The Monster Factory: Warren & Gredown
The Monster Factory (The Incredible People-Making Machines?) by Jose Bea (Eerie #72?)
Games Around Reality by Jose Bea
Through The Door Of The Silver Key by Jose Bea (Eerie #76)
The Final Hole by Jose Bea (Eerie #73)
Short Trip To Old Age by Jose Bea
The Solution In A Mirror by Jose Bea
A Walk Through The Subconscious by Jose Bea
Just when you think you've seen them all something comes along that makes you go, "Ummmm...that shouldn't be...". This is one of those books.
For a fair while now there's been a few of us collectors trying to track down as much output from the (now defunct) publishing company Gredown. In the process we've all networked and come up with various theories, but one thing remained consistent, the belief that Gredown published material from the likes of Charlton, Skywald, Atlas/Seaboard, Archie, ACG and a handful of other, now long gone, companies from the American Golden Age. The boundaries were fairly clear - K.G. Murray reprinted DC and Warren, Yaffa and Kenmure (Kenmure was associated with Murray - more on Yaffa very soon) reprinted Marvel, as did Page, Newton and Horwitz, when they were still active. Kevin Patrick wrote about the Spanish Connection in relation to Gredowns a while back, that's more than worth reading before you go any further with this entry. Spiros Xenos has also began to document Gredowns and has compiled as detailed a checklist as I've seen to date with 238 confirmed titles (oddly enough I have exactly 128 of those titles on hand, and I suspect there's a few more around the place yet to be found). Somehow I think this book will now throw the feline amongst the feathery things. You see, the following book is a Gredown, that has Warren reprints in it. And not just any Warren, these stories presumably all come from one of the Warren flagship books, Eerie.
Now I have a few copies of the Australian version of Eerie, but not as many as I'd like to have. I do have the first issue, along with a smattering of Creepy and Vampirella and they were all produced from the Kenmure (K.G. Murray) group. So far it's clear cut - trust me on this - until now. The last two weeks has seen me buy two great boxes of mint condition Aussie reprints. Good for me as it's given me some stuff I didn't have previously and it's also enabled me to upgrade quite a number of my own collection. In the last box were two comics that made me sit up and take notice. The first was issue #8 of Nightmare, a Skywald title, issued under the Page banner. The book is made up of Skywald reprints and I'll scan/document it in due course. The second book is the one above - which was issued by Gredown, has all the hallmarks of a standard Gredown book and yet is made up solely of Warren reprints.
Some might argue that writer/artist Jose Bea reprinted and marketed his own material, but according to his Lambeck entry, that wasn't until 1982, a good six years after this reprint came out. Where things get really muddy is that, according to Richard Arndt's comprehensive Warren checklist only three of the books seven stories saw print in any Warren publication, and I'm even a bit suspicious about the first story because I don't have the original Eerie magazine to check on it.
So where do the other four stories come from? Who knows. Possibly they were printed somewhere, more likely Spain, and then imported to this book to flesh it out. The cover is keeping in with the overall surrealistic art style of the book - and to be honest this is one of the most bizarre comic books I think I've seen - but is clearly not by Bea. Until we know for sure I'm open for suggestions and ideas so either fire them down directly or leave some comments. One thing is certain, this book changes how we look at Gredown and their output.