Sunday, March 15, 2009

Creepy 113

Berni Wrightson provides a dinosaur themed cover for this issue of Creepy, a reprint issue dedicated to the artist. Wrightson also provides the art for the table of contents page. This issue is dated November 1979. With multiple stories written by him, Wrightson proves here that he's quite the good writer too.

First is, "The Muck Monster" by Berni Wrightson (story & art), from Eerie 68. This story was originally printed in color, but is black and white here. 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 in this story.

Second is "The Laughing Man" by Berni Wrightson (art) and Bruce Jones (story), from Creepy 95. This story features a man found by a doctor in the African jungles laughing maniacally. With some drugs the man calms down and tells how he and his business partner headed to the African jungles in an attempt to find intelligent chimps. They catch one dead, and our protagonist's business partner skins the creature and uses it as a costume to attract another one. He vanishes after a while and turns up later, but it ends up he is actually an ape, wearing the dead partner's skin as a costume! A terrific story, unfortunately it would be Wrightson's last Warren story in its original printing.

Third is "The Pepper Lake Monster" by Berni Wrightson (story & art), from Eerie 58. A terrific story, perhaps Wrightson's best. A man whose job it is to seek out sea monsters finally finds a real one in the small town of Pepper Lake. When the town folk refuse to help him, he comes up with an elaborate contraption to capture it and succeeds. When he tells the town folk how famous he'll be for capturing it however, they kill him since removing the monster will remove any reason for someone to come to the town.

Fourth is "Clarice" by Berni Wrightson (art) and Bruce Jones (story), from Creepy 77. 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 "Cool Air" by Berni Wrightson, adapted from the HP Lovecraft story, originally from Eerie 62. This classic tale tells of a man who moves into a new boarding house where he befriends his neighbor who lives upstairs, Dr. Munoz. Munoz suffers from a disease which forces him to keep his apartment at a very cold temperature continuously. One day his machine that keeps the temperature cold breaks, and while the main character brings as much ice as he can Munoz rots away as it ends up he was dead the entire time and looked like a normal person because of the cold.

Sixth is "Country Pie" by Berni Wrightson & Carmine Infantino (art) and Bruce Jones (story), from Creepy 83. This story features a psychic who assists the police in catching a killer. At the same time a middle aged man picks up a teenage girl and her younger brother, who ends up being the killer. They are able to save the man before the two of them kill him.

Last is "A Martian Saga" by Berni Wrightson (art) and Nicola Cuti (story), from Creepy 87. Rather than an actual story, this is a 6 page poem, told with three panels per page. It features a man coming to Mars who meets a tribe there, confronts a monster, and meetes a beautiful woman. Alas, its not a happy ending for him as he suffocated when he takes off his oxygen mask while with the woman.

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