Friday, October 31, 2008

Eerie 83

Another cover featuring the Rook starts off this issue, painted by Enrich, a rare Eerie cover for him.

First is the Rook in "The Day Before Tomorrow" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Bill Dubay (story). The Rook accidently brings the outlaw Gat Hawkins with him from the 1830's to the 1870's, where he is forced to chase after a bird that steals part of his time machine. The bird leads him underground where he finds a robot and a lab he can use for himself. Hawkins meanwhile plots to both steal the Rook's time machine and destroy his grandfather Bishop Dane as well through a woman, Kate McCall that ends up double crossing him when she turns out liking Dane. The Rook manages to rescue his grandfather despite the attacks from Hawkins. A somewhat better part than the last Rook story, although you would think that all of the Rook's tampering with history would really screw things up.

Second is Hard John's Nuclear Hit Parade, with the story "Kansas City Bomber". Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by Jim Stenstrum. Hard John Apple is a character that was originally introduced in Creepy 64 in the story "An Angel Shy of Hell", the very first issue I covered on this blog. For those who haven't caught that original story, this story takes place in the post-apocalyptic future where 'Catlicks' and 'Protstnts' fight each other. Hard John Apple has fooled the Prot leaders into giving him the state of Kansas, which is filled with nuclear weapons which he plans to use with the help of an orangutan. This story introduces Tarara, a woman who captures John and discovers his plans.

Third is another new series, Gaffer in "Temptation" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This was a very good four part series that was spread out over a number of issues. Gaffer is a poor old black man who befriends a young boy, Jaime. They go to a carnival where Gaffer is quite successful at a wheel of chance, resulting in the carnival barker inviting him to another event at midnight. There it is revealed that the barker is actually the devil himself. The Gaffer continues to lose against him until he bets Jaime's soul, and manages to win, which results in him getting three wishes.

Last is "Presto the Besto" by Carmine Infantino & Dick Giordano (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). Presto is a famous escape artist who manages to escape from many near deaths. His latest however appears to be his last as he's bandaged up, tied up and put in a chained case that is filled with cement and dumped into a body of water. While he dies from this, no one aside from his family believes he's actually dead given his past.

Creepy 99

This issue is an "Earth Shattering Disasters" special issue featuring stories about the apocalypse or disasters. Bob Larkin paints the cover, featuring people fleeing from a mushroom cloud explosion. The bottom right portion of the cover features a man who looks strikingly similar to Roger Moore, who was playing James Bond at the time.

First is "An Old Game" by Pepe Moreno Casares (art, his Warren debut) and Nicola Cuti (story). This story is about an old submarine captain who plots to kills his wife and her lover due to her having an affair. He acts towards his fellow soldiers as if there's a nuclear war on the surface and he fires off a torpedo that blows up the city his wife is in. At the same time however her lover is in the air in a plane that blows up the sub.

Second is "Ssshh!" by Joe Vaultz (art) and Cary Bates (story). Aliens come across Earth, now in ruins. Multiple aliens end up causing large explosions by doing harmless things such as stepping on a horn and firing a toy gun. About to take off one of them discovers that humanity polluted the Earth so much that any slight noise will cause an explosion. Them taking off ends up blowing up the entire earth.

Next is "Brothers" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is about two robot children who live with the only normal human left on Earth. The ruins near them are overrun with mutants who try to kill them. While the old man tells the children that the mutants are the deformed remains of humanity, the mutants themselves reveal the truth, that they are aliens and that the old man was actually one of them who was transformed into a human in order to trick humans into destroying themselves. The mutants 'cure' him by destroying him and his robots.

Next is "A Slight Case of Overkill" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story surrounds the last two men on Earth as they try to escape. Due to the arms race a crazy scientist created a gas that de-evolved humans. It worked too good, turning everyone to turn into chimps. This story appears to have been originally intended for issue 95's all apes special.

Fifth is "There Shall Come a Great Darkness" by Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bob Toomey (story). In this story a great darkness is heading across the universe. On Earth people know they don't have much time left and decide to punish the astronomers who discovered this by hanging them. A friend of the astronaut allows his wife to kill herself then watches the darkness come with her corpse.

Last is "One Hell of a War" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story features a war between Earth and alien beings. A man on a ship with a robot witnesses the Earth destroyed, but in actuality it is all due to drugs that he is under that will keep him focused on the alien enemy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vampirella 61

Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella.

First is "An Eye for an Eye" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Vampi is captured by the Blood Red Queen of Hearts, whose eyes were torn out by a demon back in her first appearance in issue 49 (which I've yet to cover on this blog). The Queen of Hearts steals Vampi's eyes, hoping to replace her own with them. At the same time she sends a demon off to steal Pendragon's heart. Unfortunately for her, the interference by a seemingly innocent couple that finds a book of chaos causes a demon to come and attack her. Vampi escapes, but without her eyes is quite helpless.

Second is "Skimpole's Monster" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story tells of a friendly old puppet maker whose puppets are able to talk due to him. Behind his back his wife starts having an affair with a doctor because he doesn't pay enough attention to her. When she tells him he has a heart attack and dies, causing all his puppets to die as well.

Third is "Brother Hawk" by Carmine Infantino & Alex Nino (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This story is about a pair of brothers, one of whom is able to transform into a hawk. He meets a beautiful woman and falls in love with her. She is soon attacked by a bear however, so he attacks the bear and manages to kill it while in his hawk form. The bear ends up being his brother, who was able to transform as well.

Fourth is "The Enhanting Fable of Thistlewhite the Bold" by Russ Heath (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Thistlewhite's wife is captured by a knight, who demand ransom for her. Thistlewhite heads off with his short friend, Chippin the Bold. Along the way they are able to very easily defeat the monsters attacking them. It ends up that Thistlewhite's wife is so annoying that the knight wants to give her back, but Thistlewhite decides against it and returns home, to enjoy a better life without her.

Last is "Companions to the Sun" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A man piloting a plane crashes in the Arizona desert when he encounters a UFO. All he has from the wreckage is a bottle of cleaner, which he empties to hold water in and a bottle of rat poison. He finds the crashed UFO and rescues the alien inside, who looks like a walking frog man. He wanders through the desert with the alien, surviving mostly due to the alien's ability to find water and cook food. The alien gives him a pill each night which causes the man to have a dream of a beautiful woman. He eventually becomes hooked on the pills. When they finally reach society, the alien is killed by some people who think he's attacking the man. Our protagonist grabs the alien's last pill, but ends up mistakenly drinking the rat poison to help swallow it, which ends up killing him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eerie 82

Issue 81 of Eerie contains no continuing stories that impact other issues, so I'll be skipping that issue for now and going straight to issue 82. This issue's cover highlights Eerie's new main recurring character, the Rook, in a cover by Bill Dubay (the character's creator) and Luis Bermejo. The Rook begins a new era in Eerie, as a continuing open ended series with more of a traditional hero, with this character appearing in every non-reprint issue of Eerie for the next 30 issues or so until the character got its own magazine. This makes Eerie similar in format to Vampirella for a while, with a long opening story featuring the magazine's main hero, and the remainder of the issue filled with backup stories. Unfortunately the Rook's stories were generally at the same quality as Vampirella, meaning that while there was the occasional good story, most were average at best. And while Vampirella could for the most part always boast tremendous artwork from Jose Gonzalez or Gonzalo Mayo, the Rook was drawn by Luis Bermejo, who at this point in his career started to slowly decline in quality, most likely because of his task of drawing a large Rook story in each issue. Anyway, let's get on to the stories.

First is The Rook in "The Man Who Time Forgot!" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Bill Dubay (story). The Rook, whose name is Restin Dane, is a physicist who has created a time machine in the shape of a giant rook chess piece. The Rook goes back in time to the old west where he rescues his Great Grandfather, Dane and brings him back to the present. In the present the confused Dane meets Manners, the tin man assistant to the Rook and his other various robots. The Rook meanwhile goes back into the past where he attempts to save his great great grandfather from death at the alamo but fails, being only able to save a single boy.

Second is "And Now the Game is Afoot" the final story in the Tombspawn series. Art is by Carmine Infantino & Gonzalo Mayo and story is by Gerry Boudreau. Steve and Biff battle the Russians but are tricked by many holograms and delusions from them. Eventually Biff is killed by a monster that Steve destroys. The series ends here, unresolved.

Third is "Castle of the Assassin", the second Scallywag story, with art by Jose Ortiz and story is by Budd Lewis. Sullivan heads off to battle the samurai who stole a statue from him and killed some of his women. He battles the samurai and manages to defeat him, but the samurai ends up being his friend Konishi.

Last is "In a Deep Sea Tomb", the latest story in the Pea Green Boat series. Art is by Leopold Sanchez and story is by Budd Lewis. Al and Eric head underwater where they find a sunk nazi ship. They come across some pirates who capture them, desiring food. They manage to escape from the pirates and destroy their ship. A rather boring entry this time, with much of the captions written in cursive, which is very hard to read.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Creepy 42

Sanjulian's first ever Creepy cover starts off this issue, the first of three S.I. artists making their Creepy debut in this issue. The frontis, "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" is drawn by Ken Kelly (a rare non-cover appearance) and written by T. Casey Brennan.

First up is "The Quaking Horror" by Auraleon (art, his Creepy debut) and Gardner Fox (story). This HP Lovecraft-esque story features a house that has a dark horror underneath it, a bizarre tentacled monster that was summoned hundreds of years ago. The entire house eventually collapses, destroying the demon for good. Some very nice art by Auraleon here.

Next is "A Change of Identity!" by Dave Cockrum (art) and Don Glut (story). A hunchbacked man attepts to get revenge on the townfolk that haven't treated him well by rescuing a killed werewolf, who becomes a vampire. The vampire promises to turn the hunchback into a werewolf so he can get revenge, but decides instead to kill him and turn him into a zombie guard.

Third is "The Amazing Money-Making Wallet" by Joe Staton (art) and Steve Skeates (story). This story is about a wallet that generates money on its own, but if you ever get rid of it, you'll dissolve. A thief steals the wallet, causing his victim to dissolve, and eventually he dissolves as well when he gets rid of the wallet.

Fourth is "Spacial Delivery" by Larry Todd (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). This story is about a shapeshifting alien that crashes to our planet. In order to repair his ship he needs a metallic substance called Argentium. Taking the appearance of a wolf, he is accused of being a werewolf and is shot with a silver bullet, which ends up being the Argentium he needed to repair his ship and leave.

Fifth is "A Chronicle!" by Jorge Galvez (art, his Warren debut) and Steve Skeates (story). This short story at only 4 pages tells of a man who pays little attention to his life, focusing instead on a research project that ends up being meaningless when someone else completes it. He then gets fired from his job and tries to rob a bank but is killed trying to escape. Not much of a point to this story, wasting Galvez's pretty good art.

Sixth is "Escape From Nowhere World" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and T. Casey Brennan (story). This story is a sequel to Brennan's very poor story "On the Wings of a Bird" from issue 36. A woman, Janeen suddenly appears in the mysterious nowhere world where Ahzid and the statue are. She and Ahzid try to escape, dragging the statue with them. The statue collapses, and using its sword Janeen and Ahzid tear their way out of the world and escape, while the broken statue lies there alone.

Last is "Ice Wolf" by Gary Kaufman (story & art). This would be Kaufman's final Warren appearance. Unfortunate, as he was quite a unique artist and a pretty good writer too. A tribe of wolf hunters in a winter landscape completely run out of wolves to hunt, so they head through the mountains, still to no avail. One of the men on the night of the full moon gains special powers. Tribe members start dying, obviously due to him. Eventually a wolf finally does appear, and kills him.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Vampirella 78

A photo of Barbara Leigh is on the cover of this issue of Vampirella.

Up first is "Kiss of the Dragon Queen", the latest Vampirella story. Art is by Gonzalo Mayo and story is by Bill Dubay. Our heroes, including Vampi, Pantha, Adam, Conrad and Pendragon are in Hong Kong where a dragon has been appearing. Pantha and Vampi are being set up by a man pretending to be a movie producer. The dragon meanwhile is killed, revealed to be a crocodile, but it is rumored that the real dragon is still out there. Not that good a Vampirella story, unfortunately.

Second is "Little Guy" by Auraleon (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This story surrounds a very short man at a circus who a colleague desires to help him in a robbery by hiding in a crate due to his small size. his wife tells him that she'll leave him if it does it, so he refuses, but the collegue murders her to get him to do it. Rather than do what he asks however, the small man instead cuts off his colleague's legs and puts him in the crate.

Third is "Passion" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Steve Englehart (story). A rather confusing story featuring a soldier who calls himself Errol Flynn fighting for the French Legion. He is a very strange man, as discussed by his fellow soldier. He leaves a brothel, passing up sex, and refuses to fight, willing to go to jail instead. When he has no choice but to fight, a Tyranosaurus Rex suddenly appears and eats him. A rather odd, confusing ending which I find a hard time understanding.

Next is "The Service" by Jim Starlin & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bruce Jones (story). This story initially starts out with a woman and a lover who comes back to sleep with her every few months, but never can stay that long. It ends up that the man is actually a robot who she pays to come sleep with her, and when he breaks down she asks a repairman to come, who ends up being an actual human man, something which the women had pretty much wiped out from the universe entirely. In order to protect his secret, the woman has him stay and sleep with him, as well as become essentially a slave while he repairs her robot. He is forbidden from leaving when the robot becomes fixed since she has become so used to him. She says that he can't kill him as she files a weekly report that will cause people to come after him if they suddenly stop, but he outsmarts her by killing her and creating a robot copy of her to do the reports instead.

Last is "Zooner or Later" by Russ Heath (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A terrific, terrific story, probably one of Warren's best 20 stories ever. A man finds out he is dying of cancer, so he tries desperately to find any way to save himself, from experimental drugs to faith healers to even devil worshippers. All attempts fail. He learns of a tribe called the Zooner from a cook who says hold the power to reincarnate someone with the mind that they had before they died. He heads to Africa where he initially finds it a meaningless lead, but a drunk at a bar tells him how to find them. He finally does find the Zooner, who worship the Hippopotomus and they sacrifice him. He awakens as an embryo, very excited to be soon born again, but when he is born, it is as a baby Hippo!

Eerie 80

A Sanjulian cover featuring Tombspawn leads off this issue of Eerie.

First is "The Invisible One", the first of a new series, Scallywag. Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by Budd Lewis. An old American man in Japan, Sullivan is attacked by Samurais but easily defeats him. He befriends a friendly samurai, Konishi, who goes with him to his ship, where he lives with a number of women. That night the women are killed by ninjas. A so-so start to this new series.

Second is "Retribution", the latest Darklon story. Story and art are by Jim Starlin. This story continues the origin of Darklon from the previous story. After having been decapitated by the nameless one's minions, Darklon is brought back to life with great power that comes from his eye. Darklon easily kills Blacklore and frees his father.

Third is "On Moonlight Bay", the second Pea Green Boat story. Art is by Leopold Sanchez and story is by Budd Lewis. Eric and Al sail across the sea in their boat and come across a harbor where they are fired upon, by people who think they are instead a monster that kidnapped babies. Al and Green head to the boat where the captured kids were, finding out that a radiation burned cannibal had been capturing the children and eating them, having gone mad from his burns.

Fourth is "Pieces of Hate", the next story in the Tombspawn series (originally titled Day of the Vampire in issue 73). Gonzalo Mayo once again provides the art while Gerry Boudreau provides the story. Our heroes can kill whoever they want to satisfy their thirst for blood but are concerned about creating too many vampires that will be competition for them. Meanwhile Russians in a space shuttle head down to the surface and reveal that they were responsible for the war that ruined the world. Our heroes and the Russians decide to hunt for each other to determine who will control the Earth in its current state.

Fifth is the second and final story of the "Third Person Singular" storyline. Art is by Luis Bermejo and story is by Bruce Jones. Our hero encounters the women from the previous part and she brings him to a society of women only. The government raids their society, so the two of them escape.

The issue concludes with "Queen of the Purple Range", the second Cronk story. Art is by Carmine Infantino & Al Milgrom and story is by Nicola Cuti. Cronk is responsible for transporting a group of eggs, one of which cracks open, revealing a spotted women who immediately destroys all the other ones. She is actually the new queen of the planet Gagoian. She battles the sole survivor from the eggs and Cronk brings her to her planet where they won't accept her.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Creepy 3

A classic early issue of Creepy, featuring a cover by Frank Frazetta. A scary looking cover, but one that was never chosen for reprinting. Jack Davis does the art for this issue's frontis, "Creepy's Loathsome Lore". During this era of Creepy's existence there was rarely if ever a dud story; this issue is a great example, nothing bad here at all.

First is "Swamped" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). 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.

Next is "Tell-Tale Heart" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This is an adaption of Edgar Allen Poe's classic story. This story tells of a servant of an old man who goes crazy due to the old man's eye and kills him. He hides the man's body in the floor boards and succesfully convinces the cops that he's done no wrong until he hears a beating heart which drives him to admit the truth. Goodwin's adaption adds a new ending to the end where the murderer is put in an institution and kills himself after seeing himself in a mirror with his bloodshot eye looking similar to the old man's.

Third is "Howling Success" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A city is plagued by a werewolf. A man who hates his wife encounters the werewolf but is safely able to hide from it by running through a cemetary fence. He plots to bring his wife to this spot at he next full moon so she can get killed by the werewolf, making him money on insurance. Only when he brings her there he discovers that she's the werewolf and becomes its next victim!

Fourth is "Haunted!" by Gray Morrow (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A man inherits a hotel from his uncle rumored to be haunted, so he brings a supernatural expert there along with some of his cousins. The cousins leave, and the two of them head through the house, which does appear to be haunted, until the supernatural expert discovers that the cousins were faking it all in order to get the property for themselves. When asked how he knew they were faking it, the supernatural reveals the truth, that he's a ghost himself, as he removes his mask, revealing his skeleton face. A very enjoyable ending to this story.

Next is "Incident in the Beyond!" by Gray Morrow (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). A ship heads through space, testing a new warp drive to ensure it works. There was one prior try at the warp, which failed before. Along the way they find an apparent alien ship, which they destroy. The warp drive works, but they find that it has not saved them any time, and they find another ship trying the drive thinking they're aliens, so they are destroyed as well, like they had destroyed the original ship.

Last is "Return Trip!" by Joe Orlando (art) and Arthur Porges (story, his sole Warren appearance). A man's corpse returns from the dead. As he heads towards his old house, we flashback to when he was alive, and his wife, bored with him, plotted to poison him with a friend of his. The corpse returns to the home and murders his old friend then finds his wife. Surprisingly enough, rather than kill her he kisses her!

Vampirella 81

A half reprint/half new issue of Vampirella, featuring all Vampirella stories. The cover is a reprint of Sanjulian's cover for issue 16, with a recolored background by Kim McQuaite.

First is "Vampirella and the Alien Amazon" by Pablo Marcos (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story, which continues from the previous issue has Vampirella and Pantha captured on a spaceship by a Lupae alien woman. The alien woman explains the origin of the battle between the Drakulons and the Lupae, and how the Lupae caused the destruction of Drakulon. With the help of the demon summoned by Pendragon in the previous story, Vampirella and Pantha escape from their captor, and get back to Earth where they're reunited with Adam, Conrad and Pendragon.

Second is "Scourge of the Dragon Queen", by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Bill Dubay (story), wrapping up the Vampirella storyline that had been taking place throughout the issues in the late 70's. Vampirella and friends are in Hong Kong, investigating the murder of multiple heroin drug dealers from a dragon. Through some investigation Vampirella encounters the dragon, which is actually a shape shifting old man who was taking revenge for his murdered son. His revenge completed, the old man kills himself.

Third is "And Be A Bride of Chaos", a reprint from Vampirella 16. Art is by Jose Gonzalez while story is from Archie Goodwin. 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.

Last is "Dracula Still Lives, a reprint from Vampirella 18. Art is by Jose Gonzalez and story is by T. Casey Brennan. Continuing from the previous story, Dracula is once again brought to life when another man sits inside his coffin. He summons the conjuress, a powerful woman he had originally summoned when he was on Drakulon. Vampi meanwhile heads after Dracula into a mirror world where she decides to spare his life. Conrad, believing she is going to turn his son into a vampire seeks to destroy the mirror, trapping her in there forever, but Vampi is able to make it out okay.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Eerie 79

A football themed cover by Ken Kelly on this issue of Eerie.

First is "Time and Time Again" by Richard Corben (art) and Bruce Jones (story), a continuation of the "Within You Without You" story from Eerie 77. Karen is requested to go back in time to retrieve a gun that had been left behind. While there she seeks revenge on the Tyranosaurus that killed Lydecker. She gets her timing mixed up however, and ends up killing the dinosaur before it killed him, so she encounters the past version of him and herself. The scientists bring her out of it, but Lydecker ends up occupying her mind when they do that.

Second is "The Pea-Green Boat", a new series from Leopold Sanchez (art) and Budd Lewis (story). Two men work on a boat, which they paint Pea Green. Eventually the apocalypse occurs and the two escape to the ocean on the boat, fighting off anyone who tries to come aboard.

Third is the second Darklon story, "The Price" by Jim Starlin (story & art). This story tells of Darklon's origin, how his father disliked him because of his peaceful nature. His father finds a new 'son' that Darlon reveals is going to betray him. Darklon goes to see the mysterious 'nameless one' who agrees to give him power, but does so by chopping off his head, killing him. An interesting origin for this Warren superhero.

Fourth is "Third Person Singular" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Bruce Jones (story), the first of two part story. An odd story that takes place in a world where everyone (well almost everyone) is a male homosexual. The hero of our story is one of the very few heterosexuals in the world, who are under seige by caped agents called Snuffers. At the end of our story a snuffer raid is stopped by our hero, who discovers the snuffer to be a woman.

Last is "Sam's Son and Delilah" by Carmine Infantino & Al Milgrom (art) and Bruce Jones (story). The story tells of a boy, Bubber who is born deaf and mute. He becomes quite good at painting and playing football. His career continues at his father's urging even though he'd rather paint. He is so famous that a stadium is built for him. Eventually however a tumor that his father ignored causes him to go crazy. At a commemorative event for him he ends up destroying the entire stadium, killing himself and his father.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Creepy 88

Steve Hickman provides the cover for this issue of Creepy, his sole cover for Warren.

First is "Castles Made of Sand" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). One of, if not the most nonscensical and confusing story in this magazine's history, it features a bunch of interconnected storylines about a God on a beach, a woman in a cave and a President's quest to eliminate all religious people.

Second is "Eye For Eye, Fang for Fang" by Carmine Infantion & Ernie Chan (art) and Doug Moench (story). This story is about the son of a count, Prince Varma who befriends a shephard, Strack. One night they are attacked by a wolf. While Varma is okay, a werewolf soon appears in the land. The count has Strack lock up Varma each night, as Varma admits that he must be the werewolf. Years pass. Now grown up, Strack has an affair with the Count's wife. The Count has him locked up with Varma on the night of the full moon. Only it ends up that Strack was the werewolf, not Varma, and the next day he gets his revenge on the Count.

Third is "Do You Believe in Sinsigs" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). A light hearted story about Sinsigs, children who take on the appearance of various animals. The star of the story is a boy who looks like a normal human except for a tail. He meets a shapeshifting fairy who tells him that Sinsigs are on Earth to keep people believing with the fantastic. The boy and his friends are confronted by boogeymen, but laught at them so they dissappear. Too lighthearted a story for me, although Bermejo's art is good.

Fourth is "Temple of Seilos" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A rather convoluted, but interesting story about two agents that are investigating a man named Seilos on a planet named Phobos where a Toad God is worshipped. Its rather confusing to summarize here, but has some interesting twists in it and good ending.

Fifth is "Iron Man" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is about a kingdom where a knight is upset with a wizard, not believing him, and challenges him to a duel. During the duel the knight overpowers the wizard and chops off his head, only for the headless corpse to come after him. It ends up that it was all an illusion and the wizard proves once and for all that he has real powers.

Last is "Second Childhood" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Bruce Jones (story). This story is about a man, nicknamed Knobby and his rich friend, Chadwick. Chadwick, who with his wealth can have any woman he wants becomes enamored with a priestess in a small African village. Forbidden to be with her, he burns down the village and brings her back to the US. She refuses to sleep with him until drunk one night he rapes her. After their baby is born, Chadwick ends up going into an institution, being unable to write or talk anymore. Knobby goes to his home where he finds Chadwick's baby, which is revealed to actually have Chadwick's mind.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1994 11

With this issue 1984 becomes 1994. The official reason, as listed on the letter page was to avoid confusion with George Orwell's novel of the same name. More likely reason was due to actual complaints from the Orwell estate. In addition, a magazine about the future named 1984 certainly was starting to make less sense when it was already 1980, the year this issue came out. The cover is by Alex Nino, credited to 'A2-120'.

First story is "East of Euthanasia" by Alex Nino (art) and Bill Dubay (story, credited as Will Richardson). It is the future, where politicians caused the apocalypse and our heroes are traveling across the Earth, working to wipe out the remains of humanity. Using biologial warfare they succeed in some of their plans, but end up getting infected themselves and dying. The politicians who were hiding out come into their vehicle however, which ends up infecting them as well.

Next is "The Jewels of Araknid" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). This story features a small bug like humanoid creature on a planet filled with dinosaur-like creatures, including some half human half dinosaur creatures which he helps. They bring him to a temple where they worship a giant spider. Our hero finds some jewels there which he takes, and must fight a giant spider to escape. Only he soon discovers after taking a nap that they're not jewels, but spider eggs and he's quickly eaten by all the baby spiders.

Third is "Outpost 1017" by Mike Saentz (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). This story features a lone astonaut in a large space shuttle that is responsible for warning earth if there are any dangerous aliens found. He discovers some alien spaceships that don't respond to him, so he blasts them. Only he discovers that what he blasted were actually peaceful aliens with some armor on them.

Fourth is "Live Large" by E.R. Cruz (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). This story features some hunters in the prehistoric era. Some of them get into a fight over some gambling, which gets some dinosaurs involved. A very poor story with some even poorer art by Cruz. Cruz was a horrible, horrible artist who unfortunately did many stories in the last few years of Warren's existence. All his faces look exactly the same

Fifth is the third part of "The Starfire Saga" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is in color. Kris, Snuffy and the others fight the pirates that come aboard their ship. After saving themselves they crash on a strange planet where a bizarre creature comes after them. This series continues to be quite dull.

Sixth is the fourth part of "Ghita of Alizarr" by Frank Thorne (story & art). Ghita, Theneff and Dahib work on recruiting an army of half trolls they find in a cave to join them. Ghita also meets the handsome Temmen whom she has sex with frequently. Theneff realizes that he is actually a traitor working for the evil troll Nergon who will kill her. Ghita initially doesn't believe him, but the next time they have sex he does try to kill her, but she saves herself and kills him, revealing him to be a troll. A pretty good story, my favorite of the Ghita serial so far.

Seventh is the second part of "Haxtur" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). Haxtur ends up releasing a sorceress from a tree, as warned by an old man. He kills the sorceress only to find that the old man is the real evil one, so he kills him too. He then is encountered by an armored man on an elephant that he defeats. Haxtur leaves, depressed by all the killing he has done. This series would switch to Eerie after this issue.

Last is "Once There Was... A Master!" by Alex Nino (story & art). This is a short three page dialogue/caption less story featuring a bunch of mechanical parts coming together that form a humanoid giant robot.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Eerie 77

A terrific Richard Corben cover for this issue, arguably his most famous Warren one.

First is "Within You... Without You" the first part of a new series from Richard Corben (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A group of scientists manipulate the mind of a telepathic young woman, who happens to be the wife of one of them, such that she is telepathically in prehistoric times, finding dinosaurs. When an Earthquake hits her link to reality gets screwed up, so they recruit Lydecker, a man who has similar telepathic abilities, but he also had a prior relationship with her. When a dinosaur attacks however, Lydecker is eaten, killing him in the present. An interesting story that becomes even more complicated over the next few stories.

Second is the second and final Moonweavers story, "The Gift". Art is by Leopold Sanchez, who once again turns out a terrific job, and story is by Budd Lewis. "The Gift" in question is the inpregnation of a woman due to an alien from the 'Dark Star' which Gerome and Jason are able to sense. Not as good a story as the previous one unfortunately, and the series would conclude here.

Third is "Demons of Nob Hill" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Jedediah Pan and his son head to the town of Nob Hill where a womanizer gets a hold of one of the bracelets. Using the other one, they are able to defeat him. Pan tosses aside his bracelet, which is picked up by a priest.

Fourth is the finale for the 'Demons' series, "The Demons of Father Pain" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Color is provided by Dubay's wife Peggy. Father Pain uses the bracelet to get a lot of money for his church. Jeremiah confronts him about it, revealing that he wasn't aware that the demons were killing people to get the money. Quite a naive guy. With this the series ends, although the bracelet would later be used in Vampirella's series a few years later.

Fifth is the Oogie finale, "Oogie and the Lie" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Buck Blaster is cancelled, and things aren't the same for Leroy and co. because of that. Prunie and Oogie are revealed to have been having an affair with each other, and Oogie takes away her god-like powers. He then creates a clone of her so he and Leroy can each have her. The series concludes here. Overall it was quite a dissappointing one, with Maroto(who is usually one of Warren's two or three best artists)'s art getting progressively worse with each story. This story infact contains an obvious swipe from Luis Garcia's "Song of a Sad Eyed Sorceress" from Vampirella 18. The storyline also never was all that interesting either, particularly after the first part.

The issue concludes with a new series, Cronk, in "Stalker in the Maze" by the team of Carmine Infantino & Wayne Howard (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). Cronk is a pig/warthog humanoid hero. After his parents were murdered, he went to live with a human family as a pet, but once it was revealed that he could talk he became like a son to them. In this story Cronk goes after and successfully kills the two men who killed his parents.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Creepy 131

A so-so issue of Creepy. The cover is by Frank Frazetta, a reprint from issue 4.

First is "The Nut" by Delando Nino (art) and Budd Lewis (story). A man invents a time machine, in the form of a nut. He uses it to go to the future, which his life later does as well. Only they go into the future where there is no Earth, and find themselves out in the middle of space.

Next is "Son of the Nut!" by Martin Salvador (art) and Bill Dubay (story, as Will Richardson). This story actually stars Budd Lewis and Bill Dubay, authors of the two 'Nut' stories in this issue. Lewis tells Dubay that the Nut story is true, and he's found a way to go back in time to the wild west. He wants to avoid publication of the story so he can go there undisturbed, but Dubay decides to publish it anyway, and then they both go back and time. Why in the world this story is in a horror magazine, I have no idea.

Third is "Lycanthropist" by Bill Draut (art) and Budd Lewis (story). A town of werewolves requests werewolf hunters who are used as prey. This time however the werewolf hunter who comes is actually a robot, who defeats all the werewolves and plans on taking over humanity as well.

Fourth is "Possession is Nine Point of the Soul" by Danny Bulanadi (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). A priest is brought to a lighthouse to help out a boy that has been possessed by a demon. He successfully performs an exorcism, but the demon takes over him!

Fifth is "Bella Donna" by Fred Carillo (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). An institution doctor becomes enamored by a beautiful patient and ends up releasing her so she can live with him and his wife. The patient isn't cured though, and kills a guest, then later gets the man to go along with killing his wife as well.

The issue concludes with "Mindwar" by Noly Panaligan (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). This story, which features the best art and story of the issue features a war between Earth and aliens. It is decided that the war will be decided by a one on one battle between an Earthling and alien in the fifth dimension. The Earth representative manages to defeat the alien, saving Earth, but is paralyzed for the rest of his life. Some very good art here by Panaligan, its too bad that he did so few interior stories for Warren.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Vampirella 65

A very good issue of Vampirella with a cover by Enrich. This issue has a special gimmick. Editor Louise Jones, sick of people complaining about predictable ending asked the readers to predict the ending of each of the six stories, removing the final page from each of the non-Vampirella stories. The last page of each story ran in the next issue. To make it easier for the reader I'll be covering the complete stories here based on the endings included in the following issue.

First is "The Mad King of Drakulon" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Vampi is returned to Drakulon where she meets the sole living person there, Cedrin, who actually lives on a moon near Drakulon. She is happy with him for a while until she realizes he stays alive by keeping captive various tourists to Drakulon, sucking the blood out of them to create a river of blood. Vampi responds by drinking his blood, killing him.

Second is "A Game of Hide and Seek" by Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). Some very nice art here by Duranona, one of his best horror stories for Warren. An old man, Eric invites a number of unrelated people to his house telling them they're inheriting something due to his death. He tells them that they are to hunt him, and whoever kills him gets the inheritance. He in turn will be hunting them. The story focuses on one of the people invited, Elizabeth. As various people in the house are murdered, a new handsome man arrives, Michael, who Elizabeth falls in love with. Soon they are the only two left in the house. Elizabeth opens the shades however, killing Michael, who is actually Eric. He was a vampire, so by opening the shades she is able to kill him with the light.

Third is "Mystery of the Strangled Stockbroker" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story is a murder mystery about a stockbroker found strangled on a desk. There are numerous suspects with numerous motives. It ends up that the killer is the elevator operator, who had been stealing which was known by the stockbroker. This issue's weakest story since its so complicated.

Fourth is "The Pharoah's Lady" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). Upon hearing of the pharoah becoming a god in the afterlife, one of his slave women plots to become the god herself. She murders both the pharoah's wife, then the pharoah himself and heads into his pyramid where she instead is given a jackal head of an egyptian god.

Fifth is "But First, This Brief Interruption" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Bruce Jones (story). A broke man meets a mysterious man in a bar who bets him $500 to answer a riddle, which he does successfully. Our protagonist uses the money to get back on his feet again and become successful, but keeps encountering the mysterious man and bets again and again, each time for higher stakes. The final bet is for a million dollars, with his life at stake if he loses. He is able to answer the complicated riddle at the last second, saving his life.

Last is "Goodbye, Norma Jean" by Auraleon (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Norma is a siamese twin, her younger sister Jean is actually a second head growing out of her soldier. While in college Norma fell in love with a fellow student Tom, and they had a child, Leslie. By threatening to take Leslie away from him, Norma was able to get Tom to marry her despite her deformity. When he discovers that Jean grew out of Norma's body starting at seven, Tom gets upset, thinking it could happen to Leslie. Norma gets worried even more and goes to a psychiatrist where another shocking truth is revealed. Leslie is normal, but Norma & Jean have yet another head growing on their soldier.

Eerie 76

This issue of Eerie features an Oogie cover by Sanjulian.

First is "Deliver the Child", the first of a two part spinoff series from the Freaks, titled The Moonweavers. Art is by Leopold Sanchez and story is by Budd Lewis. This series stars Gerome and Jason, the sons of the boys who appeared in the second Freaks story. Gerome has a special power where he can sense supernatural things occuring. One such thing happens in their town, so they go to investigate and find the local hardware store owner summoning a demon, Jahnte. Jahnte is shocked to find out that the man wants him to protect his baby daughter rather than make him powerful or commit some other deed. Jahnte loses his hands when he tries to attack the man, and retaliates by chewing off the hands of the man's baby. Sanchez's art is quite good, and this story is a vast improvement over the three part Freaks series.

Second is "Highsong", starring Wolfer O'Connell. Art is by Luis Bermejo and story is by Budd Lewis. Wolfer is confronted by some native americans who want to kill him because of a monster that they think arrived due to the white man. Wolfer outsmarts them then confronts the beast, which is killed when they come across a pack of wolves.

Third is the latest Oogie story, "Oogie and the Scroungers" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Leroy and Prunnie are confronted by the IRS, who fly a ship to their planet and are seeking not only taxes not paid while they were a part of human society, but also taxes for their time on Oogie's planet. Prunie, with her godlike powers transports Leroy away and blows up the IRS agents. While Leroy thinks she has died, she comes back, completely unharmed. Maroto's art is unfortunately quite inconsistent and poor in this story. The head IRS guy's head fluctuates in size in pretty much every panel.

Fourth is "The Silver Key" the final Peter Hypnos story. Art and story is by Jose Bea. Peter once again finds himself in a bizarre world, this time after being sucked into a painting. He uses a key to enter a door, where he is put on trial, has his key taken away, then meets others who lost their key. He eventually finds a large pile of keys, and using the first one he finds opens yet another door and returns to the real world.

The issue concludes with the premiere story of "Darklon the Mystic" by Jim Starlin in his Warren debut. An eyepatched man meets an assassin in a bar who tells him how he and three fellow assassins went after a man named Darklon, who lives in a giant castle. They sneak through the castle and blast away in his bedroom only to find that he's not there. Soon all are dead except the assassin at the bar. The eyepatched man ends up being Darklon himself, and kills the assassin after finding out that the person who hired the assassin was none other than Kavar Darkhold, his father.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Creepy 15

This issue of Creepy features a classic cover of neanderthals by Frank Frazetta. It would eventually be used as the first reprinted cover Warren ever used, on issue 83.

First is "City of Doom!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story features the Barbarian Thane in his first appearance, a character that would appear in random stories by Archie Goodwin throughout the years. Thane goes to a city where monsters run amock, including a sorceress who controls a tentacled monster. Thane defeats the sorceress when her own monster ends up turning on her.

Second is "Adam Link, Champion Athlete!" by Joe Orlando (art) and Otto Binder (story). Adam becomes an athlete on advice in order to improve his public image. He succeeds tremendously in all sports he tries, but that doens't stop a newspaper columnist from criticizing him. This was Adam Link's final appearance, ending his storyline without an ending.

Next is "The Adventure of the German Student" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This is an adaption of a Washington Irving story. A german student staying in Paris meets a beautiful woman by the guillotine and sleeps with her. The next day he wakes up to find her dead! When he summons the authorities, they reveal that she was executed the previous day and her head falls off! The student goes crazy and ends up in an asylum, where he dies.

Next is "The River" with story & art by Johnny Craig. A pair of thieves try to escape using the river, but one has second thoughts and is killed by his colleague. Although he is shot at, he is able to escape and is helped by an old man on a boat. However, it ends up the old man is bringing him to the lake of the dead.

Next is the one page "Creepy's Loathsome Lore" by Gil Kane.

Last is "The Terror Beyond Time!" by Neal Adams (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). At 16 pages, this is the longest story of the original Goodwin era. Searching for a professor, a man heads deep into a cavern where he had dissappeared. Inside he finds a prehistoric world with dinosaurs and prehistoric men. In addition various other people throughout time have been summoned here including a beatiful woman from England. The professor is found, but it ends up that he's working for an evil being who is responsible for summoning everyone there as well as controlling people's thoughts. Our hero refuses to work under his control and instead kills the professor and the evil being. Afterwards he awakens in the modern age, with the woman there with him. A fairly good story although as discussed by Neal Adams in the Warren companion, the evil being ends up looking like an ice cream sundae rather than something supremely evil.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Vampirella 75

A terrific cover for Vampirella starts off this issue. It's by Jose Gonzalez and Kim McQuaite, featuring Vampi and a furry black creature behind her.

First is "The Blob Beast of Blighter's Bog" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Vampi, in Hollywood is recruited for a new movie with Pantha's help. The movie is directed by Emile Gorgonzola and is also starring his fat wife Beatrice who is a cannibal that desires to eat Vampi. Beatrice is actually an alien who has controlled Emile's mind and gotten him to bring her victims. With her getting old her power is slipping and Vampi and Pantha are able to defeat her and escape. A nice play on words with the villain of this story and some very nice art by Gonzalez.

Second is "Peter, Peter" by Leo Duranona (art) and Gerry Souter (story). A man named Peter in the early 1800's is very successful at carving wooded creatures based on drawings he has made. He becomes fairly well off by selling them for use on ships, but with the War of 1812 most of the ships are destroyed, his work is no longer in vogue and he loses it all, including his wife to illness when former customers won't give him a loan. He seeks to get revenge, first by burning all his pictures, resulting in all the ships they are on burning as well. He then makes pumpkins carved like the faces of those he wants revenge on and give it to them, which result in burning the people when they put the flame inside. He then ends it all by carving a pumpkin to match his own face, then smashes it. A very good story, the best of the issue easily.

Third is "Sasquatch Love" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Cary Bates (story). A trio of campers discover a sasquatch which they call Martha. In order to get pictures of her and test a love potion they're making, one of them dresses up as a sasquatch and temporarily lives with her. In order to let him escape, one of the other two dresses up as a sasquatch as well and do some things which Martha mimicks. When a fly flies inside the man's mask though, they take off his mask, causing Martha to tear the head off their colleague.

Fourth is "Business is Booming" by Isidro Mones (art) and Bob Black (story). An undertaker murders his wife and gets away with it. Enjoying what he did, he starts murdering other people on the street and doesn't get caught. When a potential victim gets away from him, he runs to his lab where those he killed get their revenge on him.

Last is "A Matter of Principle" by Azpiri (art) and Budd Lewis & Len Wein (story). This story features a man in a post apocalyptic future who enjoys eating worms and maggots. He fights off birds to get them, and waits around corpses to get at them. He finds a few men fighting over a women, so he kills them, but since she's already dead he plans to use her to attract more bugs to eat. A disgusting story with so-so art from Azpiri, who only did two stories for Warren. One part of the art is dated "72" making me wonder if this was a story they held on to for a while before printing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Eerie 75

Possibly Eerie's strangest cover ever, colored pink with a central panel of a green alien from Jose Bea's internal story. Quite obviously an attempt to save money and get out a cover with little to no effort.

First is "The Demons of Jebediah Cold" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Jedediah Pan comes across a town next to another town where freaks are living. The people in that city, called Amity start abusing the freaks in the neighboring town, going as far to have a mob head there to kill them all. Jedediah, along with Jeremiah Cold who shows up summon their demons which kill all the people from Amity.

Next is "The One Eyed Shall Be King" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Budd Lewis (story), the conclusion to the Freaks series. The Freaks are captured in a desert and brought before a small creature held in a glass chamber who breeds freaks in a nearby town to be fed to it. One of the freaks goes on a rampage and kills him. Overall this was quite a poor series; it would be followed up with a sequel series, the Moonweavers starting in the next issue.

Third is "Oogie and the Worm!" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This issue furthers the adventures of Leroy, Prunnie and Oogie, who pretend to be Buck Blaster and Thelma Starbust. In the real world Thelma has gotten a popular spinoff show seperate from Buck Blaster's, causing Prunnie to get rather arrogant. A rather poor story compared to the last one, both from an art and story standpoint. I wonder what a 'worm' has to do with this story as well.

Fourth is "Invasion" by Jose Bea (art) and Esteban Maroto (story, miscredited to Bea). This story was originally published in the comic 'Dracula' in England. A short, bizarre story about alien creatures arriving on Earth and discussing the human body. It ends up that the aliens are what we call cancer. This issue's best story, with a lot of bizarre artwork, a Bea trademark.

Last is "Gillian Taxi and the Sky Pirates" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Budd Lewis (story). Despite Bermejo's terrific artwork, this is a dull, poor story that drags excessively at 16 pages long. It features the adventures of a large flying taxi that is shaped like a teapot.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Creepy 93

This is Creepy's second special issue dedicated entirely to sports. The first, previously reviewed by me was issue 84. The cover is by Don Maitz, his first for Warren. Like the first sports special, this issue contains a lot of Carmine Infantino and Roger McKenzie.

First is "The Replacement" by Carmine Infantino & Dick Giordano (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story tells of a baseball player who suddenly vanishes in the middle of a game, replaced by a weird looking creature. The creature takes his place and is very successful, but faces discrimination from the human players. He eventually vanishes, replaced by the original player when they are close to winning it all, resulting in them losing.

Next is "The Return of Rah" by Carmine Infantino & John Severin (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story is a sequel to "The Mummy's Victory" from the previous sports special. Rah the mummy is once again brought into the game of football, this time by a scout who was impressed by his prior performance. Once again Rah is a big football star, winning many games.

Third is "The Great Black Cheese" by Carmine Infantino & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is about an old black boxer who never got his big chance due to his mother getting sick. He takes part in a boxing match which causes a heart attack. With his death he has a vision of finally getting his big shot.

Fourth is "Elixer" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story is about a veteran hockey goalie who takes a magical elixer that makes him young again. It succeeds, making the team very successful, but each time he takes the elixer its effects aren't as powerful and he eventually ages to death in the middle of a game.

Fifth is "Running Wild" by Carmine Infantino & Alex Nino (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story tells of siamese twins, who when seperated causes one to be paralyzed, but he has psychic powers to control his other brother. He forces him to do things he doesn't want to do, so the brother eventually causes him to die of exhaustion by running too hard.

Last is "Cold Blooded Murder" by Leo Duranona (art) and Bill Mohalley & Nicola Cuti (story). A young boy paralyzes another boy in a hockey game after being inspired by his favorite hockey player. The boy's life is pretty much ruined by this event, and he tries to kill himself by drowning, but his body won't let him kill himself and he is saved by a priest.

1984 10

1984's last issue under this title, starting with the next issue it would become 1994. The cover is by Patrick Woodroffe, featuring a character from the Starfire Saga.

First is "The Whatever Shop!" by Alex Nino (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). Looking to get a new popcorn popper, a man instead finds a store where the storeowner can get him anything he wants. He initially asks to for just a new popper, but comes back later when he realizes the owner gave him something else. He finds the owner trying to sell stuff to terrorists, and when the owner offers to give him anything he asks for a girl from a porno magazine, causing the machine to go crazy. The owner is arrested, as it ends up he was stealing and teleporting things using the machine. A pretty good, light hearted story to start off the issue.

Next is the finale for "Herma" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Herma finds out that the movie career promised to her is all a lie, and she is instead locked up by a woman (who looks quite a lot like Vampirella) who gets off on people's pain and anguish. Luckily Herma's rescued by Dr. Pitts and Sir Robert Bolt, who had originally discovered her.

Third is "The Little Spaceship That Could!" by Jose Ortiz (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). A fleet of ships is asked to deliver an anti-toxin through a black hole. The smallest ship volunteers for the very dangerous mission, aware that he may not make it out alive. He heads through the black hole, is about to get out safely... then blows up. A rather unexpected ending to an otherwise dull story.

Fourth is "The Klanks Are Coming! The Klanks Are Coming!" by Vic Catan (art, his Warren debut) and Rich Margopoulos (story). This is a rather boring story featuring robotic aliens attacking and eventually destroying Earth. A Margopoulos clunker, what a surprise.

Fifth is the second part in the "Starfire Saga". Rudy Nebres now takes on the art duties, with Bill Dubay handling the story. Kris Starfire, revealed to be a girl who is masquerading as a boy (clearing up a very confusing ending to the last issue's story) heads to another planet and is a stowaway on a ship where a pervert attacks her. She is saved by Dr. Snufflesniff and some other men. Just then, space pirates arrive. Only two stories in and I'm already bored to death by this serial.

Sixth is part three in "Ghita of Alizarr" by Frank Thorne (story & art). Ghita and friends head through a forest where they encounter a unicorn, then is confronted by some trolls, whom she tricks and defeats by showing them her breasts. With three parts under our belt, I've still not really gotten all that into this story, which is a shame.

Seventh is "Haxtur" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). This series was originally published in Europe in the early 70's and was reprinted for a couple of issues of 1984/1994 before being moved to Eerie. Alas, this means that after these first two parts we won't be seeing this series for a long, long time since its very far off compared to where I am in Eerie right now. Haxtur is a man apparantely killed by a giant lizard who is visited by four men calling themselves the Timeless Ones. They tell him he's cursed to discover man's destiny. Haxtur awakens to find himself attacked by lizard like men. He is rescued by some men who tell him of the Tyrant, a man who has created some robot creatures called Greyks who dominate the lizard men. Haxtur defeats the Greyks, which enables the Lizard men to kill the Tyrant.

Eight and final story is "Thinking of You" by Abel Laxamana (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). This story features a pilot whose ship has a woman-like personality, who gets jealous over the fact that he's with a human woman. Eventually the ship takes advantage of the opportunity to fire off a missile at her, eliminating its competition.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Eerie 74

Only four stories in this issue of Eerie. The cover is by Ken Kelly, featuring Jedediah Pan and his demons. Auraleon provides the interior front cover feature of Cousin Eerie.

First is "The Demons of Jedediah Pan" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Pan is confronted by some bandits in the desert so his uses his bracelet to summon some demons which beat them, tearing out all their teeth. A rather dissappointing second part to this series, which still has a ways to go before its conclusion.

Second is "Father Creator" by Paul Neary (art) and Bill Dubay (story). The story features a massive spaceship that is responsible for bringing saviors to various planets. The current person in charge of the spaceship, known as 'Father' is all on his own. The story surrounds what happens when he revises the latest savior and seeks to end his loneliness. An okay story with some good art by Neary.

Third is "A Secret King", the second Merlin story. Art is by Gonzalo Mayo and story is by Bill Dubay. A rather long, drawn out story at 20 pages long, this story features the well known tale of King Arthur, including his escapades with Merlin and Snivel, the death of his father the King, his time with Ector and Kay and the eventual discovery of the sword in the stone.

Last is "The Expedition" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Budd Lewis (story). Two friends go canoeing in the wilderness in Louisiana. Eventually they come across an abandoned cabin where a man has been killed by some creature. It eventually ends up that there is a monster in the river that one of the men is feeding, and gives him his friend to eat. The monster goes out of control however and kills him too.

Creepy 36

An early issue of Creepy featuring a terrific cover by Kenneth Smith. The frontis is "Creepy's Loathsome Lore: The Body Snatchers Who Stole A Giant!" by Tom Sutton.

First is "One Way to Break the Boredom" by Jack Sparling (art) and James Haggenmiller (story). A rich man is bored with his life, and when the devil arrives he gives him his soul in order to become a vampire, a life that he plans to be very exciting. It is exciting for a while, he travels from place to place, kills many people, and always survives the execution whenever he is captured. Eventually however he arrives at an old city in the country with an old custom for executions, shooting with wooden arrows, something which kills him for real.

Next is "Weird World" by Tom Sutton (art) and Nicola Cuti (story). An astronaut arrives at a bizarre planet where he meets a beautiful woman, but also a talking frog and her father, a bizarre looking alien creature. He soon finds out that the planet is a mental asylum for crazy aliens. He heads into his ship to take off from the planet, but once he goes inside he becomes insane for real.

Third is "Frankenstein is a Clown" by Carlos Garzon (art) and Bill Warren (story). A famous clown later in his career becomes well known as an actor playing a friendly monster on TV. Unfortunately for him he perishes in a car crash. A mad scientist brings him back as a real Frankenstein monster. He heads to a memorial for himself, but realizing how dangerous he is, he decides instead to kill himself for good by jumping out of a window.

Fourth is "On the Wings of a Bird" by Jerry Grandenetti (art) and T. Casey Brennan. As good as Grandenetti's art is it can't save this absolutely horrific story which was startling enough awarded by Warren as the best story of the year! A man, Ahzid, is trapped in a desert prison with a talking statue. He dreams of the day that he'll be able to escape due to a bird that sits there, but never takes off. He has a dream of actually leaving on the bird, but when he wakes up he finds that the bird has already left and that he's trapped here due to sleeping in. This story would have a sequel in issue 42.

Fifth is "Forbidden Journey" by Rich Buckler (art, his Warren debut) and Greg Theakston (story). This story tells of four astronauts heading to a world with a natural resource, 'thurium' that will make them rich. One of the astronauts kills the three others, but when he arrives at the planet he finds it is nothing more than a waste dump and his ship falls into quicksand, trapping him there.

Sixth is "If A Body Meets a Body" by Jack Sparling (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). A man is in a car crash with his friend. He awakens and heads home only to find his wife crying over his death. His friend arrives and tells him that they're both dead and they should head to the spirit world. At the urging of his friend the man jumps off a cliff. It ends up all being a trick however as the friend and wife are together, and he falls to his death. Only it ends up that the friend truly is dead, something he and the wife soon discover.

Last is "Frozen Beauty" by Richard Corben (story & art). This was Corben's Warren debut. A hideous queen, Maleva, summons Darman, a sorceror, offering him gold in exchange for making her look like her beautiful niece. They head to a cave in the icy mountain where he casts a spell such that Maleva will have her niece's exact appearance. Her niece is left frozen there in the cave so she'll always look the same. Instead of paying the sorceror however, Maleva has him stabbed and left in the cave. Maleva doesn't get to enjoy her beauty for that long, as Darman, still left alive due to the cold starts eating the corpse of Maleva's niece, resulting in her body being torn to shreds. A very nice debut for Corben.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Vampirella 7

A classic Frank Frazetta cover starts off this issue of Vampirella.

The first three stories of this issue are a Witch trilogy, all written by Nicola Cuti. Vampi has a one page intro and one page conclusion surrounding the stories. Despite being called a trilogy, all three stories are self contained.

First is "The White Witch!", with art by Tom Sutton. The White Witch is a singer who cannot go into the sunlight as it will harm her. Her elderly brother asks a painter to paint a portrait of her, and he stays at their house. He soon finds out the truth, that she isn't human, but rather was found in a haunted tower by the brother in a cocoon. The next day the painter opens the curtains, thinking its midnight, but it is actually noon and she dies due to the sunlight.

Second is "The Mind Witch" with art by Ernie Colon. The Mind Witch is a woman who steals the soul from men, leaving them mindless husks. A pair of men plan to investigate it. One of them arrives at her home finding she already knows their plan, as the other one has become her latest victim. She reveals that she is an alien and has the power to do what she does because of that. Yet the man is actually from outer space as well and has come to punish her for her actions.

The third and final witch story is "The Black Witch" with art by Billy Graham. The Black Witch kills the man she loves who is going to marry another woman, then goes to the woman and turns her into a praying mantis. The man ends up surviving the attack and comes after her, killing many witches over the years. When she finally comes for him, she turns into a spider in order to avoid him shooting at her, but the praying mantis arrives and eats her.

Fourth is "Plague of the Wolf" by Frank Bolle (art) and Doug Moench (story). A werewolf is plauging the city. A man warns his girlfriend to stay away from him, because he has a pentagram on his arm, showing that he'll be the next victim and he doesn't want her there when the werewolf arrives. But she arrives anyway, as she is the werewolf!

Fifth is "Terror Test!" by Tony Williamsune (art) and R. Michael Rosen (story). This story features astronauts arriving on a strange planet where they kill a strange creature. One of the astronauts becomes a vampire and is killed by another one, but he finds the other astronaut to be a monster as well. The man awakens, it all was a dream, but that doesn't stop him from going crazy and killing those that put him under the test with an axe.

Sixth is "The Survivor" by Ernie Colon (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). This story is about an entity that has occupied a planet for many years by occupying the bodies of the people there. When a group of astronauts arrive, the entity plans to take one of them over. He waits until one of the men is alone then hits him in the back to knock him out. He kills his current body in order to take over the new one, but the man is paralyzed from the blow!

Last is "The Collection Creation" by Jerry Grandenetti (art, miscredited to Tony Williamsune) and R. Michael Rosen (story). A woman with eternal life who needs to steal the youth from others finds a painter whom she hopes to make her next victim. She shows him her great painting collection of old men. It ends up that they were her victims, and she takes his youth, making him the model for the next painting.

Eerie 73

This issue of Eerie by Ken Kelly features Hunter II and the Exterminator.

First is the finale of the Hunter II series, "Death of the Phoenix" by Paul Neary (art) and Budd Lewis (story). Being recovered by Yaust, Karas and Exterminator discover the truth, that Yaust is actually the good guy and that the goblins he created to fight off the evil ones went out of control. Mandragora is the true evil one, and there is no such thing as a time shell which will be used to save the world. Karas returns to Mandragora's home, where he finds the White Council and they are all killed. The world doesn't come to an end after all, and the series ends on a happy note.

Second is "Carnival at Midnight", the second story in the 'Freaks' serial. Art is by Leopold Sanchez and story is by Budd Lewis. This story surrounds two young brothers, one of whom is crippled who come across the freaks late at night. The boy's father and then a mob come after them, only to find that the Freaks were actually helping the boy by fixing his legs for him.

Third is "Day of the Vampire 1992: The Tombspawn" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story takes place in a post apocalyptic world where much of the world is in ruins. Two men, Stevie and Biff hunt various creatures and come across a cavern where a beautiful woman lies inside in suspended animation. A hologram appears and tells them that she is a vampire and warns them of reanimating her. Stevie falls in love with her however and brings her back to life. After sleeping with him she escapes however, and the Earth forces blow her up. Stevie finds himself now a vampire after an encounter with her and attacks his friend Biff as the story ends.

Fourth is "A Brave Terror Leads to Death!" the final segment in the 'It' series. Art is provided by Jose Gual, in his final Warren appearance, and story is by Carl Wessler. Thieves attack Jan Foley's house, but It arrives once again to rescue her. The thieves plan to blow up It so it can't bother them anymore. Jan and her fiance however follow them and prevent them from doing it. The thieves sneak into their house but It arrives and saves the day yet again. Although the series ends in an open ended manner, this would be the final appearance of It. I do have a few more It stories to cover which appeared in Creepy, including the original story, which will come some day soon down the line.

Last is "Voyage to the Final Hole", part 2 in the Peter Hypnos series, with art and story by Jose Bea. Peter finds a rose in the field that grows huge and swallows him up. He continues to shrink inside the rose and meets a multitude of bizarre creatures who tell him that he'll make it through a hole back to safety as long as he believes that he'll keep shrinking. He does so and shrinks small enough that he finds the hole in question and jumps into it, bringing him back to the real world.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Creepy 122

A Richard Corben cover starts off this issue of Creepy, featuring an upside down dead asian man. Uncle Creepy is given a one page introduction by Rudy Nebres.

First story is "The Killing" by the team of Alex Toth & Leo Duranona (art) and Roger McKenzie (story). This story, taking place during the civil war features a confederate civilian woman who ends up being forced to take in some Union soldiers. Although she planned on blowing them up, killing herself along with them, she has a change of heart and waits until they leave before killing herself.

Next is "The Watcher" by Leo Duranona (art) and Bob Toomey (story). This story is about a censor at the Comics Code who is very over the top with his censorship. He takes home a new comic one night, Mooneyes, featuring a scantily clad heroine. He discovers the real Mooneyes, or rather the model that portrays her and ends up killing her. Having gone crazy by the event, he moves out to the suburbs and becomes a comic writer himself, but his prospective publisher comes to see him and finds her rotting corpse in the house with him.

Third is "The Perfect Specimen" by Steve Gan (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story features two rather confused aliens who come to Earth and land in an ocean, thinking that fish are the dominant species of the Earth. They capture a great white shark and thinking it friendly, go in a tank to meet it, unaware of how dangerous it actually is.

Fourth is "Midnight in Chinatown" by the team of Carmine Infantino & Alfredo Alcala (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). The issue's weakest story, this is a mystery/action story about a man attacked by a mysterious assassin in Chinatown. He investigates and eventually encounters him again, discovering that he is Japanese and manages to kill him.

Fifth is "Routine" by Martin Salvador (art) and Carl Wessler (story). This story appears to have been originally written years before as Carl Wessler was no longer with Warren by this point and Uncle Creepy hosted the story, which hadn't happened in years. The story surrounds a middle aged man in a rather quiet city in his normal routine, such as going to the Bank where he is president, and having a party for his wife. As we reach the last page and find him dining with all skeletons it becomes apparant that he's the only human left alive, but to keep himself sane he pretends that everyone else is still alive. A short, but interesting story.

Sixth is "Magic Man" by Fred Carillo (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story features a magic man who stays in a book store who befriends a young woman, but won't let her touch him. He has the ability to create illusions of any real matter, making it appear to be something else. The woman thinks that he's an illusion himself, but when she touches him it is she who dissappears, as she was an illusion, not him.

The issue concludes with "Roomers" by Mike Zeck (art) and Bruce Jones (story, miscredited to Budd Lewis). This story features a nerdy college student who goes through an elaborate plan to tutor a beautiful fellow student. When she refuses his advances however he snaps, killing her and raping her corpse. He succesfully escapes his apartment complex and disposes of the body, but when he returns he discovers that his elderly landlady spied on him and blackmails him into having sex with her! One of the most horrific Warren endings ever, if you're a young guy like me.

Vampirella 73

This issue of Vampirella fatures a book length story titled "A Gathering of Demons". The cover is drawn by Bob Larkin, hardly one of his or Vampi's better covers. This issue's art is provided by Gonzalo Mayo while the story is written by Bill Dubay. At 71 pages, this is the single longest story in Warren history and the only instance in which a book length story actually consisted of a single story rather than multiple related stories.

The story itself unfortunately is nothing all that special. It surrounds a series of murders happening each day where a "V' is left on the scene. Conrad initially blames it on Vampi, but it later becomes apparant that the murders are due to a council of wizards who are leaving the "V" because it forms a giant pentagram. Working on selecting a new leader, the Anti-Pope, they kill a person each day that one isn't selected until ten have been killed. In addition the ten council members have each selected a human host to be used in a battle of demons against each other to determine who will become their leader. Vampi and our heroes interfere, resulting in the deaths of the council and their defeat. For now anyway. Many characters from this story including Crissy Collins (one of the human hosts) as well as council member Tenichi would make appearances later in Vampirella's history once Rich Margopoulos became the Vampirella writer. These stories have already been covered on this blog.

Overall this is a rather dissappointing effort. While issue 64's book length Vampirella story was quite a good one, this one drags excessively and even the usually dependable Mayo contributes a less than great effort, probably due to the huge amount of pages drawn.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eerie 12

This classic issue of Eerie was the first of the non-Goodwin era, although most of the stories contained within were created before Goodwin's departure. Dan Adkins provides the cover, featuring the Mummy, a cover which appears to have been originally intended for the prior issue. The frontis is a reprint from issue 4, "Eerie's Monster Gallery: Zombies!" by Roy Krenkel.

First story is "The Masque of the Red Death" by Tom Sutton (art) and Archie Goodwin (story, uncredited). This story is an adaption of Poe's classic story. It is about a plague that arises, killing many. Prince Prospero and his friends barricade themselves in a castle safe from the plague, and won't let any of the sick people in. They hold a ball where a mysterious caped man arrives who touches them, causing them to all die of the plague themselves.

Second is "Vampyrus" by Jeff Jones (art) and Archie Goodwin (story, uncredited). A pair of men head to a temple in Central America which houses bats as well as a native in the emple who they flee from. One of them is bitten by the bats, turning him into a vampire that attacks his companion.

Third is "...Nor Custom, Stale..." by Johnny Craig (story & art). A man travels to the desert country of Sumaria with his new wife, who he met in a hospital. Because she has amnesia she remembers nothing about her past, but at a travel agency feels something when they see a picture of 'The Temple of Life' in Sumaria. When they arrive there, he falls asleep one night only to find his wife wandering off to the Temple itself, where druids take her and start casting some sort of spell on her. In a rage he rescues her and kills them, running off into the desert where he collapses. When he awakens he finds the man from the travel agency there, who reveals the truth to him, that his wife was dead and brought back in the temple of life. She needed to head back there annually to stay alive, but by interfering, he has killed her forever.

Fourth is "Escape!" by Joe Orlando (art) and Archie Goodwin (story, uncredited). A pair of convicts escape the island they are imprisoned on, being helped by a native. One of the two kills the other so he doesn't have to share a treasure that he is hiding in the woods. Along the way he gleefully chops the head off an anaconda. Upon finding the treasure, he is stung by a scorpion. He asks the native to help keep him alive, so he does so, by transfering his head to the anacanda!

Fifth is "Portrait of Satan!" by Ric Estrada (art) and Archie Goodwin (story, uncredited). An overworked artist says he'd sell his soul to Satan if he could do some reputable, serious art rather than all the commercial art he's churning out. Satan himself arrives, offering that in exchange for his soul. The artist refuses, not wanting to give up his soul, but agrees to do a portrait of Satan as payment instead. He does so, but Satan takes his soul anyway because he said he'd put his "heart and soul" into the art. A rather poor story based on simple word play.

Last is "The Past Master" by Al McWilliams (art) and Craig Tennis (story, uncredited). The best story of the issue, this is an adaption of the Robert Bloch story, and was originally printed in the book Christopher Lee's Treasury of Terror. Told from the perspective of many witnesses, this story tells of a mysterious man who comes out of the sea and starts buying or stealing large quantities of artwork. It is revealed that the man is from the future, coming back to save works of art that will be destroyed in an upcoming war. Upon his escape however his craft is destroyed by the US navy, thinking its a soviet craft, which triggers the very war that he was speaking of.