Blood and Boobs in Glorious Black and White!

I discovered the colorful adventures of superheroes and cartoon characters very early in childhood, probably when I was three years old or thereabouts.

I lived for the next visit to the convenience store or the grocery store where I would practically run to the rotating comic rack and grab anything that had Batman or Superman on it.

It wasn't until I was eleven or twelve that I discovered an all new comic experience-one that was devoid of primary colors but seemed even more compelling than anything I'd read before. It was of course the comic magazine-mostly tattered old issues of the titles you see to the left from
Warren Publishing. What these magazines lacked in color they made up for in violence and sex-two things very tantalizing for a young boy tottering on the edge of puberty.

The first time I saw one of these mags I was spending the night with my cousin Tim. Tim was asleep. I was bored, bored, bored. I saw a light on in his oldest brother's room and wondered in there out of sheer desperation to find something to do.

Eddie was several years older than I and as such he regarded me with all of the affection of a cockroach. "What do you want?" he said flatly as I inched my way into his room. "Tim's asleep. I'm bored-"

"Well, I'm not your babysitter, Brown" he said, "besides, you should probably be asleep too."

"I'm not tired. Dont'cha have something I could look at, Eddie? A book or something?" Not only was I bored but I was bound and determined NOT to have the lights shut out on me and be stuck in Tim's bedroom all night in the dark. Tim lived out in the country, far away from (to me) the soothing sounds of passing traffic and other small reminders of civilization.

Eddie must have been in a good mood because he pointed to a stack of magazines on a bottom book shelf. "You can take some of those but
don't mess them up-and I better get them back before you go to bed!"

I grabbed a stack of the mags-hell, I didn't care what they were-it was something to read-and hustled back to Tim's room. Snuggled down in my sleeping blanket, I cracked the first magazine open. It was either Vampirella or Conan. Either way I received my introduction into the glorious pages of blood and boobs in black and white and I was enthralled!

Things at home were pretty strict. I knew I didn't have a prayer of getting my hands on any Vampirella mags so I tried to get mom and dad to buy me some Creepy and Conan. Unfortunately, that was a no-go. Too violent-too everything. I wasn't surprised. I managed to eventually smuggle them in, however. I find it funny now. Most kids smuggle in pornography-here I was sticking comic books under my shirt and making for my bedroom like I was really getting over with something "bad". hahahaha.

Over the years Ive lost (in moves), sold, or just plain worn out all of my old Warren Mags. I get nostalgic everytime I see one in a flea market or a rummage sale.

Now thanks to things like the internet and ebay I'm getting a second chance to enjoy these old pulps. I just have to say that being a kid is a lot more fun the 2nd time around!

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