Sunday, February 3, 2013

Egg in Your Beer

Here's a tasty little morsel from the comic series "Twisted Tales", a fantastic genre anthology from the 1980's. Along with its sister publication "Alien Worlds", "Twisted Tales" followed traditions set forth by William Gaines' EC Comics and James Warren's black and white comic magazines in the decades previous. Writer-editor-artist Bruce Jones cut his teeth with Warren Publications, penning some of their most popular stories back in the glory days of the "Creepy"- "Eerie"-"Vampirella" trifecta. 

Bruce and his publisher upped the ante for powerhouse rivals Marvel and DC with graphic sex and violence, quality printing on slick paper, and exacting methods of color reproduction. Perhaps they were attempting to cultivate the substantial market share that had made "Heavy Metal" magazine such a success. Unfortunately, both titles were retired within a few years. Hard to figure - Bruce was collaborating with the finest artists of the era and delivering terrific work issue after issue. 

The publisher was Pacific Comics, a small San Diego outfit that went belly up in less than five years. The Pacific imprint was one of the first independents to make its mark with the direct sales model, blazing a trail that Todd McFarlane's Image Comics would follow to fortune. Pacific Comics didn't last long, but it was their bold editorial stance and appeal to mature readers that defines its memory. 

Bruce Jones did go on to bigger and better things, including scripting chores on HBO's "Hitchhiker" anthology series, a successful career as a novelist, and even seeing his story "If She Dies" from Twisted Tales #10 become an episode on the Twilight Zone revival in the mid-80's.

"Egg in Your Beer" - from "Twisted Tales" #10


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