Vampirella #1, September 1969

In tribute to uber- SF fan Forrest J Ackerman, who died at the weekend aged 92, here’s the cover to the first issue of Vampirella. Beginning publication in 1969, the magazine bolstered James Warren’s stable of black and white horror anthologies (Creepy, Eerie), and Akerman’s own Famous Monsters of Filmland. Ackerman himself co-created Vampirella, and wrote the first few stories. Warren engaged Frank Frazetta to paint this stunning cover, but the artist needed an idea of what the character was to look like. At the time Trina Robbins was working at the Warren offices, so she was tasked with designing the character’s costume and dashed off a quick sketch. Needless to say, her version was quite a lot less skimpy than what appears here — even so Vampy looks positively over-dressed compared to what came later!

Ackerman was a one-off, someone who’s been around as long as I’ve been alive, and someone you almost believed would always be around. Things will never be quite the same without him.

Art Frank Frazetta.

©2008 the respective copyright holder