Sunday, April 6, 2008

Creepy 50

Today I'm going to tackle Creepy #50, a landmark issue for Warren that unfortunately failed to meet expectations. A very dissappointing issue in my opinion, an opinion that is shared by fellow internet Warren commentator Richard Arndt as well as Stephen Sennit's book Ghastly Terror. The cover of the issue, by Sanjulian, features various Warren characters such as Uncle Creepy, Cousin Eerie, Vampirella and Dracula. Sanjulian was one of Warren's most prolific cover artists and was with them for over a decade. The frontis for this issue is "Odd Worm" by Auraleon (art) and Al Hewetson (story).

First up is the issue's best story, "Forgive Us Our Debts" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). The story is about a pair of drug smugglers whose plane crashes in the jungle. One of the smugglers, Manning, escapes while the other, Hunter, loses one of his arms to a crocodile. He gets his revenge by later taking Manning captive and forcing him along with his collegue Sharon in the jungle to recover their lost drugs. Along the way they encounter a bizarre group of humanoid creatures who are guarding the drugs along with a large amount of treasure. When Hunter goes to get the drugs, Manning shoots him in the back. He goes to claim the treasure himself, but when Sharon is unable to cover him due to going insane from fright, the creatures kill him. Pretty good story with very good Maroto art, although its a tad long and drags a bit in the middle.

Up next is "Frog God" by Adolfo Abellan (art) and E.A. Fedory (story). The story is about an archaeologist who discovers an ancient temple of a civilization that worshipped a 'Frog God'. He finds a monument which he thinks will give him magical power, but it ends up turning him into a frog instead. Fedory's narrative quality is quite poor and Abellan's artwork is extemely ugly, like his artwork in pretty much all of his Warren stories.
"Side-Show", drawn by Jose Bea and written by Fred Ott is about a jealous husband who thinks his wife is cheating on him when he catches buying a ring in a store with another man. He meets a sideshow magician who shrinks both of them for him, but when he realizes that the gift was for him, he tries to renege on the deal with the magician and suffers the same fate himself. While Bea's artwork is good, the main character is a complete and utter idiot, completely forgetting that his wife may be buying him a birthday present. That lapse of logic is enough to ruin the story for me.
"The Sum of Its Parts" by Reed Crandall (art) and Doug Moench (story) is fourth. The story is about a bunch of dismembered body parts that suddenly start appearing in various places. Each person who finds them ends up losing various limbs themselves. Eventually all the dismembered parts, sans a head, come together and run amock with an axe until they can find one. Moench's story is pretty good, but Crandall's art is quite poor, which was unfortunate considering how good of an artist he was with EC and just a few years earlier at Warren.

Last up is "The Climbers of the Tower" by Felix Mas (art) and T.Casey Brennan (story). The story surrounds two friends, Druin and Tarran, who have spent their entire lives climbing a tower. When they approach the top, Druin gets greedy, wanting the glory of being the first to reach the top and loses his life in a confrontation with Tarran. Tarran reaches the top only to realize that he never knew why he wanted to reach the top of the tower, and goes crazy. As I mentioned in my review for Eerie #38, Brennan's stories were usually quite nonscensical and this is definately one of them. A compeltely pointless and piss poor story that wastes Mas's talented artwork.

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