Sunday, September 28, 2008

Vampirella 108

Yet another Enrich cover starts off this issue of Vampirella. Jose Gonzalez provides artwork for the table of conents.

First is "Spawn of the Star Beast" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Vampi once again fights a star beast who arrives on Earth from a meteor and starts attacking people so it can spread its spawn around the Earth. Vampi and Conrad are able to defeat the monster.

Next is the second part of "Sweetwater Nessie" by Auraleon (art) and Don McGregor (story). Our heroes look for the Loch Ness Monster to photograph it, but instead it ends up being captured and apparantely killed. The series ended abrubtly here and was not concluded in Vampi's two final non-reprint issues.

Third is "Circus Monstrous", which ended up being Pantha's final story. Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by David Allikas. Pantha along with Arrowsmith search for a man who can turn into a Panther like her. They arrive at a circus with a freak show with many part animal part human freaks. The freaks are all artificial, products of surgery but end up getting revenge on the owner and turn him into a freak like them.

Fourth is "The Beast Lies Sleeping", the latest 'The Fox' story, by Luis Bermejo (art) and Nicola Cuti. Our heroes continue with their quest, this time heading to an archaeological site. By this point I've grown pretty bored with this series.

Fifth is the third part of "Jeremy" by Paul Gillon (story & art). Rudy Nebres provides an uncredited first page. Jeremy has headed out to sea, only to be picked up by a group of pirates. There he is forced to be a servant for a young girl who is a hostage of theirs. Eventually some man of war ships arrive, there is a big battle and the ship is destroyed, but both Jeremy and the girl, Dona Aurelia make it out okay.

Last story is "Torpedo, 1936" by Alex Toth (art) and Sanchez Abuli (story). This story was originally printed in the spanish version of Creepy. It features a hit man who falls in love with a girl he has been hired to kill, so he lets her live and uses her clothes to claim credit for killing her. Eventually the money runs out and she starts seeing other men behind his back, so he ends up hiring someone to kill her.

Eerie 68

A great issue of Eerie, one of its best issues ever. The cover is by Ken Kelly, featuring Hunter II.

First is "Half Walk", part of the Coffin serial. Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by Budd Lewis. Coffin is found by a traveling caravan run by Halfwalk, a quadruple amputee who sells freaks to various circuses. Coffin is presented as the biggest freak of all, but gets his revenge on Halfwalk, who has the ability to fight even without limbs. Coffin sets him on fire, killing him, and leaves, still hoping for some way to end his own life.

Next is "Goblin", part 2 in the Hunter II series. Art is by Paul Neary and story is by Budd Lewis. Karas fights some Goblins, having trouble, but is helped by an Exterminator robot who joins him in his quest. At the end of the story however the Exterminator robot appears to be 'killed'. With Neary having done the art for the Exterminator One series, it was a natural choice to bring this character into this series.

Third is "Godeye", with art by Leopold Sanchez and story by once again, Budd Lewis. An excellent, very funny stand alone story. A draft dodger on his way to Canada meets a strange long haired man who transfers him to another dimension when he touches them. There, the draft dodger is hailed as a hero, and called 'Godeye' based on a misunderstanding of something he says. While it seems like the good life at first, Godeye discovers he has to battle a cyclops that has been eating people in the village. While initially scared, Godeye manages to outsmart the cyclops and defeat him. All the various funny things in this story are hard to summarize here, but this story is definately a blast to read and was rated in the top 25 stories ever in the Warren Companion.

This issue's color story is fourth, "The Muck Monster" by Berni Wrightson (story & art). Wrightson's version of the Frankentein monster, this is about a scientist who tries to bring a corpse to lie, but the corpse has no desire to live. The scientist in an angry fit destroys the monster in a vat of acid and dumps the remains in the drain. The remains drip down the hill and once reaching a body comes to life. The monster returns to the scientist's lab, driving him crazy, then sits down on the hill, for good. Really good art and color in this story.

The issue concludes with "Deep Brown and Jorum" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). This story features two rogues, Jorum and Deep Brown who meet when Jorum purchases Deep Brown. The two go on many adventures, which are summarized across five pages. At the end of the story Deep Brown meets his end at the hands of a giant spider. An okay story with an interesting narrative style.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Creepy 41

This issue of Creepy features a rather odd looking cover by Ken Smith. The frontis for this issue is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore: The Hangman of London" by Richard Bassford.

First is "The Thing in Loch Ness", Bruce Jones's Creepy Debut. He provides both the story and art here. Bruce Jones would later become Creepy's best writer during the Louise Jones era. A man in Scotland falls in love with a bar owner's wife. They plot to kill the owner, who is hit by a car and tossed into Loch Ness. The man, seeking to pay off their debts so they can head to America, creates a fake Loch Ness Monster using an inflatable creature. It works, tourism goes up tremendously enabling them to pay off their debts. But when he heads back in the Loch Ness to get rid of the fake creature, the true Loch Ness Monster and the Bar Owner's corpse are there waiting for him.

Next is "Skipper's Return" by Ernie Colon (story & art). A rather interesting story about a chimp being sent out to space. He sends messages to his former trainer, and comes back to Earth, now evolved such that he can talk, and gets revenge by having his trainer sent out to space himself.

The Bill Dubay story "The Final Ingredient" is third. This is yet another solo story with Dubay handling both the art and story. A young woman wants a man to fall in love with her, so she asks her aunt, a witch to create a potion to make that happen. The witch needs a man's head, so the young woman sets up an axe to chop off a traveler's head. This works, and the potion is successful. The young woman and her lover ride off, only to have their heads chopped off by the axe.

Fourth is "Prelude to Armageddon" by Wally Wood (art) and Wally Wood & Nicola Cuti (story). Some very sexy art by Wood in this story about a medieval war between various creatures such as centaurs, minotaurs and other creatures. The moon explodes during the battle, dealing heavy damage to the Earth and wiping out the battlers, leading to our society many milleniums later.

Fifth is "Extra Censory Perception" by Gary Kaufman (art) and Steve Skeates (story). This story is about a comic book editor who goes crazy with censorship. Walking down the street, he kills a man asking for a match when he finds a knife on him, then kills a young woman because her skirt is too short. The police find him crazy, stamping the logo "censored" with her blood.

The issue concludes with "A Tangible Hatred" by Richard Corben (art) and Don McGregor (story). A very incomprehensible poor story from McGregor which has some very nice Corben artwork. It features a rotting corpse hitchhiker who is created due to people's hatred. The story features, Detective Turner, a recurring character in many McGregor stories. As is often seen from him, absolute crap from McGregor with a lot of political/hippie nonsense.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

1984 8

This is the first issue of 1984 I ever owned. The cover is by Jim Laurier. The aliens featured in one of the spaceships on this cover would get a cover dedicated to themselves on Creepy 119 in 1981.

First is "Painters Mountain" by Alex Nino (art) and the team of Bill Dubay & Budd Lewis (story). The star of the story, Painter is a man who grows a distaste of the tribe he lives with and leaves them. He forms his own society but realizes that his old tribe is in danger. He tries to warn them, but they ignore him and are all killed by a mass flood.

Next is "All You Need is Love" the first part of the 'Herma' series. Art is by Jose Gonzalez and story is by Bill Dubay. The Herma series was originally drawn by Jose Gonzalez about five years before this issue and was published first in Europe. It features a frozen warrior woman, Herma being discovered who is thawed out and comes back to life. This being 1984, naturally Herma is obsessed with sex and sleeps with anyone she sees, man or woman. At the end of the story a sultan captures her to be one of his many wives. Gonzalez's art is quite good here, with lots and lots of naked beautiful women

The finale of "Twilight's End" is third, with art by Rudy Nebres and story by Jim Stenstrum (credited to Alabaster Redzone). Zev heads back to rescue Rena, whose colony of Enlighteneds has been completely destroyed and overtaken by the Throwbacks. A fellow observer suddenly arrives and reveals the truth, that Zev is a human being, and that humans have become so evolved that the Supreme Being of the universe seeked to wipe them out. Zev was used to see if humans could hide themselves in a primitive world. While he succeeded, it is too late and humanity, including Zev and his fellow observer are wiped out. This series ended up being quite a lot better than I originally expected it, particularly this very good final segment.

Fourth is the finale of "Mutant World" by Richard Corben (art) and Jan Strnad (story). Dimento gets tricked once again by a pair of fellow mutants who try to steal his food. He meets his lady friend, Julie (finally named for the first time here), but it ends up that she is actually a clone of the real Julie, who is long gone. Dimento gets to have sex with her, and the series ends once and for all. Overall this was a rather slow moving series, but put all 8 parts together and as a whole it ended up being pretty good. The art was quite nice throughout and featured a vast range of bizarre Corben creatures.

Fifth is part two of "Ghita of Alizarr" by Frank Thorne (art & story). Ghita and Thenef recruit a new ally, a half troll called Dahib. The three of them find some armor for Ghita and using Khan Dagon's sword, battle a number of trolls. Not as good a segment as the first in this series from a story standpoint. Thorne's art continues to be interesting and unique however.

Sixth is "Madmen and Messiahs" by Abel Laxamana and Bill Dubay (story). A so-so story featuring a future Earth where of all people... Ted Kennedy!?!?!? is President. The government has gone out of control and the people have decided to rebel. In the end it ends up that the main character is Kennedy's own nephew, but is killed off by the soldiers.

The issue wraps up with "Once Upon a Holocaust" by Alex Nino (art) and the team of Nicola Cuti & Bill Dubay (story). In a post apocalyptic world a soldier, Zero leads another soldier, Hardtack into a cryogenics lab where the only 3 women left in the world rest in suspended animation. Hardtack screws up on thawing one of the women, killing her, but the other two come out alive. Zero kills Hardtack so the women will be just his, but the truth is soon revealed, that it was all for nothing as they are both androids!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eerie 29

Ken Kelly provides this issue's cover, his first for Eerie. A so-so issue; the stories for the most part aren't particularly great, and one artist gets three stories in this issue alone, which takes away some of the variety.

First story is "Loophole". Art is provided by Jack Sparling, his first of three stories this issue. The story is by Nicola Cuti. This story is about a group of time travelers who go throughout time killing people, which of course eventually results in them vanishing after doing away with their ancestors.

Second is "The Fiend Planet" by Dan Adkins (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). Astronauts head through space for a hundred years to reach a colony planet, but when they reach it they find bizarre creatures and many end up getting killed. It later becomes apparant that the creatures are actually humans who came to Earth long before due to advanced technology, changed in appearance due to adapting on the planet.

Third is "The Bloodstaff" by Rich Buckler (story & art). A warrior uses a weapon provided to him by his dying father, the Bloodstaff to fight a woman in the woods who is killing people to feed a vampiric plant. He soon discovers that she didn't kill his allies through, his bloodstaff did. He soon dies himself, appearing in an impish form to those around him.

Fourth is "Gallery of Horror" by Carlos Garzon (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). A writer buys a haunted house hoping to draw inspiration from it. He finds horrific paintings inside which were actually the inspiration for classic stories by Poe and other authors. The house is clearly haunted however, and even a dog he obtains ends up dead. He destroys all the paintings, thinking they are responsible, but it is actually a giant spider living on his ceiling that is responsible for the horror within.

Next is "The Vorpal Sword" by Tom Sutton (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). A young warrior is given the 'Vorpal Sword' by a wizard and heads off to save the wizard's daughter. He rides a giant slug as he heads through the medieval landscape. It soon becomes apparant that the sword transforms to a beautiful woman, Nina whenever he says her name. When he finally faces his enemy, she saves him by using a dagger... which ends up being their son! A fun ending to this story.

Sixth is "Strange Gateway" by Jack Sparling (art) and T. Casey Brennan (story). This story is about a poor man who buys a mirror for his wife which ends up being a gateway to another dimension; a paradise as long as the person who comes there has a good heart. The man and his wife head there to live the rest of their life. Quite an optimistic ending for a Warren story!

The issue concludes with "Snow Job!" by Jack Sparling (art) and Doug Moench (story, his Warren debut). A group of men head to the snowy mountains where it is rumored the abominable snowman lurks. As they soon discover however, its not a snowman, but rather werewolves that are occupying the mountain.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Creepy 127

Terrance Lindall provides the artwork for this issue's cover. Its quite an interesting and funny cover, with various monsters holding (and licking) a very scared looking man. Lindall's five Warren covers were all quite good and unique looking. Rudy Nebres provides a one page Uncle Creepy intro. With this issue Bill Dubay left as editor (once again!) and Chris Adames took over for a little less than a year.

First story is "Hoodoo the Magnificent!" by Martin Salvador (art) and Bill Dubay (story, as Will Richardson). This story is about an old magician/daredevil who tells a reporter about his crazy feats when he was younger. This story ends rather abrubtly with not much of a point to it, it seems. A poor way to start off the issue.

Next is "Forbidden Fruit!" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Bruce Jones (story). This story is about a shipwrecked man who is rescued, but when the rescuers arrive they find him calling a baby his wife! He tells them the story of how she ate some fruit on the island, which turned her into a tree which grew fruit, out of which came the baby. He becomes convinced that he must eat the fruit himself so he can turn into a baby as well. An alright story but Bermejo's art is a bit down, making the 'wife' look like a male in her baby form.

Third story is "Prism Second Generation Blues" by Noly Panligan (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This is another story featuring a shipwrecked man, who this time comes across a strange colored meteor which turns into a beautiful woman when he touches it. The woman says her name is Prism, and that she is an alien who can absorb or release light, making it dark around her. They are caught and chased by a Nazi who hopes to overthrow American society, but they are able to stop him. Panligan's art is quite good, with a variety of styles in telling this story.

Fourth is "Daddy is a Werewolf" by Fred Carrillo (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This story features a werewolf man with a family who hopes to cure his affliction due to a doctor that thinks he can cure him of his affliction. The doctor hasn't realized however that he should avoid using silver instruments on his patient...

Fifth is "Wind" by Val Mayerik (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). Very good art by Mayerik in this story about a native american warrior society and the bad weather that brings their doom.

Last is "Escape" by Herb Arnold (art) and Steven Dietrich (story). A wealthy man seeks to be able to fly, so he visits a voodoo expert who is able to accomplish his goal by turning him into a crow. Once he starts flying though, the man realizes that this isn't as interesting as he thought and he desires to return to his human form. Unfortunately for him, the voodoo expert is murdered, leaving him in the crow form forever.

Vampirella 106

One of the last original Vampirella magazines to come out is today's entry, with a cover by Enrich. Jose Gonzalez as usual provides a drawing of Vampirella on the Table of Contents page.

Vampirella's story for this issue is "A Love Blessed in Hell" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Vampi's deceased husband from Drakulon, Tristan suddenly arrives at her door. It is a very happy number of days for our heroine, but in reality this is not the real Tristan, but rather a clone made by a sorceress who plans for him to kill Vampi. When it is time to kill her however he refuses, and instead heads back to the sorceress and kills her. Alas, Vampi has no idea what is going on and is saddened by his sudden dissappearance. A short story, but extremely good art by Gonzalez, probably his sexiest drawings of Vampirella to ever be in the magazine.

Next is the first part of "Sweetwater Nessie" by Auraleon (art) and Don McGregor (story). This story features the Loch Ness Monster and a family from an Oceanographic Institute which arrives to investigate it. While McGregor's story doesn't seem to go anywhere, the scenes with the Loch Ness monster are quite nice. It has a cameo appearance on pretty much every page while the rest of the story is happening.

Third is "On the Trail of the Cat", the latest story in the Pantha series. Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by Rich Margopoulos. Conrad reveals to Adam and Pantha that they couldn't have normal children, so they break up. Vampi is chased by a hunter who has been hired to kill a man who can turn into a panther, and who thinks Pantha is that man. While he captures her, Pantha convinces him to let her become his traveling companion instead.

Fourth is "The Fox and the Deer", the latest segment in the Fox series. Art is by Luis Bermejo, with story by Nicola Cuti. Ming and Will go to visit an old teacher of hers, Chin-Li, but instead find him executed by Dung-Bin, a man who seeks Chin-Li's daughter. The daughter tells him to hunt a deer and then she'll marry him. He does so, but when he kills the deer he finds her corpse there instead, as she used the similar shapeshifting ability that our heroine has. Because of this, he is executed. A fairly good self-contained story that doesn't have the usual "The Fox" logo on it, but is obviously part of the series.

Fifth is part two of "Jeremy" by Paul Gillon (story & art). In this part Jeremy continues to be pursued by the Indian Tribe which he escaped from in the previous story. He manages to kill some of them, but is captured. Luckily, he is able to escape from them and even steal a boat, which he uses to escape from the island. An okay story, but I wonder why this story which has no horror or supernatural elements to it whatsoever is in a horror magazine.

The issue concludes with "Safari" by Esteban Maroto (art) and David Allikas (story). A man wins an olympic event only to find him brought on a spaceship to a primitive planet where he finds himself attacked by various creatures. Soon he realizes that he is being hunted by an ape-like man, who kills him, chops off his head, and puts it up on his wall as a trophy.

Overall, a fairly good issue with better than usual segments of Vampi, The Fox and Pantha, and a good conclusion to the issue with Safari.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Eerie 67

Eerie 66 is a self contained issue featuring El Cid. I'm going to save that issue for a later date and will head right into Eerie's next regular issue, 67.

Coffin gets his second cover on this issue for his second appearance, done by Sanjulian. Berni Wrightson contributes the frontis, starring Cousin Eerie. A Budd Lewis heavy issue, with four stories.

First is Coffin in "Death's Dark Curse" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Budd Lewis (story). Coffin sees a caravan crossing the desert but it ignores his pleases for help and heads off without him. He comes across a town completely empty, apparantely visited by 'The Caravan of Death', and heads off with some supplies. He soon finds the corpses of all town's people in the desert. He comes across the caravan, occupied by caped priests who have a woman captive. They tell Coffin that the woman is actually a demon they mistakenly summoned and have taken years to capture. Coffin ignores them and escapes with her. But it soon becomes aware that she is a demon, in fact the Devil himself, who is unleashed upon the world because of Coffin's meddling. A terrific follow up to the original Coffin story (from all the way back in issue 61), so far this series has been a blast. Now if they can just keep it on a reasonable schedule...

Next is "Hunter II" by Paul Neary (art) and Budd Lewis (story). With Hunter being one of Eerie's most popular series ever, it was obvious that a sequel would eventually appear. This story takes place 20 years after Hunter's death. Karas is the star, who was a boy saved by Hunter in the original storyline. Karas lives with Mandragora, a powerful wizard who tells him that the world is soon going to end. He hopes to stop this by halting the Earth's rotation for a minute, which will remove it from the time shell that Earth is fated to be destroyed if it stays in. Mandadragora tells Karas of Yaust, an evil wizard who controls the world's demons, now called Goblins. Karas dons Hunter's helmet and heads out to save the Earth. Hunter II goes in somewhat a different direction than the original series but actually has a better storyline if you ask me.

Third is the finale of the Hacker, "The Hacker's Last Stand!" by Alex Toth (art) and Steve Skeates (story). This was Skeates's final Warren story. He was a very strong writer for the majority of his stories (his Mummy finale certainly was a big dissappointment), so he certainly was missed after this point. Another ten years have passed but the Hacker murders have started occuring again. Smythe heads after who he thinks is the Hacker, but it is only a hired hand and the true Hacker arrives and kills them both, ending the series. A downbeat finale to a fairly good series.

Fourth is Papa Voodoo in "The Man Named Gold". Papa Voodoo is none other than Crackermeyer, from the Spook series. With that series stretching a tad far past its prime, it certainly is dissappointing to see yet another related story here, although luckily things finally ended for good after this story. Art is by Leopold Sanchez and story is by Budd Lewis, the Spook series regulars. This story features the aged Crackermeyer telling children about a black cowboy whose wife and kids are captured by Apache warriors. The cowboy, named Gold, heads after them, but it takes years and when he finally finds his wife and children, she no longer remembers him and kills herself after he kills her Apache husband. Gold takes back his kids, but dies at the hands of the Apache years later.

The issue wraps up with Merlin in "The Kingmaker" with art by Esteban Maroto and story by Budd Lewis. Terrific art by Lewis, but not all that interesting a story. It stars Merlin, in a story that takes place before King Arthur's birth. In fact this story heavily features Arthur's parents, King Uther and Ygraine, who are assisted by Merlin and his assistant Snivel.

Creepy 31

An extremely bizarre cover for this issue by Vaughn Bode and Larry Todd, their first for Warren. It features a chicken like creature standing over a torn apart robot man. The frontis for this issue is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Bill Parente (story).

First is "In the Face of Death!" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Al Hewetson (story). A very short story at four pages featuring a man without a face who goes after a man named Arthur Merlin who stole his face. Only when he reaches Merlin he finds that he has lost track of time and become very old.

Next is "Telephoto Troll!" by Roger Brand (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). This story is about an astronomer who takes pictures of things on a far away planet only for them to appear when the photos are developed. This results in a monster from the planet appearing. He destroys the photo, saving himself, only for his wife to develop multiple copies, resulting in multiple monsters appearing!

Third is "A Night's Lodging!" by Maurice Whitman (art) and Rhea Dunne (story), originally printed in Creepy 17. This story is about a man who is confronted by vampires after getting into an accident with his carriage. He tells them if they let him live he'll build them a hotel and bring many victims to him. He does so, but is eventually turned into a vampire himself. A very lame rehash of "The Invitation" from Creepy 8, which had Whitman as one of the writes.

Fourth is "Snowmen!" by Tom Sutton (story & art). A rich man gets extremely over the town's failure to catch a child killer. His lonely son meanwhile makes snowmen in the yard when he refuses to let him play with anyone. A vagabond is blamed for the attacks when the rich man's son says he did it, so the vagabond is hung. Only it ends up that the little boy was the killer all along, leaving the corpses in his snowmen. A very good story, which would win the Warren award for best story of the year.

Fifth is "A Wooden Stake for Your Heart!" by Bill Black (art) and Don Glut (story). A local castle dweller is blamed for the populace for recent vampire attacks. Although he looks like a vampire he really isn't one, and when the townfolk stake him to death, they open a nearby door which contains a number of monsters he had locked up, which are now unleashed on the town.

Sixth is "Death of a Stranger" by Ernie Colon (art) and T. Casey Brennan (story). A rather bizarre nonscensical story as usual from Brennan, about a man who thinks he's going to die, and that's what happens.

Last is "Laughing Liquid" by William Barry (art) and Kevin Pagan (story). This story is about a man who keeps having visions of alien like creatures and develops a fear of liquid for that's where they come from.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Vampirella 55

A mostly reprint issue of Vampirella. The cover is by Sanjulian, a redo of of his cover for issue 36.

First is "The Resurrection of Papa Voodoo!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story's originally from issue 15. Vampi and friends are in Cote de Soleil, where they meet Paul Giraud, who warns them of a secret police who worked for the former ruler, known as Papa Voudou. Working to bring back Papa Voudou is Madame Dominique and Colonel Ramm, who have kidnapped Conrad. They bring back Papa Voudou, but he is a rotting corpse, so they seek to restore his body by using spells of Chaos. Vampi and friends interfere and Adam and Giraud are heavily wounded. Vampirella saves Adam's life through a blood transfusion of her own blood, but are unable to stop Dominique and Ramm from blackmailing Conrad into casting their spell. However, it ends up restoring Giraud's wounds rather than Voudou's body, so he kills the both of them then is burned to his final death by Vampirella.

Next is "And Be a Bride of Chaos" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), originally from issue 16. 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 upon Chaos's arrival.

The issue's sole new story is "The Corpse With the Missing Mind" by Jose Gonzalez(art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is in color. Vampirella and Pendragon attend the funeral of a rich old friend of his, Hunt who he hasn't seen in decades. Another friend of Hunt's arrives, Charlie, who knocks out both of them. When they awaken, they find themselves in what appears to be Alice in Wonderland. It ends up that Hunt is alive after all, by preserving his brain and eyes in a tank. He hoped to do something good for once which is why he created the Wonderland, which he plans to allow people in for free.

The issue concludes with "The Lurker in the Deep!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), originally from issue 13. 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.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eerie 65

A number of series come to an end in this issue. The cover is by Ken Kelly, featuring the Spook. Berni Wrightson contributes a one page intro on the front inside cover.

First is the final entry in the Night of the Jackass series, "Endstorm". Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by Bruce Bezaire. Bishop and Garson head to Berthe's lab where she hopes to finish her treatment for the Jackassers. Bishop reads Berthe's notes and realizes that she was the one responsible for creating the Hyde drug. Berthe forces him out, but Garson gets upset and leaves as well, only to find that Bishop has taken the drug and become a jackasser. Bishop goes out of control and attacks them, but Berthe is able to use her antidote which works, turning him back to normal. The series ends here on an optimistic note, with our heroes now having a way to cure the jackassers. Overall this is certainly one of Eerie's best series ever, with a unique and interesting storyline and great Ortiz art. While the series certainly had an open ended conclusion, Bezaire avoided having it go on further and let it end on a high note.

Second is "The Hacker is Back", marking the return of the Hacker for the first time since issue 57. Alex Toth takes over on the art from Tom Sutton (who by this time had departed Warren), and Steve Skeates handles the writing. Ten years have passed but the Hacker has returned and started killing again Our hero, Smythe eventually finds out that the man they had locked up years before and let go is still around, and captures him. It ends up he has four collaborators which allowed him to be let go before. Smythe breaks free of his bonds and kills all five of them. Does this solve the Hacker killings once and for all? Apparantely not as there's still one more entry in this series.

Third is "Coming Soon... A Killing Rain!", the Spook's final appearance. Art is by Leopold Sanchez and story is by Budd Lewis. The story moves ahead to the Civil War, with Crackermeyer telling the army from the north that he doesn't want them fighting on behalf of black people. He and the Spook try to stop a battle between Northern and Southern soldiers but fail to and during the battle the Spook is killed, this time for real. It is revealed that the Spook actually was Crackermeyer's younger brother. Overall I wasn't all that impressed with this series, with Crackermeyer becoming much more of the star of the series over the more interesting Spook once Budd Lewis took the writing over. A sequel story, "Papa Voodoo" would appear in issue 67.

Fourth is "El Cid and the Troll", a new series featuring the legendary Spanish character El Cid. Art is by Gonzalo Mayo and story is by Budd Lewis. A troll has been appearing by a bridge, capturing women and holding them for ransom, but never actually giving them back. El Cid is told the story and heads there with a man whose family was taken by the troll. They set up a trap by having the man dress up as a woman. It ends up that the troll was nothing more than an old man, who dies when they attack him upon his arrival. Mayo's art is extremely good here, and throughout this series. El Cid would have the entire book dedicated to him in the next issue.

The issue concludes with the final part of the Apocalypse series, "The Death" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Budd Lewis (story). Death summons the other three horsemen, War, Famine and Plague to see which one is the most dangerous to mankind. All three head out and claim numerous souls for him but he is unable to decide among them. The spectral spirits of children arrive however, ones that the four horsemen are unable to claim. The series concludes, saying that as long as there is children, there is hope. While not as strong as the two previous stories, this is still a good story and worthy conclusion to an amazing series.

Unfortunately with Night of the Jackass and Apocalypse ending, Eerie's peak period comes to an end with this issue. Not that the magazine doesn't stay good for a while, but the stretch from around issue 48 through 65 is filled with amazing stuff and it never would get this good again.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Creepy 120

This issue features a rare Jeff Jones cover, originally done back in 1975. Rudy Nebres contributes a one page Uncle Creepy intro.

First story is "Deathwatch" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). An old woman keeps alive by refusing Death each time the Grim Reaper comes for her. She befriends a sick young boy in the hospital and finds that he's soon going to die. To save the boy's life, she finally offers herself to the Reaper in order to take the boy's place. A terrific story to start the issue, the best stuff here.

Next is "Hell house" by Jesus Blasco (art, miscredited to Jaime Brocal) and Jim Stenstrum (story, credited to Alabaster Redzone). This story features a hippie and three beautiful women with him who sneak into a seemingly deserted house which is actually occupied by a small impish monster that rapes and kills them all.

Third is "Black Rainbow" by Rueben Yandoc (art, his Warren debut) and Budd Lewis (story). Men in a submarine find a mechanical device deep below the ocean. Soon after finding it a black ring surrounds the Earth and starts blasting the surface with fire, killing all of humanity. The last survivors, who escaped by being out in space think that an alien race planted the device to destroy humanity once they became too advanced.

Fourth is "One Mind, Closed for Alterations!" by Jess Jodloman (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). The mafia is suspicious of a senator running for president, so they plot to manipulate a mentally unstable man to get him to kill them through subliminal messages. It works and the senator is killed, and the assassin is killed immediately afterwards, making it looks like he was on his own. The mob boss soon is manipulated in the same way to kill himself however by the man who created the subliminal messages. This man then kills himself over fear that it could happen to him as well.

Fifth is "A Taste for Heroes" by Carmine Infantino & Pablo Marcos (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story is about a kayak race on a river rumored to be where Ulysses blinded a cyclops. Along the river are numerous traps that kill all of the kayakers except one, who believes that the cyclops is still out there.

"Winterbeast" by Val Mayerik (art) and Budd Lewis (story) is next. This story is told from the perspective of a wolf being chased by french hunters. While the wolf is shot by them a giant indian woman appears and saves him, freezing the men.

Last is "Black Snow" by Herb Arnold (art, his Creepy debut) and Jeff Rovin (story). This story surrounds an author working on a book who sees black snow falling from the sky. Thinking its the apocalypse, he goes out to see if a lady friend is okay but finds her dead. With her dog he wanders around looking to see if anyone else is around.

Overall a so-so issue. No real terrible stories, but aside from the first one, nothing that great either. The art is for the most part quite good here though.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

1984 7

This issue features a cover by Patrick Woodroffe of a beastly looking alien creature.

First is "Teleport: 2010" by Alex Nino (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story is about a madman who hijacks a teleportation shuttle used to transport thousands of people a day. He kills numerous people, demanding the captain transport him to a place out of government jurisdiction. They fight, more people die, and eventually the captain transports him and everyone else, who he hopes to use as hostages... into the middle of space by accident, killing them all.

Second is "Freeze a Jolly Good Fellow" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story surrounds a rich man who has himself and girlfriend placed into suspended animation in space so he can outlive the war, famine and other things plauging the world. They awaken over 120,000 years later only to get sucked out into space to their deaths when they open an elevator door.

Third is "Kaiser Warduke and the Indespensable Jasper Gemslong!" by Jim Janes & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). This story is about a mutant man, Kaiser Warduke with a talking gem on his head who saves a woman named Nymph from a monster that wants Kaiser to leave the planet. They encounter another alien which Kaiser kills as well. Only it ends up that the aliens wanted to save him, as Nymph sucks all his power out of him.

Fourth is the latest segment in "Mutant World" by Richard Corben (art) and Jan Strnad (story). The priest mutant goes on a rampage but is killed by one of the lab technicians. The head doctor decides to shut down their entire project. Dimento meanwhile escapes from the lab with the help of the human soldier he met before. He gets upset seeing him and the woman he has a crush on together, but the man simply knocks him out when he objects. One more story in this series which we'll see in the next episode.

Fifth is the second segment in the "Twilight's End" series by Rudy Nebres (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, credited as Alabaster Redzone). Our hero Zev discovers the woman he met, Rena can talk and she tells him that she's part of the enlightened tribe, who is fighting the throwback tribe. They head to a colony of enlighteneds, where Zev is suspected as a devil because of his Snitch Scope companion. He is imprisoned and attacked by a lizard like creature, but manages to escape.

Sixth is the premiere of a new series, "Ghita of Alizarr" by Frank Thorne (story & art). This series would appear in most of the remaining issues of 1984/1994. Ghita is a woman who lives in the city of Alizar, which is soon to be under attack by trolls. King of Alizarr, Khalia is severly wounded and asks Ghita's fake wizard friend Thenef to bring back to life Khan Dagon, a great warrior. Using a gem they do so, but Khan goes crazy, killing Khalia and tries to rape Ghita. Luckily Thenef helps Ghita kill him.

Last is "Zincor and the Fempire" by Alex Nino (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story takes place in the future where women have abandoned men, and are seeking out and destroying any they can. Our hero Zincor along with some of his fellow men spots a Fempire warship which lands near them and attack, spawning a battle between them and the women. Zincor rapes one of the women, Marta, which causes her to betray her allies and join the men. The women's battleship is destroyed by her and only one woman is left. Marta spots her with Zincor however, killing them both, leaving her as the only person left.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Eerie 7

This issue's cover is by Frank Frazetta. Its rather different than his usual fare, dominated by a dark sky and dark sea with a woman in white beckoning whatever is in the sea. The frontis for this issue is "Eerie's Monster Gallery No 6: The Hydra" by Gray Morrow.

First story is "Witch's Tide" by Eugene Colan (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). The story is about a group of sea beasts that are attacking people in a small town. The townfolks think the daughter of an admitted witch is luring the beasts to the town, so they kill her and burn her corpse. But it ends up that she was actually attemping to keep the beasts away from the town, and with her dead, the beasts are quickly able to overrun the town. A great story to start off the issue with.

Next is "It That Lurks!" by Dan Adkins (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A pair of men encounter a dinosaur lurking in quicksand in the deep jungle. They shoot it with tranquilizer darts only for it to submerge under the quicksand. One of the men, seeking glory heads in the quicksand after it and is killed. The other man is about to depart when he sees his wife in the quicksand and also heads in, to his death. It ends up neither the dinosaur or the man's wife were ever truly there, but actually were generated as a trap (that which the victim wanted the most) by the quicksand. Yet another terrific story here.

Third is "Hitchhike Horror!" by Hector Castellon (art) and Goodwin (story). This is Castellon's Warren debut. His art, as usual is just way too ugly and has too many lines if you ask me. Anyway, this story is about a man who picks up a hitchhiker and soon after hears news on the radio about a maniac being loose. It seems as if the hitchhiker is the maniac, but in actuality he is after the driver, who is the real maniac. It ends up that the hitchhiker is a ghost of one of the driver's past victims and kills him by burying him alive.

Fourth is "The Defense Rests!" by Johnny Craig (story & art). A terrifically drawn and written story, featuring no dialogue at all. It is about a young lawyer who goes after the same woman as the very powerful mayor. When the town maniac kills the girl, the mayor blames it all on the lawyer and puts him on trial, where he stacks the jury with his allies and declares him guilty. The lawyer breaks loose and captures them all and unleashes the maniac on them, who was, like him, framed years before.

Fifth is "Fly!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Goodwin (story). This story is about a man covered in bandages who has had surgery to change his face. Only he keeps being bothered by a fly and falls out a window to his death. It ends up that the fly was attached to his head bandages near his ears which is why it bothered him so much.

Sixth is "The Quest!" by Donald Norman (art) and Goodwin (story). A powerful duke seeks eternal life, but every attempt at it fails. His advisor, an old man, tells him that he'll be able to give him eternal life if he will do good things for the town. The duke agrees so the old advisor brings him to a place occupied by vampires, who promptly turn him into one of their own.

The issue concludes with "Cry Fear Cry Phantom" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A man and his fiance go to his home, a large mysterious looking house, where his uncle lives with him. She repeatedly has visions of an odd looking woman with an axe, and suspects the uncle is up to something, particularly when she sees him burying that woman! It ends up however that the fiance is the true maniac, and chops her up with an axe.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Creepy 16

One of Creepy's last good issues before collapsing into a rut for much of the late 1960s, this issue has a Frank Frazetta cover which is miscredited inside to Gray Morrow. The frontis for this issue is Creepy's Loathsome Lore by Gil Kane.

First story is "A Curse of Claws!" by Neal Adams (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story features a man in the jungle who encounters a woman who says she is Lillith, Goddess of Cats. The man fights her and kills her, but turns into a panther like creature and ends up scratching himself to death.

Next is "Frozen Fear!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A team of explorers find a frozen warrior. One of the explorers is after the wife of another. It ends up that he is the descendent of someone known to the frozen warrior, who comes alive and kills him.

Third is "Angel of Doom!" by Jeff Jones (art) and Goodwin (story). This story is Jeff Jones's first Warren work. This is another story featuring Thane the Barbarian, who I have previously discussed in my coverage of issue 27. In this story Thane is part of a tribe that continously makes sacrifices to a monster. When his lover is killed, Thane heads out, ignoring the tribe's warnings and battles the monster, a giant insect creature. He defeats the creature, but the tribe decides to continue making sacrifices anyway, so Thane leaves. The tribe is soon plagued by the monster's children and are all killed after Thane leaves.

Fourth is "The Frankenstein Tradition!" by Rocco Mastroserio (art) and Goodwin (story). A doctor blackmails a top student of his to join him in his quest to bring Frankenstein's work to real life when he catches him cheating. The doctor has the student kill numerous people so he can use the fresh corpses to work on bringing his dead wife to death. He eventually succeeds, but the student rebels and the house is burned down. At the end it is revealed that the student ends up being known as Jack the Ripper due to all of the murders he committed.

Fifth is "There Was An Old Lady" by Sal Trapani (art) and the team of Daniel Bubacz & Archie Goodwin (story). A poor story with poor art in what was Trapani's Warren debut. A man decides to rob from an old woman who is rumored to be a witch. He tricks her into letting him in her house then attacks her, demanding her money. But she gets him to drink some poisoned wine which enables her to turn the tables on him, revealing herself to truly be a witch.

Sixth is "Haunted Castle!" by Donald Norman (art) and Goodwin (story). This story surrounds a leader of a castle who is haunted by various ghosts, led by the woman who used to run it. Eventually he is chased out of the castle and hit... by a car! It ends up that he was in modern times, and was running around as a corpse, not knowing that he was dead.

The issue concludes with "The Sands That Change!" by Steve Ditko (art) and the team of Clark Dimond & Terry Bisson (story). A dissappointing finish to this issue, it is about a comic book artist in the desert with his wife who draws a monster on a piece of paper, which comes to life! Whatever he draws on the paper comes to life. He climbs a rock that was drawn on the paper for safety, then burns the paper, hoping to burn the monster. But that ends up burning him too since he's on the rock. Even Ditko's artwork isn't as good as usual here.

Even though this issue is from Creepy's original golden age, it is for the most part a rather poor issue, with a number of mediocre stories and the art not as good as usual.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vampirella 80

An excellent Esteban Maroto cover headlines this issue of Vampirella. First and last stories are quite poor, but the middle stuff is very good.

First is "Slaves of the Alien Amazon" by Pablo Marcos (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Vampi and Pantha are captured by a Lupae warrior (a race that fought with Pantha's race back on Drakulon). Pendragon meanwhile summons a demon to help rescue them, but is immediately overtaken by it. A rather poor story that will be concluded in the next issue. Marcos is a so-so artist, and a sore dissappointment compared with Vampi's two regulars at this point, Jose Gonzalez and Gonzalo Mayo.

Second is "Like Father, Like Son" by Leo Duranona (art) and Cary Bates (story). A successful man finds himself under attack by a mysterious assassin. It ends up the assassin is his own father, upset that he's taken his successes away from him. As the story continues it is revealed that the son is actually a clone of the father. The son, losing a big business deal starts growing paranoid himself of his son, who is also a clone of him.

Third is "Transference" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A superstar body builder finds himself losing muscle mass and weight, and the need to shave quickly goes away too. It soon becomes apparant that he is becoming a woman, a transformation that he finds very hard to cope with. Just about to kill himself, he finds hair growing on his face again, meaning the process has reversed itself. He excitedly goes to tell his girlfriend, only to find that she's turning into a man! Best story of the issue.

Fourth is "The Eternal Triangle" by Martin Salvador (art) and Cary Bates (story). A boy's parents are puzzled with his attitude, dismissing girls his own age and instead spending all his time with his grandmother. It ends up that he is actually controlled by the spirit of his grandfather, who died years before when his son wasn't able to get him snake poison antitode in time. He seeks revenge, but is killed by them. Before his death he raped his 'mother' however, meaning he'll return once again in another form.

The issue concludes with "John Donne and the Asteroid Pirates" by Pablo Marcos (art) and Chris Adames (story). A very poor story about the adventures and misadventures of John of the title, who sleeps with many women, battles monsters, and other assorted stuff.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eerie 64

This issue's cover is about Exterminator One and is by Ken Kelly. Berni Wrightson provides a cousin Eerie intro on the inside front cover.

First is part three of the Night of the Jackass series, "The Children's Hour", with art by Jose Ortiz and story by Bruce Bezaire. A group of children take the Hyde (25) drug, causing another rampage. Bishop and Garson once again arrive to help stop them and meet Berthe Astruc, a chemist who seeks to create a cure for the drug. During the fighting Garson realizes that Bishop's nearly as bloodthirsty and willing to kill as the Jackassers and is helping more out of a desire to output his rage upon them than save others. As the story ends they decide to help Berthe find a cure.

Second is the third part of Exterminator One, by Paul Neary (art) and Bill Dubay (story). The Exterminator is chased down by Slaughter, the assassin introduced in the previous part, who seeks to take revenge for his friend's death. Exterminator is hopelessly outmatched until Exterminator Two, a far more powerful Exterminator robot appears. Exterminator One however, willing to die and stop the Exterminator project, destroys Exterminator Two and willfully lets himself be destroyed by Slaughter.

Third is the second and final part of the Butcher, titled "Bye Bye Miss American Dream" by Richard Corben (art) and Bill Dubay (story). The mob war continues, with the youngest Gambino brother wiping out the leaders of both mobs and taking all the power for himself... only for the Butcher to arrive and kill him seconds later. Realizing he enjoys killing however, the Butcher retires.

"Daddy and the Pie" by Alex Toth (art) and Bill Dubay (story) is next. This story tells of an alien creature whose ship crashes to Earth. He is nursed back to health by a farm family, and the story is told from the perspective of the son in the family. Unfortunately the town becomes fearful of the alien and attack the father when he heads to town on his own. The alien saves him, but dies from his wounds. A terrific story which would eventually have a sequel made.

Fifth is "The Caul", part of The Spook series. Art is by Leopold Sanchez and story is by Budd Lewis. Crackermeyer and the Spook this time seek to help a group of slaves that are bought by a man and dissappear. It ends up the man is a vampire, buying them so he can drink their blood. Luckily Crackermeyer and the Spook are able to stop him.

Last is part three of The Apocalypse series, "The Plague" with art by Jose Ortiz and story by Budd Lewis. This story surrounds two lovers in a apocalyptic setting where they are fleeing from a plague that has wiped everyone out. Unfortunately even they are unable to escape it and succumb to it, becoming a part of it themselves. Like last issue's "The Famine", an amazing story and amazing art.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Creepy 143

Creepy's second to last all original issue, and the last one that I own as I don't own a copy of Creepy's final issue as of this writing.

First is "The Spectator Who Wept" by Isidro Mones(art) and Don McGregor (story). This story marks Mones's return to Warren after a long absence, his second. With his original run at Warren he was one of their best artists. After his first absence his art became quite poor. Here for a third time with Warren his art is fairly good, not as good as his mid 70's stuff, but a hell of a lot better than what he was doing in the late 70's/early 80's. At 28 pages this is the longest self contained story in Warren history. The story features aliens who take all the children on Earth away from their parents because they feel they are being mistreated. Luckily one man is able to convince them that by taking the kids away they are also doing harm to them, so the aliens give them back.

Second is "Moral Blood", a continuation of a story started in issue 141, about monsters in the wild west. Art is by Al Sanchez and story is by Don McGregor. Like the first, a poor, poor story which I'm not gonna bother going in anymore detail about.

Third is "Welcome Home Stranger!" by Martin Salvador (art) and Gerry
Boudreau (story). This story is about a man who returns to the town where his parents were murdered, supposedly by his sister. Through investigation he realizes that his parents were brother and sister and have a freakish monster child that they abandoned. He was eventually killed by town law enforcement. It ended up that a friend of his, a neighbor, killed the parents because she was mad over his death. A fairly good story.

Last is "The Continuing Story of HG Well's The Invisible Man" by Alex Nino (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story features the son of the Invisible Man arriving and getting a doctor to help him get into a mental institution where he kills the creator of the invisibility formula, then frames the doctor to take the rap.

Aside from Moral Blood, this an extremely good issue considering it came around a time when Warren was at its absolute worst.

1984 6

The cover of this issue is by Jim Laurier, featuring an alien creature.

"The Warhawks" is up first, by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features an interview with the leader of the Warhawks, a group of killers and mercenaries who go on various adventures.

Second is the last part in the Idi Amin saga, "The Final Days of Idi Amin!" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Dogmeat and Idi arrive in America. After making their way to the ground they end up fighting some mutants who imprison them underground. There they meet a crazy guy with multiple personalities, Genghis Khan and Napolean. Dogmeat finally has enough and decides to leave them, ending our story. Not all that good an ending for a series that had insanely beautiful art but not all that great a story.

"Liason Aboard a Skylab" is third, by Alex Nino (art) and Jeff Rovin (story). This story features a newlywed alien couple whose ship approaches Earth. The story also surrounds the scientists and technicians on the Earth researching what is going on. Not too good a story with usual good Nino art though.

Next is the newest segment of "Mutant World" by Richard Corben (art) and Jan Strnad (story). This segment of the story features Dimento being let into the military facility where his lady friend has been taken by a pair of foolish guards. Meanwhile the priest from the second segment returns and makes his way through the facility. There it is revealed by a pair of scientists that he and Dimento are actually clones created in the facility.

"Twilight's End!", a new series is next. It is drawn by Rudy Nebres and written by Jim Stenstrum (under his pseudonym Alabaster Redzone). It features an astronaut being sent down to investigate a primative planet. He is accompanied by a small machine that helps keep him in line. While there he finds a primitive woman who accompanies him. They are unable to understand each other, but she is more intelligent than she seems and appears to dislike his company.

Last is another segment in the Rex Havoc saga, "She Who-Must-Be-Okay!" by Abel Laxamana (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). The 'She' of the story is a woman in ancient Egypt who caught her lover Kallikrates cheating on her. She killed him in a rage and was banished. She found the kingdom of Kor where she became their leader and lived for thousands of years. In the present day a man enlists the Asskickers of the Fantastic believing that he is Kallikrates's descendent. They head to Kor and meet 'She', who instead believes that Rex is Kallikrates's descendent. She becomes enraged but our heroes end up beating her by getting lucky when her power of immortality suddenly goes away and she perishes. A long story, but probably best of the issue.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Eerie 25

A whopping eight stories in this issue, six of them new. This issue features a cover by Jim Steranko, his sole one for Warren. The frontis is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: Vampire!" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Bill Parente (story).

Up first is "Isle of the Vrukolakas" by Ernie Colon (art) and Don Glut (story). A town is plagued by a vampire. Zorko, a sheep herder is convinced that the vampire is the corpse of a man recently brought to the town. They consult a priest, who says the vampire's body will not be decayed. They find the corpse of the man brought to the town, but it is completely decayed so they now have no clue who the vampire could be. Yet it ends up that he was the vampire after all as he had leprosy, and he comes to kill Zorko!

Next is "Mistake!" by Bill Black (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). A mob boss plans to hide from the law by faking his death in Italy. There, in his home town he bribes various people to fake his death, declare him dead, and bury him in a maesoleum in a coffin with air holes so he can live. When he awakens he tries to escape the graveyard, only for people to mistake him for a vampire and kill him!

Third is "Hijack to Horror" by Tony Williamsune (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). This story features a group of vampire like creatures that hijack a plane and bring it to their new Transylvania where they plan on using the plane passengers to be a never ending supply of blood for them.

Fourth is "To Pay the Piper" by Eugene Colan (art) and Larry Ivie (story), originally from Eerie 2.. The story takes place in a town plagued by vampires. A piper offers to rid the town of the vampires by playing a song on his pipe in exchange for money. He does so and rids the town of vampires, but the town refuses to pay, so using his pipe he lures the children away, as in the classic Pied Piper story. Men wait for him in the woods however and kill him with arrows. They soon find however that he lured the children into wolfsbane, turning them all into werewolves!

Fifth is "Southern Exposure" by Tom Sutton (art) and Bill Parente (story). This is the first part of a two part story that would be concluded in the next issue. A woman faints at a family party and an old woman who hasn't spoke in years says she must be destroyed. Her boyfriend refuses to do so, but at the end of the story, it is revealed that she is a vampire!

Sixth is "The Thing in the Cave" by Mike Royer (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). Finally, a story not about vampires! A young man and his wife come to visit his parents. The man, who studies funguses, as investigating a mushroom that transforms anything that touches it into a monster! When he and his wife visit a cave and approach some, he turns into a monster and kills her, exactly what he had done to a friend when he was a kid. His mother meanwhile plans on cooking dinner with the mushrooms, unaware of their power.

Seventh is "House of Evil", with art by Jerry Grandenetti (uncredited) & Joe Orlando, and story by Archie Goodwin. This story is originally from Eerie 4. 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.

Last is "Hex Marks the Spot" by Bill Barry (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). An evil man summons demons to attack those that won't sell their farms to him. But anyone who has a 'good hex' symbol at their house will cause the demon to go back and kill the one who summoned it instead of them. Once such man has a new wife who demands he take down the good hex signs as she doensn't believe him. He does so, but creates another hex sign in his wheat field which results in the evil man getting his just desserts.

Creepy 14

This issue of Creepy features a cover by Gray Morrow of a barbarian fighting a skeleton warrior. The frontis for this issue is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by John Severin.

First up is the cover story, "Where Sorcery Lives" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A warrior, Garth comes after the sorceror Salamand who was responsible for the destruction of his town and capture of his lover. The warrior battles various beasts sent after him by the sorceror and finally comes upon him. The sorceror reveals that he is going to use Garth's body such that the lover will love him, but ends up getting stabbed by her because he let his guard down.

Second is "Art of Horror" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Goodwin (story). The story features a writer who plans to play a trick on his two friends in a haunted mansion by masquerading as a ghost. Only after frightening them he realized that he died when falling down the stairs, and truly is a ghost!

Third is "Snakes Alive!" by Hector Castellon (art) and Clark Dimond & Terry Bisson (story). The story is about musicians who come across an old musician who sends snakes after them. Eventually they end up turning into snakes themselves. Castellon's art is quite a dissappointment compared to the other artists in this magazine.

Fourth is "The Beckoning Beyond!" by Dan Adkins (art) and Goodwin (story). A man goes to see his friend, who has created a machine that opens up a portal to another dimension. The two head there, where they find bizarre creatures coming after them. They return to the normal world and the man destroys the machine, but his friend dies, as it ends up that he had already died the first time he used the portal and was only kept alive by heading to the other dimension.

Fifth is "Piece By Piece" by Joe Orlando (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A scientist creates a Frankenstein-like monster from five different people and takes the brain from his assistant. The monster takes revenge upon the townfolk who were mean to him when he was still alive, only for the corpses of the five people whom his body is made up of to climb out of their graves and take back all their body parts.

Sixth is "Castle Carrion!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Goodwin (story). This story features a knight who comes across a strange castle where a wizard brings multiple dead soldiers to life to fight. The knight tries to escape the castle with the wizard's daughter, but are pursued by the wizard, who turns into a vulture. The wizard is killed by the knight, but this ends up killing the daughter, who was originally dead but brought back to life.

Last is "Curse of the Vampire!" by Neal Adams (art, his Warren debut) and Goodwin (story). The story features a family curse where every member of the vampire is supposedly supposed to turn into a vampire after death. A doctor who has fallen in love with a young woman who is part of the family refuses to let the family servent drive a stake through her since he believes she is just in a coma. It ends up that the servent is the true vampire, and has been able to blame everything on the family due to the curse. The doctor kills him and the girl awakens. However it ends up that the doctor is a vampire, and now knowing that she's human, he makes her his next victim!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Vampirella 104

A pretty good cover of Vampirella by Enrich for this issue, although Vampi looks extremely pale.

First is "The Wax House!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Vampi is invited to a wax museum where they are supposed to make a wax statue of her. But it all ends up being a trap by a former stunt woman back from when Vampi was in Hollywood who was horrifically injured in an accident, such that she needs to wear a mask. She hopes to defeat Vampirella and restore her former beauty by taking hers. However, Vampirella ends up defeating her and gets her dumped into a large vat of wax.

Next is "Death Snare!" part of the Pantha serial. Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by Margopoulos. Pantha does battle with a Lupae spacewoman who was originally introduced in an earlier Vampirella storyline that I have not yet covered on this blog. Pantha convinces her to leave by using the death of a real Panther. After a fairly long running story in this serial things seem to be falling back into a rut again.

Third is the latest entry in the Fox serial, "Jaded" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). Sha-Ming and her uncle are captured by pirates. She convinces her uncle to let himself be temporarily turned into a jade statue. Only when she tries to reclaim him from a store to turn him back to normal, the statue is dropped and shatters! Quite an interesting turn of events!

Fourth is "Jeremy", a new series. This series, written and illustrated by Paul Gillon, was originally printed in Europe in the early 1970's before being reprinted here. Rudy Nebres provided a one page splash page for this story. This story is about a young boy stranded at sea after the ship he is on is stricken by the plague and they force him out so he won't get it. He lands on what appears to be a deserted island, but is captured by natives, who he is able to escape from due to a fellow prisoner helping. He escapes from them, but finds bats plauging him as he tries to find shelter.

Fifth is the second and concluding part of "Missing You" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Bruce Jones (story). Where the first story took place from the husband's perspective, this story is told from the perspective of his blind wife, who lies motionless on the cliff after falling. Her husband tries to come down and rescue her but falls to his apparant death. A depressing end to a very good two-parter. This short two part series completely overshadowed the drivel that Margopoulos had been providing in Vampi for quite a lengthy time at this point. Unfortunate that this was it for Bruce Jones in this magazine.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Eerie 63

Another terrific issue of Eerie from the peak period of that magazine. The cover, featuring 'Night of the Jackass' is by Sanjulian. The back cover of this issue, which would later be used for Creepy 104, is by Ken Kelly and features Exterminator One. Berni Wrightson provides an intro from Cousin Eerie.

First story is the second part in the 'Night of the Jackass' series, "Storm Before the Calm!" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bruce Bezaire (story). Garson and Bishop meet up once again at a church that has been taken over by the Jackassers. While no one else wants to go inside and help the victims, Garson and Bishop do so and with the help of people inside are able to defeat all the monsters.

Next is an adaption of Nathanial Hawthorne's "Hollow of the Three Hills!", with art by Esteban Maroto and adaption by Rich Margopoulos. Absolutely amazing artwork from Maroto in this story. A young woman visits a witch, who shows her two depressed looking old people, a crazy man in an institution and a funeral. It ends up that they were all connected to her, the old people were her parents, upset over her leaving them, the crazy guy was her husband, who went crazy after she had an affair, and the funeral was for her child, who died of the pox after she ran off. The trauma from the visions causes the young woman to become comatose.

Third is the latest segment in 'The Spook' series, titled "Stumpful of Granddaddies!" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Budd Lewis (story). After the death of a wealthy white woman, Crackermeyer is accused of the murder and brought to trial. The Spook helps him out by bringing back her dead husband, then eventually her to clear him of the crime.

This issue's color story is next, "Exterminator One", the second part in this series. The art is by Paul Neary and story is by Bill Dubay. The Exterminator works on his latest case, where he has to kill two men and get one of the victims blamed for the murder of the other. He is able to do this successfully, but during the assassination another hit man, Slaughter, who was friends with one of the killed men spots the Exterminator, blowing his cover. Slaughter looks exactly like the main character from the story "Love Strip" which was published in Vampirella 44. Although that issue came out after this one, the story was originally published in Europe prior to that date making me wonder if Neary swiped the character from Luis Garcia's artwork on that story.

Fifth is "Insanity", which finally brings The Mummy series to an end. Art is by Joaquin Blazquez and story is by Steve Skeates. Rather than wrap up the story of Jerome Curry, this story jumps ahead almost a century and features a young woman who becomes obsessed with reviving the mummy because she thinks she is the reincarnation of its lover. She murders a woman who holds the amulet that can revive the mummy, then revives it. The mummy doesn't want to be alive however and strangles herself then shoots himself so he can be dead forever. A very dissappointing conclusion to this series as we never really find out what happened to Jerome Curry. The previous story indicated that they were going to conclude the story in some way but this was hardly a worthy conclusion. This was one of Skeates's last stories for Warren, perhaps he just wanted to get it over with in any way possible. At the very least, Blazquez's art is quite good.

We wrap up the issue with "The Plague" part two in the 'Apocalypse' series. Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by Budd Lewis. This story features what is probably Ortiz's best artwork with Warren. Three friends in France, Louis, Armand and Gaston head off to war to fight Germany. The war drags on and ends in defeat for France. As they head back during the winter the three friends fall hopelessly behind their comrades and stay behind to stay with Armand, who has broken his leg. Louie and Gaston search for food to no avail. Louie soon realizes that Gaston is sneaking out each night. He initially thinks that he is foolishly searching for food that isn't there each night, but after Armand's death he realizes the truth, that Gaston has found food in a nearby abandoned barn and has hid it from them. Louie responds by killing Gaston and eating him, leaving some parts behind to eat on the long way back to France.

Creepy 21

This issue of Creepy has a cover by Gutenberg Monteiro, featuring a man attacked by rats. Probably the worst cover in Creepy's history, this is absolutely awful. This issue's frontis is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by Bob Jenney (art) and Bill Parente (story).

First is "The Rats in the Walls" by Bob Jenney (art) and Unknown (story, a HP Lovecraft Adaption). A rather disjointed story featuring a man whose family committed many murder and has rats plauging his new home. Not that familiar with the orignal story, but this adaption didn't turn out to be that interesting a story.

Second is "Room With A View!", with art by Steve Ditko, and story by Archie Goodwin. This story was originally published in Eerie #3. A man arrives at an inn with no rooms available, except for a single one which the innkeeper warns him against staying in. The guest uses it anyway and sees a weird creature in the mirror. Each time he looks in the mirror he sees more creatures appearing until he is completely overtaken by them. Hearing his scream, the innkeeper comes up and finds the room empty, but sees the guest's corpse when he looks in the mirror.

Third is "The Immortals" by Sal Trapani (art) and Ron Parker (story). The Immortals of the title are powerful people who live forever in a futuristic society. A man seeks to become an immortal, even going as far as to reveal some conspirator's hideout. He is successful and made an Immortal, but loses all his individuality as the Immortals are actually controlled by a computer.

Fourth is "A Reasonable Doubt" by Tony Williamsune (art) and Ron Parker (story). A man rescues a girl, Elizabeth, who is pursued by a mob. She tells him that they accused her of being a witch after her parent's deaths. She tells him of her past and they head to a cabin in the woods. It is only there that he discovers the truth, that she's Lizzie Borden, who quickly comes after him with a hatchet!

Fifth is "Swamped" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story was originally printed in Creepy #3. A criminal is under pursuit by law enforcement in the middle of a swamp. He comes across a mansion occupied by three vampires. Rather than be killed by them, he leads them to the men pursuing him who are all killed by the vampires. He is captured by the vampires but kills them with stakes during the daytime and runs back out to the swamp... only to be killed by the vampires that the men pursuing him became.

Last is "Timepiece to Terror" by Gutenberg Montiero (art) and Bill Parente (story). A pawnshop owner buys a watch which enables him to go forward and backwards in time. He's able to do so by summoning a demon at a certain time while protecting himself with pig blood. He becomes rich with the watch's powers but the demon eventually kills him when he forgets about daylight savings time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

1984 5

Time for another issue of 1984. Patrick Woodroffe provides this issue's cover.

Up first is "The Greatest Hero of Time and Space!" with Jose Ortiz doing the story and Bill Dubay (as Strontium Whitehead) and Jim Stenstrum (as Alabaster Redzone) doing the story. Standard Dubay sex fantasy story to open up the issue. A young boy's father dies, so he goes to live with his uncle, an old man who lives with about a half a dozen beautiful naked women. He tells the nephew of his various adventures through time with them as they rescue humanity and have other various adventures. It ends up that the women are all actually robots, but that doesn't stop the boy from having an orgy with them all at the end of the story.

Second is part three in the Idi Amen storyline, "Idi and the Ratment of Hunger Hollow". Art is by Esteban Maroto and story is by Bill Dubay. Dogmeat and Idi head to an area where there is a bunch of rats, in an attempt to find a rocket they can get to use to the US. They are confronted by many real rats and the ratmen, but are able to get to the rocket and take off. As usual great art by Maroto but poor story and horrible dialogue by Dubay.

"Timothy Sternback and the Multi-Colored Sunrise" with art by Alex Nino and story by Gerry Boudreau is about a man who experiments with sex with numerous different women. He finds himself transported to another dimension where he's supposed to marry the King's daughter and produce a child to be their heir. He does so, but desires to return to Earth so wishes himself back there when the King give him a wish. In actuality, there was no wish, and they had sent him back by their own choice anyway.

"I Wonder Who's Squeezing Her Now? follows, with art by Wally Wood & Ernie Colon and story by Nicola Cuti. This story was originally intended to be published for the magazine "POW" and was drawn back in 1971. The magazine never ended up getting made, so it finally ended up here. The story surrounds a man whose life is falling apart around him. His wife is having an affair, so he leaves her and has an affair with a woman from his office, which becomes public, getting him fired from his job. His lover ends up in the hospital and he gets beat up by his wife's lover. He decides to kill them, but upon seeing the lover beat her up for having an affair with yet someone else, our hero finds a little better and decides to call it off.

"Luke the Nuke Brings It In!" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). A rather boring story about the Luke of the title piloting a shuttle, smuggling illegal aliens, who makes his way through various enemies traps, etc... Don't waste your time with this one.

The latest segment of "Mutant World" by the team of Rich Corben (art) and Jan Strnad (story) features Dimento in yet another battle with other mutants over food. He also battles with a wolf-like creature. Meanwhile a soldier finds Dimento's friend, the woman, and brings her to a nearby compound. Dimento follows but can't get in. Corben's art continues to be quite well done in color here, although the story is still moving rather slowly.

"The Box" by Mike Nassar & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Len Wein (story) is a rather interesting story about a tower which contains a civilization in it serving an entity known as the box. At the end it ends up being a TV show which is cancelled. Not an overly complicated story, but a fairly good one.

Next is "Killman One" by Herb Arnold (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, as Alabaster Redzone). The story is about an alien woman who hates her husband, a star 'Killman', who fights various competitors in one on one battles to the death. She decides to take him on in one such competition and ends up killing him.

We wrap up with another installment of Rex Havoc, entitled "The Spud from another world! or Who Grows There?". This story is a parody of the movie "The Thing From Another World", and the book it was based on, "The Thing From Another World". It features our heroes in the arctic where an alien being is found frozen. It ends up getting thawed and is an alien potato monster that our heroes try to take out by frying him on a frying pan. A sympathetic scientist screws things up, but Rex is able to set the alien on fire in his ship and take him out.
Some good stories here, but also some very bad ones. Across the board the art is quite good though.

Eerie 9

A very good early issue of Eerie, featuring a cover by Dan Adkins. This issue's frontis is "Eerie's Monster Gallery - The Cyclopses" by Roy Krenkel. Across the board this is a very good issue, with the first and last stories being the best.

First is "Fair Exchange" by Neal Adams (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). An old man whose soon to die plots to steal a young man's body when he discovers of a ridiculed doctor who has experimented on switching bodies. The switch is performed successfully and the old man now in his new body kills the doctor so he doesn't have to pay him. Only he soon discovers that the man whose body he stole is a vampire when he is destroyed by the sun's rays.

Second is "Rub the Lamp!" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Allan Jadro (story). A man purchases a magic lamp at an auction and wishes for riches, only to get it when his wife dies and he gets insurance money. He then wishes to live forever which happens when he becomes a vampire! He wishes to be reunited with his wife, and soon is when he trips on a wooden stake, killing himself.

Third is "Terror in the Tomb" by Rocco Mastroserio (art) and Goodwin (story). A pair of archeologists encounter a mummy guarding a pharoah's tomb which ends up coming alive. They destroy it, only to later find out that it was guarding them from the evil pharoah, whose still alive and kills them.

Fourth is "The Wanderer" by Dan Adkins (art) and Goodwin (story). A man appears in a hospital due to a heart attack and is saved by the doctors. The man tells of how he was in a car wreck and found himself wandering a strange realm where demons were after him. He demands to be let go but the doctor refuses, and the demons come for him, leaving only a skeleton behind.

Fifth is "Isle of the Beast!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Goodwin (story). Influenced by the well known story 'The Most Dangerous Game', this features a man shipwrecked on a deserted island with a madman who hunts human beings. The twist is that the man turns himself into a beast in order to heighten the intensity. Only this time the hunted ends up being a werewolf, who attacks his captor during the full moon.

Sixth is "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge!" by Bob Jenney (art) and Goodwin (story). This is an adaption of a story by Ambrose Bierce. A man is sentenced to be hanged, and it is done on a bridge. However, during the hanging the rope breaks and he falls into the river below. He swims away and returns home, to be reunited with his wife. Only it ends up that it all was a dream and he was hung after all. An adaption of this story was also used in the final season of the Twilight Zone, resulting in ripoff claims being made in later letter pages.

The issue wraps up with "Experiment in Fear!" by Eugene Colan (art) and Goodwin (story). A nazi concentration camp doctor experiments on jews by locking them in a gas chamber, studying their fear as he experiments with harmless gas that they only think is poisonous, killing them for real once he has sufficient data on the jew's fears. During one of his experiments however the captor escapes and imprisons him in the chamber where he is subjected to the same experiment. The leaders of the camp eventually rescue him but find that the data on his fears are exactly that of the jews. Rather than find the experiments worthless, they instead are convinced that he's a jew, and throws him in the concentration camp, where the captive jews are quite eager to get their hands on him...