Saturday, January 31, 2009

Creepy 6

Frank Frazetta provides a terrific, very dark cover for this issue of Creepy. Roy Krenkel draws the frontis, "Creepy's Loathsome Lore", which features the Mummy's Curse.

First is "The Thing in the Pit!" by Gray Morrow (art) and Larry Ivie (story). An excellent story, this features a man whose car crashes in the woods. He is helped by a pair of blind freaks who bring him to their house and warn him of 'The Thing in the Pit'. Curious, he finds 'The Thing' to be a beautiful, normal looking woman. The freaks throw him in the pit but when he tries to get out using some rope, he realizes its actually the tentacles of the Thing, which strangles him.

Second is "Thumbs Down!" by Al Williamson (art) and Anne T. Murphy (story). Murphy was Archie Goodwin's wife. This is her sole story though for Warren. The story features a crooked arena games master who has his top gladiator killed only for him to come back from the dead to take revenge. This story would probably be reprinted by Warren over the years more than any other story.

Third is "Adam Link in Business!" by Joe Orlando (art) and Otto Binder (story). Adam is about to be executed for the murder of Dr. Link, but at the last second his friend Jack Hall gets him saved because of a witness changing her story. Adam goes into business as a scientific consultant, making lots of money. He takes on a secretary, Kay, who is Jack's girlfriend. Jack wants to marry her but she refuses, as she's in love with Adam! Adam flees from society to avoid her.

Fourth is "The Cask of Amontillado!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), an adaption of the classic Poe story. The story features a man who encloses a colleague of his in a brick tomb. Goodwin adds a new ending to the story, where the protagonist, now an old man, returns to the scene of the crime and is killed when the chamber floods and the corpse of his colleague pulls him under water.

Fifth is "The Stalkers" by Alex Toth (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A man goes to a psychologist, telling him of these bad dreams he is having where he is confronted by aliens that look like prune faced people. The psychologist reveals that he's an alien himself, and that our protagonist is one as well, who had been on Earth in human form so long that he forgot who he was.

Sixth is "Abominable Snowman!" by John Severin (art) and Bill Pearson (story). A group of four explorers search for adominable snowmen in the himalyas. Soon two of the men are dead. The other two set explosions, which go off as some of the creatures come. One of the men in their tent thinks he's safe, only to find that one is in the tent with him!

Last is "Gargoyle" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin & Roy Krenkel (story). A man seeks to find the power to turn stone into gold. He meets a mysterious dwarf who is the responsible for the deaths of multiple powerful men. He gets the dwarf drunk, who reveals how to make gold out of stone, so he pours it on a stone gargoyle. Only the dwarf actually told him how to turn the stone into life, and the gargoyle kills him!

Friday, January 30, 2009

1994 21

An odd looking cover for this issue by Alex Nino. There are no credits on any stories in this issue; credits are based on those included in Richard Arndt's well known Warren listing, and the writer names given on the content page.

First is "Lord Machina!" by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features a new computer device from a company called Futura that needs to be reviewed by a government agent first. The agent soon acquires a huge debt from gambling with the machine and after losing all his money is forced to perform assassinations by the device. Eventually he can't take it anymore and destroys it.

Second is the second part of "Diana Jacklighter, Manhuntress!" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). Diana travels along the planet she has crashed on with her companion Jason, who has taken the form of a penis and balls. During her search for the first of the seven escaped criminals, she encounters a creature she lets live, which saves her later on when she encounters the criminal.

Third is "Love is a Many Tentacled Thing" by Delando Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features a planet of tentacled monsters that release nuclear energy when they make love, forcing them to not make love with each other as it'd cause a large explosion. There is a connection between one such beast and a human woman who makes love to it. Eventually the beast transforms to Earth and the woman, who is transforming into one herself makes love with him again, and it results in the Earth blowing up.

Fourth is "Ghita of Alizarr" by Frank Thorne (story & art). In this story Ghita meets up again with the mute witness from the previous part and engages in some lesbian sex with her in which it is revealed that she is not mute after all. Unfortunately a monster from Urd, masquerading as a human arrives and kills the waitress, attacking Ghita before she is able to save herself.

Fifth is "Angel!" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This is the kick off of a new series, starring a young woman named Angel and her companion, a monster called Ape, who rescue a pair of archeologists from some humanoid monsters.

Sixth is "Mars Bar: Tales of the Red Planet Saloon" by Redondo Studio (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). A martian creature called Snort convinces a woman he likes, Slut to marry him due to money he'll make by being in the army and patenting inventions. She soon falls in love with his commanding officer Mungo however, and cheats on him, then gets him to kill himself by saying she doesn't love him. He comes back as a robot however and kills both of them.

Last is "Freefall!" by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features an astronaut caught outside of a ship in space, but he screws up while trying to get back to it, ending up blowing up the entire thing.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eerie 118

This issue of Eerie features a cover by Jordi Penalva. Unfortunately this issue doesn't live up to the quality of the prior one. It is cover dated January 1981.

First is a new series, 'Haggarth' in "Skull of the Three Snakes" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). Similar to Haxtur, this series was originally printed in Europe and was reprinted in Eerie for a very lengthy run. A group of five Tunic warriors, led by Haggarth head to take an artifact, the Skull of Three Snakes from a valley of clansmen. A young man catches them coming and warns his people, who do battle with the Tunic warriors. All the warriors are killed, and the young man is blinded. He is helped out by a local old man, and along the way they find Haggarth, who is actually still alive as well. The old man tells the young man of Arnia, a witch who would be able to heal his eyesight. A so-so start to this new series. Haxtur ended up being a fairly good series so hopefully Fuente does as well with this one too.

Next is Steel Starfire: Tales from the Galactic Inn by Rudy Nebres (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). The story features Steel, our hero, who continously rescues women from the clutches of his enemy Cyber, a man who is half man half machine thanks to Steel. Eventually Steel is captured by the women themselves, who never wanted to be rescued in the first place. He then ends up turning to none other than Cyber himself for help. Tremendously dissappointing because this story is exactly the same as the story "Mike Marauder: Knight Errant of the Spaceways!" from 1994 #22. I've never been a big fan of Margopoulos, but this is just pathetic. This story came before the other one though, so I suppose that story receives the bigger criticism.

Third is "The Red Shot" by Jess Jodloman (art) and Bruce Bezaire (story). This is Bezaire's first appearance in quite a while and his last story for Warren as well. It surrounds a competition where many people battle over control of a ball, and after an hour whoever controls it wins. Yes, the story is that lame. Quite a dissappointment for the usually quite good Bezaire.

Last is "Space Kids" by Fernando Fernandez (story & art). This story features a group of psychic kids who live off on another planet. A boy starts realizing he has powers too and can hear them talking to him. He is visited by the space kids, who are disguised as adults, and recruited to join them. They next plan to head to a backwater planet called... Earth. Fernandez's last Warren story, it was originally created back in 1975 but for some reason was held by Warren in inventory for 6+ years instead of being published around the time of his other stories. Its much weaker than his other stories, perhaps that is why.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Creepy 81

Ken Kelly provides the airborne cover to this issue of Creepy, from July 1976. Only a so-so issue at best, somewhat of a dissappointment for this era of Creepy.

First is "Brannigan's Gremlins" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is about an old man reminicing about his time in World War I where he was part of a plane squadron. Gremlins appear on the man's plane and also accompany his co-pilot, Brannigan. The Gremlins are actually good luck for them, and the two survive the war, the only ones in their squadron to do so.

Second is "Wings of Vengeance" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Maroto & Bill Dubay (story). This story is about a prince whose father comes back from the war with a beautiful young woman who is to be his bride. The prince embraces her however and is caught by the King, who has her whipped to death, and has him beaten so bad that his eyes, nose and mouth are all destroyed. The king meets his end soon after however when birds that the maimed prince conversed with peck him to death.

Third is "The War!" by Paul Neary (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story features a man in armor battling vampires in a devastated landsape. He eventually comes across a large group of them and is taken out not by them, but a woman fighter who was also there, as it ends up this 'war' is between males and females.

Fourth is "Close Shave" by Martin Salvador (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story features a barber who kills the husband of his lover. After he kills her however a homeless bum arrives, preventing him from being able to hide the corpse easily. He ends up going crazy, cutting off all the skin on the corpse.

Fifth is "Battle Rot" by John Severin (art) and Bill Dubay (story). A soldier tells another soldier of corpses rising back to life. His fellow soldier doesn't believe him, but when he crashes his plane into a hospital, he comes across just that! The second story in this issue featuring planes during World War I. Yawn.

Sixth is "Billicar and the Momblywambles of Glass" by Isidro Mones (art) and Steve Clement (story). This story is about a boy, Billy Car, who falls through a mirror into another world where he meets a talking sloth who warns him about the Momblywambles, T-Rex like creatures. When his teacher locks him in a closet with the mirror again, he once again falls into that world, but fights the Momblywambles off with a magic wand. This time he leaves the world forever.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vampirella 37

This issue of Vampirella is a special summer reprint issue, containing 7 reprint stories and 1 new one. Although my standard practice is to not cover reprint issues on this blog, I will be doing it for those issues of Vampirella that contain a new story, which this one does. The front cover is by Sanjulian. Vampi's face from this cover would be used in the top left hand corner of the cover for every issue for the remainder of the magazine's run. The back cover is by Enrich. That painting would eventually be used for the cover of Eerie 117 as well, a great many years after this issue's publication. (see previous day's post)

First is "Cobra Queen" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Don Glut (story), from issue 23. A trio of men head through the woods in search of a Cobra Queen that rules over a society of amazonesses. Along the way they keep seeing a large cobra. One of the men is soon killed by one. They finally reach the society, and meet the Cobra Queen who transforms into a giant cobra. One of the men however reveals that he too is a giant cobra, and transforms into one. The Cobra Queen and King then feast on the last remaining man.

Next is this issue's sole new story, "She Who Waits" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story is in color. This is a continuation of the prior story, starring Vampirella and the usual cast of characters. Conrad tries to kill Vampi after seeing two holes on Adam's neck. It seems that Adam has not been attacked by Vampi though, but rather a cobra snake who brings him to the Cobra Queen. It seems that Adam killed the Cobra King, so she captures him and desires him for her new mate, planning to mutate him so he'll turn into a cobra too. Vampi and the others arrive though and are able to rescue Adam, setting the Cobra Queen aflame.

Third is "Song of a Sad-Eyed Sorceress" by Luis Garcia (art) and Don McGregor (story), from issue 18. McGregor's story is somewhat better than usual, helped tremendously by Garcia's extremely good art, but still contains his usual political nonsense. It surrounds a young woman who summons a sorceress after being dumped by a man she was seeing. The sorceress takes over her body, changes form and takes out revenge on the man by transforming into a giant snake and killing him. Only the sorceress decides to retain her body and won't give it back after the deed is done.

Fourth is "Cry of the Dhampir", a terrific vampire story by Auraleon (art) and John Jacobson (story) from issue 22. The story features a pair of vampires on the run from a 'Dhampir', a human with vampire blood who has the power to easily destroy vampires. Although the Dhampir ends up being killed when mistaken for a vampire by a mob, his twin sister, also a Dhampir gets to defeat the vampire once and for all.

Fifth is "Demon Child" by Ramon Torrents (art) and James Crawford (story), from issue 26. An old man whose an expert on the paranormal suspects that his granddaughter is actually a demon known as a Changeling, who took her place shortly after her birth. His wife passed away soon after, which he suspects is because of the demon. His daughter and son in law don't believe him, thinking that they will have him committed due to this, although he is right after all as the ending shows.

Sixth is "The Vampiress Stalks the Castle This Night" by Felix Mas (art) and Don McGregor (story), from issue 21. A fairly good story about a pair of 17 year olds who have gotten pregnant who come across a large castle occupied by a vampiress. They are luckily able to stop her and escape. Some very nice art by Mas, much of which was used within the inside covers of the Warren companion.

Seventh is "Blood Brothers" by Isidro Mones (art) and Lynn Marron (story) from issue 26. Revolutionaries in Guatemala find a religious cult which they believe possesses gold that they can use to fund the revolution. One of the revolutionaries tries to join the cult and does so by replacing a member which he had killed. Yet when he is officially brought into the cult he is eaten by the others, which is what their plans were for the man he had killed.

Last is "The Accursed!" by Jose Bea (art) and Kevin Pagan (story), from issue 23. A man wanders through a graveyard, fighting off various creatures like a werewolf, vampire bats and rats. He is here to dig up and destroy the corpse of an evil man that has been buried in the graveyard. He digs up the man and destroys it, then collapses before his father's grave.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Eerie 117

While this issue wouldn't have been anything terrific during Eerie's hey day in the mid 1970s, for an issue of this era, this issue is simply amazing. Head and shoulders above anything we've seen from the last number of issues. The cover is a terrific one from Enrich, although admittingly its a reprint from the back cover of Vampirella 37. It is cover dated December 1980.

First is the issue's only real sore point, "City of Fire", the second story in the Cagim series. Art is by E.R. Cruz and story is by Budd Lewis. This story continues from the prior issue, where Merlin and his younger self, called Ambrose fought the evil sorceress Vivien. Pretty much the same happens in this issue, with King Arthur also making an appearance. Ambrose becomes convinced that he has cast a spell that turns all normal people around him into statues, although its actually of Vivien's doing. By the end of the story Merlin has died and Ambrose dawns a very ugly superhero costume, the one he wore in the last issue.

Second is "His Brother's Keeper!" with art by Neil McFeeters (in his sole Warren appearance) and story by Jim Stenstrum. This story features a man who helps his brother escape from a military asylum. The two of them end up crashing in a bizarre landscape. Our protagonist wanders off on his own for a while, and is confronted by a hideous monster which he kills. But it ends up that the monster was his brother, and that he was crazy as well. While wondering through the woods later a monster shows up, this time for real.

Third is "Bruce Bloodletter" in "The Jalopy Scam" by Fernando Fernandez (art) and Cary Bates (story). The first Bloodletter story appeared back in Eerie 94. In this story Bruce and his female companion Muffin come across the planete Rygelian, where people are buying cars from Pleasure Centers owned by Silas Mendicant, villain from the prior story. It appears that Mendicant and his patrons aren't paying their taxes which is what gets Bloodletter involved. Bloodletter and Muffin later meet a princess whose father has been drugged by Mendicant. They are able to trick Mendicant after healing her father and capture him once and for all. Not the greatest story (and somewhat confusing at the end), but as a big fan of Fernandez I'm quite happy to see him make a rare appearance. Fernandez's final Warren appearance shows up in the next issue.

The issue concludes with a very strong conclusion to the Haxtur series in "A Time for Dying" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). Haxtur falls into a hidden underground cave where an old man tells him his quest has ended. He summons a monster and requests Haxtur kill a man, but Haxtur is suspicous and instead releases the man, who attacks the old man, permitting Haxtur to escape. Haxtur then fights a man who looks exactly like him. The 'clone' of him tells him that he is actually Haxtur's physical body, and that Haxtur exists as a spirit in limbo, where he will be forced to die over and over again. Haxtur realizes that he is actually in hell, being forced to suffer for his many years as a mercenary. Haxtur then finally meets the mysterious four men seen in the first story in the series, who reveal themselves to be the four horsemen of the apocalypse. They tell him that as a mercenary in his life he ended up accomplishing much for them, something Haxtur is quite upset to hear. Quite a good end to a series that has been one of the very few bright spots in these late issues of Eerie. While this series comes to an end here, de la Fuente returns with another series, "Haggarth" starting in the next issue.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Creepy 112

Richard Corben's Phantom of the Opera style cover headlines this issue of Creepy, one of the better of their later issues, from October 1979.

First is "The Homecoming" by Al Williamson (art, his final Warren story) and Archie Goodwin (story). A very good sci-fi story features an astronaut on a craft that is responsible for going into other dimensions, trying to find one suitable for humans. When he finally finds it, the computer controlling the craft reveals that an error has caused it to forget where they came from, and the astronaut goes from dimension to dimension, trying to find his home to no avail.

Second is "Warrior's Ritual" by John Severin (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). Taking place in the 1930's, a group of troops come across a base full of dead people. There they find a diary from a dead man with a missing heart. The diary tells of a young soldier who is obsessed with fighting, sneaking out of the base to kill more people each night. Eventually it is discovered that the young man is obsessed with eating other's hearts, thinking he can get their courage from it. In the present, he meets his end after trying to eat his own heart! Some very good art by Severin here, one of his best looking stories.

Third is "Nobody's Kid" by Leo Duranona (art) and Bob Toomey (story). A man goes crazy when he finds that his kid isn't really his. He kills the kid's real father, then his mother, then goes on a rampage after the kid, carrying an axe. Most of the story features the man chasing the kid until he climbs a try to hide from him. The father chops the tree down, only for it to fall down on him, killing him.

Fourth is "Relic" by Walt Simonson (art) and Bob Toomey (story). This story is a sequel to "Quirks" from issue 107. Some astronauts looking for a planet instead find a humungous craft that looks like a giant fly. They are sucked inside where they are trapped. Our heroes are able to recruit the furry little creature from the previous story to help themselves escape by bargaining with the bugs that control the craft.

Fifth is "Beastslayer" by Val Lakey (art, her Warren debut) and John Lakey (story). Some very beautiful art in this story by Lakey, some of the most realistic seen in a Warren story. A hunter who has shot all there is to hunt. He heads into the mountains, where the native americans claim is the greatest beast of all. He is eventually done in by an avalanche, and the beast is revealed to be the mountain itself.

Sixth is "Sunday Dinner" by Auraleon (art) and Larry Hama (story). The issue's weakest story, it features dual storylines. In the first, a man brings his two kids to dinner at a chinese food restaurant. In the second, a pair of criminals break into that restaurant and battle with its cooks. The criminals are killed, and served as dinner to the family.

Last is "The Last Sorcerer" by Alex Nino (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story is the last appearance of Thane, a recurring character done by Goodwin. Thane, now an old man, is searching for the last sorcerer, having defeated all other ones. He is joined by a young warrior and a minstrel. Heading through a wintery landscape, they finally find the sorcerer after fighting off bats and a robot. The young warrior attacks the sorcerer, but his body is just a shell. Thane kills him, then it is revealed that the sorcerer has taken the body of the minstrel. Thane decides to let him live.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Vampirella 43

A very memorable issue of Vampirella, as you'll soon find out. It is cover dated June 1975. The cover is by Ribas, which is the only work he ever provided for Warren. An interesting cover, but unfortunately a tad too dark. Vampirella is obviously in anguish, but its hard to tell what exactly is going on. Jose Gonzalez provides a one page intro from Vampi which features not only Vampi, but also Adam, Conrad, Pendragon, Tristan and The Conjuress.

First is "Vampirella", a rare Vampirella story which doesn't have a seperate title. Art is by Jose Gonzalez and story is by Bill Dubay. A very significant Vampirella story that sets the stage for many stories coming up over the next half a dozen issues or so. Vampirella and Pendragon return to America, only to immediately be apprehended by the police, then shot. Adam and Conrad believe that the shooting originates from Pendragon's daughter, and he is correct. Due to the death of her husband by Vampirella (see issue 24 and 25), she is seeking revenge by framing Vampi and killing those she cares about. Adam manages to help Vampirella escape from the hospital while she recovers, but Conrad is promptly shot himself when he goes to see Pendragon. For a series that usually was a complete waste of time, this is quite the good story, which is continued in the next issue.

Second is one of the best Warren stories ever, "The Wolves At Wars End". Art is by Luis Garcia (miscredited to Jose Garcia) and story is by Victor Mora (uncredited) and Budd Lewis. A shame that they screwed up the credits so bad on such a great story. I rank this story as my #3 Warren story of all time, the Warren Companion ranks it as the #2 Warren story of all time. On its own makes this issue worth owning. This story, along with four others printed by Warren in 1975 by Garcia and Mora were originally printed in Europe in the magazine Pilote (and perhaps other magazines?). Warren modified the artwork somewhat and translated/rewrote the stories, frequently missing Mora on the credits entirely. That gaffe aside, these were a tremendous benefit to Warren and marked some of the best stories printed that year. Anyway, on to the story. A soldier returns from the Crusades to find his hometown ravaged by the plague. Returning to his home, he finds it boarded up by a priest. His sister locked inside, the soldier breaks her out and attacks the priest, then flees. The priest, believing his sister to be a sorceress sends men after them. All that keeps the soldier going is his quest to find his lover Eleanor, who he has not seen in many years. He and his sister eventually come upon the castle where her family lived and he finds her alive, exactly as she was before. This is nothing more than a spell cast by his sister however, who actually is a sorceress. When their pursuers catch up to them and kill her, the spell fades, and our protagonist sees the truth, Eleanor's grave, as she too has died. Distraut, the soldier rides back off into the woods where the wolves of war that he has been imagining overcome him. Terrific, terrific story, and Garcia's artwork is absolutely tremendous. I'd rate it the best artwork to ever appear in a Warren magazine, but Garcia outdoes himself a couple of issues later with the story "Janis".

Third is "The Easter Bunny Murders" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). A rather odd concept in this story, featuring a were-bunny. Experiments involving animal blood are run on a former convict who escapes and uses heroin. When the heroin enters his system it causes a chain reaction that causes him to transform into a murderous bunny man! Has to been seen to be believed, believe me. In the end the police are able to find the bunny man and kill him.

Fourth is "Cult of the Dead" by Isidro Mones (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story features a murder investigation where multiple people are discovered with their brains removed. Investigation reveals that years before a cult would eat the brains of others, thinking that they would gain the abilities of that person. It is happening in the modern day, led by a school professor who leads three of his students to eat the brains of a famous actor, artist and politician. The professor then kills them and eats all their brains, but is killed by the police immediately afterward.

Last is "The Last Testament of Angus Crow!" by Fernando Fernandez (story & art). A sore dissappointment for what would be Fernandez's last art job in Vampirella (he would write one more story which would appear in issue 57 and had 3 more stories which would appear in Eerie many years later, although all were reprints or unused inventory stories). Angus Crow of the story is a man who has been convinced throughout his entire life that aliens have been talking to him. He also becomes convinced that enemy soldiers faced during the war were aliens as well. Crow eventually ends up in a mental institution where he passes away. Doctors examining his death discover that he was actually half an alien himself. One of many Fernandez stories featuring aliens in some way, it is nice at the very least to know that he didn't bring the alien angle in out of nowhere on the last couple of pages, which he had done in multiple stories before. In any case though this is the weakest story from those Fernandez contributed to Vampirella in the mid 1970s.

The back cover previews multiple upcoming stories, including one titled "1842" which never ended up appearing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Eerie 116

A so-so issue by Enrich starts off this issue of Eerie, dated November 1980. An absolutely dreadful issue of Eerie, there's nothing good here. Sorry for the quick reviews, this issue is just too poor to be able to give it the full coverage I give average and above average issues.

First is "Blackjack", featuring the return of the Rook to Eerie for this issue only. Art is by E.R. Cruz and story is by Rich Margopoulos. As usual this Rook story has multiple stories going on at once. The Rook encounters a giant amoeba. Bishop Dane and Manners go to prehistoric times, kill a few dinosaurs, and get banned permanently from their by some advanced society living back then. Finally, a rival scientist of the Rook's, Blackjack shows up and tries to tamper with things, taking on Kate and Jan.

Next is 'Starwarriors' in the story "Plunderworld". The logo for this story is an obvious ripoff of the Star Wars logo. Art is by Fred Redondo while story is by Rich Margopoulos. This dreadful story is about the adventures of imp like creatures known as the Star Warriors. This story has no connection to the Star Warrior story that had appeared in issue 114. And thankfully, this did not become a continuing series, ending here.

Third is "The Marks of Merlin!" a new series titled "Cagim" by E.R. Cruz (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This new series features Merlin the magician, who meets his prior younger self (called Ambrose) and educates him. At the same time a Dark Queen who had prior dealings with Merlin fights him, but Ambrose, wearing a superhero costume fixes things. Nothing interesting whatsoever here, although additional stories in this series would appear for a while.

Last is the latest Haxtur story, "Warriors and Friends!" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). A small group of knights find Haxtur and accuse him of being a spy. Haxtur fights them, killing all but one, and taking their horse. A very short story this time, at a mere 6 pages. This series would conclude with the next issue.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Creepy 58

Sanjulian provides the cover for this issue of Creepy, cover dated December 1973. Bill Dubay and Vicente Alcazar provide the art for the two page frontis "The Old School" while Steve Skeates provides the script.

First is "Change... Into Something Comfortable" by Richard Corben (art) and Doug Moench (story). A werewolf runs around on Halloween, enjoying himself by killing trick or treaters, gang members, and pretty much anyone else who he encounters. He eventually comes across a mansion which he attacks, only to find that the inhabitants are fellow monsters like him, part of the freak show he used to work for. The monsters then make him their dinner! A strong way to start off the issue.

Second is "An Excuse for Violence" by Adolfo Abellan (art) and Don McGregor (story). This story features a vampire on a college campus whose attacks are contributing to a tough racial situation between white and black people. Oddly enough the vampire is a black man who transforms into a white one after becoming a vampire. Not that great a story from a story or art standpoint.

Third is "Shriek Well Before Dying!" by Jose Bea (art) and W. Eaton (story). A con artist marries a young woman because he wants to bump off her father and get his money. He eventually is able to get the father to have a heart attack and die, but the father comes back from the grave to get his revenge. In the end the daughter goes crazy and lives with his corpse, whom she keeps in her house.

Fourth is "Soul and Shadow" by Reed Crandall (art, his final Warren appearance) and Gardner Fox (story). A warrior sneaks into a tomb to find a treasure, finding a sleeping woman there. She awakens and he fights off a group of demons. Soon afterwards however a shadow comes after him and kills him. It ends up the whole thing was a ruse to get him to kill the demons, which the woman could not.

Last is "The Waking Nightmare!" by Isidro Mones (art) and Don McGregor (story). A Gasp! interesting story by McGregor for once, featuring an outbreak that occurs that causes some to go on a murderous rage and others to just pass out. The story does contain McGregor's political ramblings as usual, but not enough to wreck a fairly good story.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Vampirella 58

A holiday themed issue of Vampirella, featuring a very good cover by Enrich. Seven stories here, a rarity for an issue from this era of Warren.

First is Vampirella in "Lenore" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). Vampirella, Pendragon and Adam arrive at a castle where a crazy old man is storing the corpse of his dead wife Lenore in a tank. The old man had gone crazy after Lenore passed away many years ago. Since then he has performed experiments, allowing him to remain alive, and also enabling his ape pet, Rocco to talk. Rocco ends up freeing Vampirella and Pendragon, but the old man transfers Adam's youth to himself. When Vampi arrives they get into a struggle and the man ends up dying after he falls into the tank with his dead wife. When he dies, his youth returns back to Adam. Rocco bids farewell to Vampi and co, choosing to go down with the castle when it collapses.

Next is this issue's first Christmas themed story, "A Matchstick Angel" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story features a sick rich little boy whose set to die right around Christmas time. His only friend is a poor girl, Taddie Openshoes. When Death comes to claim him on Christmas Eve, Taddie convinces him to take her instead, and he recovers.

My number one Warren story of all time is third, "Yellow Heat" by Russ Heath (art) and Bruce Jones (story). Heath's art is some of the best to ever appear in a Warren story. This story takes place in Africa before World War I and surrounds Uthu, a young warrior in an African tribe. When a beautiful woman from an opposing tribe is captured, Uthu desires her for himself and challenges the chief when he claims her. In order to obtain her, the chief orders Uthu to accomplish a warrior's quest where he singlehandedly must kill a full grown lion with only a spear within 3 days. A near impossible task, things get even tougher for Uthu when a lion ambushes him unprepared. He gets very lucky however when a large snake attacks the lion, killing it. Uthu kills the snake and drags the lion back to his tribe, victorious. He enters the hut where the captured woman is waiting for him... and thats as far as I'm going to go. This story is memorable largely for having one of the biggest shock endings in Warren history and I'm not going to spoil it for my readers. Let me just say that the final panel is extremely horrific and startling, but ultimately makes sense within the confines of the story once you read it again. Just a fantastic, fantastic story that on its own makes this issue worth having.

Another Christmas themed story is next, "The Christmas Flower" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story takes place in a poor black neighborhood where a young boy finds a flower growing out of the pavement. He views this as a miracle, but some gang members step on it soon afterwards. With the help of some women passing by, he is able to prop it up, and keep it alive. A huge crowd soon gathers around it. Later, the gang member who stepped on it swerves away from it while on a motorcycle and ends up killing himself when he hits a car.

Fifth is "The Wambaugh" by Auraleon (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A Hollywood star who just got his big break meets in the wintery Canadian wilderness with a producer friend and his wife. While there they read a story about the Wambaugh, a beast that appears in Canada taking the form of corpses that searches for a mate. The producer's wife convinces the star to kill her husband since he is finished in Hollywood. The star is too nervous to do so, so she does it herself away from him. She soon starts freaking out about seeing the Wambaugh however and when they see the corpse of her husband, the star has a heart attack and dies. It ends up all being a trick to kill him so the producer can get his role instead. But in actuality the Wambaugh has taken the producer's form and claims the wife for himself. Not a bad story, but some odd narrative lapses at time that make it seem as if captions on certain panels were left off completely.

Sixth is "Little Monster" by Carmine Infantino & Dick Giordano (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story features an old bus driver, Leroy, who views children as monsters. He remembers a teacher he had when he was a child who shared this opinion, who died when the 'little monsters' called her to fall out of a window. Eventually he ends up getting into an accident when his bus hits a moving train. All the kids live, but he dies.

Last is "The Sleeping Beauty" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Maroto & Bill Dubay (story). Some extremely good, exotic art by Maroto here, which appears sideways. As told in the captions, years before a prince married a beautiful peasent girl, Aurora. After their marriage she revealed to him that she had made a deal with a demon in order to be able to marry him, where she gave up both her soul and their first born son. When the son is born, the father fights off the demon. The demon instead curses the prince, taking his castle and wife, making him a peasant. The artwork shows the present day, as the son, now all grown up heads through the demon possessed castle, encountering a winged maiden, dragons and finally the demon itself, which appears as a nine headed serpent. Successfully making it past them, he comes across his mother, who remains as youthful and beautiful as she was when he was born. But upon kissing her it is revealed that she too has become a demon and kills him. A similar narrative style here to stories that Dubay wrote in 1984/1994, where the captions tell a story which isn't really seen in the artwork at all.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Eerie 114

Sanjulian provides a nice cover for this issue of Eerie, cover dated September 1980.

First is "Star Warrior!" by Al Sanchez (art) and David Jacobs (story). A 31 page story that drags excessively, although its at least a tad better than the garbage from the prior issue. A man is embroiled in a big adventure to kill the brother of his lover, who he killed so she couldn't be targeted to get to him. The story also features our hero's friend, who is forced to give up everything he owns when he loses a race. Although the story has some twists in it (like the killed lover turning up alive, only to die for real), not that good a story.

The next story on the other hand, is terrific. "The Executioners" is by Carlos Giminez (art & story), and like his stories that I've already covered for 1984 on this blog, was originally printed elsewhere and reprinted here. A ship is stranded in space. The older members of the crew decide that in order to survive they need to eat one of their fellow crew members. The young cadets are targetted to be eaten, and one is chosen to be killed. Lots of anguish goes on by the one chosen, along with other members of the crew who do not want to go through with it. Eventually though the boy is killed, but mere seconds later, help arrives, making it all meaningless.

The issue concludes with the latest Haxtur story, "Panthers, Wolves and Death!" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). Haxtur encounters a woman with a panther for a pet whom he helps. He then later is captured by a clan of wolf men, but manages to defeat their leader, scaring them away.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Creepy 75

Ken Kelly provides the cover for this issue of Creepy, dated November 1975. Berni Wrightson provides a one page intro from Uncle Creepy. An amazing issue, one of Creepy's best single issues ever.

First is "The Escape Chronicle" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story takes place in a 1984-esque future. A man, Bernard, meets Charlie, a man who is completely unlike anyone else, refusing to act in the way that society demands. Charlie convinces Bernard to come to his side and they plot to escape using a hot air balloon. The day it finally happens however Bernard is pursued by law enforcement and falls off the balloon just as Charlie is escaping. A fairly good story, that was included in the Warren Companion's top 25 list. A sequel was made in issue 80 that wrapped things up on a happier note.

Second is "Phantom of Pleasure Island" by Alex Toth (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story is a murder mystery taking place in an amusement park where a mysterious sniper has killed multiple people. One of the suspect is killed while the other one agrees to sell his rival amusement park, removing him as a suspect. The killer ends up being the wife of the park owner, who wanted him to pay more attention to her than the park, and thought that her murder spree would accomplish that goal.

Third is "Snow" by Rich Buckler & Wally Wood (art) and Bruce Bezaire (story). This story takes place in the ruins of a wintery city. A man meets a boy in an abandoned building whose parents are dead. They are attacked by a man who wants to eat them, but they kill him instead, then plan to use him for food.

Fourth is "Death Expression" by John Severin (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). A man in a prison tells a story of a revolution he was part of in South America. His cause was helped by a major who suddenly arrived and took charge, quickly bringing their group to power. Once in power, executions of people continue for weeks and months and a mysterious council appears. When our protagonist refuses to murder the former dictator, the Major plans to have him killed. This results in a struggle between our protagonist and him where he pulls of the Major's mask, revealing that he is an alien cochroach! The aliens started the revolution and are plotting to take over the entire world. Back in the prison, our protagonist thinks one of the guard is an alien as well and attacks him, falling to his death.

The issue concludes with "Thrillkill" by Neal Adams (art, his final Warren appearance) and Jim Stenstrum (story). A truly great story, and arguably the most famous Warren story of all time, being ranked #1 overall as best Warren story in the Warren Companion. A young man with a sniper rifle shoots random people from the top of a building and is eventually killed by the police. While the artwork shows these events taking place a priest who knew the young man as a boy talks to a reporter, trying to explain why this happened.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

1994 20

Given the total ineptitude of Eerie 113, I'll be covering a second issue as well today.

The cover of this issue is by Nestor Redondo. Only a so-so issue at best unfortunately. It is cover dated August 1981.

First is another "Young Sigmond Pavlov" story by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (as Will Richardson, which is how he's referenced throughout the issue). This story is actually a vast improvement over the previous one. It features Pavlov once again talking to a patient, this time a guy who claims that God sent him a giant spaceship-like ark and ordered him to gather bizarre creatures from across the world. He does so only to find out its only a joke being played on him by God. Similar to the previous story, this story is primarily two page spreads by Nino, although the artwork is considerably toned down in terms of content compared to the last story.

Second is "Diana Jacklighter, Manhuntress!" a new series by Esteban Maroto (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, as Alabaster Redzone, which is how he's credited throughout the issue). The most interesting thing in this issue, it kicks off a pretty long series. Jacklighter is a pilot responsible for what was supposed to be an easy mission, transporting a group of 7 criminals that are in suspended animation. When her ship is struck by a meteor however, the ship crashes and all the criminals, who also happen to be suffering from a plague, escape. Jacklighter is now forced to head out and capture all of them. Some nice art by Maroto although the suspended animation chamber appears to be ripped off from the movie Alien.

Third is "Little Beaver" by Vic Catan (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story takes place in a future where the communists and capitalists have battled, wiping out most of the world. A teenage native american girl and her grandmother Running Box think they are the only humans left and live with a tentacled monster, but some communists still alive arrive and end up getting blown up by a nuclear bomb they possess.

Fourth is "Ghita of Alizarr" by Frank Thorne (story & art). This story's considerably shorter than the usual Ghita story, at only 8 pages. Ghita and friends come across an inn where they stay. There they witness a mute maid being decapitated as part of a magic trick. During the trick her head tells Ghita not to return to Alizarr.

Last is the return of "Spearchucker Spade: Intergalactic Eye" by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story). The previous story was so-so, this one is rather lousy, although the art is nice. Spade heads out to a space station to help fight against Ronald Reagan's crazy descendent. Thankfully this was it for this particular character.

Eerie 113

Jim Laurier provides the UFO themed cover of this issue of Eerie, dated August 1980. This issue kicks off a long stretch of very poor issues of Eerie, probably the worst issues of material that Warren ever put out. This is going to be rough.

First is "The Manifestation" by E.R. Cruz (art) and the team of Bill Dubay & Budd Lewis (story, Dubay as Will Richardson). This story features an encounter in space with a blob like entity that takes over many astronauts. A rather dull story that goes on for far too long. But far worse is Cruz's art. Cruz is probably the worst artist who ever worked for Warren. Every single character he ever drew looked exactly the same. And unfortunately there's lots of him over the rest of Eerie's life.

Second is "Code Name: Nova" by Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features a man taking on mutant revolutionaries. Better art, but poorer story than the previous one.

Last is "Haxtur and the Slow Death God" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). Haxtur comes to a new village where he is told of the deadly God Mokt, who is keeping people from leaving the village. Haxtur encounters Mokt, which ends up being a radioactive statue. He later encounters the diabolic master "Khut", who wants to take over Haxtur's body, but he is able to kill him and escape.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Creepy 95

This issue is an apes special issue. It is cover dated February 1978. All stories within feature apes in some manner. Doing themed issues like this based on the cover was a very common Warren theme throughout the years. Two stories that were clearly intended to appear in this issue also appeared in Creepy 99 and Eerie 92. Don Maitz provides the cover.

First is "The Star Saga of Sirius Sam" by John Severin (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). Two men come to meet Sam of the title to head to an alien planet and steal a gem which they hope to use to keep alive a woman who is the wife of one of them and the sister of the other. They head to the planet, which is ruled by chimps. They find the gem, but discover it is only made of glass, as the real one was taken long ago. The glass substitute is destroyed while they are there. They are able to escape safely by using the glass eye of one of the men to replace the destroyed substitute however.

Second is "The Laughing Man" by Berni Wrightson (art) and Bruce Jones (story). The best story of the issue, it features a man found by a doctor in the African jungles laughing maniacally. With some drugs the man calms down and tells how he and his business partner headed to the African jungles in an attempt to find intelligent chimps. They catch one dead, and our protagonist's business partner skins the creature and uses it as a costume to attract another one. He vanishes after a while and turns up later, but it ends up he is actually an ape, wearing the dead partner's skin as a costume! A terrific story, unfortunately it would be Wrightson's last Warren story.

Third is this issue's color story, "Murder on the Vine" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Cary Bates (story). In this story a young woman and a boy kill Tarzan in order to steal his treasure. Meanwhile the animals of the jungle, aware of whats going on, take steps to arm themselves and fight back, led by a chimp friend of Tarzan. The murderers are caught and dumped into a tar pit. Some so-so color on this story, nowhere as good as it has been in previous issues.

Fourth is "The Empire of Chim-Pan-Zee" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). The empire fights neanderthals, but is hopelessly outnumbered and is losing ground fast. A few of the chimps find modern humans nearby who have gone back in time and have powerful rockets and other devices. They hope to use them by taking the button that activates them, but find it useless on its own and are wiped out by the neanderthals.

Fifth is "The Oasis Inn" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bob Toomey (story). This issue's weakest story by far, it features ape soldiers, one of whom is after a woman whose going out with a gorilla officer. They go through various escapades and all end up friends at the end.

Last is "The Old Ways" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story takes place in a post apocalyptic world where talking apes reign supreme. The sole remaining living human fights them off, shooting at them. Eventually one of them finds a gun and confronts him, killing him.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vampirella 21

Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, showing Vampi in the desert with a skull as the sun. Bill Dubay provides the two page "Mind-Benders" on the front and back inside covers.

First is "Slitherers of the Sand" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Steve Englehart (story, as 'Chad Archer'). A fairly good story to kick of Engleheart's short run at writing Vampi, which would last only 3 issues. In this issue Vampi, the Van Helsings and Dracula are transported to the desert where they encounter an extremely ugly giant slug which ends up killing itself when Vampi tricks it into traveling over its own waste.

Next is "A Legend", the latest "Tomb of the Gods" story by Esteban Maroto (story & art). Like most of the stories in this series it just isn't all that great, about a man, Altik the warrior who is used by the Gods. Yawn.

Third is "Paranoia" by Luis Garcia (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A rather confusing story about a man put into deadly situations by a bizarre group of creatures. He eventually meets his end when a train car hits him. Unfortunately this would be Garcia's last story for Warren, although they would reprint stories he had done elsewhere in 1975.

Last is "The Vampiress Stalks the Castle This Night" by Felix Mas (art) and Don McGregor (story). A fairly good story about a pair of 17 year olds who have gotten pregnant who come across a large castle occupied by a vampiress. They are luckily able to stop her and escape. Some very nice art by Mas, much of which was used within the inside covers of the Warren companion.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Eerie 111

This issue of Eerie features a cover by Ken Kelly.

First is the finale to "Blood on Black Satin" by Paul Gulacy (art) and Doug Moench (story). Our heroes are caught in a frenzy as Simon Whately and his mob overrun the town. Our protagonist awakens the next day, believing it all ot be a dream. In actuality everything did happen, and Whately is still in control.

Second is "Moto Psycho Cop" by John Garcia & Rudy Nebres (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This stand alone story tells of a 'pyscho cop' and the mind induced experiences he gets in. Eventually he is killed, but another man gets revenge for him on those he had worked for.

Third is "The Messenger", the final Samurai story by Val Mayerik (art) and Larry Hama (story). In this story Samurai is helped by a friend who looks like him to helps take out some Yagyu Clan ninjas who are after him. Unfortunately this would be Samurai's final appearance, despite the fact that the story is nowhere close to a conclusion.

Fourth is the final Mac Tavish story, "50 Million Spacemen Can't Be Wrong" by Pepe Moreno Casares (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). In this story Mac Tavish discovers how Gorgo was able to track Spider's attack, and also finds that Gorgo himself is paralyzed now and portrayed in public by one of his men. Spider appears on the scene, now with all his hair shaved off, and angry at Mac Tavish, not knowing the truth, blows up both himself and Mac Tavish's lover, Ida. Mac Tavish, upset, tries to destroy the Earth by plowing a ship into it, but stops at the last minute and decides to spare it.

The issue concludes with "Beware of Glahb", the third story in the Haxtur series by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). This series, which was a reprinting of a series that originally appeared in Europe initially started in 1984/1994 before moving here with this issue. In this story Haxtur saves a sacrifice for a giant lizard creature, Glahb, and is saved by her later on when he becomes the intended sacrifice. He later contends with a priest that forbids people to talk

With the ending of multiple long running series and Louise Jones's departure as editor, Eerie would quickly collapse to ineptitude after this issue.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Creepy 89

This issue of Creepy is an all war special issue. Alas, the stories here aren't at the quality of the Blazing Combat days, which would have made this quite the issue. The cover is a reprint of Frank Frazetta's cover for Blazing Combat 1.

First is "Blood Brothers" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bruce Jones (story). The issue's best story, it is about a soldier who meets another soldier, Voper among the dead of a destroyed fort. Voper travels with him, but constantly dissappears and appears fine after being shot by our protagonist. At the end of the story it is revealed that Voper was dead the entire time and was actually being eaten by our protagonist.

Second is "The Windmill" by Leo Duranona (art) and Lou Rossin (story). This short story, at only 5 pages, features a hunchback in the days before World War II who fights to save his country of Liechenstein from the Nazis.

Third is "Angel of Jaipur" by John Severin (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features a young pilot flying a plane who goes back in time and manages to save his father from a military assault. Despite there being some sceptics, the gun marks on his plane are proof enough that it really happened.

Fourth is "The Hungry Dragon" by Carmine Infantino & Alex Nino (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). A soldier comes across a village in Vietnam where he finds some young children which he attempts to care for. He heads out and kills some enemy soldiers to find food for them, but upon returning finds them eating the remains of some dead soldiers, causing them to kill them... in his mind. In actuality, he only harmed one of them, who ended up becoming his wife years later, but in his mind he is convinced he killed them all.

Fifth is "The Door-Gunner" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Larry Hama & Cary Bates (story). This story is drawn in pencil only. It features a veteran back from Vietnam who is convinced that he is still there at the war, resulting in murderous rages from him. In the end it ends up that he's in a mental hospital.

Last is "Coggin's Army" by Martin Salvador (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). Similar to the last story, this story takes place in an institution, where an old general, his wheelchair bound friend and others are convinced they are still at war.

Friday, January 9, 2009

1994 19

This issue starts off with a good cover by Jordi Penalva.

First is "Young Sigmond Pavlov!" by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story, as Will Richardson, which is how he's credited throughout the issue). Its around this point in this magazine's life where you truly start to wonder whether Bill Dubay and Alex Nino have lost their minds. This story kicks off a completely nonscensical series of stories with little to them in terms of plot, but with by far the most bizarre and over the top artwork Warren ever published. Not just extremely bizarre, but also incredibly offensive as well. This story, which has Pavlov, a psychologist, talking to a patient, consists pretty much entirely of two page spreads of incredibly over the top material (much of it sexual in nature). And trust me, its gets even more over the top in the stories to come. You wonder how Nino even thought of much of the stuff he starts drawing with this story. This stuff has to be seen to be believed. Probably on its own makes this issue, and the later ones featuring this stuff a worthwhile purchase.

Second is "Fugue for a Ferrite Fugitive" by Vic Catan (art) and Bill Dubay & Kevin Duane (story). This story features a robot who is accused of murder who is innocent, as another robot who looks just like him committed the murders. Unfortunately things don't go well for the robot; even though he does find the other robot, the both of them end up getting destroyed. A so-so story at best.

Third is "The Holy Warrior!" by Delando Nino (art) and John Ellis Sech & Bill Dubay (story). This story takes place in a future where there are Jesus clones. Our hero, the Holy Warrior, is seeking to rescue one, which is just a child from communist enemies. He is able to do so, but the two of them are so hungry that he ends up killing the clone and eating him! Quite a bizarre and heretical ending for this story.

Fourth is "Ghita of Alizarr" by Frank Thorne (story & art). Rahmuz, leader of Urd, is introduced. He desires for Ghita to join his harem, which already includes a four breasted woman (!). He hopes to make Ghita his Queen and as a result rule over Alizarr as well. Ghita meanwhile meets an old lady who reveals that the unicorn she's traveling with has the spirit of Khan Dagon within it. Sartan arrives and cuts off the horn from the unicorn, hoping to make himself rich with it. Ghita bids farewell to the old woman and meets back up with Thenef and Dahib.

Fifth is "Et Tu Casey!" by Abel Laxamana (art) and Kevin Duane (story). This story, as one would think from the title, is heavily inspired by the story of Casey, the great baseball player who struck out when his team needed him most. The twist on this story is that first, it takes place on an alien planet, and second, Casey does manage to hit the ball, but it explodes, blowing up the entire ballpark.

Last is "Steele!" by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay & Budd Lewis (story). This story makes a hell of a lot more sense than Dubay and Nino's first story for this issue. It features a man who is severly wounded, losing the bottom half of his body. He is put in suspended animation then later brought back to life to become an assassin, assigned to killing demons. Eventually the original Hunter makes an appearance and after being severly injured, our protagonist is transformed once again, into the Exterminator featured extensively in the Hunter II series. A pretty good prequel story tying in to the Hunter and Hunter II serials from Eerie.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Eerie 110

Jim Laurier provides the sci-fi themed cover of this issue of Eerie. A very good issue, standing out among those issues of Eerie around this time. In fact given how deeply Eerie declined, this might by the last really good issue of the magazine left. This was Louise Jones's final issue as editor.

First is "Blood on Black Satin" by Paul Gulacy (art) and Doug Moench (story). Our protagonist is attacked after finding the body of Uncle Jock but is saved by Heather. They travel to the basement of an old courthouse where our heroes find the skeletal remains of Whatley's followers. Seconds later Whatley himself appears. This series would be concluded in the next issue.

Second is the finale for "Beastworld" by Pablo Marcos (art) and Bruce Jones (story). In this story Tyler and Thomas have their last confrontation. Ruth falls to her death accidently after being used as bait by Tyler. Tyler and Thomas fight each other and Monica kills Tyler just as he's about to kill Thomas. The series ends with Tyler and Monica sleeping with each other. Overall, this 6 part story probably would have worked better in no more than 2 parts. A big waste of time and a huge dissappointment from Bruce Jones.

Third is "Francois", the finale to "The Open Sky" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bob Toomey (story). This story features Francois, the evil assassin that Moonshadow was coming after. Francois travels in a hot air balloon which crashes into the sea. He is saved by some dolphins which bring him to an island where he meets the Grim Reaper, as well as Moonshadow and Arianne. Upon fighting, Francois discovers that both he and Arianne are dead. Moonshadow, still alive, is able to leave. A pretty good finale to this series, which was missing for a while.

Fourth is "Firefly/Starfight" by Auraleon (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story features an ordinary man who witnesses spaceships battling for control of Earth. Convinced that the aliens will control the Earth, he decides to kill himself. A slow paced, but okay story.

Last is "The Rainmaker" by Leo Duranona (art) and Michael Fleisher (story). During a heavy drought, a con man fools a town into giving him $500, saying that its for materials to bring rain. While traveling to the next town he comes across a cabin where a man tells him he's a rainmaker as well, and makes it happen by sacrificing the conman to the Gods by chopping his head in with an axe.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Creepy 4

Frank Frazetta tackles the cover for this issue of Creepy, featuring a man confronted by a werewolf. The frontis is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by Al Williamson.

First is "Monster Rally" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A mad scientist assembles a large group of monsters, all in order to find a formula that will give him eternal life. Eventually a town mob attacks him when one of his monsters, a vampire, escapes and attacks the town. The scientist frees his monsters, who kill him rather than attack the mob. The entire castle burns to the ground. There is only one survivor, a small baby... Uncle Creepy!

Next is "Blood and Orchids" by Al McWilliams and Archie Goodwin (story). A doctor assists in a murder investigation where multiple people have been found with their blood drained. He suspects it is because of a countess he met who doesn't use mirrors, brought over native soil for her plants, and doesn't go out during the day. He naturally thinks she is a vampire, but it is actually her blood drinking plants that are the culprit.

Third is "The Damned Thing" by Gray Morrow (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), an adaption of the Ambrose Bierce story. A group of men gather around in a cabin due to the death of the cabin's owner. One of the men, a friend of the murder victim, tells a story about how he believes the man was killed by a creature that is a color that the human eye cannot see. None of them believe him, but as they leave, they are attacked by the creature. A very good adaption (with a revised ending) by Goodwin. The 'Damned Thing' is very scary when it finally is seen.

Fourth is "Moon City!" by Al McWilliams (art) and Larry Engleheart (story). This story tells of a settlement made on the moon. One of the workers who constructs the settlement returns to Earth, gets married, and heads to the moon with his wife. But there they are attacked and killed by hungry dogs who were on the moon all by themselves.

Fifth is "Curse of the Full Moon!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A rich man, Henry, has his coach attacked by a wolf, and his driver killed, He encounters an old gypsy woman who tells him that it is a werewolf, and he is to be the creature's next victim. Henry plans to hunt the werewolf with his two hunting buddies and when the werewolf attacks him, he kills it with a silver bladed knife. Because he was bitten however, he becomes a werewolf himself and his killed by his friends.

Last is "The Trial of Adam Link" by Joe Orlando (art) and Otto Binder (story). Adam is turned back on by Dr. Link's nephew, who is able to get him put on trial rather than being immediately destroyed. Adam is villified by the masses and torn apart by the press, except for a single writer, Jack Hall. Adam saves multiple peoples lives around the time of and after the trial, but is found guilty and sentenced to death.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Vampirella 23

Sanjulian's cover of the Cobra Queen starts off this issue of Vampirella.

First is Vampirella in "The Blood Queen of Bayou Parish!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Steve Englehart (story). Vampirella and company head to New Orleans where it is rumored that a cult led by Father Jonas (from the prior issue) is. When they head there, Pendragon meets Sally, a woman who looks just like his ex wife Rosie. In actuality, Sally is a woman brought back from the dead after she killed herself and is able to look like any woman. She also happens to be working under Father Jonas, who wasn't defeated after all. Vampirella and company are able to defeat them once and for all.

Next is "Cobra Queen" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Don Glut (story). A trio of men head through the woods in search of a Cobra Queen that rules over a society of amazonesses. Along the way they keep seeing a large cobra. One of the men is soon killed by one. They finally reach the society, and meet the Cobra Queen who transforms into a giant cobra. One of the men however reveals that he too is a giant cobra, and transforms into one. The Cobra Queen and King then feast on the last remaining man. This story would get a sequel in issue 37.

Third is "Call it Companionship" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A young woman buys a cat and soon starts acting like it, eating rats and angering her boyfriend, whom she ends up killing when he threatens to kill the cat.

Fourth is "The Accursed!" by Jose Bea (art) and Kevin Pagan (story). A man wanders through a graveyard, fighting off various creatures like a werewolf, vampire bats and rats. He is here to dig up and destroy the corpse of an evil man that has been buried in the graveyard. He digs up the man and destroys it, then collapses before his father's grave.

Fifth is "The Witch's Promise" by Auraleon (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). A woman is accused as a witch and is hanged. Years later a soldier meets her daughter in the woods and they sleep together. He abandons her the next day but is captured and killed by a tree controlled by her when he passes by in a carriage later on.

Last is "Won't Eddie Ever Learn?" by Felix Mas (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). A young thief heads to a farm, seeking to steal the truck there. The farm is owned by an old man and his blind daughter, who invite the thief to dinner. That night he robs the old man, killing him by striking him in the head. He falls to his death into the pig trough however, and ends up getting eaten by the pigs on the farm.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Eerie 109

This issue of Eerie features a Beastworld themed cover by Kirk Reinert.

First is "Blood on Black Satin", a new series by Paul Gulacy (art) and Doug Moench (story). An interesting new series that is one of the most praised of Eerie's latter day series. A man comes to the town of Middlesex where he finds a large celebration of the macabre taking place. Having received a letter from a woman named Heather McKinnon, he visits her and the wheelchair Uncle Jock, who tells him the history of the town, which is filled with Satan worshippers descended from the villanous Simon Whately and demons. They tell him a new Simon Whately is in town and asks him to investigate at the local library. He does so, but the document he finds there bursts aflame. He returns to the McKinnon home, finding Jock dead.

Second is "Beastworld" by Pablo Marcos (art) and Bruce Jones (story). Thomas saves Monica from the waterfall and decides that he's going to stop his manic quest to outdo Tyler. Tyler meanwhile defeats a giant praying mantis, and sets up a path for Thomas, but wants to kill him.

Third is "Race of the Damned", the second and final part to this short series. Art is by Joe Vaultz and story is by Norman Mundy and Cary Bates. We get an explanation of the race here, as it is explained that robots took over Earth, but give humans the chance to win it back through a race each year where nine humans face one robot. The robots are able to win the race however, keeping things the same.

Fourth is "Fugue State", the latest story in the Samurai series. Art is by Val Mayerik and story is by Larry Hama. In this story a man offers to help the Samurai and the princess, but instead he plans on attacking them. Samurai goes on a rampage, killing everyone.

Last is "The End of the Steel Gang", the latest Mac Tavish story by Pepe Moreno Casares (art) and Jim Stenstrum & Alex Southern (story, Stenstrum as "Alabaster Redzone"). Spider Andromeda plots to kill Gorgo and the entire Board of Directors of his corporation during his victory speech. Mac Tavish heads there as a spy but is caught. Spider kills the Board, but not Gorgo, and blames Mac Tavish for him not being completely successful.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Creepy 129

Jeff Easely provides the cover for this issue of Creepy. Rudy Nebres draws a one page intro from Uncle Creepy. Like most issues from this period, a boring issue with nothing much here to impress the reader.

First is "The Terrible Truth About Danny" by Martin Salvador (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story tells of a young boy with pyschokenetic powers who can cause objects to do whatever he wants to get revenge on anyone whose done him wrong. A beautiful girl moves in next door but unlike other boys doesn't like her. One night he decides to force himself on her to be like everyone else but instead decides to kill himself by blowing his own head up.

Second is "The Saga of Popeye Jackson!" by Paul Neary (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story tells of a revolution from a robot man who used to be human. Some pretty good art from Neary, but a poor, rather dull story.

Third is "Working Class Hero" by Carmine Infantino & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story features an accountant in his forties who looks much older than that who is bored with life, but is suddenly transported to thousands of years in the past where he helps a woman who escaped from her slave master. They go meet with a wizard, the man who brought him back in time by accident and they defeat the slave master. The wizard tries to transport him back to the present, but he ends up in the revolutionary war period instead. Some good art, but a poor, pointless story.

Fourth is "The Last Voyage of Sinbad" by Fred Carillo (art) and Budd Lewis (story). The Sinbad of legend is actually a dim-witted man who desires more than anything else to have friends and have the rain stop. Some treasurer hunters recruit him to join them and when they find how dumb he is they instead plan to have him be the fall guy when they discover a genie that will kill whoever summons him. The genie instead grants Sinbad's wishes to have friends and stop the rain.

Fifth is "He Who Lives!" by Danny Bulandi (art) and Budd Lewis (story). A confusing story about a man on a spaceship who goes down to a planet, sees weird visions, and encounters a vampire who he kills, making him a vampire himself.

Last is "Strategic Retreat" by Herb Arnold (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). This story features a humanoid dinosaur who hires soldiers to kill his old men and help him escape. While escaping however the soldiers sign a new contract with his enemy, giving him only two weeks to live.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Vampirella 59

Enrich provides a rather comedic cover to this issue of Vampirella.

First is "Pendragon's Last Bow" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Vampi and Pendragon come to a new town where some murders have been taking place. Pendragon meets a beautiful woman Rosie, the owner of an antique shop directly above the place where the corpses have been found. The Van Helsings arrive and find that Rosie is a succubus, who along with her brother is responsible for the murders. Rosie and her brother are killed, but she saves Adam, who had been attacked by her brother before she dies.

Second is "Changes" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story features a man released from a mental institution who wonders around where he used to live, but everything has changed. A rather weak story

Third is "Funeral Day" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story surrounds a funeral director in a post apocalyptic society where people eat the corpse. Another so-so story at best.

Fourth is "Force Feed" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Cary Bates (story). A killer who is on the run from the police finds a scientist who is able to transport him to someone else's body in another time. He proves it by letting him tempoorarily be in Jack the Ripper. But when they go ahead with transporting him to someone else's body, the scientist, knowing the killer is a vegitarian, has him turned into a Tyranosaurus Rex. The best story of this issue.

Fifth is "The Plot's the Thing" by Martin Salvador (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). A comic book story writer who is an expert at horrific stories decides to inspire himself by killing people. Eventually he kills his wife, then kills his neighbor when he discovers him trying to escape with the body. He drags the bodies to throw over a bridge where he is killed by another man, who just happens to be killing him to inspire himself for his first comic book story.

Last is "The Beast is Yet to Come" by Carmine Infantino & Alex Nino (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This story features a man on the planet Rego living there with his son. The aliens there tell him of a creature, the "Wilwulf" which he doesn't believe in. After fighting some other aliens on the planet however, he returns home to find that his son is the Wilwulf.

Eerie 108

Jim Laurier provides a cover painting of a giant spider in this issue of Eerie.

First is "A Lion in Our Midst" by Jess Jodloman (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This story features an interstellar war between a race of lion-like humanoids and humans. A third group called Gadfly tries to broker peace between the two by taking on the disguise of the leaders of each army. They are able to successfully broker peace, although they are killed while leaving by the leader of the human forces.

Second is "Beastworld" by Pablo Marcos (art) and Bruce Jones (story). This story continues the series theme of our heroes battling giant insects. Monica is saved from the flood by Thomas, but by the end of the story pretty much the exact same thing happens as she is caught in a waterfall. Little dialogue in this fast paced, poor story. I'm still waiting for something interesting to happen after four parts.

Third is "A Juggler's Tale", the latest Samurai story. Art is by Val Mayerik and story is by Larry Hama. The issue's best story, it features Samurai and the princess joining a carnival as blind performers. The head of the carnival had his daughter kidnapped by the Yagyu clan and plans to kill Samurai to get her back, but the princess helps him kill the man. They escape, with the one eyed head of the Yagyu Clan quickly on their tail.

Fourth is "Race of the Damned" by Joe Vaultz (art) and Norman Mundy & Cary Bates (story). This story features a race taking place in space. Like all of the stories of this type published by Warren, this is an extremely dull and boring story.

Last is "Growing Pains" by Mike Zech (art) and Bob Toomey (story). This story features a baby that kills its parents. A rather simple story with not much of a point to it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Creepy 7

This issue of Creepy features a classic cover by Frank Frazetta of a werewolf fighting a vampire. A very strong issue, not a single bad story from an art or story standpoint here.

First is "The Duel of the Monsters!" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A vampire finds that he has competition in the town he's in, a werewolf. The werewolf knows of him and plants a crucifix in his coffin. The vampire plots to get rid of the werewolf, thinking he knows who he is. He waits at the werewolf's house and kills him, only to find that the werewolf was actually someone else. The man he was suspecting was the werewolf appears, revealing it was a trap to get the two of them to eliminate each other, as he is a ghoul and wants no competition either.

Second is "Image of Bluebeard" by Joe Orlando (art) and Bill Pearson (story). A mysterious assassin plaugues the countryside. Meanwhile a young woman marries an older man who cares for her, but forces her to stay on his estate in the woods. He has a cabin near their house that he refuses her to go into. After finding out that he's married three times before and discovering a book about bluebeard in his library, she becomes convinced that he's the killer and stabs him just as he is about to bring her into the cabin. But it ends up that the killer had already been captured and the cabin was just filled with animals he had gathered to keep her company.

Third is the one page "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by Frank Frazetta (art), his final interior artwork for Warren.

Fourth is "Rude Awakening!" by Alex Toth (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story is about a man who keeps having dreams of a glasses wearing man attacking him with a knife. He's so freaked out by them that he falls out a window and is brought to the hospital, where he faces none other than the glassed man!

Fifth is "Drink Deep!" by John Severin (art) and Otto Binder (story, as Eando Binder). A wealthy ship owner brings people on tours of the sea, telling them of his ancestor who was a pirate. He is very cruel to his crew, causing them all to quit. He soon is able to gain a new crew, but it ends up that they are actually dead, killed by his ancestor, and they cause his ship to sink, leaving him at the bottom of the ocean with his ancestor's victims.

Sixth is "The Body-Snatcher!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), an adaption of the story by Robert Louis Stevenson. A young doctor joins another doctor who is responsible for teaching students about autopsies. He soon finds from that they are forced to revert to digging up corpses to get bodies, or buying them from other grave robbers. One such grave robber becomes quite a nuisance and is eventually killed by the older doctor and used as one of their patients. But when they dig up a new corpse to use from the cemetary, it ends up being him, and he comes back to life to get revenge.

Seventh is "Blood of Krylon!" by Gray Morrow (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A vampire, who is finding it harder to find victims in a futuristic society decides to head to the colony planet of Krylon, where he thinks that it will be much easier to find victims. On the way there he kills all his fellow ship travelers, using them to feed himself. When he arrives at Krylon however, he soon dies when he finds out that the night is a lot shorter there.

Last is "Hot Spell!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A devil worshipper is captured by the townfolk and set on fire at the stake. Before he dies however, he curses them. Years pass and his descendants all pass away. The town however has multiple people who die due to fire. The townfolk think that an artist from out of town is a descendent of him, so they set his house on fire, killing his wife, then kill him too. But the ghost of the devil worshipper appears, saying that they'be become as evil as he, and sets them aflame.