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Journey Into Unknown Worlds #36-39, 4-59 (Sept. 1950 - Aug. 1957; continued from Teen Comics).

Journey Into Unknown Worlds #23Larry Woromay (April 27, 1927 - August 26, 2007) was born in Greenwich Village, NYC . A Navy veteran of World War II, he attended the Cartoonists and Illustrators School in New York. He was an illustrator for pulp magazines and did art on crime and horror features for Stan Lee at Timely/Atlas in the first half of the 1950s, appearing in titles like Adventures Into Terror, Journey into Mystery and Strange Tales. He then drew horror comics for both Stanmor and Ace Periodicals, and was additionally present in EC's Weird Science. In the 1960s he returned to the field with ghost and war comics for the Charlton group and later contributions to Warren's Eerie magazine. As a painter, he painted hundreds of oil paintings, including landscapes, portraits and still lifes. Woromay became the director of the Nassau County Puppet Theater where he worked for 20 years until his retirement.

"Hyper, Gory, and Downright Dizzying"

A remembrance by Mike Howell (Alter Ego #81)

Larry Woromay Eerie Publications artwork epitomizes the madness of the early original art issues: hyper, gory, and downright dizzying. Dripping with decrepit atmosphere and generously ladled with blood and guts, Woromay's output is some of the most nightmare-inducting and stomach-churning of the line. Therefore, it's some of the best-loved...a fact which amused him thirty years later.

Born in Abril 1927, Lawrence Woromay got his start in the illustration field in the early 1950s with illustrations for Ziff-Davis' science-fiction pulps. He composed some excellent full-page line drawings and spot illustrations for stories by the likes of Rog Phillips and Stephen Marlowe. His horror pedigree began in 1951, when he draw a number of terror tales for Stan Lee (to whom he later referred as "that Spider-Man guy") at Timely, doing excellent stories for Strange Tales, Adventures into Terror, et al. Woromay's wife Ida told me that back in the day he was considered "the horror buy"... the artist that his peers would turn to for horror art tips. He especially liked the horror stories. He also drew for ACG and Ace's horror comics.Larry Woromay

In the 1960s he was a busy comics creator, working for Harry Harrison's art studio, predominantly doing pencils while Harrison and others handled the inks. During this period he did a lot of work for Charlton's ghost and war comics. Charlton sometimes attached the name "Bill Woromay" to his work, though Larry wasn't aware of that fact. He also went knocking on comics company doors looking for work. Ironically, this got him a nice 6-page story in Warren's Eerie magazine in 1967- shades of things to come.

Another door he knocked on was that of his old Timely peers Myron Fass and Carl Burgos; luckily, they opened that door. Woromay's work for their Eerie Publications is crazy and way over the top... super-gory, full of action, and oozing with dread. He really stamps the stories with his own style, ignoring the previous panel layouts and going off on a wild, creative tangent. His first work for the company hit the newsstands cover-dated Dec. 1969: "The Blackness of Evil" in Weird, V3, #5 and a twofer in Witches' Tales V1, #9... "The Devil's Monster" and "Over Her Dead Body". Over the next two years he contributed nearly three dozen gruesome tales to Eerie Pubs. My own personal favorite might be "The witches' Coven" with its disturbing inverted crucifixions and a real feeling of decay throughout, Great stuff, indeed! By 1971 Woromay's tenure at Eerie ended and he moved on to other projects. One such was as puppeteer, then the director, of the Puppet Theater in Nassau County, NY, He designed countless large puppets for their productions, a job he enjoyed. This work lasted for twenty years.

Journey Into Unknown Worlds #19Sometimes referred to as a Jack Davis imitator, his affection for Davis' comics work is obvious. He said he'd always loved Davis' used of many different-sized pen points and brushes to put real texture and depth into a drawing. In a discussion on an online message board about whether or not some of Woromay's artwork was really done by Davis, the webmaster responded with a definite "no" and added, "It looks like it was drawn by a mentally-disturbed 13-year-old who might have grown into a mass murderer. But hell, I like it anyway".

Woromay also cited Milton Caniff and, especially, Burne Hogarth (whose Cartoonist and Illustrators School he attended in 1946) as strong influences on his style. He studied Hogarth's Dynamic Anatomy religiously; it taught him to keep his work from getting static, to use movement, and to draw a comics page as a whole... not just as individual panels, but as a complete composition. This is certainly evident in his Eerie Pubs work. Even when he was knocking one out in the quickest, sketchiest style, his pages have an exciting sweep to them, always treating the eye to a swirl of motion.

He had no real memories one way or the other concerning his work for Countrywide. It was just another gig, and a long time ago at that. After the Puppet Theater years, the Woromays packed up and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Larry pursued his  greatest love… painting.  Many of his paintings are Southwest-flavored and have a superb textual quality to them, thick with layers of paint from a pallet knife and brush strokes, creating an almost 3D effect. His pastoral portraits and landscapes are a very far cry from his crazed, violent work for Carl and Myron, but just as beautiful to behold.

He had plans to add digital art to his repertoire as he got better acquainted with new technology. Sadly, on August 26, 2007, within a week of my being fortunate enough to speak with him, Lawrence Edward Woromay  passed away. He was 80 years old.

Journey Into Unknown Worlds #52