Monday, June 30, 2008

Eerie 53

A very good all series issue of Eerie. The cover features the Mummy, by Sanjulian. The frontis for this issue is a two page feature, "Wart Monster of Tennessee" by Bill Dubay & Rich Buckler (art) and Doug Moench (story).

Up first is this issue's segment of The Mummy Walks, "Enter Mr. Hyde" by Jaime Brocal (art) and Steve Skeates (story). Jerome Curry, in the body of the mummy continues to pursue the woman who holds the amulet that can return him to his human form. During this story he encounters Mr. Hyde, a beast like man who has transformed from a normal human. The mummy defeats him and continues on his way.

Next is "To Save a Witch's Soul", part of the Curse of the Werewolf series, with art by Martin Salvador (art) and Al Milgrom (story). With his memories restored, Arthur Lemming realizes that he was at fault for his wife going astray and decides to save her from being burned at the stake. Although he's initially locked up, he breaks out and rescues her from execution, and the executioner, the supernatural expert from 2 segments earlier. He brings her to the woods, only to turn into the werewolf once more and kill her! This, Milgrom's last contribution to the series would have been a good ending, but alas the series would continue in a new direction for a while after this.

The second part of "Hunter" is third, by Paul Neary (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). This story tells the origin of Hunter. In the year 2001 (ha! years back for us now, but over 25 years in the future at the time this issue was published) nuclear war resulted in mutating much of humanity into demons. One such demon, General Ophal raped a human woman, producing the offspring Demien, aka our hero Hunter. After her death from Pox he joins a group of human soldiers and is trained on fighting demons.

A new series starts up next, Schreck. The first segment is titled "First Night of Terror!" by Vicente Alcazar & Neal Adams (art) and Doug Moench (story). Schreck is influenced heavily on the Omega Man (recently redone as I Am Legend). In the future, nuclear testing by the Chinese on the moon has caused a chain reaction that causes most humans on Earth to become white-eyes zombies. This story surrounds the title character, Derek Schreck, who flashes back to how everything came to be while fighting off the zombies. By the end of the story his wife Paula has cut off his hand with a cleaver and become a zombie along with his friend Lee. A pretty good start, although this was the only story in the series that Adams contributed to.

Last is "Spawn of the Dead Thing". This story carries the series title "Fathom Haunt" although this ends up being a stand alone story. A rather surreal and incomprehensible story about the title character, who fights the 'Dread Thing' and its Spawn. Terrific art by Sutton in one of his last Eerie appearances.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Creepy 135

Another rather dull later issue of Creepy. The cover is by Richard Courtney.

First is "The Wedding Gift!" by Fred Carillo (art) and Budd Lewis (story), about a pair of newly weds who head to a large house only for the husband to leave due to an old woman requesting help. The wife finds ghosts there and she dies, being a sacrifice for the husband, which enables the old woman, his mother, to live longer.

"...For We Have Sinned" with art by Martin Salvador and story by Bill Dubay is second, featuring a christmas story about a policeman and a crazy murderer. This is a sequel to the story "Bless Us, Father..." from Creepy 59.

"Angel Hair Wine" by Jun Lofamia (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story) follows, about a man who finds a bar where the magical wine of the title is served. He is offered a case of the wine for his hand and initially refuses, but then goes along with it.

The cover story is "Strange in a Strange Land!" by Peter Hsu (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). It features a giant robot that comes to Earth and wreaks havoc.

"Morbid Love Story" is next, by Auraleon (art) and Michael Fleisher (story). The story is about a woman having an affair and the lover murders her husband, but she breaks things off which causes him to kill himself. Aside from the weak ending, an okay story, the best of the issue.

Last is "Yonder Star" by Steve Gan (art) and Budd Lewis (story), which tells of the three wisemen who witnessed Jesus's birth and how a downed jet was really what led them there, not a star.

Can you tell by my very long summaries just how boring this issue was? Avoid at all costs unless you're a Warren completist.

1984 2

The second issue continues some of the trends of the first issue. Absolutely terrific art, some of the best we've ever seen in Warren, lots of stories, no ads... and lots of stories focused way too heavily on sex. The cover is again by Richard Corben, with some edits by Bill Dubay.

"The Last of the Red Hot Lovers" is first. In the future, nuclear waste being stored around the world caused disaster. Many men's sex organs became radioactive and killed women during sex. They became known as the Glows. Other's sex organs became quite large, the Hungs. The story features the battle between the Glows and the Hungs, as the Glows try to steal the women of the Hungs since all their women die. It should be noted that if you look at the artwork in this story, you'd have no idea of this, as thankfully Ortiz's artwork doesn't seem all that more offensive than any ordinary story by him.

"Scourge of the Spaceways" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story) is next. One of my favorite, if not my favorite 1984 story, mostly due to Maroto's insanely beautiful and exotic artwork. Probably the best art he ever did on a Warren story, at least in my opinion. The story features humanity heading to space, where it is promptly discovered that women are unique to humanity. All of the universe quickly gets embroiled in a war to claim the women of Earth. Eventually however, a natural solution arises as a 'scourge' from human women causes male's sex organs to shrivel and fall off, so the war is quickly ended, and humanity pretty much dies
out, since there's no real way now to continue our species.

"...Sure Fire Quick-Carnage Self-Detonation Kit!" by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story) is an
infomercial esque tale about ways to kill yourself in entertaining fashion. This is actually a fairly fun story to read, and Nino's art is quite complex and gory.

"One Night Down on the Funny Farm" by Wally Wood (art) and Wood & Bill Dubay (story) is a dull, nonscencical story where the story, about a TV producer, or something like that, doesn't match the artwork, featuring medieval action, at all. Horrible, horrible story, most likely due to Dubay's edits to Wood's story.

The Janitor by Nebot (art) and Bill Dubay (story) is a quick paced story with no dialogue featuring a janitor who starts work at a school for wayward girls and promptly has sex with all of them. He then is chased out by the nun who runs the place, and it is revealed that he is an alien creature who came to Earth to impregnate a bunch of women.

"Mutant World", the second part of Richard Corben's 8 part series features our dimwitted hero Dimento coming across a priest/monk who orders him around. They head through the desert and Dimento gets punished when he tries to eat some of his fruit. Suddenly something buries the priest in the sand however, saving Dimento from the beating.

"Messiah" is about a sex doctor who dresses up like a powerful warrior. The story is drawn by Rudy Nebres and written by Bill Dubay. He heads to a planet that used to have the most beautiful entities in the universe, but due to overpopulation, scientists distributed material that turned them all into hideous monsters. They retaliate by killing all scientists who come, including our lead character. And of course, the planet ends up being none other than Earth. Nebres's art is actually quite good here, and is mostly 2 page spreads.

"Don't Call Me... Maneater!" by Jim Janes & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bill Dubay (story) is just a horrid, horrid story about some guy who likes to eat people. Poor story that I won't go into any more detail on here.

"The Microbe Patrol" wraps up the issue, with art by Abel Laxamana and story by Nicola Cuti. This story features a miniature ship sent inside a man's body to fight off germs, a practice that is common in the setting of this story. Many ships have dissappeared however, and it soon becomes clear when a very promiscous nurse has sex with the patient and they end up in her, where they find all the dissappeared ships, with their own civilization. One foolish man protecting the city ends up killing her however, so they all have to leave her body and set up a shrine for her.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Eerie 31

This issue of Eerie features Richard Corben's first cover for Warren, featuring a trio of monsters over a dead body.

Up first is "Point of View" by Tom Sutton (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). It takes place from two points of view, monsters inhabiting Earth, and the last few humans left. Both view each other as aliens and fight until only one remains.

Next is "The Drop" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Chris Fellner (story). A basketball player quits drugs but gets one more hit from his dealer. He and is girlfriend take it while in a haunted house. The guy grows to a large size while she shrinks, and he ends up stepping on her!

"The Devil's Hand!" by Bill Dubay (story & art) is third. It features a society that cut off the hand of Satan and keeps it in a cage. It passes down over the years to an old man who wants to bargain with it to gain wealth power and eternal life. He brings in another man to help who is greedy and kills the old man. However Satan's hand kills him when he opens the cage it is in and escapes.

Fourth is "The Alien Plague!" by Billy Graham (art & story). This story, featuring a pair of teams investigating an aliens has as a mysterious monster... staples! Pretty good art and not bad a story.

The Oasis is Fifth, by Carlos Garzon (art) and Buddy Saunders (story) about a battle between men and spiders over an oasis in the desert, which ends up having a monster that destroys the victors.

"The Lady in the Ice" is sixth, by Frank Bolle (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This is the second and last October Weir story, featuring the psychic detective visiting an old friend whose wife dissappeared. She was actually murdered by the friend and his lover and comes back from the dead to take revenge.

Another Carlos Garzon drawn story ends the issue, "The Killer Slime", writen by Steve Skeates. Garzon's artwork channels Angelo Torres's throughout the story. The story features a slime that can actually think and communicate which plots to take over the world.

Creepy 34

Our next issue is Creepy #34, featuring a cover by Ken Barr, of his interior story "Lifeboat!". The frontis for this issue is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by Dan Adkins.

First up is "X-Tra X" by Jack Sparling (art) and Robert (Michael) Rosen (story). A man who is a werewolf approaches a professor whose been studying genes and believes that an extra chromosome is responsible for criminal behavior. The man volunteers to be experimented on by the professor to cure him from being a werewolf. He ends up dying from the procedure, which ends up being okay with the professor as he's a werewolf too.

Next is "Lifeboat!" by Ken Barr (art) and Bill Parente (story). Astronauts come across a planet with a died out race, except for one man, Aceles, a man of large stature and great strength. He goes back on the ship with them peacefully, but it soon becomes clear that the entire race on that planet are contained within him and he is seeking to revive the species by transforming the astronauts into those of his species. The astronauts respond by throwing him out of the ship to his death. Pretty good story.

Next is "The Cool Jazz Ghoul" by Ken Kelly (art) and Al Hewetson (story). This story's unique by being Ken Kelly's sole interior story, outside of this and a single frontis, he did exclusively covers for Warren. His art's okay here, but not great. Covers clearly suited him better. The story surrounds a jazz musician who ponders making a deal with the devil, but instead embalms his body and sells it for lot of money.

Fourth is "Minanker's Demons" by John G. Fantuccio (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). This rather poor story is about a wizard who captures a princess and the knight that tries to rescue her. When the knight reaches his castle, the wizard summons a demon, who kills him because of a crack in his pentagram that prevents him from being protected.

"The Forgotten Prisoner of Castlemare" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Robert (Michael) Rosen (story) is about dueling barons who try to get rid of each other. One ends up getting locked up in a jail cell and the other is killed by a trap. This story is based on the Castlemare prisoner ad in the Captain Company section of the Warren mags.

Next up is "The Swamp in Hell!" by Don Vaughn (art) and Al Hewetson (story). A swamp beast rises out of the swamp and heads to a nearby town. All are frightened except a blind old man who befriends the monster. The monster ends up vanishing because of the kindness of the old man.

Last is "Ando!" by Syd Shores (art) and Robert (Michael) Rosen (story). This story is about a baron and his powerful henchman, Ando, who bullies the local populace into paying the baron high taxes. The baron's quest to create a super race of people continuosly fails. He realizes that he must find a strong person to experiment on, so he uses Ando. Only it makes Ando too strong, he refuses to obedient to the baron anymore and kills him.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vampirella 94

I realized that I posted Vampirella 95 before issue 94, a bad mistake of mine given that there are many continous series in these issues. So here's issue 94!

Vampirella's cover this issue is a conglomoration of a number of different past issues, something which had already been done before on issue 45's cover. Jose Gonzalez contributes a portrait of Vampirella on the table of contents page, something that would be common throughout the rest of this title's run.

First up is "Death Machine" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Taking place immediately after the end of the prior tale, the leader of Apocalypse Inc arranges for a humanoid robot to attack Vampi at her home. Vampi eventually defeats it, revealing a 10 year old girl who was controlling it.

Next up is the second part of "Cassandra St. Knight" by Auraleon (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Continuing from the past story, Cassandra and Tarot battle a psychic entity that follows them to the real world from hell. Eventually they are able to defeat it and send it back to hell.

Another segment in the Pantha serial is third, "Druids on 54th Street!" by Jose Ortiz (art, who takes on this role for the remainder of the serial's run) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Pantha goes back to being a stripper, but the place she joins is occupied by a bunch of cult members who try to sacrifice her in order to obtain great positions in life. Using her Panther shapeshifting power, Pantha is able to defeat them all.

"The Big Shot" is next, by Delando Nino (art) and Michael Fleisher (story). The story is about a human cannonball in a circus who kills a fellow performer, whose girlfriend gets revenge by switching the cannon that he had ordered with one that ends up killing him.

Fifth is "The Last Gift", a christmas story by Esteban Maroto (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). The story takes place a number of years after the death of Santa, all his reindeer and helpers except for one. In a post apocalyptic world the last survivor tries to restore Christmas to how it used to be but fails and ends up killing himself. Quite a depressing Christmas tale!

Last is "Gunplay" by the Artifact team (John Lakey, Val Lakey & Laura Buscemi). This story is about a group of outlaws who rob a bank but get pursued by the cops and mostly get gunned down. The last two are a man and his brother, who is already severly wounded. Eventually the outlaw agrees to shoot his brother to put him out of his misery. The ending reveals that it was actually kids all along. As usual, terrific art by the Lakeys.

Eerie 5

An early issue of Eerie, featuring a cover of a Tyranosaurus Rex by Frank Frazetta. This issue's frontis is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: The Mummy" by Dan Adkins & Wally Wood.

First is "The Mummy Stalks!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin & Roy Krenkel (story), featuring a mummy that turns into a werewolf while being stored in a museum.

Next is "The Jungle" by Al Williamson (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), about a trio of men who slay a witch doctor only for the woods to come alive and kill them all.

Third is "Black Magic" by Steve Ditko (art) and goodwin (story). A sorceror summons a woman from the dead, despite the warnings of his old master. When she ends up being crazy, he casts a spell that makes her dead again, only to suffer the same fate himself, since he was raised from the dead by his master!

Fourth is "A Matter of Routine!" by Eugene Colan (art) and Goodwin (story), featuring a man coming home from work one day who enters his house and suddenly finds himself in the land of the dead, being tortured by demons. The demons realize that he isn't really dead yet and shouldn't be there, so he returns to his own life, forever fearful of what will happen when he comes home.

Fifth is "Dr. Griswold's File!" by Rocco Mastroserio (art) and Carl Wessler (story), about a doctor who brings a criminal back from the dead to steal from his patients at random so he can afford expensive things for his wife. Only she ends up becoming one of his victims!

Sixth is "The Swamp God" by Angelo Torres (art) and Goodwin (story), about a pair of hunters that go to a swamp to hunt 'The Swamp God', that the natives had been sacrificing their people to. Their guide summons the God, a giant Tyranosaurus Rex, whom he gets to eat both of the hunters, as he's now getting all outsiders to sacrifice to the God.

Last is "Vampire Slayer" with art by Joe Orlando and Jerry Grandenetti (uncredited) and story by Goodwin. A vampire slayer meets a beautiful woman whom he suspects is a vampire, but she proves she isn't one by showing herself in a mirror. He sees her again unarmed, only for it to be revealed that she was a vampire all along, and her twin sister, a ghoul was the one seen in the mirror. They both feast upon him.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Creepy 30

Here's Creepy 30, which came out right around the start of Warren's rebuilding period. The cover is by Bill Hughes, featuring a Frankenstein-like monster. The frontis is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore: Exorcism!" by Tom Sutton (story & art).

First up is "The Mind of the Monster!" by Ernie Colon (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). A scientist creates a bizarre three-headed, three-armed monster to defeat a beast on Mars that has been killing monsters. Only the intelligent monster, who has no reason to kill such a monster, decides to kill the scientists instead.

Next is "Drop In!" by Tom Sutton (art) and Don Glut (story), about an Earthquake thats about to occur in Los Angeles. Eventually the Earthquake does occur, killing everyone left in the city.

Third is "The Haunted Sky!" by Roger Brand (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), originally from Creepy 17. A pilot encounters his dead colleagues while aflight in an experimental airplane. Although the doctors don't initially believe him, there is proof left behind of the ghost's existence.

Next is "The River", another reprint, from Creepy 15 with story & art by Johnny Craig. A pair of thieves try to escape using the river, but one has second thoughts and is killed by his colleague. Although he is shot at, he is able to escape and is helped by an old man on a boat. However, it ends up the old man is bringing him to the lake of the dead.

Fifth story is "To Be Or Not To Be A Witch" by Carlos Prunes (art) and Bill Parente (story). Prunes was a spanish artist from Selecciones Illustrada who'd make his sole appearance here about a year and a half or so before many other S.I. artists started coming over. A man whose accused many of being witches visits an accused family lying to them about needing help removing a demon from him. Luckily for him it fails, as he truly is a demon, and kills them.

Sixth is "Piece By Piece" by Joe Orlando (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), reprinted from Creepy 14. A scientist creates a Frankenstein-like monster from five different people and takes the brain from his assistant. The monster takes revenge upon the townfolk who were mean to him when he was still alive, only for the corpses of the five people whom is body is made up of to climb out of there graves and take back all their body parts.

Last is "Dr. Jekyll's Jest" by Mike Royer (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). A man believes his cruel colleague is abusing patients, and eventually finds that his fiance was experimented on and killed by him. Only it ends up that his colleague, Dr. Jekyll was the true culprit all along.

A so-so issue, nothing to great here, and half the issue's reprints so can't be too pleased about that.

Vampirella 95

An all series issue of Vampirella, featuring a cover by Ken Kelly of Vampi tied up in a octopus like creature's chambers.

Our Vampi segment for this issue is "Plague of Vampires" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Rich Margopoulos. In keeping with Margopoulos's usual fare, this episode references multiple prior segments. It features a deformed man who learns of a previous stay of Vampi in the hospital so he creates clones of Vampi but they get out and start attacking people. Margopoulos and Nebres fail yet again to put out a high quality Vampi story although its at least not as bad as the usual fare.

"The Initiation", the third segment in the Cassandra St. Knight series is up next. As usual it features art by Auraleon and story by Rich Margopoulos. This segment provides us with some background information on Cassandra, about the death of her husband Jeff whom she did nothing to save when the two of them were in a car accident. During a test of her skills she's attacked for real. A fairly long story at 16 pages.

Third is "Reflections in Blood!" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). An old enemy of Conrad Van Helsing who was reponsible for killing his wife and blinding him traps Adam in a mirror world. Pantha goes in and saves him and they escape the mirror world.

Last is "The Fox" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This is the start of a new series in Vampirella, which is a spinoff of a story originally printed in Creepy #100, where a chinese princess had the ability to turn into a fox and used it to save herself when her uncle tried to take over the throne. This story continues from that one, where our hero, Ming Toi befriends a woodsman and is confronted by her uncle yet again. She tricks him into thinking she's his daughter, until the real daughter shows up at the end.

A so-so issue. Cassanda St. Knight and The Fox are fairly good segments this time while Vampi and Pantha aren't.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Eerie 43

This issue's cover by Luis Dominguez features a number of corpses coming after a man in his house. The frontis for this issue is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: Quetzalcoatl Monster God" by Luis Garcia (art) and Doug Moench (story).

First story is "Someday" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Rich Margopoulos. The story features a bomb being placed on Earth in the far past from alien astronauts, who decide to not detonate it and leave the Earth in peace. Many years pass and the bomb is discovered, so it is launched into space with a single man who is responsible for detonating it at a safe distance. He lands on another planet and is able to detonate it after some trouble with the people there.

Next is "Musical Chairs" by Tom Sutton (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A man about to be executed suddenly finds himself transported to another dimension where he will be king. He succeeds in defeating a monster, but just as things are getting good, he is back in the real world and is executed. Story similar to Ambrose Bierce's 'An Occurence at Owl Creek'.

Third is "Bright Eyes" by Richard Corben (art) and Doug Moench (story). The story features a plantation owner who uses a lot of dead corpses, revived from the dead, to do work for him. One of the dead men's brothers arrives and wants to take him away from there. The plantation owner refuses and in a struggle with the brother is killed. But this results in all the corpses rotting away to nothing since their summoner is dead.

Fourth is "The Hunt" by Paul Nary (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). The story features a man, whom is a slave on the run, being hunted by his masters. At the end it ends up that the masters are actually beast-like people.

Fifth is "Showdown!" by Jesus Suso Rego (art) and Steve Skeates about an expert gunman who is confronted by a mysterious man and killed by him. Suso wouldn't do much work for Warren but did a lot for Skywald, Warren's competitor.

Last is "Let the Evil One Sleep", our latest segment of Dax the Warrior, by Esteban Maroto. Dax, heading through the desert suddenly finds himself in a beautiful landscape and meets a beautiful woman, Lilith who keeps calling him Adam. She tells him of an evil one who sleeps nearby. Demons eventually arrive and attack her. Dax finds himself paralyzed but is eventually able to move and kills them all. Dax is convinced that he must kill the evil one and goes to it, only to find it is himself! He is suddenly in the desert again, making one wonder if it was all a hallucination.

The issue wraps up with another segment in Eerie's Monster Gallery: "The Mortsafes" by Tom Sutton (story & art)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Creepy 84

An all sports issue! Like the Christmas specials, was never a big fan of these, even though I am a sports fan. The cover is by Ken Kelly.

First up is "Hitter's Wind!" by Carmine Infantino & Walt Simonson (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). The story takes place in the negro leagues just before the great depression, and is about a ball player who sacrifices his life to win the pennant, dying just after he hits the game winning hit.

The issue's best story is next, "The Mummy's Victory" by Richard Corben (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). A mummy in museum comes back to life and takes the place of an injured player in a football game, winning the game for them! Funny art by Corben on the mummy. A sequel would be done in the next all sports issue, Creepy 93.

Third is "Till Hell Freezes Over!" by Carmine Infantino & Dick Giordano (art) and Steve Englehart (story). When a hockey player dies during a game due to a hit by an opponent, an angry woman fires a gun into the scoreboard that ends up shorting out the electricity for the whole building. With everyone trapped in the building and the temperature getting lower and lower, everyone eventually freezes to death.

Fourth is "Home Stretch" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Roger McKenzie (art), about a horse and the hunchback taking care of it who are burned to death when the owner hires a jockey to burn the stable down for the insurance money on the horse. Both the horse and hunchback die, but come back from the dead to take revenge.

Fifth is "Menace, Anyone?" by Carmine Infantino & Al Milgrom (art) and David Micheline (story). A black tennis player is very successful in a tournament, so the racist governor kills him. The player's friend brings him back to life so he can win the tournanment, and also sacrifices his life for him so he can remain alive.

Last is "Relic" by Carmine Infanino & John Severin (art) and Roger McKenzie (story), which features baseball in the future, where robots are all the players. The story focuses on an old human manager, the last one in the game, and his friendship with the first robot to ever play the game, Jackie-7, who is now quite out of date. Despite Jackie-7's destruction, they are able to win their final game together.

Stories for the most part aren't badly written, but having 4 of 6 stories written by the same writer and 4 of 6 stories pencilled by the same artist certainly result in a lot of repetiveness here, at least in my opinion.

Vampirella 69

Another issue of Vampirella featuring Barbara Leigh on the cover.

Up first is "The Saga of Frick and Frack Freckles and the Phantom of Hollywood" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This title appears to have been originally intended for the story that ended up in issue 71 of Vampirella, previously covered by me. The story features Vampirella in Hollywood, being pursued by an old lady inventor to obtain her for her colleague, an old man. By using robots, she is able to capture Vampi, and the story ends, to be continued in the next issue.

Next is "Hit Six", with art by Luis Bermejo and story by Bruce Jones. The story is about a hit man who tries to quit the business but to pay off a debt is forced to go on one last hit, to kill a beautiful woman. They end up going out for a while since he's got a while before he has to kill her, but eventually the people who hired him come after him.
Third is "Off the Beaten Empath" by Luis Duranona (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). The lead character of the story is an "Empath", a person whose emotions are heavily influenced by the emotions of those around them. It gets so bad for our main character though that he actually transforms if the emotions of someone nearby is too great. This result in him getting fired from his job, fighting a mugger, and eventually fighting his wife until they kill each other.
Fourth is "Reagan Redux" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bruce Jones (story). The story features a man who suddenly ends up in the desert with amnesia, and meets a woman and her son who live out there. While wandering in the desert, the man suddenly vanishes, only to appear again with the boy, very sick. With a blood transfusion he's able to save the boy's life. It ends up that the man is the boy, from the future, all grown up. Jones points this story out as one he was dissappointed in the artwork for in the Warren Companion when the artist, Ortiz drew a poodle as the boy's pet in the storyline instead of a more typical american dog.
Last is "Jessie's Friend" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Bruce Jones (story). Jessie dumps her boyfriend and heads off to get a new apartment to avoid him. Across the street she sees an old man in another building always staring at her. In fact she never sees him not staring at her and eventually realizes that he's dead. At the same time, her boyfriend has been calling her, trying to get her back. Nervous due to the old man's body, she tells him to come over, but it ends up it was the old man she was talking to the whole time!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Eerie 10

This issue of Eerie features the grim reaper, done by Gray Morrow. The background is completely white though, making it look a little odd.

First story is "Warrior of Death", by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A warrior, Zahran finds himself dying after a long battle and is encountered by Death. Zahran deals with Death to become invulnerable so he can kill many more on the battlefield. As he gets more and more powerful, Zahran becomes drunk with power. He encounters a young boy, Valric on the battlefield but ends up being killed by him, as it ends up that Valric made the same deal with Death that Zahran had. Good story that Ditko's art fits perfectly.

Next is "The Slugs!" by Joe Orlando (art) and Bill Pearson (story). The story, taking place in a swamp is about monsters and their victims, which turn into creatures as well.

Third is "It!" by Dan Adkins (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). Astronauts in space find a hibernating dinosaur like creature which they bring aboard and wakes up. They eventually defeat it, but it leaves babies aboard the ship.

Fourth is "Voodoo Drum!" by Neal Adams (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). The story, which is done in pencils only, is about a plantation owner who finds workers difficult to obtain, so a native brings him zombies in exchange for payment. The man kills him, seeking to use the zombies for free, but they come after him and turn his skin into a drum.

Fifth is "House of Fiends" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A new doctor visits a young woman who is chained up by her aunt and uncle, accused as being crazy. She tells the doctor that they are a werewolf and vampire, and that their servant is a ghoul, and he has been brought here for them to kill. The doctor witnesses all three becoming the creatures she stated they were and manages to kill them all. Only it ends up that she is a witch and had tricked him into thinking they were these horrific creatures. Grandenetti's art style was quite different than most of the artists that worked for Warren but I've always enjoyed his work a lot.

Last is "For the Birds!" by Eugene Colan (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). An out of work actor finds an old man always in the park feeding the birds. He befriends the old man, with the intention of taking his money at some later point. Eventually he kills him, puts on makeup so he'll look like him, and heads out with the man's money in a paper bag where he usually stores the bird feed, but the birds end up eating him!

Creepy 115

An odd looking cover by Sanjulian for this issue, featuring a man with a fly's face, carrying a passed out woman.

First up is "Gabriel's Horn" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). A story about a black family in the south being mistreated by the KKK, and a magic horn that is used to take revenge on them.

Next is "Last Labor of Hercules" by Delando Nino (art, credited as A2-120) and Budd Lewis (story). The story is about a sorceror who temas up with Hercules. A boring action story.

Third is "Cyrano" by Mike Sanez (art) and Bob Toomey (story). Really good story with extremely good looking art from Saenz, who unfortunately did very little work for Warren. The story features a ship, Cyrano, that heads through space looking for alien civilizations.

"Rapid Fire Angel" by Abel Laxamana (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story) is our next story, about an assassin who is chased down by a living motorcycle possessed by the soul of a former biker. Another rather poor action story.

Fifth is "Et Tu, Brutus?" by Val Mayerik & Rudy Nebres (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). The story is about a pet pig who due to waste contamination turns to a giant size. It eventually needs to be killed to feed everyone.

Last is "War Children" by Val Mayerik (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). It is a Romeo & Juliet style love story between a prince and princess from warring nations. In the end it is revealed that they are brother and sister, spoiling that romance! A good way to end the issue.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Creepy 11

A nice cover for this issue by Frank Frazetta, featuring a giant beast man pursuing a beautiful woman. The frontis for this issue is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by John Severin (art) and Archie Goodwin (story).

Up first is "Hop Frog" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), an Edgar Allen Poe adaption. It features the title character, who is a midget that is constantly teased and absued by the king and his men. One night Hop Frog convinces the king and two friends to dress up as gorillas to scare some guests. Hop Frog takes this opportunity to bind them then set them all aflame, and leaves the castle for good.

"Sore Spot" by Joe Orlando (art) and Archie Goodwin (story) features an executioner who sets up an innocent man to die for a murder he committed. After the murder a red spot appears on his chest which grows bigger and bigger, and eventually ends up being the executed man's face!

Next is "The Doorway" by Dan Adkins (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A security guard comes across a destroyed lab with an odd doorway. He goes through and finds himself in another world, where a large bat like creature with a skull face takes over a man's body. Another creature arrives and takes over our protagonist, who destroys the doorway and kills himself in order to stop it from taking over Earth. Only the creature takes over a nearby person upon his death, enabling him to restore the doorway.

"The Black Death" by Manny Stallman (art) and Ron Parker (story) feature a pair of men who dispose of corpses whose demise was due to the black death. They sell the jewelry of the dead to various people, causing more deaths, which in turn enables them to get even more jewelry to sell. Eventually one of their larger benefactors dies due to them and they go to his house to take all his treasure. They get trapped in the basement when they find it... and unfortunately that's as far as I can go, as my copy of this issue is missing the last page.

"Beast Man" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story) is next, featuring a boxer who has a bad heart, so he gets it replaced with a gorilla's heart! Only he finds himself becoming a monster! Or does he? It ends up everything is in his mind, but that doesn't stop him from going on a rampage anyway.

"The Devil To Pay" is next, with art by Donald Norman and story by Archie Goodwin. A duke summons a demon, seeking more power for himself. The demon refuses, instead telling him that he'll die within a year and his soul will belong to hell. He can prevent that if he finds someone wiling to give up their soul, but if he fails, he'll die within a day. The duke finds a man and hypnotizes him into doing his deed, only for the man to end up being Satan himself!

Last is "Skeleton Crew" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A pair of men come across an abandoned ship where they find only skeletons. The ship's log talks about a coffin they took aboard in order to avoid it being mutilated by natives. Only a mysterious plague engulfs the ship, killiing anyone who come in contact with the coffin, leaving only skeletons behind. Eventually everyone has died from it. In the real time the truth is soon revealed, that warrior ants put in the coffin killed the crew, and attack the two men that found it as well!

Vampirella 20

This issue features a yellow bordered cover by Luis Dominguez featuring his interior story. The frontis for this issue is "Vampi's Feary Tales: The Matrimonial Murder" by Auraleon (art) and Doug Moench (story), about a con artist who kills men and takes their money, then vanishes.

First up is "When Wakes the Dead" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and T.Casey Brennan (story). Continuing from the previous issue (one of the few Vampi issues I don't have), Vampirella is in the past with the Van Helsing's ancestors, as is Dracula. Dracula is in love with a woman, Lucy, who they manage to bring back to life using Vampi's blood serum, but she dies when she sees Dracula attacking another woman. Vampi herself also has to reveal herself eventually, and the two are forced to return to the present.

Second is "Gender Bender" by Esteban Maroto (art & story), part of the Tomb of the Gods serial, featuring a husband and wife battling each other while shifting forms. One of the most surreal stories Warren would ever publish. One of the pages would be reprinted (with different text) in issue 22's "Orpheus".

Next is "Love is No Game" by Luis Garcia (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A girl pines over her handsome new neighbor but he keeps ignoring her. Eventually she follows him into a field and spots him writing her name on a tree... but it ends up she's joining just one of the many victims he has killed. Great art by Garcia, as always.

Next is "Eye Opener" by Auraleon (art) and Doug Moench. A salesman on the road encounters a young woman, Wendy, and her blind grandmother, who is blind, but keeps the eyes of her dead husband in a box. After he has sex with Wendy, the grandmother claims she's tainted her and he ends up getting in a car accident as he leaves. His eyes suddenly show up in her box as well.

Last is "Vengeance, Brother, Vengeance!" by Luis Dominguez (art) and Greg Potter (story). The story is about two brothers, one who becomes a powerful warrior and the other who is captured, mutated, and forced to become a mute sorceror. The warrior brother saves his woman from the evil ruler, but his brother ends up passing away in the ordeal.

Another one page feature finishes the issue, "Vampi's Feary Tales The Headless Hauntress of Shepton Prison" by Auraleon (art) and Doug Moench (story), about a headless ghost.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Eerie 33

Our odd looking cover for this issue is for the interior story Starvisions, both done by Larry Todd. The frontis for this issue is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: The Minotaur" by Clif Jackson.

First up is "A Trip in Time!" by Jack Sparling (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A man creates a time machine, thinking that his appearance in the past will have no impact. And it doesn't, because as he arrives in the past, he and his time machine quickly vanish entirely!

Second is "243 Blank Pages" by George Roussos (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A man finds a book which will cause anyone whose name is written in it then consequently burned to vanish. He does so to an enemy of his, but then becomes paranoid that the police are after him and destroys the book in a fire, having forgotten that he wrote his own name in it!

Next is "Whom the Gods Would Destroy" by Ken Barr (art) and Marvin Wolfman (story). A well written story about a battle consuming all who remain on Earth. It is eventually revealed that our heroes are battling only a hospital with self-defense forces, and soon only two are let, who die as well.

Fourth is "Escape Into Chaos" by Ernie Colon (art) and Steve Skeates (story). Probably the issue's worst story, it is about a man who keeps being plagued by bugs and other monsters, yet forgets about it and encounters the same fate over and over.

The cover story, "Starvisions" by Larry Todd (story & art) is our next one, a bizarre story about a large funnel like creature that appears to be made up of many stones that encounters a few stranded astronauts which it believes are just a figment of its imagination.

"The Pest" is next, by Richard Corben (art) and Al Hewetson (story). A bug killing device is created that uses toxic gas, and causes problems for ill adults or children. Its creator is getting rich off of it and could care less until he turns into a bug himself, well at least thinks he does, and dies of a heart attack.

Last is "The Painting in the Tower" by Pat Boyette (art) and Gardner Fox (story). An evil baron takes an artist's daughter and has his hands cut off when he refuses payment. The girl hangs herself soon after. The baron sees her corpse come back to life and lead him to a part of his castle where the father's chopped off hands paint a picture of him being tortured, and he slowly vanishes as the painting is completed.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Creepy 133

Pretty good, complex cover on this issue by Jeff Easely. Unfortunately the issue's stories are rather poor quality, as expected for this era. This issue features a one page introduction of Uncle Creepy by Rudy Nebres.

First story is "Junior" by Abel Laxamana (art) and Bill Dubay & Timothy Moriarty (story). The story is about a freak named Junior who looks like a tentacled monster. Although friendly, when he escapes into the outside world he is viewed as a monster and is killed.

Second is "The Dead Remember" by Martin Salvador (art) and Bruce Jones (story). The story is about a boy who takes a watch from a dead man who fears that the corpse will come after it to take it back. He brings it back to the body only to realize later that he brought it back to the wrong body.

Third is "Kobold" with artists Romeo Tanghal and Alfredo Alcala and writer Budd Lewis. The story is about an older man in a post-apocalyptic world who battles various monsters in order to reach his wife. Also, the world will be ending in a day. Didn't like this one.

Fourth is "Bring on the Clowns" by Fred Carillo (art) and Michael Fleisher (story). The story is about a serial killer who dresses up as a clown. An accountant gets into an encounter with a mugger and is mistaken for the killer, but he eventually comes across the real killer, who chops his head off then kills himself, leading everyone to believe for good that the accountant was the killer.

Last is "Savage Cargo" by Paul Neary (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, as Alabaster Redzone), a sci-fi story about a woman and her bodyguard who are subdued by criminals. The criminals steal the egg of their pet, which ends up being a ferocious creature that will eat them.

1984 1

Here's the first issue of 1984, Warren's long awaited science fiction magazine which premiered in 1978. Sporting no ads at all, the early issues of this title have as many story pages in them as anything Warren ever published. Unfortunately the content itself was based primarily on editor Bill Dubay's sex fantasies and would feature (in my opinion) the single worst and most offensive story in the history of Warren publishing, which we'll get to eventually. Just not in this issue. As 1984 contained many continuing series, like Eerie, my goal is to complete it in numerical order.
The cover's by Richard Corben, a pretty good one featuring an alien encounter in space. Very good art throughout this issue, but the stories are usually all over the map in terms of quality.

Up first is "Last of the Really Great, All-American Joy Juice" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay. The story takes place in the future, where the communists bombed America with a sterilization bomb that not only sterilized all men, but caused their penises to fall off. The heroes of our tale are on a spaceship with all the sperm that remains. They come across a group of very ugly women who try to have sex with them and end up destroying all the sperm. Good art, but with a story like this, 1984 certainly gets off on the wrong foot.

Luckily the next tale makes up for things somewhat, "The Saga of the Honeydew Melons" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Nicola Cuti (story) features a group of miners who get angered at a trader who provides the women at a strip club, as they're usually almost all holograms (since real women are often too scared to come). The trader, Maxwell, manages to escape and finds a professor with a powerful android, expected to replace many real men. He convinces the professor to transform the android into the sexiest stripper imaginable, Honey Dew, who does things too perfect when she finally goes out on stage, stripping off even her artificial skin after all her clothes are off! Naturally the miners are more upset than ever, and Maxwell & company are never heard from again. Absolutely amazing art from Maroto here, probably the sexiest artwork out of any of Warren's stories, at least in my opinion.

Third is "Once Upon Clarissa" by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is about a woman in a horrible accident who is reconstructed at the hospital in a number of various tubes and robot parts. She falls in love with a man via the mail but fears that the man will be disgusted at her when he finds the truth, so she decides to reveal it to him. He remains in love with her and comes to meet her. Not a bad story, but a weak ending and the fact that over half the story is written in a manner thats very hard to read certainly damages things.

Fourth is "Quick Cut" by Wally Wood (story & art), about a race of short people (called Halves) the evil larger people (called Half Nots). The Half Nots brutalize the Halves when they refuse to pay taxes or give them their women (which are actually eaten by the Half Nots). Two of the last surviving Halves go after the evil tax collector Half Not who caused the death of many. As discussed in Richard Arndt's wonderful Warren bibliography, this story was originally combined with another Wally Wood story in the second story, and was greatly altered by Bill Dubay to focus more on sex, so Wally Wood quit Warren altogether. Since I don't have the original (which was eventually published by Wood elsewhere), can't say how good the actual story was, but I'm sure its better than this drivel.

A one page segment is next, "The Saga of Xatz and Xotz" by Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bill Dubay (story) about aliens who come across a destroyed Earth and think the contents of a comic book is what actually happened to Earth.

"Bugs" is next, by Joe Vaultz (art) and Bill Dubay (story), a short tale about a spaceship which comes across three bug looking spaceships, which actually end up eating it!

Our color story for this issue is "Mutant World", by Richard Corben (art & story). This was the first of an eight part series by Corben, and eventually Jan Strnad. Good art on the series throughout, but I never thought the story was all that great. It surround Dimento, a rather dimwitted mutant and his adventures. In this story he meets a beautiful woman while trying to eat her horse, who eventually saves him from other mutants who try to eat him.

"Faster Than Light Interstallar Travel" is next, by Luis Bermejo (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story), about an old man who discovers a way to pilot ships at an immense speed and brings a group of people on a tour of space, with some mishaps along the way.

Next is "Angel" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Bill Dubay (story). The story is about a woman named Angel and some men who are looking for her. Very boring story which was supposed to be part of a series, but luckily ended with this segment.

Last is "Momma, Can You Hear Me?" by Alex Nino (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). A man tells a prostitute his life story about how he's searching for his mother. He tells the story of how he was sold off when he was a kid and forced to slave away in mines. As the years pass he gets into various experiences which cause him to lose about half his body, which get replaced with mechanical parts. The prostitute reveals the location of his real mother, which ends up just being an artificial insemination machine.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Eerie 52

A very good issue of Eerie, featuring the Grim Reaper on the cover, and promising the death of one of the magazine's recurring characters (which doesn't actually occur, although we do have the final Dax story).

First up is "Ghoulish Encounter", part of The Mummy Walks serial, by Jaime Brocal (art) and Steve Skeates (story). Jerome Curry, now permanently stuck in the mummy's body due to the theft of the amulet, pursues the thieves who stole it, leaving his human body in a graveyard. He finds the thieves, but the amulet is already gone, taken by a woman who was with them. Meanwhile his body is found by a crazy woman with a taste for human flesh. Upon his return, finding his mostly eaten body, the Mummy kills her on a spiked fence. Luckily for him, it was actually another body she had eaten and his body is unharmed. Brocal's art continues to be amazing in this serial.

On to Curse of the Werewolf next, with the story "Darkling Revelation" by Martin Salvador (art) and Allen Milgrom (story). Arthur Lemming comes across a group of gypsies in the woods and stays with them. There he falls in love with a young woman and asks her grandmother to read his fortune. While she's doing it however, the full moon arrives and he turns into the werewolf, running amock. He kills both his lover and the grandmother among many others, but not before she curses him to gain the knowledge of everything that has occured while in his werewolf form.

Third is the beginning of Eerie's more popular series, "Hunter" by Paul Neary (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Hunter is a half man half demon in the future who battles demons. This first story takes place in a snowy wilderness where Hunter comes across a church and battles three demons within it.

Next is "The Beheaded" by Aldoma (art) and John Jacobson (story). A supernatural expert rents a house haunted by a beheaded ghosts and heads there along with his wife. They soon encounter the headless ghost, and he promises her he'll find her head, which he is fully aware of the location of. The ghost chops off his wife's head and takes it as her own, so he quickly obtains her missing head for her, only for it to be nothing more than a skull, so she retains the wife's head and kills him.

Fifth is a Frederick Moore adaption, "The Golden Kris of Hadji Mohammed" by Isidro Mones (art, miscredited to Munes) and George Henderson (story), about a woman who spurns a sultan and steals a sword from him and flees. The sultan sends a man to find her and he eventually does and brings her back to the Sultan, whom she kills. The two end up marrying and having many children.

The issue wraps up with the final entry in the Dax storyline, "Death Rides this Night!" by Esteban Maroto (story & art). The story begins at the end of an epic battle where Dax is among the many mortally wounded on the battlefield. Death sends his mistress to obtain their souls, but when she encounters Dax he refuses to go along and gets her to stay along with him. Death punishes her by transforming into a snail like creature that bursts aflame. Death himself now encounters Dax, who is given the option to remain alive or finally die. Dax decides to continue living, but suffers a fate worse than death as he was not aware that he was completely paralyzed from the wounds suffered during the battle. The last true Dax story (Warren would very lamely resurrect him for a few stories in the 1980's that had no involvement whatsoever from Maroto), and the best.

Creepy 85

An 'All Monster Issue' of Creepy featuring a Yeti cover by Ken Kelly.

First up is "Like Icarus, Quickly Falling" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Roger McKenzie (story), featuring a vampire seeking revenge on the vampire who bit his wife years before, who in turn bit him. He eventually succeeds, but the sunlight destroys him seconds later.

Next up is the cover story, "Hide and Go Mad" by the team of Carmine Infantino & Walt Simonson (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story features a man seeking to hunt the yeti. He does eventually confront it and kills it, causing an avalanche by shooting however. He dons the skin of the yeti for warmth, only for it to get stuck to him until he tears off his own skin.

Third is "The Thing in the Well" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story), featuring a girl whose mother is killed by her step-father, but the corpse comes back to life and befriends her, living in a nearby well. The step-father boards up the well and eventually kills the daughter, who is reunited with the mother once again inside the well.

Next is "Orem Ain't Got No Head Cheese!" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). A pair of cannibals living in the woods kill a man with brain cancer and toss his cancer-ridden brain aside when they tear apart his corpse. The cancer melds with various body parts and forms a blob like creature that haunts the woods from this point onward. A sequel to this story would appear in Creepy a number of years later.

Fifth is "The Terrible Turnip of Turpin County" by Martin Salvador (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). Something from the sky crashes to Earth in a field and years later a turnip like plant grows out of the ground and soon odd things start happening. First a cow dies, then corpses come back to life. More odd plants develop and more corpses come back to life, but eventually everything is saved when a bunch of bugs eat them all.

Last is "A Way in the Woods" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A pilot crashes in the woods and is forced to live in the wilderness. There he meets a beautiful woman who lives with a pack of wolves. She is apparantly killed by them and he kills one of the wolves, only for her to come back healed and the two turn into wolves. Very nice art by Bermejo here.
Overall a fairly good issue. Nothing particularly great, but all are fairly good stories.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Vampirella 93

Interesting cover here by Enrich for this issue for the interior story "Cobra Goddess".

Up first is this issue's Vampi story, "Apocalypse Inc" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). A mysterious woman working with Apocalypse Inc steals Vampi's blood serum, so she comes after her. Another horrifically boring story. In the end the mystery woman, killed by Vampi, ends up being Pendragon's daughter, who was part of a number of storylines in the past, but that certainly doesn't redeem this garbage story.

Next is the first part of a new series in this magazine, 'Cassandra St. Knight' in "The Psychic Assault" by Auraleon (art, miscredited to Nebres) and Rich Margopoulos (story). The story features Cassandra, a pyschic/witch who shows her friend Tarot the spirit world. An okay start to this series, which would be around for a while.

Third is Pantha in "Encore for Anubis" by the team of Leo Duranona & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). A continuation of the previous Pantha story a couple of issues ago, this has Adam donning the same amulet that turned an ordinary thief into an alien being from the planet Lupae, and naturally he turns into the monster as well and fights Pantha, eventually turning back to normal because Pantha told him to. Lame ending to an otherwise average story.

Last is "Cobra Goddess" by Esteban Maroto (art & story). Taking place in India, the story tells of a rich man's son who seeks a forbidden relationship with a snake goddess. Killing his father when he threatens to cut him off, the son goes to see her and demands her for himself, killing a snake that appears after they embrace. As a result, many snakes appear, killing them both. While the story's not that great, Maroto's art is amazing on the last four pages.

Overall a so-so issue, with pretty good art for the most part, but rather dissappointing from a story standpoint. Margopoulos is just not that good a writer and with his dominance in this issue that's certainly bad news for the reader.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Eerie 18

A mix of new stories and reprints in this issue of Eerie from 1968. The cover is by Tom Sutton, talking of 6 stories, when there are actually 7 stories in this issue. The frontis is a reprint from Eerie 4, "Eerie's Monster Gallery: Zombies!" by Roy Krenkel.

First is "Hard Luck" by Sal Trapani (art) and James Haggenmiller (story). The story is about three men in search for the fountain of youth in South America, seeking to live forever and become rich. One dies in quicksand along the way and another is killed by his partner when they arrive at the fountain. He drinks from the fountain, only to turn into stone.

Second is "Cry Fear Cry Phantom" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), originally published in Eerie 7. A man and his fiance go to his home, a large mysterious looking house, where his uncle lives with him. She repeatedly has visions of an odd looking woman with an axe, and suspects the uncle is up to something, particularly when she sees him burying that woman! It ends up however that the fiance is the true maniac, and chops her up with an axe.

Third is "A Change of Pace!" by Tom Sutton (art) and Bill Parente (story), featuring two scientists who create a time machine and go back in time to the prehistoric era. There one of them is killed and the other lives there for a long time but is finally able to return to the present, only to turn into an ape.

Next is "The Jungle" by Al Williamson (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), originally from Eerie 5. It is about a trio of men who slay a witch doctor only for the woods to come alive and kill them all.

Another reprint from Eerie 5 is up next, "Vampire Slayer" with art by Joe Orlando and Jerry Grandenetti (uncredited) and story by Goodwin. A vampire slayer meets a beautiful woman whom he suspects is a vampire, but she proves she isn't one by showing herself in a mirror. He sees her again unarmed, only for it to be revealed that she was a vampire all along, and her twin sister, a ghoul was the one seen in the mirror. They both feast upon him.

Yet another reprint is next, "Trial By Fire!" from Eerie 6, with art & story by Johnny Craig (credited as Jay Taycee). A politician's wife is practicing withcraft and causes multiple enemies of his to fall over dead. Eventually the town ties him up and burns him and he falls on top of her, burning them both.

Last is "Sideshow" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Bill Parente (story) about a suspected vampire in a freak show who is revealed not to be one when he appears in a mirror. But his brother, hidden underneath his clothes is the true vampire. Very similar to the story Vampire Slayer reprinted in this issue, so certainly a dissappointing way to finish the issue.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Creepy 27

A Frank Frazetta painting adorns this issue of Creepy, his first since Warren's collapse in 1967. The frontis for this issue is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by Tony Williamsune and Forest Ackerman (the editor for Famous Monsters).

As usual with the issues from this period, about half the magazine is reprints. Up first is one of Warren's all time most famous stories, "Collectors Edition" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 10. The story features Danforth, a man obsessed with the occult who hears of a book, 'Dark Visions' that he becomes obsessed with obtaining. Seeking to spend all of his wife's money on the book, he eventually murders the bookstore owner who told him of it in the first place, who had also committed murder to obtain the book. Reading the book, Danforth finds that it goes long past the time of the author, all the way to the present, and even the future, showing his own death, which shortly comes when his wife buries an axe in his head. Terrific art, terrific story, this is certainly up there among Goodwon's best stories. Ditko's drawing of Danforth's eyes slowly closing across the bottom of each page is also a nice touch.

"Make Up Your Mind" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Bill Parente (story) is up next, about a man who keeps getting executed in all the various ways, electric chair, hanging, firing squad, gas chamber, etc... It ends up that he's forced in his own subconscious to continously die over and over again. This story seems like a ripoff of the Tales From the Crypt story "Four Way Split" from issue 43 of that title.

"The Coffin of Dracula Part 2" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story) is third, another reprint, from Creepy 9. A man who had sat in Dracula's grave becomes Dracula himself. The story surrounds a number of men pursuing him, who eventually are successful in destroying him.

"Barbarian of Fear", featuring the recurring character Thane is next, with art by Tom Sutton and story by Bill Parente. The Thane stories appeared on and off over the years, with a total of four unconnected stories appearing from 1966 through 1979. Thane, blinded by lightning, is brought back to health in a kingdom of people trapped by the barbarian Batu. Thane fights Batu and defeats him, but it ends up that Batu was actually created by the kingdom themselves, and the king dies as a result.

Fifth is "Brain Trust" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), another reprint from Creepy 10. A new doctor in town is perplexed by the town eccentric, a large man who doesn't show up in public often, and smells like shaving cream. Eventually the grocery store owner refuses his business and he dissappears. The doctor finds out that the man was one of a set of mutated twins. Having died in a car crash, his other brother used his brain to control his actions. When the doctor comes upon him, the living twin uses the dead one's body to kill himself.

Last is "Surprise Package" by Ernie Colon (art) and Bill Parente (story). Astronauts transporting various monsters, such as a vampire, ghoul and werewolf head to Earth. It ends up that the astronauts are none other than Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie.

Overall, an okay story, with high quality reprints and so-so new stuff, aside from Frazetta's terrific cover.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Vampirella 8

An important issue for Vampirella, featuring the first story of her true storyline. The cover is by Ken Kelly and the frontis, entitled "Vampi's Feary Tales: Love!", written and drawn by Tom Sutton.

"Who Serves the Cause of Chaos?" by Tom Sutton (art) and Archie Goodwin (story) is up first. This is Vampi's first serious story (her previous two appearances were not serious stories). It introduces many things that would become commonplace in the Vampirella storyline including the characters Adam & Conrad Van Helsing, the serum Vampi takes to avoid having to drink human blood, and 'Chaos', a long time villain. This story surround Vampirella being brought to a retreat where a doctor nurses her back to health and creates a serum that prevents her from having to drink human blood. Eventually she realizes he is part of a cult worshipping Chaos. The cult plans to sacrifice Vampi, but he ends up saving her and they all end up dying. In a parallel storyline we're introduced to the Van Helsing, who are searching for the vampire that killed a relative of theirs. By the end of the story Conrad determines that Vampirella is the one responsible. A pretty good start for Vampirella!

Second is "The Demon in the Crypt!" by Billy Graham (art) and Gardner Fox (story). The story is about a queen, Amazonia, who fights a lizard like creature with many eyes that can transform into a woman. Amazonia beat her. Not a very interesting story.

Third is "Out of the Fog" by Ken Barr (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A man in England meets a woman at a bar and brings her to his place, where he ends up being a werewolf! Short story, but fairly good art by Barr here.

Fourth is "Snake Eyes" by Jack Sparling (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). It's about a girl who has very snake like features, and she looks more and more like one as she gets older. She gets angry with her boyfriend and kills him when he sells a pendant of hers. It ends up that she is the decendent of royalty. She gets it back and uses it to get to a secret chamber, where she is confronted by a Mongoose man who was responsible for wiping her family out.

"Signs of Sorcery" is next, with art by George Roussos and story by Don Glut. The story is about a magician who captures many people and brings to life creatures representing zodiac symbols. Eventually they all arrive and turn on him. Not too good.

Last is "The Gulfer" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). The story is about a monster called 'The Gulfer' that can only enter a house if invited. It takes the form of a little girl's cat and transforms once being let in, but the collar around its neck ends up strangling it.

Eerie 37

This issue of Eerie's from early 1972. The cover is by Enrich, for the story Dethslayer, although the cover and story have nothing in common with each other. Enrich would do a similar cover for Vampirella 41 a few years later. The frontis for this issue is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: Air Serpent" by Bill Dubay (story & art).

First up is "The Other Side of Atlantis" by Jaime Brocal (art) and Steve Skeates (story). The story is about Targo, the prince of Atlantis, who ends up going to a dangerous part of the ocean while his mind's on other subjects. His girlfriend looks for him on the surface to no avail. Targo turns into something, although it's not revealed what as the story ends. A sequel to this story would be done in issue 40.

Second is "Horror at Hamilton House" by Ken Barr (art) and Lynn Marron (story), about a man who marries a woman in order to bump her off and take her money. She tells him that they can't leave the castle they are in because her family has been cursed. He eventually does kill her, but her son kills him, having turned into a werewolf due to the family curse.

Third is "The Ones Who Stole it From You" by Auraleon (art) and Don McGregor (story), about a crook who steals money from a client then makes him appear to have commit suicide. The victim's son tries to find out the truth about what happened to his father. Meanwhile, a cannibal also has a part to play in the story, having eaten the victim's corpse. Aside from McGregor's usual nonscensical political ramblings, a pretty good story.

"A Rush of Wings" is fourth, by Jaime Brocal (art) and Larry Herndon (story). This one's about a entomologist who finds a new species of butterly in Burma by the ruins of a large city. He murders his assistant, wanting all the credit to himself, then heads to the city against a native's warning where a giant butterfly monster kills him.

Last is "Dethslayer" by Ernie Colon (art) and Doug Moench (story), about a man who seeks to kill a sorceror using his sword, 'Dethslayer'. He succeeds, then kills the king, but is killed when he puts the crown on and an angry mob, thinking he's the king, kills him.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Creepy 136

One of Creepy's later issues, meaning the content here just ain't that good. The cover is by Richard Courtney. This issue features a one page introduction of Uncle Creepy by Auraleon.

First up is "All the Time in the World", by Frank Carillo (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). Both were uncredited. This is a story about a plane pilot who uses parts from a crashed UFO to fly his plane, which ends up going into space. There he meets aliens who ask him to show them how to have fun. All I have to say about this story is what the hell is it doing in a horror magazine?!

Second is a sports themed horror story, "Never Say Die!" by Martin Salvador (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). The story is about a pair of football rivals who in their middle age are now coaches. One of the coaches purposely runs over the star player of his rival's team. The player's corpse comes back to life in time to play one final game between them however. An okay story, but nothing great.

Third is "The Consumers" with art by Jun Lofamia and story by Boudreau again. This story is about the collapse of human civilization in the future with devastating winters ruining the Earth. With food nowhere to be found, a man eats his wife's corpse, then starts eating himself!

Fourth is "Day of the Cliche" by Nebot (art) and Greg Potter (story), about a man at a carnival who always talks in cliches who is transported to another world by a gypsy he insulted and killed. Another horrid story that has no place in a horror magazine.

Fifth is "Eyewitness News" by Carmine Infantino & Pablo Marcos (art) and Rich Margopoulos & Gerry Boudreau (story). The story is about a newscaster which creates headlines to prop up ratings. With each headline he goes more and more overboard, by being a sharpshooter, causing a train crash, etc... Eventually his producer kills him before he causes another disaster.

Next is "Mother Zenobia and the Satan Glass" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Rich Margopoulos & Gerry Boudreau (story), about three gypsies who come across an old house while on the run. One of the gypsies finds a mirror inside which contains the spirit of her mother, who tells her to kill the others and help set her free. By the end of the story however, she destroys the mirror, stopping her mother forever. Compared to the other stories here, the art on this one is quite nice.

Last is "Daddy's Gone A-Hunting" by Joe Staton (art) and Steve Grant (story), about a hunter in the wilderness battling androids. It ends up his family, and even him are androids as well, and are destroyed, with their makers deciding to try again in an attempt to succeed with them.

Overall, a so-so issue for this era. Certainly has some horrendous stories, but at least a few are pretty good.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Vampirella 92

Only three stories in this issue of Vampirella! Two very good ones and a slightly better Vampi story than usual here. The cover is by Enrich, as usual, featuring Vampirella being pursued in an alley by a wolf like creature.

Our Vampirella story for this issue is "Bracelets, Demons and Death!" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Rich Margopolous (story). Vampi gets a new roommate, Cryssie, and the two head to a party where a number of people in a movie that Vampi was involved with are at. Only when they arrive there, everyone is dead. A disillusioned effects guy, Swillman is responsible for the deaths, having summoned three demons with a bracelet that originally belonged to Jebediah Pah (star of a series in Eerie from around 1976). He comes after Vampi and Cryssie, and steals a bracelet that Cryssie's wearing that enables him to summon three more demons, one of which ends up being Cryssie herself. Cryssie goes on a rampage, killing all the other demons and Swillman, and turns back to her normal self. Slightly better Vampi story than usual but Nebres's art as always does nothing for me.

Second is "That Future Long Ago" by Auraleon (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A man is nearly killed in a car crash but is put in suspended animation and brought back to life 22 years later. He goes to see his wife, who had twins, one who looked just like him, and one who liked just like her. Our protagonist soon realizes that things are wrong however and its revealed that the whole thing is staged by a foreign government seeking to use his expertise while actors, who were taking the place of his wife and son take his place in society. Refusing to be a part of it, he drives himself and his real wife (brainwashed into thinking she was his daughter) off a cliff to their deaths.

Last is "Second Coming" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story, as Will Richardson). This story features duel storylines, one about an old man who doesn't want to die and the second a young woman whose pregnant with a baby that she believes is the anti-christ. A hypnotist helps the old man's spirit depart his body, and he heads into the young woman, seeking to take the body of her baby and begin life anew. This causes her to think that a demon is entering her however, and she ends up killing herself, the baby, and him.

Eerie 50

Eerie's fiftieth issue is quite a good one! Seven stories here, and not a bad one in the bunch; a stark contrast to Creepy's fiftieth issue. Very good art and stories across the board.

Up first is the third entry in "The Mummy Walks" serial, "The Mind Within" by Jaime Brocal (art) and Steve Skeates (story). This segment gives us some background info on our protagonist, Jerome Curry, about how he found the amulet he used to become the Mummy, and about his desire to kill the various women who have spurned him in the past. When thieves steal the amulet however, Curry might find himself trapped in the Mummy's body forever!

Next is the third segment in the "Curse of the Werewolf" serial, "This Evil Must Die". Martin Salvador has replaced Dubay & Buckler as the artist, while Al Milgrom remains as writer. An expert on the supernatural comes to town and tries to defeat Arthur Lemming/The Werewolf. Only when he starts using commonly used witch material to fight him, the town mob thinks he is using witchcraft and attacks him!

Third is Satanna, Daughter of Satan! in the story "Genesis of Depravity" by Ramon Torrents (art, in one of only two Eerie appearances) and Doug Moench (story). A woman calls Satan in order to obtain eternal life and beauty. Satan arrives and grants her her wish, by making her the first ever vampire. Her first victim is none other than Count Dracula. A short but good story, Torrent's Satan is quite scary looking.

Next is "Monarch's Return" by Paul Neary (art) and John Jacobson (story). An archeology student comes across an ancient castle occupied by an old woman and her servant, who tells the student that she's not all there in the head and believes he's Agamemnion, a Greek lord. The student plays the part, but soon discovers the truth, that he's about to be killed by her.

Fifth is "Lord's Wrath" by Aldoma (art) and John Jacobson (story). A priest meets with an evil Baron who mistreats his people. By using a poisoned needle on a ring he wears, he knocks the Baron out, who is out cold so long that he wakes up far in the future and is run over by a train.

Sixth is "The Disciple" by Isidro Mones (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A man comes across a cult of people under mind control. When they realize he is having independent thoughts, they try to attack him mentally, only to fail. He manages to kill their leader and is about to leave when he realizes all the power he'd have over them, and becomes the new leader of the cult.

Last is this issue's Dax the Warrior segment, "The Secret of Pursiahz". Dax comes across an old man who has been caring for a man with wings. The winged man, Pursiahz, tells him of how his lover became trapped in a giant spider's web and he was too afraid to stay. Dax heads there and defeats the giant spider, but the woman is dead. Dax discovers there are other winged women, who have been cast away by God and are depending on Pursiahz. Pursiahz tries to fly away towards the sun, but his wings can't support him and he falls to his death.