Skywald Publications

Skywald Publications was an American publisher of black and white comic magazines, mostly horror anthologies Nightmare, Psycho and Scream. He has also published a small line of comics and other magazines.

Skywald’s first release was Nightmare # 1 (cover dated Dec 1970). The company lasted until the end of 1974 or early 1975, with Psycho # 24 (March 1975) being its final publication. Nightmare has published 23 issues and Scream has published 11 issues.

Founder

The name of the company is a combination of those of its founders, former production director Marvel Comics, Sol Brodsky (“Sky”) and the low-budget entrepreneur Israel Waldman (“wald”), including IW Publications ( also known as Super Comics). The 1950s and early 1960s published comic book reprints for sale in grocery stores and discount stores. [1] [2] Skywald was based in New York City.

Brodsky, who also served as editor, brought Al Hewetson – briefly an assistant to Marvel’s chief Stan Lee and a freelance writer for Warren Publishing’s horror magazines and others – as an independent writer.”Archaic Al”, as he liked to call it later, quickly became the associate editor, and when Brodsky returned to Marvel after a few months, Hewetson succeeded him as editor. Hewetson, who aims for a more literary penchant than the work of the industry leader, Warren Publishing, developed what he called “The Horror-Mood” and sought to evoke the sensitivity of such writers as Poe, HP Lovecraft and Kafka.[3]

Professional comics who produced work for Skywald magazines include writers T. Casey Brennan, Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Gardner Fox, Doug Moench, Dave Sim, Len Wein, and Marv Wolfman and artists Rich Buckler, Gene Day [4] Vince Colletta, Bill Everett, Bruce Jones, Pablo Marcos, Sydney Shores, Chic Stone and Tom Sutton. Many who also contributed to his rival Warren used pseudonyms. John Byrne, the future star of the industry, published his first professional story, a two-page book written by the editor Hewetson, in Nightmare # 20 of Skywald (August 1974).

In an unusual arrangement, Hewetson directed the editorial of his house in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, although the publisher was based in Manhattan. As he described in 1973,

I write my stories, write the stories of others and send them directly to the different artists. Art is sent to New York, when it is finished, where I gather it. I produce all editorial production here at home, and when I visit New York, I pack the entire magazine and I do the production for it. And then, in an incredible fat package, I send the thing to our printers who have nothing to do but maybe add the occasional screen, various and make the negatives for the magazine. Proofs of plans for these negatives are sent to me, of which I am editorial proof and I make some changes and I approve the package. The magazine is then printed in Canada and shipped to Connecticut and from there to various distribution centers, including Canada. [5]

Non-horror magazines 

Skywald also produced two issues of Hell-Rider magazine (August and October 1971), featuring a vigilant biker with a flamethrower-equipped bike. The character was created by Gary Friedrich (who would co-create the motorcyclist Marvel Ghost Rider) and the designer Ross Andru. The backup features were “The Butterfly” and “The Wild Bunch”, both written by Friedrich, with art credits challenged by different sources for number 1; the second issue of “Butterfly” is attributed to cartoonist Syd Shores and Inker Esposito, the second “Wild Bunch” to filmmaker Rich Buckler.

Another title two question, the crime machine, consisted solely of comic-book crime fiction re-releases from the 1950s. [6] A remaining title, Science Fiction Odyssey, was scheduled for release in September 1971, but removed; some of his stories eventually appeared in horror magazines.

The company has also published a small number of magazines unrelated to horror or comics. Among them was Judy Garland (1970), a “special tribute issue”. [7] Hewetson said in 1973, “We produced, when this company started, a production called Judy Garland’s book which is the most menacing thing that ever happened to our company. We printed too many copies and we sold maybe four or five We lost a lot of money. “[5]

Comics

The ephemeral color comic line, published by Brodsky, included Western titles Blazing Six-Guns, The Bravados, Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid and Wild Western Action; the novel titled Tender Love Stories; the horror series The Heap; and Jungle Adventures. All were combinations of new materials and reprints. Contributors, in addition to those mentioned above, included Dick Ayers, Mike Friedrich, Jack Katz, John Severin, and John Tartaglione. Notably, The Sundance Kid # 1-2 (June-July 1971) contained reprints of Jack Kirby Western of Bullseye # 2-3 (October and December 1954). None of the comics lasted more than three issues, with the exception of the love comic Tender Love Stories, which ran four.[6]

“The color comics, more or less, have reached the breakeven point,” said Hewetson in 1973. “I think we could have gone on with them to try to establish a comic strip area in color. Skywald’s exception Beginning with color comics, National and Marvel were engaged in a price war that hurt just about everyone. “[5]

dislocated

Editor Al Hewetson, in an interview shortly before his death from a heart attack on January 6, 2004, claimed that Skywald’s disappearance was caused by

… the distributor of Marvel. Our problems were selling well, and some were sold. Such returns that we received were shipped abroad, mainly to England, where they sold out completely … When Marvel entered the game with countless titles [horror in black and white] evisceration [sic] the newsstand, their distributor was so powerful that we denied Skywald access to all kiosks except the big ones, so our presence was minimal and fans and readers simply could not find us . … The Waldmans [Israel and Commercial Director Hershel Waldman] and I had lunch with our distributor in the fall of ’74 and we received very specific information about the situation in the newsstands – which had nothing to do with solid base of Warren or Skywald readers. [8]

References

  1. Jump up ^ Shaw, Scott (September 2, 2005). “Wambi (The Jungle Boy) Problem: No. 8″.”Oddball Comics” (column) # 1084, ComicBookResources.com. Archived from the original on December 4, 2005.
  2. Go ^ Super Bunny to Don Markstein’s Toonopedia. Archived from the original on November 3, 2011.
  3. Jump up ^ Hewetson, Al (December 2004). “Archaic Al Forever!”. Cartoon artist. No. 5. p.55.Extract from an interview with Hewetson, Al. The complete illustrated story of Skyworth horror-horror (Critical Vision: 2004), ISBN 978-1-9004-8637-8
  4. Jump up ^ “A Conversation with Gene Day” in Orion: The Canadian Magazine of Time and Space, # 2, Fall, 1982
  5. ^ Go up to: a b c “An interview with” Archaic “Al Hewetson”. Now and then the times.Reprinted at The Horror-Mood (George Warner, ed.), March 16, 2012. October 1973.Retrieved January 10, 2013. Interview conducted on May 26, 1973.
  6. ^ Go to: a b Skywald Publications at the Grand Comics Database
  7. Jump up ^ Johnson, Jim, ed. “Judy Garland Magazine Cover Gallery, 1970”. Judy Garland Database. Archived from the original on April 10, 2011.
  8. Jump up ^ Arndt, Richard J. (December 2, 2010). “The complete list of Skywald [including] A 2003 interview with Archaic Al Hewetson!”. EnjolrasWorld.com. Archived from the original July 16, 2011.Archives WebCitations supplemental, June 15, 2010.

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