TALES CALCULATED TO DRIVE YOU BATSMedium: Comic Books
Published by: Archie Comics
First Appeared: 1961
Creators: George Gladir (writer) and Orlando Busino (artist)
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Starting with its 1952 debut, EC Comics' Tales Calculated to Drive You Mad had a flood of imitators throughout the comic book industry. Atlas's Crazy, Premier Magazines' Nuts, and similar titles proliferated for years. Considering the title alone, one of the closer imitations
was the one Archie Comics put out in 1961: Tales Calculated to Drive You Bats. Content-wise, however, Mad had much closer imitators than Bats.
Mad started out, at least, mostly parodying other comic books, branching out into movies and TV, tho by '61, its coverage had spread to American life in general. Bats, however, concentrated on the werewolves, vampires and other horror motifs that were popular at the time, popularity that also resulted in comics like Mr. & Mrs. J. Evil Scientist, television shows like The Addams Family and Saturday morning cartoons like Milton the Monster. The publisher's slant on the topic was aimed at a juvenile demographic, which was also true of its earlier Mad-inspired offering, Archie's Madhouse (1959), which concentrated on more mainstream parody targets.
The first issue of Tales Calculated to Drive You Bats, dated November, 1961, was mostly written by Archie Comics regular George Gladir, who would co-create Sabrina the Teenage Witch the following year. It was drawn by Orlando Busino, whose illustrating career has included a lot more non-Archie work, such as Gus, which appeared in Boys Life magazine (The Tracy Twins). Gladir stayed with the title, but Busino left after three issues, and it was taken over by others who contributed to the line.
The title continued in that vein for six bimonthly issues. In the seventh (November, 1962) it had a sudden format change. It still looked the same, but the stories de-emphasized their humorous aspects in favor of sci-fi and horror again, with a strong juvenule slant. In the following decade, the company re-tried the same format, quasi-serious stories of the supernatural, with bigfoot-style artwork, in a title that used Sabrina as a host.
That was the final issue of Tales Calculated to Drive You Bats.