Sunday, June 15, 2008

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.

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