’ll lay into ya like a butcher in a cowpen! » — Raymond Marais, Rescue of the Morning Maid

The mysterious, but nonetheless well-remembered journeyman pulp illustrator, Vic Prezio, though chiefly associated with the infamous Men’s Sweat adventure magazines (« Weasels Ripped my Flesh! ») also produced notable work for Dell (The Outer Limits, Kona, Naza, Brain Boy, Frogmen…), Gold Key (Magnus, Robot Fighter) and Warren, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I did say he was a journeyman.

In all, Prezio produced, for the Warren Magazine line, six covers for Famous Monsters of Filmland, some of them classics, four for Creepy and six for Eerie. And that’s not all: Prezio painted a pair of covers for FMOF companion title Monster World (no. 2, Jan. 1965, and no. 4, June 1965); these would have been his earliest Warren contributions. Thanks to eagle-eyed Michael Prince for bringing these last to my attention!

Today, we’ll admire Uncle Creepy’s dodgy wares, and reserve Cousin Eerie’s mouldy goodies for part two. The FMOF issues regrettably fall outside our purview, but for the record, these are numbers 35, 36, 38, 39, 67 and 68. Check ’em out.

Oh, it’s just your lousy luck: you finally get your best girl alone on your raft, then along comes this humongous critter to put a damper on the romantic mood. Prezio brings the scene to life for issue 18 of Creepy (Jan. 1968)… but I can’t quite shake the feeling that said scene looks sort of familiar…
Ah, that must be it. I see there used to be two snakes involved.
« I say, are you the chap that’s been short-sheeting my bunk every night? » 
Mr. Prezio’s nasty (in a good way) cover painting gives us a glimpse of Rudyard Kipling‘s (by way of Craig Tennis & Johnny Craig) The Mark of the Beast (1890), reprinted from Christopher Lee’s Treasury of Terror (Pyramid Books, 1966).
A look at the original painting, which thankfully survives. Can’t take such things for granted.
« Good Lord! » I wonder what that ‘one thing’ is. Prezio’s cover for Creepy no. 28 (Aug. 1969) is based on Archie Goodwin and Dan Adkins‘ story The Doorway, reprinted in this issue. Read it here, if you must.
Some editorial second-guessing went on, as evidenced by the most consistent colour scheme of the original painting. It’s a great piece, so it works all the same.
« Come back, baby! Sure, my saliva’s a bit… corrosive, but you’ll get used to it! »
Vic Prezio’s twist on the then-prevalent gothic romance trope of the gorgeous, scantily-clad damsel-in-distress running away from some castle or mansion. This is Creepy no. 29 (Sept. 1969).
Now, Vic’s original painting: the image was flipped for publication (as if you couldn’t tell), which was probably a sound decision. Left to right motion is more visually natural and dynamic.

Well, that’s it for now. Next time, we’ll check out Mr. Prezio’s Eerie covers, so stay tuned.


7 thoughts on “Vic Prezio at Warren, Part One

  1. Michael Prince August 14, 2019 / 17:25

    Just came across this excellent overview of the talented Mr. Prezio’s Warren work. Thanks for all the great info and images. For the sake of completeness, I would add that he also did two covers for FM’s short lived companion mag, Monster World — #2 (The Munsters) and #4 (Creature From The Black Lagoon).


    • gasp65 August 14, 2019 / 22:19

      Hi Michael! Glad our Prezio retrospective seems to be finding its ideal audience! And thank you *very* much for the bibliography additions. I do have six issues of Monster World in my personal collection (including no. 2), and it clearly didn’t occur to me to check the possibility of Prezio contributions. I take it I have your blessing for updating my post?

      In splendid current Prezio news, the go-getting publisher of Warren-inspired horror mag The Creeps has obtained, from the Prezio estate, permission to use an incredible *unpublished* piece of Prime Prezio for issue 19 (August 2019!) of The Creeps. Check it out:

      Liked by 1 person

      • Michael Prince August 14, 2019 / 23:13

        Yes, by all means feel free to update the post. Prezio is credited as the cover artist on the contents page of Monster World #4. I could not find a credit within the magazine for the cover of issue #2, but I have seen it attributed to him elsewhere, and I believe it to be his work:

        Thank you for the tip on that fabulous cover for The Creeps #19 — I’ve ordered a copy!

        Liked by 1 person

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