Sunday, February 22, 2009

Creepy 77

This issue of Creepy is a special Christmas issue from February 1976. The cover is by Sanjulian. Berni Wrightson provides the frontis, featuring Uncle Creepy dressed up as Santa Claus. A whopping 8 stories are contained in this issue, one of the very few all original issues containing this many stories.

First is "Once Upon a Miracle" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features a pair of priests in a church witnessing an old lady who each year steals a statue of baby Jesus, something she's done each year since her own baby died due to the cold. While they're not watching a group of tiny demons arrive, but tiny cherubs arrive and stop them, then turn the baby Jesus statue to a real baby. Over 5 pages in a row in this story with no dialogue at all, quite an oddity for a Warren story. This story was originally intended for the prior Christmas special, issue 68, but missed the deadline and was not printed until this issue.

Second is "Tibor Miko" by Alex Toth (story & art). I believe this to be the only story in Warren history where no title appeared at all anywhere in the story. The story title is provided on the contents page though. This story doesn't really have much of a Christmas theme outside of taking place on Christmas Eve. It features a pilot who encounters a UFO while in the sky. When the UFO lands he approaches it and is seized by the creatures inside. The UFO takes off, never to be seen again.

Third is "The Final Christmas of Friar Steel" by John Severin (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story takes place in a monastery where many evil things start happening. An eye falls out of a statue of Jesus, which starts bleeding. The eye then appears in a wine cup they are drinking from. Corpses appear in the basement. It ends up a demon is behind the whole thing. The demon battles with the head of the monastery and the whole place burns to the ground.

Fourth is "Clarice" by Berni Wrightson (art) and Bruce Jones (story). This story is a poem about a man longing for his dead wife, who died by accident when she was locked outside in the cold one night while he slept and froze to death. His wife comes back to life as a corpse and returns to the cabin, where they are reunited. One significant screw up occurs however (not sure whether it was Jones or Wrightson's fault) when the artwork shows an uncovered window that the wife could have broken and got inside through.

Fifth is this issue's color story, "The Believer" by Richard Corben (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story takes place in a world where Santa Claus is dead and Christmas as it was no longer occurs. Shinny Upatree, the last elf left however decides to keep Christmas alive and goes out himself, although he can't visit every house each year. He visits an orphanage with a cruel housemaster, who Shinny smuthers with a pillow. He doesn't end up dying though and the housemaster kills Shinny. A boy who Shinny who witnesses it happen kills the housemaster, then takes over for Shinny as the one keeping Christmas alive.

Sixth is "First Snow, Magic Snow" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story is about an old man who sells threads and buttons on the street to make enough money to buy a candle for his dead wife each year. This year he meets a young girl whom he reads to. It ends up being a ghost of his dead wife. He dies soon afterwards.

Seventh is "Final Gift" by Paul Neary (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features a trio of men in a wintery future. They are unable to find much salvagable food due to poachers that have ravaged any stores they are able to find. Eventually one kills himself so the others can eat him, but it ends up happening when they finally find a town with other people that they can stay with.
Last is "The Final Christmas" by Isidro Mones (art) and Budd Lewis (story). Within a church in Brooklyn the devil arrives. He tells the sole priest left at the church, which no one visits, even on Christmas that it is time for him to take over the world. He makes a bet with the priest that he'll let the Earth be if he can find many righteous people, telling off anyone who the priest tries to name. Very arrogant, he lowers the bet down to a single person, then loses out when a boy enters the church to pay his respects to Jesus.


Rich said...

Classic, classic Creepy. Still hard to believe you could go to a magazine rack in nearly any store and buy a magazine that contained artwork by Wrightson, Toth, Severin, Neary, and the rest. I used to buy Creepy and The Spirit at the local grocery store in rural Utah as a fifth grader.

The seventies were great.

Rich said...

And Rich Corben!