Thursday, July 7, 2011

Retro Look Back - The Saga Of The Victims

In the early 70's, comic books were incredibly popular, and, even more importantly, still relatively inexpensive.

They also had something called the "Comic Code Authority" that was on the front of every issue and performed the same task the Hayes Code did for films, making them "safe" for young children to view.

As a way to circumvent the code (But mainly as another way to make money. Thank God for unrestrained capitalism) several publishers began printing large format, B&W comic magazines. These were very risque for the time, featuring a lot of exposed (Most of it partially, but on rare occasions full frontal) female flesh, plenty of accelerated violence and gore, and even a curse word here and there. Tame for today, this was all heady stuff for a teenage or preteen kid of that era. Like me for example.

Warren Publishing (Vampirella) was the big dog in this format, but others quickly got in for a piece of the pie, even Marvel Comics (They did a B&W Punisher as well as some very good Conan stuff), including a company called Skywald Publishing

Skywald had short life span, beginning at the end of 1970 and ceasing business at the beginning of `75. Basically, four years. They had a number of titles, mostly horror, like "Psycho" and "Nightmare", and some non-horror, like "Hell-Rider". Personally, I wasn't all that much for those kinds of mags. I mean, I got Vampirella because, well hell, I was a teenage boy. You know why I got that magazine.

The others? Not unless there was another reason to buy them. That reason suddenly came up one hot afternoon in the summer of `74 when I visited the local convenience store to buy an Icee (Big time item back then. Every kid drank `em. Great for giving yourself a "icee headache". Yeah, we were idiots.)

Wandering over to the magazine stand (Always good for checking out the latest detective mag covers!) there was SCREAM #8. Big whoop, I thought, but still looked through it.

Wha... wha... what? Hoo wee!

Two hot (really hot) babes bound and gagged!

You should have seen me trying to act all nonchalant as I purchased that mag, while inside I'm just about exploding. Taken in context with the time and my age, this find was akin to seeing a HD vid clip of Britney Spears (Circa 2000) strictly tied and cleave-gagged in a lengthy scene.

The story in question was called "The Saga Of The Victims". It featured a busty blonde named "Anne" and a hot black chick named "Josie". They're dressed in what was cutting edge fashion for that era, low cut tops, no bra's, mini-shirts, and boots. The girls are kidnapped one night and the saga begins as they're put in one dangerous situation after another, barely surviving, and then find themselves in the next peril.
In SCREAM #8, they're cast out in a calm sea floating along in a giant Pterodactyl nest (Uh, just go with it, okay?) when they see a ship, which they paddle over to and climb aboard. This is no modern vessel; instead it's a old sailing ship, which of course is manned by ghoulish, cutthroat pirates. 

They bind and gag our spunky heroines and make them walk the plank that way. Why gag two female captives when you're out in the middle of an empty sea? My response is, why not?  But who knows? I'm just glad they did.

The better question is, why immediately kill them rather than ravish the beauties right there on the spot?

Because this is a comic book. A mature comic magazine perhaps, but a comic nonetheless, and in 1974 comic babes did not have to suffer the indignity of rape. Death? Murder? Dismemberment? Oh yeah. For sure, no doubt. But rape? Well that's just wrong my friend! 

Anne and Josie, both "mmphing" along the way, are driven out onto the plank for a certain doom. Not so fast, as a giant whirlpool suddenly springs up (Just go with it, okay?), throwing our damsels into the water and sinking the ship. Bound as they are, a nasty drowning seems inevitable, but amazingly, the babes are cast onto a large piece of the deck that's broken loose. What luck, huh? Still tied and gagged, Anne manages to cut her ropes on a conveniently placed sharp nail and free Josie. Incredibly, through all this, their tops, barely holding on as it is, manage to remain strategically in place, showing mucho cleavage, but not the slightest hint of nipple.

Crisis averted, for a few minutes anyway until a giant squid comes along and attacks. (Just go with it, okay?)

Sheesh, will these babes ever catch a real break?

The art, by "Suso" is excellent, with very realistic looking females. The rope-work is solid and the gags are very well done. Overall, just a great, great comic scene. One of the best of all time, IMO.

I managed to locate the complete "Saga" story, which originally ran for several issues and was never actually completed.  Our victims "break" finally came when the magazine was cancelled abruptly at the end of `74.

You can download it here:

The Complete Saga Of The Victims

NOTE: This is a cbr file, which requires a reader to view properly. There are several free ones out there to choose from, but I strongly recommend COMICAL.



Davey said...

That was very interesting.I never saw anything like that before,but I'm glad you bought that up.Really enjoyed it,love the main photo on your header too.The actress looks great gagged there.:)Well done!

The Greyman said...

Really? You'd never seen this? I thought most would know about this scene, but maybe hadn't seen the entire thing.

Thanks for the kind words.

KP said...

This was reprinted by Eternity comics durign the 70's B&W comics boom - I remember getting the first issue of it.

KP said...

Sorry -meant the 80's boom

Davey said...

Yes,I'm afraid so.I didn't see much bondage in books or magazines.Most of the stuff I enjoyed seeing,was on the telly,with shows like Wonder Woman,Adventures of Superman,etc,etc.Keep up the good work.:)

Anubis said...

Just the other day I was reading about ways the horror themed comics of the 70's managed to get around the codes by printing them in magazine format. Eventually the censorship authorities realized they were fighting a losing battle and relaxed their rules a bit.
Great article, and thanks for posting the scans.

The Greyman said...

They may have relaxed at some point, but my understanding is that these days, the main comic companies could care less if they have the CCA stamp or not. I heard even Archie comics went without them.

Archie! What'd they do, show Betty and Ronnie's nips or something?

Not that I wouldn't like seeing those, but it just seems wrong somehow...

The Greyman said...

Yeah, I was lucky to find the entire saga in such great quality like that.

Pat Powers said...

I came across "Victims" while doing research for my article on "Wonder Woman's Bondage Secrets." It really was one freaky strange little publication ... glad you came up with some good info in it!