I first discovered this type of comicin the mid 1980's. Shopping in one of the Hispanic corner grocery stores that dotted the more interesting Boston neighborhoods at the time.
I was shocked to see the lurid painted covers of the Columbian reprints peaking out from the news racks.
Here is the article that I wrote at that time that was in Zontar's Ejecto-Pod #3 (1992):
Earlier cover reprints: