Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blazing Combat 3

My first issue of Blazing Combat covered on this blog, and it will be my last for a while as this is the only issue that I own at this time. The cover is by Frank Frazetta, who did all the covers for this magazine.

First is "Special Forces" with art by Joe Orlando & Jerry Grandenetti (uncredited) and story by Archie Goodwin. The story, occuring in Vietnam surrounds a group of soldiers in their battle with the Viet Cong.

Second is "Foragers" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). The story features soldiers from the North, 'Foragers' heading through towns in the South during the civil war era. They ravage the towns they head through until they come across a cabin manned by a single old man with a rifle, who kills most of the soldiers. He finally runs out of bullers and the lead forager is about to kill him but is killed by his own man, who wants the killing to stop.

Third is "U-Boat" by Eugene Colan (art) and Goodwin (story). During World War 2 in the Atlantic a US boat is sunk by a German submarine. Two survivors are brought on board, one who is bloodthirsty and desires to be on the offensive for once. When his collegue plans to give away their position, he sells him out, but is killed by the Germans anyway when the allied forces spot the submarine and attack.

Fourth is "Survival" by Alex Toth (art) and Toth & Goodwin (story). An old man in a post-war landscape ravages for food found from small cans, and has to fight of wild dogs. He gets excited upon realizing that there is other people nearby when he finds a raft, but upon finding out that they have taken some of his food he goes on a rampage and kills them all. He is shocked to find a woman among the people he killed. My favorite story of what is already a superb issue. I love the final lines of the story "Suddenly, the air filled with a taut, shrill, horrible cry of pain and rage... Animal-like in pitch and quality, it rose higher into the night, ripping, tearing my head apart! I tried to shut it out... out... but it wouldn't! ...and couldn't stop it... for in a while, I realized the truth... and knew that the raw, shrill scream... was MINE!"

Fifth is "The Battle of Britain!" featuring art by Wally Wood & Dan Adkins (uncredited) and story by Wood. My least favorite story of the issue, it takes place in 1940 featuring allied planes facing off against Nazi planes. The hero of the story fails miserably his first time in the air and narrowly survives the second, but they call off the fighting in order to bomb the German cities instead, sparing him future combat.

Sixth is "Water Hole!" by Gray Morrow (art) and Goodwin (story). The story takes place in the late 1800's where US troops pusue Apache warriors. The story surrounds a single soldier who finds himself the last living soldier on the battlefield. He is willing to die and finds an Apache warrior, who surrenders to him, driving him crazy.

Last is "Souvenirs!" by John Severin (art) and Goodwin (story). The story occurs in Japan during World War 2. A soldier becomes obsessed with taking the gold fillings out of the teeth of dead japanese soldiers. His superiors tell him to leave a field of dead soldiers alone, but he returns that night to take the gold, only to find out that the soldiers were all playing dead. He is killed, but manages to break up the planned Japanese ambush because of it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eerie 36

The cover for this issue is by Enrich, featuring... a hand! The frontis is "Eerie's Monster Gallery - Atoms" by Pablo Marcos (art) and T.Casey Brennan (story).

First is "Bad Moon on the Rise!" by Tom Sutton (art) and Doug Moench (story). This story surrounds a series of murders taking place by a werewolf. The werewolf is suspected as being the killer and is finally confronted on the night of the full moon. But an eclipse causes him to turn into a human and is killed, with the detectives thinking that the werewolf is still out there on the loose.

Next is "The Silence and the Sleep" by Rubio (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A jealous man kills the boyfriend of a woman he likes. She is so shocked that she becomes mute and is put in an institution. The killer, a piano player, hopes to keep the secret, but is eventually found out and arrested.

Third is "Prototype" by Bruce Jones (art) and Steve Skeates (story). Bruce Jones was quite a prolific writer for Warren during the late 70's, but did do a couple of art jobs for them around this time. This story, done completely in pencil, features Skeates's recurring character Targos, who is captured by odd looking sea creatures who create a robot clone of him to attack Atlantis. Fairly good story, although the ending, where the creatures abandon their attack was a tad confusing to me.

Fourth is "Look What They've Done!" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Steve Skeates (story). This unique story breaks the fourth wall, having the lead character argue with the writer and plead to the reader. A hippie, he refuses to go along with the plot, and ends up getting killed by an alien.

After that is "Crocodile", with art by Mascaro and story by Don Glut. Natives kill crocodiles for a scientist experimenting on the natives, trying to turn them into powerful crocodile men. He finally finds the solution, but his former assistant, one of the natives, turns on him and injects it into him. He turns into a crocodile and heads outside, only to be killed by other natives who seek to turn him over to the scientist!

Next is "The Trap" by L.M. Roca (art) and Greg Potter (story). A disgraced detective locks himself in a crypt with another man, telling him he'll only get the key if he kills him. He presses on the man until he finally kills him, only for that man to discover that there is no key, and hence no way out. The detective wanted to solve a crime and punish a criminal so much that he did it by getting himself killed!

Last is "Oh, Brother!" with art by Dave Cockrum and Steve Skeates yet again doing the story. Two monsters arrive in modern time and are promptly killed by the police. The story takes a step back to explain things, that these monsters were actually responsible for the creation of humanity when they tampered with time and screwed up their own history, erasing it and resulting in humans having control of the Earth.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Creepy 86

A special Christmas issue of Creepy, featuring a cover by Ken Kelly with a robot attacking Santa Claus.

Up first is "A Noggin at Mile End" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Budd Lewis (story). It features one of Santa's elves helping a kindly natured freak by turning him into a real boy and taking him away with him.

Second is "Dick Swift and his Electric Power Ring!" with art by Carmine Infantino & Berni Wrightson and story by Bill Dubay. This story is about a sick boy and the superhero he is a fan of who has a magic electric ring. The boy eventually dies of his illness but gets to use the ring himself, at least in his mind, before he passes away. Probably the best story of the issue.

Third is "The Greatest Christmas of All" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). It features a poor boy who is given Santa's magic sack, which he uses to give gifts to many. His mother dies of amnesia and his drunken father grabs the sack, only for a snake to come out and kill him. In the modern times the boy is now grown up and behaves like Santa, but dies when he decides to rest and think about the past.

The cover story is "Mother Knows Best" by Al Williamson (art) and Bruce Jones (story). This story is partially colored in red. A pair of kids celebrate Christmas with the robot that takes care of them. Santa arrives and whispers to them the truth, that they are on a spaceship and that the robots there went berserk. He's been thawed out of hibernation each Christmas to play Santa. One of the kids kills the robot, and they hope to head back to Earth, but they discover that the ship had crashed a while ago.

Like the previous story, "Bloodstone Christmas" is also partially colored in red. The art is by Carmine Infantino & John Severin, and the story is by Gerry Boudreau. It features a man in the old west who robs a Bank and kills its owner on Christmas Eve. He returns a few years later to find a woman he was with, but the sheriff kills him, cuts off his head, and gives it to the wife of the Banker as a Christmas gift.

Next is "Season's Grievings" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A woman whose husband was accused of murdering his prior wife faces her psychotic kid on Christmas Eve and is forced to kill him. At the end we see how things really happened, that she was crazy, she was the one accused of being a murderer, and that she killed his innocent son. The husband kills her then himself.

Last is "A Gift for Mama" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Roger McKenzie (story), about a pair of boys whose father passed away in the mines and whose mother was essentially made comatose by her new husband, who they killed with an axe. On Christmas their dead father comes back from the grave and takes her away with him.

I usually was not a big fan of the Christmas issues as the stories generally were not that scary, but for the most part this is a fairly good issue.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Vampirella 99

A reprinted cover kicks off this issue of Vampirella. The Sanjulian cover was originally published for issue 23.

First is "Spell of Slaughter" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). With the assistance of Cassandra. St. Knight, in a cameo appearance (her usual segment is absent this issue), Vampi is able to track down Pendragon's captors. She heads there with Conrad and they fight the demons there. The leader, Shadrach, switches Vampi and Conrad's afflictions temporarily, but they are able to come out on top.

Next is "Missing You" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Bruce Jones (story). Both were gone from Warren at this point but returned to Vampirella for this two part story. It surrounds a man whose blind wife has gone missing on the top of a mountain, where they had been mountain climbing. As he searches for her he flashes back to them getting in a fight over an affair he was having, the car accident that made her blind and other assorted things that built up to the trip into the mountain. Terrific story which won't conclude until issue 104.

Third is "Friends" with art by the Artifact team (Val Lakey, John Lakey & Laura Buscemi) and story by Val Lakey. A man is in love with his best friend's wife. One day he heads to their home under false pretences and drugs her, planning to rape her while she's unconscious. She ends up waking up soon afterwards, but he ties her up, beats her then rapes her anyway. At the end its revealed that his friend was doing the same thing to his wife, both of whom consented to such actions.

Fourth is Pantha's entry for this issue, "The Lair of Dr. Rictus" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Our heroes continue towards Haiti. Moonchild is able to stop the storm threatening them on the sea. They reach land and go see Dr. Rictus, an old man who initially appears very sick but looks fine the next morning.

The issue wraps up with the cover story "Salome", with story & art by Esteban Maroto.Salome, daughter of the king is in love with a prophet who has been jailed. He refuses her so she desires he be executed. Her father fears what the people would do to him were the prophet to be executed, but eventually goes along with her wishes, chopping off his head, then orders her executed as well.

Aside from Vampirella & Pantha's segments a really good issue.

Eerie 57

A very good issue of Eerie, featuring Hunter by Ken Kelly on the cover.

First is "Stridespider Sponge-Rot!" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story). This is the first of a seven part series entitled 'The Spook' about a black zombie. The term, which is a racist way to refer to black people, had been created by Bill Dubay, who told Doug Moench to write a series featuring a voodoo character. Anyway, this is a fairly good story, featuring the title character encountering a sorceress woman who brings numerous zombies to life. The Spook is able to stop them by throwing her into a fire. Really nice art by Maroto, who'd be replaced with Leopold Sanchez for the remainder of the series after this story.

Second is the last segement in the Hunter series. Art is by Paul Neary and story is by Bill Dubay. Hunter, along with Schreck and the Blood Princess arm the nuclear warhead to go off in one hour. Hunter heads off to meet with Oephal and have one last confrontation. Scheck and the Blood Princess meanwhile take out the remaining demons and find some weapons. Hunter tries to kill Oephal but finds he is unable to. The bomb fails to go off however, and Oephal kills Hunter, dying seconds later when Schreck kills him. A depressing end, but at the very least Hunter's quest of eliminating the last remaining mutants comes to fruition.

Next is "Hide From the Hacker!" by Tom Sutton (art) and Steve Skeates (story). This is the first of a three part series which would have a fairly long gap of 8 issues between parts 1 and 2. The story is about the investigation of a serial killer who had been pursued many years before but now seamingly has come back. A pair of detectives search for him to no avail, despite having some suspects. In the end, one of the detectives is decapitated! Fine art from Sutton in his final Eerie appearance.

Next is "Child" by Richard Corben (art) and Greg Potter (story). This retelling of the Frankenstein story using a child-like monster took place in three parts and was a rarity in that the entire series was in color. The first story tells of Child's origin, how he was created by a scientist who wanted a child after his wife died. Child has many good years with his father but he is eventually killed by the son of his former landlord. Child goes on a rampage and kills him.

Fifth is "The Terror of Foley Mansion!" by Jose Gual (art) and Carl Wessler (story). The third segment in the 'It' storyline, this focuses primarily on a group of robbers who try to steal from the Foley mansion. It comes back from the grave yet again and exacts revenge on them.

Last is "A Switch in Time..." by Isidro Mones (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). Sanford thinks he's finally figured out Archaeus's pattern, killing people based on the Twelve Nights of Christmas. Archaeus meanwhile still manages to kill yet another juror under his nose by killing another man, then replacing the juror with his corpse in the coffin at a funeral when everyone else is distracted by a bomb he's planted. The juror is then buried alive with no one knowing of is fate. A pretty ingenious plot!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Creepy 94

A special issue of Creepy featuring 'Weird Children' as advertised on the cover, done by Don Maitz. This is quite a good issue across the board, not a bad story here, although there is some negative aspects to the final story which I'll reveal when I get there.

First story is "Etran to Fulsing" by Dick Giordano (art) in a rare solo job, and Nicola Cuti (story). This seems like the typical medieval story of a prince savings a princess from a sorceror. The interesting twist this time is that the entire medieval setting is actually a delusion, and the reality is that everyone's in a war torn post apocalypic world.

Second is "Bad Tommy" by Martin Salvador (art) and Roger McKenzie & Nicola Cuti (story). The story tells of a young boy, Tommy, who creates an imaginary friend that kills both his parents. The boy goes to see a psychiatrist to tell her about it and it is revealed that Bad tommy is real, who promptly appears and stabs her. Not only that, but Bad Tommy is the real person, and the 'good' version of him is actually a robot created by him. Luckily the psychiatrist is able to kill him.

Third is "Ada" by Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bill Pearson (story). The Ada of the title is a girl who was born as an old woman then reverts in age as she gets older. The story surrounds a man who meets her and ends up staying with her til she turns into a baby then passes away.

Fourth is "Bessie" by Leo Duranona (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). A woman comes to a detective to help her look for her daughter Bessie while he's working on a murder case. To make a long story short, it ends up that the woman is Bessie herself, as she had gone insane after a miscarriage and became convinced that she had a daughter as well who was actually just a second personality of her's.

Fifth is "Sacrifice" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). Four boys sacrifice a cat which gives them eternal life. Every 100 years they have to sacrifice another person to retain their eternal life or they'll immediately die. One of them decides to start using the others as his sacrifice. He heads after the last one only to find that he's committed suicide, which will result in his death.

Last is "Backwater and Timing Circles" by Alex Nino (art) and Budd Lewis (story). A boy takes a trip to the past to go fishing in the prehistoric era through the company Timing Circles. His guide warns him that they can't take anything back with them and must not kill anything, but when the guide gets in trouble, the boy stabs the dinosaur attacking him. This changes the present such that everyone becomes bizarre looking monsters. This story is blatant plagarism of Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder". Luckily for Warren, they never got in trouble with this as they did with Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog.

Vampirella 82

A cover by Jose Gonzalez begins this issue of Vampirella.

Up first is "The Lost Soul of Adam Van Helsing" by Gonzalez (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Adam's soul is taken control of and Vampi has to head through some Buddhist tasks to save him including encounters with various creatures. Eventually she is successful in saving him.

Next is "Blind Justice" by Leo Duranona (art) and Bruce Jones (story). This story, which has both drawings and photographs within it (something common for Duranona around this time period) is about a man on trial for the murder of his new wife. They had headed to another planet for their honeymoon and got seperated after an argument. The husband left only to come back to find her impregnated by a bizarre tentacled creature. She ended up killing herself and blowing up the whole place. While the husband tries to hide this, he eventually reveals it, which proves his innocence.

Third is "Prey For the Wolf" by Brian Lewis (art) and Cary Bates (story). The story features a Wolf mask that actually comes to life and attacks people. Lewis, in his sole Warren appearance provides some fairly good art, but not that great a story.

Fourth is "Fever" by Val Mayerik (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). The story features a native american warrior with a sick wife about to give birth who heads out to find a magical buffalo that can save her. He eventually does find the buffalo, but too late to save his wife's life.

Next is "Deep Love" by Joe Vaultz (art) and Cary Bates (story). The story features a mother & daughter mermaid duo who capture human men underwater and eat them. The mother comes across a man who ends up being an alien creature that captures her and kills her.

Last is "The Night Willa Jane Gornley Went Home" by Val Mayerik & Jeff Easley (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). In a rather poor issue this story sticks out like a sore thumb. In fact I'd probably rank it among Warren's 25 best stories, and it was honored as best story of the year during the Warren awards. Willa Jane of the title is a handicapped girl who was discovered in an empty shack. She lives a hard life, but is taken in by an elderly couple, Mr. & Mrs. Gornley. After learning how to read she becomes convinced that she is an alien and goes to the hills where UFOs have been spotted each night hoping for the aliens to come take her away. After Mrs. Gornley's death and learning that she's going to an institution, she heads out for one last time and a UFO actually does appear and land. A skull-faced alien comes out to take her away. In reality, its all in her mind, as she's passed away.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eerie 16

An issue of Eerie from Warren's dark age. The cover is by Barry Rockwell. The frontis, "Eerie's Monster Gallery", about the Number 13, was originally intended for an earlier issue based on the letter pages. It is by an uncredited Tony Williamsune and Bill Parente.

We start off with "Dracula's Guest" by Frank Bolle (art) and E. Nelson Bridwell (story). This story is originally from a Christopher Lee book of comic stories. It is an adaption of the events that occur in the novel Dracula prior to the start of the well known story in Transalvania.

"Big Time Operator" by Ric Estrada (art) and E. Nelson Bridwell (story) is a story featuring a mad scientist who uses victims of a plane crash to turn into various mythological creatures like the Medusa, Minotaur and others. He uses the creatures to form his own freak show, but they eventually turn on him and turn him into a freak like them.

Third is "Sara's Forest" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Roger Brand (story). It features a girl who lives in the forest on her own. A pair of nomads come and meet her. The man falls in love with Sara and murders his wife. He grows bored of Sara quickly however and tries to leave for the city. She kills him and buries him with an acorn so he'll turn into a tree, apparently what happened to prior visitors of the forest.

"Evil Spirits" is fourth, by Johnny Craig (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story was done back during Warren's golden age, but for some reason was never published until now. The story features a woman who is in a haunted castle and is confronted by bad dreams and perhaps even ghosts. Her husband is cheating on her and the lover shows up, and they both kill each other. The husband, now with yet another lover, comes to the castle, where their ghosts remain waiting for revenge.

Next is "The Monument" by Alex Toth (art) and Goodwin (story), originally from Eerie 3. This story, which appears to be an unauthorized adaption of Ray Bradbury's "The Coffin" is about a design firm owner who convinces an aged architect build a house for him, by telling him that it will be his house. He kills him when it nears completion. Upon laying in his bed for the first time, he is killed by machinery in the house, which the architect had intended to be his tomb upon completion.

Last is "Ahead of the Game!" from Eerie 2. The art is by Joe Orlando and Jerry Grandenetti (credited only to Orlando) and the story is by Archie Goodwin. It features a hunter who kills a white gorilla whose headless ghost continues to haunt him afterwards. Eventually he shows up for real and the hunter's head is cut off and put on a plaque!

Creepy 1

Creepy's very first issue from 1964. The cover is by Jack Davis, his sole cover for Warren (unless you count the first issue of Eerie, which was actually taken from an ad he drew that was originally printed inside a Creepy magazine).

First is "Voodoo" by Joe Orlando (art) and Russ Jones & Bill Pearson (story). The story is about a man who throws out his voodoo practicing wife. He later finds her in the woods and a struggle ensues in which her head is chopped off. Before long however her headless corpse, with a shrunked head attacked chases after him!

Second is "H20 World". The art is by Al Williamson & Roy Krenkel and the story is by Larry Ivie. It is about a pair of divers who come across an underground civilization. There they meet the mutated people who live there, who force them to forget that they ever encountered them. Very beautiful artwork here, particularly Krenkel's backgrounds.

Third is "Vampires Fly At Dusk" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). The story takes place in a town plagues by murders, suspected to be by a vampire. A man is suspected to be a vampire, particularly by his wife who finds that he'll only let her do things at night. One night she finds him missing from his study and she pulls back a curtain, revealing the sunlight which she hopes to destroy him with. Only it ends up that she was the vampire; while he was killing the people in the town, he was feeding the blood to her in her food. Due to the sunlight she dies.

Fourth is "Werewolf" by Frank Frazetta (art) and Larry Ivie (story). This is Frazetta's sole full story for Warren and infact is his last full comics story for anyone. It features a big game hunter heading after a werewolf like creature that oddly enough hasn't killed anyone. He finds it and shoots it, but this causes the werewolf to turn back into a human. The man thanks him for breaking the curse, saying he's been looking for someone to do this for years. By dying he passes on the curse to the hunter, who now becomes a werewolf himself.

Next is "Bewitched" by Gray Morrow (art) and Larry Ivie (story). A man buys some material which when burned is rumored to kill a witch. He soon finds himself pursued by a dinosaur and other bizarre events keep happening. He wakes up, finding it to be a dream, but then finds his daughter with a voodoo doll of him!

Sixth is "The Success Story" by Al Williamson (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story features a comic strip creator, Baldo Smudge who is actually ripping off three seperate people. He hires a penciller, whom he tells he is doing the inking and writing for. He also hires a writer whom he tells he is doing the pencilling and inking. And so on for the inker. All the while he takes the credit for the strip as a whole. This charade goes on for a long time, but the three of them finally catch on, so Baldo kills them. They come back as rotting corpses however and take revenge. This story is based on a true story (except the corpses part). Williamson drew Smudge based on himself and used Angelo Torres, Archie Goodwin and Al McWilliams as the likenesses for the three employees he was ripping off.

Last is "Pursuit of the Vampire" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). The story features a group of townspeople being joined by a stranger who tells them two murder victims are actually going to turn into vampires since a vampire was their killer. He leads them to a house where they are and kill them. The town leader ends up being the vampire that killed them, but the stranger, who is a werewolf kills him to eliminate competition for victims.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Vampirella 9

Another early issue of Vampirella; this has an odd cover featuring one by Boris Vallejo that is actually shrunken and surrounded by some art from Wally Wood's internal story, in black and white. An odd cover design that was never repeated by Warren. The frontis for this issue is "Vampi's Feary Tales: Lilith" by Jeff Jones (art) and Nicola Cuti (story).

First story is "The Testing!" by Tom Sutton (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). Vampi in this tale investigates Chaos by finding a book about them at a library. An evil witch there however and a corpse she brought back to life fight Vampi, who luckily is able to defeat them. At the same time, Conrad and Adam Van Helsing continue their pursuit of Vampirella and plan when they'll take her out.

Second up is "Monster Bait!" with art by Joe Wehrle and story by Don Glut. A girl is pursued by a dinosaur like creature in a cave. A hero arrives and saves her and heads to her kingdom with her. Only when he arrives he finds that it was actually a trap to bring him to a group of vampires, which kill him. The art on the female lead in this story is quite dreadful, as she looks rather manly.

Following is "Fate's Cold Finger!" by Ken Barr (art) and Doug Moench (story). A man, Frank, is spurned by a girl he likes, who goes with a much more successful man instead. Frank decides to kill himself, but is always unsuccessful at doing it. The girl meanwhile decides she dislikes the successful man since all he talks about is money, so she calls up Frank and says she'll go out with him. But as he leaves the house, an icicle falls on him, killing him!

Fourth is "The Curse" by Wally Wood (story & art). A man has no memory of his past and finds himself in a bizarre reptilian man like form. A beautiful woman, Zara, tells him that he's been transformed into this state by a sorceress that they need to kill using an enchanted sword. Our hero fights off many beasts and eventually the sorceress herself. It ends up however that Zara was the one who transformed him, as she was given eternal life and wanted to die, which could only be done by killing the sorceress. After her death our hero turns back into his true form, a lowly lizard.

Fifth is "Jack the Ripper Strikes Again" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Chris Fellner (story). This story features an investigation of a Jack the Ripper esque murderer. While many suspects are found and executed, they always end up being the wrong person. Eventually it ends up that the secretary to the detectives investigating the case is the killer.

Sixth is "The Boy Who Loved Trees!" by Barry Smith (art) and Barry Smith & Gardner Fox (story). The story features a boy who finds creatures that live in the woods, that only he can see. He heads there to party with them, and the neighborhood bully and friends follow and beat him up. The creatures from the woods save our hero however, and kill all the bullies.

Last story is "The Work Order For the Day" by Alac Justice (story & art). An odd tale told in the future, 1985, where humanity works based on orders from a large machine. A lightning storm destroys the machine, leading to some interesting revelations.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Eerie 56

This issue of Eerie features a cover by Ken Kelly, with the werewolf battling a wizard.

First up is the return of the Werewolf in part 7 of the Curse of the Werewolf series, "There Was a Were-Mummy" by Martin Salvador (art) and Steve Skeates (story). Arthur Lemming, now trapped in the body of a mummy, is forced to carry his body around with him in search for an amulet that can return him to his original body. Jerome Curry of the Mummy series also makes a brief cameo during this story, looking for the same thing. Along the way a group of men steal his body and bring it to an old man who seeks to switch to Lemming's much younger body. Lemming arrives in the mummy's body however, turns into a werewolf, and goes on a rampage. Throgmore, the old man's hunchbacked assistant however takes the opportunity to take Lemming's body for his own and as the story ends heads off in it as our hero can only watch in horror. This would be the last story in the series until issue 61, where it was officially melded with the Mummy storyline (which had already been happening over the prior two segments).

Second is part 5 of "Hunter", by Paul Neary (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Hunter comes across a castle filled with demons. There he is captured and thrown in a cell with an old man, who reveals him to be Schreck (see issues 53-55). The demons had taken over the castle but apparantely now there's only 3 or 4 left because of a ghost, the "Princess of Bathory Castle" who has been killing them off. When a demon guard is killed they escape and find her, a little girl, along with a huge nuclear missile. Hunter's conclusion follows in the next issue.

Next is "Wizard Wagstaff", a color story by Richard Corben (art) and Jack Butterworth (story). This humourous tale tells of a man who turns into a werewolf after being bitten by a poodle. He finds the wizard of the title who can help him as long as he isn't doing anything for personal gain. Along the way they meet another werewolf who they help turn human as well.

Fourth is "It Returns!" by Enrique Badia Romero (art, his sole Warren appearance) and Carl Wessler (story). "It" was originally a self contained story in Creepy 53. It is revived here by Wessler and would continue rather inconsistently spread out in four total segments over the next couple of years. I wouldn't necessarily say one needs to read the original story to follow this serial, as this story takes off in a different direction seperate from the original story. The story features a young woman, Jan Foley who is being pursued by a cousin who hopes to take the family fortune from her. Luckily for her, "It", a rotting corpse arrives and saves her. The cousin arrives later however and knocks her out, then gets himself married to her and throw her off a boat to her apparant death. Luckily "It" saves her, then kills him. The ending reveals "It" to be dead relative of hers.

Last is "The Night of the Red Death", part three in the Dr. Archaeus series, with art by Isidro Mones and story by Gerry Boudreau. Sanford continues in his pursuit of Dr. Archaeus, who now sets his site on the third juror, a man who is involved with cock fighting. Sanford thinks that the pattern Archaeus is using is birds, but it ends up being French Henna flowers laced with cholera which kill the juror. This segment also introduces Sanford's lover, Jamaica Jansen who will have more importance in the story a little down the line.

Creepy 114

Back after a week off! The cover to this issue featuring an astronaut being overrun by demons is by Kirk Reinhart.

Up first is "Rats" by Pepe Moreno Casares (art) and Bob Toomey (story). The story surrounds an old man who sells liquor who has befriended a number of rats. During his travels through the streets he kills someone to provide as food for them!

Next is "Charnal Combat" by Danny Talerno (art) and Pierce Askegren (story). Another in a long line of very boring swords & sorcery stories. Not much to talk about here.

After that is the cover story, "Heat" by Leo Duranona (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). In contrast to the dull first two stories, this is quite an interesting one surrounding three astronauts, all of whom have done some bad deed in the past, coming upon a civilization on Venus that includes Hitler, Jack the Ripper and other various evil well known men. The astronauts eventually realize they are in hell. The last one is able to escape from there by doing a good deed, telling Hitler that he loves him.

"Small War" follows that story, with art by Jim Starlin & Pablo Marcos. Story is by Roger McKenzie. Another boring story, featuring a war between regular humans and very tiny people. Particular focus is on a young boy who had befriended them but finds himself caught up in the conflict as well.

Fifth is "The Reaper" by Alex Toth (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). Quite a good story, featuring dual storylines. In one, an old man curses the world upon finding he has cancer and gets quite upset that insignicant people who haven't done as much as him to help others will continue living. The second storyline focuses a government scientist in a small pox lab being visited by an agent, who explains the guards they have against preventing an outbreak. The stories come together towards the end as its revealed that the old man works in the lab and is able to escape with a sample that he plans to unleash upon the world.

Last is "An Android Affair" by Auraleon (art) and Mark Laskey (story). A man with severe social problems in an institution is provided with a female android to be his companion. Her companionship helps him become more of a normal person but he loses it when finding out she's gonna leave him to help another man. When his doctor threatens to destroy her, he stops his tantrum and submits to the institution's custody once more.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Vampirella 98

Another series dominated issue of Vampirella. The cover for this issue is done by Enrich, and is a reprint of the one that originally appeared for issue 53. The table of contents page features a drawing of Vampi by Gonzalo Mayo.

Up first is "Army of the Dead!", continuing from last issue's Vampirella story. The art is by Mayo and the story is by Rich Margopoulos. Vampi, Pantha and Adam confront a large pterodactyl like creature and defeat it. Shadrach, the werewolf man they faced last time, next summons an army of rotting corpses to fight them. While Pantha and Adam fight them, Vampi faces Shadrach himself. While he almost beats her, Adam arrives and shoots him with a silver bullet, killing him.

Second is "Mindwars" the latest segment in the Cassandra St. Knight series. Art is by Auraleon and story is by Margopoulos. Cassandra's russian enemies come up with a plot to take her out by harnessing the mind powers of numerous individuals. One of the russian agents works on Cassandra's mind and gets her to leave the CIA due to disagreements with their mission. Cassandra returns however and takes on the russians, being able to defeat them.

Third is "The Haitian Connection" part of Pantha's serial. Art continues to be done by Jose Ortiz, with story by Margopoulos. This story continues directly from the previous issue. Adam saves the detective from the zombie that was attacking him. Pantha meanwhile dreams of Drakulon and is confronted by Conrad. Adam soon arrives afterwards. The whole group heads to Haiti, the suspected origin of the zombies, while they use voodoo to disrupt the ocean, hoping for the ship to crash.

Fourth is "Dragon" by Esteban Maroto (story & art). In a medieval kingdom a dragon threatens everyone's livelihood. They initially sacrifice animals, but they eventually run out. They decide to sacrifice people in place of the animals, and the princess by chance ends up being the first one chosen. She waits out in the forest naked, waiting for her fate. Suddenly a barbarian arrives and defeats the dragon, then heads off. The barbarian in this story looks exactly like Maroto's Dax the Warrior, who starred in Eerie for a period of time in the early 1970's.

Last is "The Fox" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). After skipping a few issues, we return to the storyline started back in issue 95. Ming Toi hopes to topple her evil uncle Quang and is able to summon a number of dead animals to attack his army. This better prepares a countering rebel army which hopes to take him out, but was outnumbered to this point. Quang discovers Ming's ability to turn into a fox and orders her executed, but she tricks the guards into instead executing a person wearing a fox costume, which just happens to be her cousin and Quang's daughter, Sun-Li.

Eerie 55

After a Hunter cover by Ken Kelly, two stories featuring Schreck start off the issue, "Worms in the Mind" and "No Flies on Schreck!" each by Vicente Alcazar (art) and Doug Moench (story). Bright Eyes, the asian woman introduced in the previous story helps turn Schreck back to normal by using a vaccine to cure his moontaint. They are attacked by the 'werewolves' and are on the run. They encounter Paula and Lee again, who is revealed to be Bright Eye's husband. In the second story, Schreck is seperated by Bright Eyes and meets another woman who is still normal. They go back and find that Bright Eyes has suffered from the moon taint. They are able to heal her, but just as she is about to come see them Lee shoots her from afar. Bright Eyes is buried and the story ends. Although things were left somewhat open, with Schreck alive and the 'werewolves' running amock, this would be it for the series.

Part four of the "Hunter" series is next, with art by Paul Neary and story by Budd Lewis (replacing Rich Margopoulos). Hunter comes across the town of Pharmark Phal, where demons have killed and raped many after finding that Hunter had been there. At the request of a dying friend Hunter fights the demons and saves his daughter.

The color feature for this issue is another preview of The Spirit, entitled "Bucket of Blood" by Will Eisner (story & art). Rich Corben provides the coloring.

The issue wraps up with part two in the Dr. Archaeus series, "The Quest of the Golden Dove". Art is by Isidro Mones and story is by Gerry Boudreau. Sanford warns the remaining jurors of Archaeus and one of them heads to Egypt to search for a golden dove statue. Along the way his girlfriend and a guide are killed by Archaeus. He eventually finds the golden dove, but it is actually a fake, a bomb planted by Archaeus that goes off, killing him.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Creepy 52

This issue's cover is by Sanjulian, featuring the interior tale "A Most Private Terror". The opening story is drawn by Esteban Maroto and written by Budd Lewis (miscredited to Doug Moench). This story takes place in a winter setting, featuring a man hiding in a cave from a snow beast. He thinks to a past encounter with such a beast, which was a beautiful woman who turned into a werewolf that he had killed. Realizing he's going to freeze to death, he sets himself on fire, then once putting the fire out heads out of the cave. He becomes so frightened however that he falls off a cliff to his death. It is revealed at the end however that all that was following him was a little white rabbit.

Second is "The Last Hero" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Steve Skeates (story). It takes place in a future where robots run society and man's life is full of leisure. A cult of bald headed men rebel against this and destroy as many robots and factories as they can. The hero of the title decides to become a superhero and fight against them, but they capture him and brainwash him such that he becomes another one of them.

Third is "Halve Your Cake and Eat It Two" with art by Adolfo Abellan and story by Doug Moench. This story takes place in a post apocalyptic world where a man finds himself seemingly alone. He eventually meets a woman and a dog and they stay together. They are attacked by a bizarre looking mutant but make it out okay. He eventually heads out to find some uncontaminated food and when he returns, finds a mutant that has seemingly killed the girl and dog. He kills the mutant then eats it. He wanders off, coming across other normal people, only to find out that he is now a mutant, as he actually ate her, she mutated after eating the dog. The normal people, seeing him as a mutant, kill him and eat him, staring the cycle all over again.

Fourth is "Them Thar Flyin' Things!" by Jose Bea (art) and Greg Potter (story). A sheriff heads home to see his family. He sees his mother, but his younger sister is off trying to hook up with a man, Ronald who does nothing but fish. Heading through the woods, she spots a flying saucer with aliens coming out of it. She tells Ronald, but he ends up being an alien scout himself and kills her to keep things a secret.

Fifth is "The Man With the Brain of Gold" by Reed Crandall (art) and George Henderson (story). This is an adaption of a story that originally appeared elsewhere, but the actual origins are not mentioned, so the original source is unknown. It is about a boy born with an extremely large head. One day it is discovered that his brain is actually made of gold. When his parents ask him for some of the gold from his head, he does so, then goes off on his own, spending for things by taking some of his brain out. He eventually gets married to a woman who causes him to spend even more money, but she soon passes away. At her funeral he sees some shoes that he likes and tries to take more gold out of his head, but by this time he's taken all of it and he dies.

The issue finishes up with "The Killer" by Felix Mas (art) and Steve Skeates (story). The story is about a man who gets married but does little to distinguish himself in life. This upsets his wife, whom he suspects is having an affair. One day he finds his wife stabbed to death and suspects he did it. He runs off and ends up getting hit by a car and killed. It ends up however that it was a burgler who killed his wife and he was innocent all along.

Across the board a fine issue. Got little to complain about here.

Vampirella 16

The cover of this issue, by Sanjulian, shows Dracula himself standing over Vampirella. The frontis, "Vampi's Feary Tales: The Gray Women" is by Auraleon (art) and Jan Strnad (story).

Vampi's story for this issue is "And Be a Bride of Chaos" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). Vampi and Pendragon are hired to perform for Count Dracula himself, who is holding a meeting of various members of the Cult of Chaos to decide who will be the bride of Chaos and bear his child. While one of the priestesses, Lucretia strongly desires to be the bride, Dracula chooses Vampirella instead and takes her captive. Dracula tells of his origin, about how he is originally from Drakulon and is able to take on the bodies of various people. Conrad Van Helsing arrives and tries to kill Dracula, but the powers given to him by Chaos prevent him from dying. Vampirella arrives however, freed by Lucretia, and rescues Conrad. Chaos takes Dracula's powers away and he crumbles into dust since the stake remains in his heart. Lucretia meanwhile, as a mere mortal crumbles to dust as well upon Chaos's arrival. An enjoyable story that would kick start a recurring role for Dracula in Vampirella's serial over the next half a dozen issues or so.

Second is "Purification", a short 3 page story from Nebot (story & art). A mob captures the apprentice to a witch, a beautiful young woman. They tie her up to a stake and are about to burn her for her actions. Upon seeing her naked however, the mob decides to set her free and ties up the leaders instead.

Third is "Gorilla My Dreams" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Gus St. Anthony (story). A group of hunters come across a beautiful woman the woods being pursued by gorilla beasts. They kill the gorillas and bring her back with her. It ends up however that the gorillas were warning them, as she turns into a giant gorilla-like beast herself who is seeking new prey on the mainland.

Fourth is "Girl on the Red Asteroid" by Bill Dubay (art) and Don Glut (story). A spaceship crashes on a planet and only one man survives. He comes across a giant egg from which a beautiful woman comes out. He falls in love with her, but it soon becomes apparant that she is really only the child version of a much larger creature and she soon grows up into one...

Fifth is "Lover!" by Pat Boyette (story & art). While Boyette is usually an excellent artist and writer, this story was a tad confusing to me. It surrounds a member of the aristocracy who pretends to be a member of the lower class. He is eventually found out and excecuted.

Last is "Cilia" by Felix Mas (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). A pair of men are in a shipwreck, but a beautiful mermaid rescues them. She marries one of the men and is able to turn into a human form, but must remain near the water. A mob finds her however and captures her. The men eventually find her, but being away from the water so long, she has become an old woman. Her lover kills her then carries her off into the sea.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Eerie 4

The fourth issue of Eerie, featuring a cover by Gray Morrow.

Our first story is "House of Evil", with art by Jerry Grandenetti (uncredited) & Joe Orlando, and story by Archie Goodwin. A man comes to a large house where his brother lived but finds only a tape recording there, telling him of how he came to the house, which has an evil past, for inspiration. Suddenly a rotting corpse arrives. The man destroys the corpse, but soon finds that it was his own brother! He then looks at his hands and realizes that he's starting to rot as well.

Next is "Hatchet Man" by Eugene Colan (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). The story is about a hatchet killer who has killed a number of woman with a hatchet. A night watchman plots to kill his wife with a hatchet and blame it on the hatchet killer. Only when the police arrive and find evidence of other murders, it becomes clear that he is the hatchet killer himself, possessing another personality who commit the murders.

Next is "Gnawing Fear" by Rocco Mastroserio (art) and Ron Parker (story). A pair of doctors are working on a poison for killing rats. One of them ends up dying when the rats attack him. The other doctor follows them into a large maze of tunnels. When he finds a number of rats coming after him he shoots at them with a gun, but that caves in the cavern and the rats completely overrun him.

Fourth story is "Shrieking Man!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). The man of the title is in a mental institution, a man who does nothing but scream like crazy and act like a maniac. An employee at the institution becomes fascinated with him and ends up letting him out by accident when he can't control him. The screaming man goes crazy and ends up killing our hero's boss, for whom he was originally his boss, who was killed by him and brought back to life.

Next up is "Undying Love!" by Donald Norman (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A man seeks to make a woman fall in love with her, so he has a sorceror cast a spell so that will happen. Only when he returns to see her, he finds that she has died! Soon afterwards however she comes back to life as a vampire, and being in love with him stays by his side. While he initially likes it, he is troubled by what she is doing, so he uses a stake on her and chops off her head. But even that isn't enough to stop her from coming back to him!

Last is the cover story, "Island At World's End!" by Gray Morrow (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A man lost at sea, Sturgis is found by a boat and tells his story. His ship was taken over by a mutiny and he escaped on a lifeboat. Eventually he is on his own and he comes across an island where he encounters beast men. They carry him to a large pit where sacrifices are made. A beautiful woman, Cythlla, who tells him she is the last of an elder race appears and rather than killing him she wants him to be her mate. She worships 'Shoggoth', a mysterious giant entity that appears. Seeing how evil she is, he runs off and shoots her. Eventually however Shoggoth returns to claim him on the boat.

Creepy 141

One of Creepy's last issues, featuring a cover by Richard Corben.

First story is "I Created the... Gargoyle!" by Delando Nino (art) and Danielle Dubay (story). This story is about a pair of men working on a cancer treatment who find a way to cure it, but it turns the patient into a gargoyle like monster. One of the men thinks that their work has failed because they've done it on animals, so he volunteers for the treatment. His cancer is cured, but he too turns into a monster that runs amok before being destroyed.

Second is "The Puppet Master" by Fred Carillo (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). A hit man gets mad at his mob boss for his treatment of him in public so he kills him. He also kills a homeless puppet player who saw it happen. He tries to escape on a plane, but finds himself controlled by the ghost of the puppet player.

Third is "The Check-Out Counter" by Alfonso DeLeon (art) and Timothy Moriarty (story). An interesting story about a pair of men who are searching for the Garden of Eden in a post apocalyptic world. They kill an old man and follow a boy to find it... which ends up being a convenience store run by a robot which kills them and takes their organs then they try to take some food. The boy survives, but ends up loosing his tongue.

Fourth is "Covering All Bases" by Martin Salvador (art) and Kevin Duane (story). The story features a newscaster who is always all over the place. It ends up that he cloned himself multiple times. Although one is murdered, getting him in trouble, he is able to get out in the end.

Fifth is "Candle in the Wind" by Jun Lofamia (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). The story features an investigation of people who are spontaneously combusing. Eventually it is discovered that it is due to a nurse treating people for cancer. It cures the cancer, but eventually causes them to burst aflame. By the end of the story the last remaining patient wraps his arms around her and they both burst into flames.

Last is "Moral Blood" by Al Sanchez (art) and Don McGregor (story), the first of a continuing series. The story is Don McGregor's return to Creepy after a long absense. Its a horror story told in an old west setting. A group of demon like creatures attack a caravan. Not that good in this opening entry of the series.

Friday, July 11, 2008

1984 3

Another big issue of 1984, with a whopping nine stories. The cover, featuring a hunter shooting a large snake/dragon like creature is by Patrick Woodroffe.

First up is "Squeezin's" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). And get this... the story is not about sex! A new President of the US is elected only to find out that all world wars have been caused by a pair of mutants, one American, one Russian, whose petty fights with each other cause epic battles on a much greater scale.

Next is the first in a new series, Idi Amin, entitled "Whatever Happened to Idi Amin?" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story). The story features Idi, an African dictator who was stopped by the US's DDT (Department of Dirty Tricks) by being put into the body of a white woman. Idi's followers set off a world war which has ravaged the Earth, and turned most people into horrific mutants. Our story features a DDT agent, Adam aka Dogmeat who accidently reawakens Idi from suspended animation within the Sphinx and they team together to escape from the mutants. As usual Maroto's art is absolutely amazing, far above anything else in the issue.

"In the Beginning" is next, by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story), about scientists sending people back in time to find the first organism on Earth. What they find however are millions of organisms, who end up killing the men send back. It ends up that the start of life on Earth was organisms within the poop of aliens who were passing by!

Part three of "Mutant World" is next, with art by Richard Corben and story by Jan Strnad. Demento is tricked by some other mutants (called Bugs) into giving them all his food while he confonts a bunch of scary monsters. He escapes and finds the woman he met in Part 1, but she is captured by some other mutants.

"Bring Me the Head of Omar Barsidian" follows, with art by Rudy Nebres & Jim Janes and story by Bill Dubay. The story is about a woman spacepilot and her alien comrade who pursue and defeat the evil Omar.

"The Strange Adventure of Doctor Jerkyll!" follows, with story & art by Nebot. It features a scientist who creates a potion that turns him into a very large breasted woman, who finds a man and sleeps with him. The doctor awakens as a man, creating quite the situation, and is unable to turn back into a woman, yet that doesn't stop him from becoming pregnant! A very fast paced story with no dialogue.

Seventh is "Scourge of All Disneyspace" by Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bill Dubay (story). A ship of all women space pirates capture a civilian vessel in Disneyspace. Its the future, and men apparantely don't have penises anymore, with the exception of a single man on the ship who has sex with the captain and is then taken away to have sex with all the women. Gee, and here I thought I might get through a 1984 issue without Dubay doing one of these types of stories!

"Commfu" is next, by Abel Laxamana (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, as Alabaster Redzone). The story features the rampage of a lunatic who is part of a government plot where homicidal maniacs are recruited as agents.

Last is "The Harvest" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is in my mind the single worst and offensive story in the history of Warren Publishing. It takes place in the future, where 'The Corporation' has put all black people in the world into various gaming reserves, where white people come to hunt each year. The story focuses on a father & son who shoot a pregnant black woman then tear the baby out of her, calling it veal. I'm not one to throw out the term 'racist', but when you look at this story, plus the one "Freedom's Just Another Word" from Creepy 53, and the calling of multiple characters with racist names like "Spook" and "Spade", Bill Dubay's got a hard time avoiding being called that. This story's so over the top and disgusting it makes me want to vomit.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Eerie 35

A terrific cover for this issue of Eerie by Enrich. Unfortunately most of the stories are only so-so. The frontis for this issue is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: Monster Sightings!" by John Cornell.

Up first is "Retribution" by Steve Englehart (art) and Englehart & Gardner Fox (story). It features an army that kills a priest in a snake chamber. The priest comes back to life due to the snake god's powers and seeks revenge.

Second is "The Comet's Curse!" by Frank Brunner (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). The story features a prisoner who tells his captors that a comet will come and curse them while he will live forever. All of the soldiers but one die, and chaos runs supreme in the city. The prisoner escapes and the last soldier is killed when a ceiling falls on him. Thousands of years later the soldier's body is dug up and comes to life, killing the prisoner.

Third is "The Tower of the Demon Dooms!" by Mike Ploog (art) and Gardner Fox (story). It features a man whose lover is killed, but brought back to life by a sorcerer. He kills the sorceror and claims her back, but she ends up being a vampire. So they can stay together they summon a demon to bring them to hell, but he is forced to be a vampire there as well.

Fourth is "I Am Dead, Egypt, Dead" by Victor De La Fuente (art) and Doug Moench (story). The story is about three archaeologists, Jim, Diana and Ray who find a tomb filled with treasure. Jim and Diana conspire to kill Ray and take all the treasure for themself. They do it by inducing a heart attack when Jim dresses up as a mummy. Only when the two of them head into the tomb Ray ends up not being dead after all and dressing up himself as a mummy, kills Jim. Ray and Diana having been together laugh about their plot, but end up dying when they drink water that Jim had poisoned in their canteens.

Fifth is "Cats and Dogs" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Bill Dubay (story). A man comes back from the war to stay with his parents and brother, whom he always fought when they were younger. Everyone in the town is afraid because of a werewolf that has been around. The brother ended up being the werewolf, but the soldier is a leopard man and the two battle it out.

Last is "Money" by Sanho Kim (story & art). The story features a man obsessed with money who meets an old man on the mountain who warns him to look, but not take it. The man comes across some money but others want to take it from him so he goes to the mountains himself where he stays alone permanently.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Creepy 40

A terrific cover for this issue, by Larry Todd & Vaughn Bode. The frontis for this issue is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore: The Loch Ness Monster" by Clif Jackson (art) and Al Hewetson (story).

First up is the cover story, "The Fade-Away Walk" by Tom Sutton (art) and Don McGregor (story, his Warren debut). Taking place after a nuclear holocost, the story features two mutated men fighting around Mt. Rushmore. One of the men falls to his death after what else, but one of McGregor's typical pseudo-political ramblings between the two.

Second is "The Impersonation" by Pablo Marcos (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A secret agent who poses as other people tries to get out of the line of work since the real person always shows up. His boss convinces him to go on another mission because the guy he's impersonating is dead, so what happens? The guy comes back from the dead to reveal the truth yet again! They are both put into a trap they must escape from and the dead guy vanishes, trapping the agent in there for good.

"Swamp Demon" by Dave Cockrum (story & art) features a swamp monster that can appear as anything to someone who sees it. The natives sacrifice maidens to it, so one warrior heads into rescue his girl when it ends up being her. He thinks he kills the swamp demon and rescues her, but it ends up that the swamp demon survived and took her place.

"Disintegrator" is fourth, by Ken Barr (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). The story features a man who creates a disintegrator gun to gain back his life after his business partner swindled him. The business partner steals the gun from him, but it ends up that the disintegrator power was within him all along, not within the gun.

Next is "Lost and Found" by George Roussos (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A wizard loses his ability to walk through solid things, which is transferred to a man in the present. The man tries to steal from a bank vault with the power but the wizard gets it back just as he's going through the vault. The last panel is rather confusing, saying he dies because the vault passes through him, shouldn't it be the other way around?

Last is "Dual Dragon" by Gary Kaufman (story & art). Kaufman was a fairly good artist & writer who did about a half a dozen or so stories around this time for Warren. The story features a man who tries to defeat a dragon to impress a girl. A blind old man living in a cave gives him a necklace which enables him to find the dragon, but it results in him killing the girl instead! Afterwards, with the necklace on his neck he looks for her but can't find her, even though her decapitated head is right in front of him.

Vampirella 97

This issue of Vampirella features a reprint of issue 58's cover by Enrich. Jose Gonzalez provides a one page portrait of Vampirella on the contents page.

First up is "Army of the Dead!" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Thankfully the art reins have been handed over to Mayo from Nebres. A much shorter story than the last number of issues, this story features the council of wizards after Vampi coming after her by using a native american who can turn into a wolf man. Vampi, who has been reunited with Pantha and Adam encounter the wolf man while driving down the road. The story stops in the middle of things, to be continued in the next issue.

Second is "Many Faces of God" by Auraleon (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story), part of the Cassandra St. Knight serial. Cassandra's apprentice Tarot is captured by a cult of bald people. Cassandra heads there and manages to outsmart them, save Tarot, and break up the cult.

Next is the latest in the Pantha serial, "A Night Full of Zombies!" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Pantha takes care of a rapist in Central Park in New York while Adam is called by an old friend involved with a drug deal. Adam heads down there with his personal bodyguard, Moonchild (introduced in the prior issue) finding that the friend is dead. At the end it is revealed that a zombie was responsible for his death and attacks Adam and a cop that was there.

Following is "Hershey's Rock" by Felix Santos (art) and Kevin Duane (story). A horrible, horrible story that has no place in a horror magazine. It features a ship traveling through an asteroid field near Jupiter. Rather light-hearted and pleasent, making it a story that just doesn't belong here, or in any Warren magazine for that matter.

Last is "Wormbrand!" by Auraleon (art) and Bruce Jones (story). The story takes place in a future where children are created artificially in factories. In one such factory a fired worker tampers with the equipment, causing the children produced to have defects. One such child belongs to the Wormbrand family, whom shows very advanced intelligence, but acts like a rat. His mother ends up drowning him in the river.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Eerie 32

This issue of Eerie features a cover by Richard Corben of a beautiful woman and a beast like man. The frontis for this issue is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: The Minotaur" by Clif Jackson.

Up first is "Superhero" by Tom Sutton (art) and Steve Skeates (story). The story features a superhero battling crime in the city. The local mob does all they can to stop him, even sending an expert hit man after him, but he fails as well. At the end of the story it is revealed that the superhero is a vampire. The local cops worry about what will happen if the city runs out of criminals.

Second is "The Waking of the Hawk!" by Clif Jackson & Syd Shores (art) and Gardner Fox (story). A pair of explorers in the mountains find a hidden cave with a hawk-like man, frozen, and various advanced technological devices. One of the men, seeking to get rich off the devices, thaws the hawk-like man, and kills his companions. He nurses the hawk man back to health with the promise that he'll explain the devices. They leave the cave and come across the flying saucer the hawk man came to Earth in. The hawk man kills the explorer however and eats him so he'll be strong enough to fix his ship.

Third is "The Wailing Tower!" by Frank Bolle (art) and Larry Herndon (story). It features a man who is in a plane crash but is rescued by monks who live near a tower they call "The Wailing Tower". Seeing the jewels in their possession, the man steals them, but is caught, and flees from them into the tower. He reaches the top where he discovers that the monks have been worshipping Satan!

Fourth is "Bookworm" with art by Richard Corben and story by Gerald Conway. A man goes to work as an apprentice to an elderly man with a large book collection. The elderly man tells him how he's studying the black arts. One night our hero discovers the old man dragging a corpse with him and follows him. The elderly man is in a crazed state and attacks him, but is killed by the apprentice. Suddenly a giant worm appears, who the elderly man had been finding food for, and forces the apprentice to start supplying him with food from now on.

Fifth is "I Fell For You" by Jack Sparling (art) and John Wooley (story). A girl yearns after a rich singer who she had spurned in her youth. The two get married, but she plots with his agent to have him killed by falling out of a plane. That happens, but his body falls on their car, causing a crash that kills all of them.

Sixth is "Soul Power!" by Mike Royer (art) and Don Glut (story). A man is deathly afraid of dying and rotting away, so he deals with Satan to live forever. He lives forever, but ages as normally and at about 200 years old collapses in the desert because his body is so decrepit. When vultures start attacking him he willingly sumits himself to Satan.

Last is "Ice World" by Bill Barry (story & art). It features astronauts who land on a frozen planet. Before long however, the temperature starts rising tremendously and beasts appear. They try to escape to no avail. It ends up that they landed in a freezer that was being defrosted.
Overall, a pretty good issue! Not a single bad story here.

Creepy 110

After a cover by Patrick Woodroffe, a closeup of a monster's face, we have "Snapper" by Leo Duranona (art) and Bill Kelly (story), about a group of plunderers who come across a giant turle that they destroy, only for its mate to survive and attack.

"Sunset Farms" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story) features a mobster and a well appreciated underling being sent to what is essentially a futuristic prison where everyone is heavily drugged. The mobster eventually finds a way for him and his underling to escape.

"Take Your Child, Please!" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Cary Bates (story) is next. The story features an orphan boy with an onion like head who is very violent with his foster family. Eventually he ends up trashing their house and even killing them. At the end his real parents, with similar features to him, start looking for him.

"The Demon Hater" follows, by Auraleon (art) and Nicola Cuti (story), which features a man who finds a demon's corpse. Other demons try to take it from him. With the help of a woman whom he has an important connection with, he's able to defeat them.

A very good story, "Horror is a Highrise" is next, by Leo Duranona (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). The story features a haunted skyscraper where lots of ghosts and horrific events occur. Eventually it is revealed that it was a warning for everyone to get out, as the skyscraper, built with crappy material, collapses and falls down.

"A Knightmare to Remember" by Buz Vaultz (art) and Cary Bates (story) features a monster fighting a princess, who turns into a knight. It ends up being a dream, but a knight lurks around the corner... Not too good a story.

Last is "The Clockmaker" by Jesus Blasco (art, miscredit to Joaquin Blazquez) and Bob Toomey (credited to Gary Null). This is essentially Poe's the Telltale Heart, rewritten to talk about the old man having clock body parts, which are never seen. Not that good a rewrite, it would be best just to keep the original story here.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Vampirella 22

A pretty good issue from early in Bill Dubay's era. The cover artist is uncredited, so its a mystery who actually did it. I've seen it credited to both Enrich and Auraleon, and even Warren expert Richard Arndt isn't sure who did it. Hmm. The frontis for this issue is a two page feature, "Silent Night, Unholy Night" by Bill Dubay.

Up first is "Hell From On High" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Steve Englehart (story) Englehart was a pretty good writer who took on Vampirella for a very short period of time in 1973, doing only three stories. The story features Vampi & co seeking out the true killer of Conrad Van Helsing's brother since by this point its been proven that Vampi wasn't responsible. They head to the snowy mountains where they meet a priest and the suspected killer, but it ends up that the killer was actually under the priest's control, and Vampi is able to defeat him. Pretty good story, a rarity for Vampirella!

The final Tomb of the Gods story is next, "Orpheus" by Esteban Maroto (art & story). The story features the poet Orpheus going to hell to reclaim his lover Eurydice. Pretty good art by Maroto but not that great a story.

Another solo Maroto story is next, "The Viyi". This story, which was originally printed in Europe in the Dracula anthology is the first full color story to be printed in a Warren mag. It was also printed at the same time in Creepy 51. The story features a man coming to destroy a beautiful woman who has become a vampire. He becomes enamored with her looks however and she awakens and turns him into one too.

Next is "The Sentence" by Jose Bea (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A thief steals a purse and runs into an old house when another man chases him. There he finds a head on a table which is he touches, which results in his head appearing on the table and the head getting to leave the house as part of a full body. An odd story which is very similar to the story Head Shop from Eerie 39, which was also drawn by Bea.

"Cry of the Dhampir" is next, a terrific vampire story by Auraleon (art) and John Jacobson (story). 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.

The issue ends on a high note with "Minra" by Felix Mas (art) and Ed Newsome (story). A psychic explosion of hate suspected to have come from another dimension wipes out 3/4 of humanity. Psychic mutants start appearing among the population, who have the ability to set off incidents of hate and violence, so people band together and take them out. The story focuses on a pair of men heading after a teenage girl, Minra, who is accused of being one of the psychic mutants and causing an incident. One of the men does come across her, who explains that there never were any psychic mutants, hatred among humanity reached a boiling point and they accused people of being mutants as a scapegoat. Alas, the other man comes along and kills her and the story ends. Definately one of Mas's high points and a terrific story from Newsome in his sole Warren appearance.

Eerie 27

A terrific cover for this issue, by Jeff Jones and Vaughn Bode. Unfortunately the contents itself aren't as good. The frontis is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: The Golem!" by Tom Sutton.

"Journey Into Wonder" with art by Kenn Barr and story by Bill Parente is about a imp like man that asks the king to let him be a knight. The king sends him to defeat a sorceress, who ends up being an innocent woman. he defeats a monster, and then after some questioning upon returning to the castle, wins a fight and transforms into a normal man.

"Amazonia" by Miguel Fernandez (art) and Gardner Fox (story) is yet another in a long line of barbarian/warrior stories set in a medieval setting. Amazonia would get another story, which I've already covered, from an early Vampirella.

"The Machine God's Slave" is this issue's best story, by Ernie Colon (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). An astronaut finds a planet with an ancient civilization which he angers by killing a priest. They chain him to a machine which drags him along throughout the planet, and eventually to his death when it goes into a body of water.

"Swallowed in Space" by Tom Sutton (art) and Bill Parente (story) features a spaceship of people who keep vanishing until only one man is left, who finds the secret of the universe.

"Enter Dr. Laenru!" by Disck Piscopo (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story) features a man who is able to deflect magic. A princess's younger sister turns her into a werewolf, and after he finds her out, he gets her turned into a pig, who is prompstly eaten by some hungry people! Funny ending to a not that great story.

"All Sewed Up!" by Mike Royer (art) and Buddy Saunders (story) is about a taxidermist who turns into a werewolf. His assistant desires his fiance and steals from him, and eventually kills him while he's in his wolf form. He sews him up for display in his store, only for him to turn back human, revealing the truth to everyone.

Last is "Face It!" by Jack Sparling (art) and Nicola Cuti (story) about a hooded man who joins a circus with a robot woman. He hides his face, but a curious girl in the circus keep trying to see it and its eventually revealed that he has a shrunken face and his wife has a shrunked body, hidden inside the robot.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Creepy 23

A pretty good cover for this issue by Tom Sutton, featuring a werewolf and a house on a cliff. This issue's frontis is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Bill Parente (story).

Up first is "Way Out!" by Donald Norman (art) and James Haggenmiller (story). Its about a druggie who wants more money, so he decides to do a painting of evil. But he can't think of a model so he steals and gets even more drugs, which brings him to a world where he meets none other than Satan himself.

Second is "Gargoyle", a reprint from Creepy 6. The art is by Angelo Torres and the story is by Archie Goodwin & Roy Krenkel. 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!

"Jack Knifed" is third, by Barry Rockwell (art) and Bill Parente (story). It features a Jack the Ripper style killer whom a man suspects is himself, as he thinks he has multiple personalities. When he reveals this to his wife however, the truth is revealed, it is actually she who is the killer!

The cover story, "Quick Change" is by Tom Sutton (art) and Bill Parente (story) and features a werewolf who discovers that the town is going to kill him by stabbing him with silver. He works on making himself immune to silver, only it ends up turning him back into a human at the full moon, whom they are easily able to kill.

"Rude Awakening" by Alex Toth (art) and Archie Goodwin (story) is next, 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! This story is originally from Creepy 7.

Last is "Cat Nipped" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Bill Parente (story). The story features a hunter in pursuit of a white panther, who ends up being a tribal queen. He battles her and manages to win by attacking her with silver teeth.

Vampirella 13

A fairly good issue of Vampirella. It features one of Sanjulian's earliest covers for Warren. The frontis for this issue is "Vampi's Feary Tales: Lamiae" by Gary Kaufman.

Our Vampi story for this issue is "The Lurker in the Deep!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). Vampi joins the cruise of a famous playboy named Triton, who in actuality is luring victims to the ocean to be provided to a fish like demon that he has a pact with. Mistakenly thinking that Vampirella worships the evil god Chaos, he falls in love with her, but the jealous fish demon considers this a break of their pact and destroys his ship and him. Sandwiching this tale is short segments featuring Adam and Conrad Van Helsing. Conrad, at this point believing Vampi is responsible for his brother's death wants to kill her while Adam reveals that he's fallen in love with her. A fairly good Vampi story from early in its run.

Next is "From Death's Dark Corner" by Steve Hickman (art) and Gerry Conway (story). It features a mother and son who head to the swamp to feed a beast that lives there. The mother tells the son of how she met his father, who died shortly after his birth. It ends up however that the beast is her real son, and she gives him the boy to eat. Instead the beast, upset at her for abandoning him eats her!

Jose Bea's art debut is next, "The Silver Thief and the Pharoah's Daughter", written by Dean Latimer. The story is about a pharoah who orders a vault to be made with all his treasures. The vault architect creates a fault in it so his sons after his death can steal from it. They initially are successful, but one is trapped inside and is killed on purpose. His body is stolen to hide his identity, but the pharoah's daughter is able to uncover things. Ironically however the pharoah rewards the surviving son due to his intelligence, making him an advisor of his.

Next is "The Frog Prince" by Bill Dubay (story & art). A woman meets a talking frog who tells her he's a prince. She kisses him and he turns into a human and agrees to marry her. However it is soon revealed that as a human he can't speak, only croak!

Last is the issue's best story, "Eye of the Beholder" by Gary Kaufman (story & art). The story features an ugly countess who decides that a beautiful peasent girl is her property and hers to use to make herself beautiful. The countess has her doctors transfer the girl's body parts to her, such as her hair, teeth, etc... but each transplant is botched, making the countess even more ugly. By the end of the story she's a freakish blind hunchback, but finally does find a man in her similarly mishappen servant. Kaufman's best work out of the half a dozen or so jobs he did for Warren.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Eerie 54

Another fairly good issue of Eerie, from 1954. The cover by Sanjulian features the Werewolf being turned into a bat, something which never happens in this issue. Thats twice in the last three issues that the Eerie cover has lied to us.

First up is "Stranger in a Village of the Insane!" by Jaime Brocal (art) and Steve Skeates (story), part 6 in the series "The Mummy Walks". The mummy, traveling on a train, is knocked off after a fight with a man aboard. He arrives in a village in Massachusetts filled with lunatics. In the middle of the town he comes across a large building where a demon lives, which he fights and defeats. The whole place comes crashing down, killing everyone but him. Unfortunately this would be the last segment of the Mummy for a while, and Jaime Brocal departed from Warren for good after this story.

Next is "To Cure This Curse!" by Martin Salvador (art) and Steve Skeates (story), part 6 in the series "Curse of the Werewolf". Al Milgrom, writer of the series, has departed, and Skeates takes over, quickly turning it into a series related to his Mummy series. Arthur Lemming visits a group of witches who offer to pass on his werewolf curse to a corpse. But instead they transfer is entire consciousness to a mummy! With the full moon arriving, he goes on a rampage, now as both a werewolf and a mummy, and kills all of them, after hearing of an amulet that can restore him to his real body.

The third part of the series "Hunter" follows, with art by Paul Neary and story by Rich Margopoulos. Hunter comes across a village of people being attacked by demons. At first he is quite arrogant, demanding food, and is nearly lynched by them. When the demons arrive he fights them, including a duel on winged creatures. One of the men manages to gun down all the demons, but unfortunately ends up killing his daughter along with them.

"The Christmas Spirit" is this issue's color feature, the first ever color story in Eerie. It is a preview of 'The Spirit', which joined the Warren line around this time. It is by of course the great Will Eisner. It features a boy who receives a Christmas gift from Santa Claus, the ability to celebrate Christmas.

"Bright Eyes" is next, part 2 in the series "Schreck". The art is by Vicente Alcazar and the story is by Doug Moench. Where we last left off, Schreck had found both his wife Paula and best friend Lee had turned monsters. The story has Schreck on the run from them and other white eyed 'werewolves' (who are more like zombies). He escapes, and encounters more of them, but is saved by mysterious benefactors. He awakens in an institution where he has been given an apparatus for his chopped off right hand, and meets them, led by an asian woman named Bright Eyes. However Schreck's own eyes have turned white, turning him into a monster, which is where the story ends.

Last is "The Evil That Men Do", the first part of a new series entitled Dr. Archaeus. The art is by Isidro Mones and the story is by Gerry Boudreau. Archaeus is a killer sentenced to death by hanging who somehow survives it. He plots revenge on the jury that condemned him and kills the first, the foreman of the jury, by tying him up in a bush and letting him be accidently shot by hunting friends when fake birds are put around him. The police arrive, led by Miles Sanford and start investigating.