Vic Prezio at Warren, Part Two

« These dreams? Hallucinations… or whatever you call them! It was on a business trip… in the middle of nowhere… I’ll never forget it! » — Alex Colby, who swears he saw them.

When people talk about Warren magazines cover artists, the name of Vic Prezio is rarely brought up. Well, someone has to, and it might as well be me. It doesn’t help that he only painted a handful of covers for Warren, but hell, I love them all in their pulpy glory.

Prezio is better known for his over-the-top men’s adventure magazine covers and, to a lesser extent, his Magnus: Robot Fighter covers for Gold Key. Mostly anonymous work, though. It’s a filthy business.

In Part One, we looked at Prezio’s Creepy Covers. As it’s « age before beauty », Cousin Eerie now gets his turn to bow.

« Don’t you dare presume to tell me what I can and can’t do, Sheldon! » Some guys turn mean when their male pattern baldness spreads to their entire face.

An inspiring reminder of why you shouldn’t let the naysayers drag you down (even six feet under). Be all that you can be, on this side of the grave and beyond!

Eerie no. 13, Feb. 1968. This issue features an adaptation, by Russ Jones and Frank Bolle, of one of H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth‘s posthumous (in H.P.’s case) collaborations, Wentworth’s Day, another emprunt from Christopher Lee’s Treasury of Terror (Pyramid Books, 1966).

Intrigued? Check it out here:

This alien encounter is *not* going to turn out all fuzzy-friendly.

Prezio’s painting conveys vividly the high paranoia of Archie Goodwin and Alexander Toth‘s The Stalkers, reprinted in this issue from Creepy no. 6, just a couple years old by then. Warren Publications were *not* in good shape at the time, having lost more of their key talent and left to the bare minimum of original material, including, thankfully, the covers. The out-of-left-field success of Vampirella would swoop in and save the enterprise in 1969. Close call!

Possibly the lesser entry amongst Prezio’s Warren pieces, but still an attractive cover, if not exactly terrifying. Somehow, it brings to mind Aurora model kit art more than it does a Warren cover (still, comparison to early-ish James Bama should hardly be considered a slag.)
« AAAAAAAAAGAH! What is it? » I’ve often pondered that very question myself, sometimes while perusing this “throbbing” issue.

Another striking (if a bit rushed-looking) Prezio cover, this time representing Slight Miscalculation by writer Bill Parente and artists Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallarico. The much-maligned Fraccio and Tallarico often worked together under the joint nom de plume of Tony Williamsune (it is said that Tallarico pulled most of the weight.)

Here’s a really nice job they created for issue 16 of Charlton’s Haunted (June, 1974.) I love the boldness of that heavy brush, swirly style:

This time out, the cover story is H2O World by Larry Ivie, Al Williamson, and his Fleagle Gang acolyte and mentor Roy G. Krenkel, a reprint from Creepy no. 1 (1964).

The girl looks familiar, though…

JaneRussell_Underwater 1955A
From a 1955 film poster…
… itself swiping heavily from a 1954 Collier’s cover painted by Bill Baker. « You’ll find skin-diving now from Maine to California, wherever there is enough water for a person to plunge into. Divers, like the spearfishing pair on our cover, have made it America’s fastest-growing sport. » I’ll bet she’d rather dive with her husband, armed with a spear, than in the darkness with overly-friendly monsters.
Prezio’s final Eerie cover (he would paint a couple of beauties for FMOF the following year), this lugubrious tableau from the bone-chilling month of November 1969, is likely my favourite Prezio. It illustrates Bill Parente and Michael Royer‘s Head for the Lighthouse!

Warren seemed, at this point, without a decent in-house copy editor. Witness the cover’s “Scavanger” Hunt, and inside, a story mistitled « The Wrong Tennant ».

« Wrong Tennant? You don’t say! I’d read *that*! »

All tomfoolery aside, this wraps up our survey of Mr. Prezio’s work at Warren. Hope you enjoyed the ride!


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