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.

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