Saturday, March 28, 2009

Creepy 53

Sanjulian provides the cover for this issue of Creepy, dated May 1973.

First is "A Scream in the Forest" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Greg Potter (story). An extremely good story with some very beautiful artwork. A society of dwarves is plauged by Fearies, large one eyed beastly creatures that kidnap their women for food. Screams echo throughout the forest, most likely from their victims. One of the dwarves, Ussel, is nearly captured by one, but is saved by Arn, a powerful swordsman. Arn agrees to help Ussel wipe out the Fearies and they head through the woods, fighting off another one along the way. Eventually they come across a large cave, and inside Arn knocks out Ussel, handing him over to the Fearies. Arn is actually working with the Fearies, capturing them prey in exchange for diamonds. Ussel awakens just as they are about to eat him, and there is another scream in the forest.

Second is "The Stone of Power" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Steve Skeates (story). This story features a boy who finds a mysterious stone with power. He brings it to his home, but a witch takes the stone from him and kills his mother. The boy grows up, and plans to take back the stone, managing to do so. But his memory isn't what he thinks it is. The witch is actually his mother, whom he ends up killing. He takes the stone for himself, with an evil look in his eye as the story ends.

Third is "Freedom's Just Another Word" by Adolfo Abellan (art) and Bill Dubay (story). A black family, the Turners, moves into a town of nothing but white people. One of the young women in the town, Rosie befriends Charles, one of the Turners, and this greatly upsets her father. Her father starts getting the townfolk riled up, claiming that the family are a bunch of witches, and are responsible for ruining their crops and killing their farm animals. A group of the men go to the Turner's house and beat then kill the entire family, except for their paralyzed grandmother, who actually is a witch and summons lightning which kills them all. Winner of the Warren award for best story of 1973, this is in fact a horrible story, particularly with its excessive usage of the N-word. Dubay tries to write a message story here, but ultimately the story teaches no lesson, as the Turners end up being exactly what the racist mob claims they are. Dubay usually is a pretty good writer, but he really missed the mark here.

Fourth is "The Creature at Loch Ness" by Jose Bea (art) and Doug Moench (story). A pair of men, one a believer, one a skeptic go to Loch Ness to search for the Loch Ness monster. Initially they have no success, finding mostly driftwood, but eventually they find one and take some pictures of it. The pictures reveal it to be a fake, as it is actually just an inflatable monster owned by a hotel owner nearby who uses it to bring in tourists. The hotel tourist soon finds himself the prey of the actual Loch Ness monster however.

Fifth is "The Night the Creatures Attacked" by Auraleon (art) and Fred Ott (story). This story, based on actual eyewitness accounts, tells of a home in Kentucky attacked by alien creatures. The people in the home are able to frighten them off by shooting at them. At only two pages long, one wonders if this was originally meant to be printed on the inside front and back covers.

Last is the cover story, "It" by Tom Sutton (story & art). This story features the corpse of Timothy Foley coming back from the grave and traveling around searching for someone, scaring to death everyone who comes across him. By the end it is revealed that he was simply looking for his lost teddy bear. Some interesting panel design by Tom Sutton here, some pages have as many as 16 panels! It would eventually be used for a recurring series in both Creepy and Eerie, although Timothy Foley (who is actually the corpse of a nine year old boy here) would be made into a much older character in the later installments.

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