Sunday, May 31, 2009

Creepy 49

Sanjulian provides the cover for this issue of Creepy, featuring a headless figure at a guillotine. Auraleon and Doug Moench provide "No (Horse) Laughing Matter" on the inside front and back cover.

First is "Buried Pleasure" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story). A ship of pirates picks up a bizarre man after hearing that he is looking for something on a beach that he must dig up. The pirates assume he is talking about treasure and take him along. Soon members of the crew start dying. The first mate initially thinks this is the man they have brought aboard, but it ends up actually being the captain, who has killed everyone so only he will get the treasure. Yet when they finally arrive at the beach and dig it up, it is not a treasure but rather a vampiress who kills him.

Second is "The Severed Hand" by Auraleon (art) and Fred Ott (story). A successful surgeon feels threatened by a young surgeon who he thinks will take his job and steal his wife from him. The surgeon goes to see a witch who tells him to bring her a hand from a dead body that she curses. She then tells the surgeon to get it on his rival's hand. He accomplishes this by getting them in an accident and amputating his hand. The rival's hand goes out of control and causes him to decapitate the surgeon's wife. The surgeon and rival battle and afterwards the rival chops off the hand. The surgeon is also injured, and when he wakes up he finds that the hand has been attached to him!

Third is "The Third Night of Mourning" by Jaime Brocal (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story, his first for Warren). This story takes place during the french revolution and features Jacque, a blacksmith who is framed for treason and executed via the guillotine. His headless corpse raises from beyond and goes after the man who framed him, sending him to a similar fate at the guillotine.

Fourth is "The Accursed Flower" by Jose Bea (story & art). A farmer, Jordi, is overwhelmed by all the work he has to do on his farm. He hears of the 'Maneiros' who come from a flower and will work endlessly; killing their master if he can't find enough work for him. Jordi finds seeds of the flower and plant them, causing hundreds of Maneiros to appear the next day. He gives them plenty of work to do, but they complete them all with rapid speed. Eventually he can't think of something for them to do and they claw him to death.

Last is "Wedding Knells" by Jose Gual (art) and Doug Moench (story). A man goes to a cabin in the woods on his honeymoon, bringing a large dog with them for protection. In the town a werewolf kills a woman. Seeing muddy tracks in the house, the man wonders if his new wife is the werewolf. He soon is convinced of it and kills her. But he quickly finds out that it is actually the dog thats the werewolf as it attacks him.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eerie 135

Sanjulian provides the cover to this issue of Eerie, cover dated October 1982.

First is "The Spirit of the Thing!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 9, probably their best collaberation aside from the next story, "Collectors Edition". It features a professor who hypnotizes a student of his, resulting in his spirit leaving his body. The professor then steals the student's body, as his is about to die. The student's spirit, now bodiless, steals the professor's corpse from the graveyard and uses it to brutally beat to death his own body (with the professor's spirit) until the professor is forced to leave.

Second is one of Warren's all time most famous stories, "Collectors Edition" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 10. The story features Danforth, a man obsessed with the occult who hears of a book, 'Dark Visions' that he becomes obsessed with obtaining. Seeking to spend all of his wife's money on the book, he eventually murders the bookstore owner who told him of it in the first place, who had also committed murder to obtain the book. Reading the book, Danforth finds that it goes long past the time of the author, all the way to the present, and even the future, showing his own death, which shortly comes when his wife buries an axe in his head. Terrific art, terrific story, this is certainly up there among Goodwon's best stories. Ditko's drawing of Danforth's eyes slowly closing across the bottom of each page is also a nice touch.

Third is "Beast Man" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 11. The story features a boxer who has a bad heart, so he gets it replaced with a gorilla's heart! Only he finds himself becoming a monster! Or does he? It ends up everything is in his mind, but that doesn't stop him from going on a rampage anyway.

Fourth is "Blood of the Werewolf!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 12. A man wandering the city in a drunken stupor is found by a psychologist who has a werewolf for a son. The psychologist manages to transfer the werewolf curse onto our protagonist, who soon becomes a werewolf himself. He ends up going to a psychologist to tell him whats going on, but it ends up that the man is actually the son who was originally a werewolf, and shoots him dead with a silver bullet.

Fifth is "Second Chance!", with art by Steve Ditko and story by Archie Goodwin. This story was originally printed in Creepy 13. Its about a man who makes a deal with the devil to stay alive longer. The devil brings him back to life, but he ends up being stuck in a coffin! Luckily for him a gravedigger digs him out, but upon seeing this 'corpse' come to life, he kills him, which finishes him off for good. Pretty good story here.

Sixth is "Where Sorcery Lives" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 14. 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.

Seventh is "City of Doom!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 15. 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.

The eighth story is "The Incredible Shrieking Man!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Eerie 4. The man of the title is in a mental institution, a man who does nothing but scream like crazy and act like a maniac. An employee at the institution becomes fascinated with him and ends up letting him out by accident when he can't control him. The screaming man goes crazy and ends up killing our hero's boss, for whom he was originally his boss, who was killed by him and brought back to life.

Ninth is "Fly!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Goodwin (story), from Eerie 7. 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.

Last is "Demon Sword!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Eerie 8. A demon sword is recovered as part of an archeological find. Soon after however murders start occuring. Two of the archeologists witness a battle between the demon using the sword and a warrior, and when the demon is defeated so too is one of the archeologists. The other ponders whether to destroy the powerful but dangerous demon sword.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Creepy 144

A reprinted Frank Frazetta cover from Creepy 5 is used for the cover of this issue of Creepy, cover dated January 1983.

The first story, "Forgotten Flesh" by Vicente Alcazar (art) and Doug Moench (story) is from Creepy 64. The story takes place in a graveyard where a group of rotting corpses get out of their graves in order to switch grave sites with some more well to do deceased people. Along the way they come across a duo of grave robbers who they mistake as being among them and bury them too, alive.

Second is "For the Sake of Your Children!" by Jaime Brocal (art) and E.A. Fedory (story), from Creepy 45. A group of peasents dislike a nearby Baron, who is revealed to have vampires as ancestors. A mob gathers and goes to the Baron's castle after one of the children is found dead. Inside they kill the Baron, putting a stake through his heart. However a group of female vampires within the castle attack the mob, and when they return to the village, all of them are now vampires themselves.

Third is "It" by Tom Sutton (story & art), from Creepy 53. This story features the corpse of Timothy Foley coming back from the grave and traveling around searching for someone, scaring to death everyone who comes across him. By the end it is revealed that he was simply looking for his lost teddy bear. Some interesting panel design by Tom Sutton here, some pages have as many as 16 panels! It would eventually be used for a recurring series in both Creepy and Eerie, although Timothy Foley (who is actually the corpse of a nine year old boy here) would be made into a much older character in the later installments.

Fourth is "In Darkness It Shall End!" by Vicente Alcazar (art) and Doug Moench (story), from Creepy 76. A vampire kills a woman who is a lover of his. Another lover of the woman discovers that he is a vampire and comes after him, and chases him, eventually striking a stake through his heart. Unfortunately hundreds of years later in the modern era someone removes the stake, causing the vampire to rise again.

Fifth is "The Ghouls" by Martin Salvador (art) and Carl Wessler (story), from Creepy 61. This story is about a pair of grave robbers who encounter a group of vampires in a graveyard. It ends up that one of the robbers set up the other, making a deal with the vampires to feast on his body, as he's a ghoul who will get the body after the blood is drained from it. Wessler's story here reminds me of his EC work from approximately 20 years earlier.

Sixth is "Berenice" with art by Isidro Mones and adaption by Rich Margoulos. This story, from Creepy 70, is an adaption of the Edgar Allen Poe story. This story tells of a man who is obsessed with his cousin Berenice, whom he plans on marrying. Berenice gets sick and the protagonist starts obsessing over her teeth. After her death he digs up her corpse and tears all her teeth out.

Last is "The Terror Stalked Heiress", from Creepy 72, featuring art by Jose Gual and written by Carl Wessler. This story is part of the series 'It', whose original story is referenced earlier in this issue. The series stars a corpse named Timothy Foley who comes back from the grave to help his niece Jill. Oddly for some reason in this story the family name of Foley is changed to Redey. Jill gets attacked by some monsters that live in a mirror. It arrives and saves her, and they cover the mirror with a blanket so the monsters can't get out. Later some men come to the house to kill her so they can take over her home, and It arrives once again and saves her, while the monsters from the mirror kill the criminals.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Vampirella 38

Sanjulian provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, cover dated November 1974.

First is "The Mummy's Revenge" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew). This story continues from the Vampirella story in issue 36. Vampirella and Pendragon are in Egypt and visit the mummy of Ptolemy, who was killed by Vampi in ancient times in the previous story. Vampi meets Professor Bruno who brings her on a tour of an underground labyrinth. He abandons her there and the mummy of Ptolemy along with other ghouls pursue her. The spirit of Amun-Ra arrives and tells her that Ptolemy's mummy is alive due to Bruno. Vampirella goes and kills him, resulting in the destruction of the mummy.

Second is "Gypsy Curse" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Gerry Boudreau & Carl Wessler (story). A gypsy woman is attacked by her husband when he comes back from the war. The story flashes back to before they were married, when he had to kill her father because the gypsies didn't approve. As he dies, her father tells him that should he ever harm his daughter, he will be destroyed by demons. While the husband is away from the war an ugly servant threatens to tell her husband she's having an affair (which is untrue). Her husband then attacks her when he returns home because of this, but the gypsy curse comes true and he is torn to shreds by unseen demons.

Third is "Lucky Stiff" by Ramon Torrents (art) and once again Gerry Boudreau & Carl Wessler (story). A very cautious man ignores a beautiful young woman who starts at the place where he works. At the end of the day she invites him to come to her home at the other side of town. The story shows what would happen if he went. He arrives there, only to be attacked by cats. She tells him he doesn't deserve to live and that he is going to be fed to them. The narrative then reveals that he actually didn't go there, as he was hit by a car along the way. This story is a rewrite from a story Carl Wessler did for EC comics in the Haunt of Fear 26, published in 1954.

Fourth is "Out of the Nameless City" by Felix Mas (art) and John Jacobson (story). A rather complicated tale influenced by H.P. Lovecraft. During a play a man, Dennis, reads some strange language on a prop coffin. He and a friend, Vaughn go to visit Vaughn's uncle, an archaeologist and find that it tells of elder Gods resting for eternity. Dennis remembers his youth where he was taught of these mysterious things by his uncle Abner. The uncle later shows up, telling him he was raised to bring the elder gods back to life. Vaughn kills Dennis after finding that he killed his uncle. He later kills his girlfriend too after finding that she is pregnant with Dennis's child, Abner's last hope at reviving the elder Gods.

Fifth is "On Little Cat Feet!" by Auraleon (art) and John Jacobson (story). A much lighter toned story than the other stories in this issue, a very good one though, the best story of the issue. A witch, Kitty, lives in a rooming house with her artist friend Eulalia. Kitty is kicked out of the place by the landlady and plots revenge by turning into a cat and poisoning her claws. She kills the landlady's cat, taking its place, then kills the landlady as well soon after. Eulalia meanwhile recruits an actor as a model for her latest work, a statue of Nero. Kitty, still in her cat form, wanders by and Eulalia has the actor hold her in his arms. Eulalia reveals herself to be Medusa, and when she reveals herself ends up turning both the actor and Kitty into a statue.

Last is "Trick of the Tide" by Isidro Mones (art) and Jack Butterworth (story). A man, Gabriel, finds the corpse of a man in the water and steals the money on him. When his wife arrives to claim the body he refuses to admit it was there. When she confronts him later, he clubs her head in and dumps her in the river. When a reward is offered for her, he goes to fish her out, only for her to kill him.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Eerie 138

Nestor Redondo provides the cover for this issue of Eerie, cover dated January 1983.

The first two stories of this issue are "The Mist" a continuation of the series that has appeared on and off again in Eerie for the past few years. Art for both stories is provided by Bill Draut (the third artist for this series!) and story is provided by Don McGregor. A seemingly ordinary woman, Victoria Westgate, is captured by the minions of the mysterious Lucifer de Montalbon, who believes her to actually be Auguste, a voodoo priestess who doesn't remember her actual identity. She is bound as part of a ceremony in the woods, and when lightning strikes, she gains powers that permit her to kill Lucifer and his minions.

Third is "Granny Gutman and the Limbo Men" by Fred Carrillo (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). This story is another one of Eerie's very lame color inserts. Another incredibly lame super hero story, featuring an old woman who orders around three losers who turn into super heros at her beckon. An alien bad guy block up a volcano in order to wreack havoc on California, all so he can mate with one of the super heroes. The heroes defeat him and save the day.

Fourth is "Glythis" by E.R. Cruz (art) and Timothy Moriarty (story). A pair of scientists are working on developing a device that permits them to go to another dimension. Another scientist arrives, trying to steal their technology, and chaos ensues. Access to another dimension is opened, and one of the scientists is sent to that dimension, while Glythis, a humanoid monster that was about to be killed is sent over to Earth. The scientist meanwhile is about to be executed in Glythis' place. This was intended to be a series but due to the end of Warren Publishing the series ended here.

Last is "Sherlock Holmes - A Study in Scarlet" by Noly Panaligan (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). Some very nice art in this story, which is part of a series originally started in the Rook magazine. This story features Sherlock Holmes solving a mystery where a man fell in love with a mormon girl but the mormans captured her and she died of a broken heart. The man seeked revenge and killed those who captured her, but ends up dying in his jail cell due to a heart defect.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Creepy 132

This issue is an all Richard Corben special, including the cover, which is reprinted from Eerie 90. This issue is dated October 1981.

The first story is "A Tangible Hatred" by Richard Corben (art) and Don McGregor (story), from Creepy 43. 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.

Second is "Bright Eyes" by Richard Corben (art) and Doug Moench (story), from Eerie 43. The story features a plantation owner who uses a lot of dead corpses, revived from the dead, to do work for him. One of the dead men's brothers arrives and wants to take him away from there. The plantation owner refuses and in a struggle with the brother is killed. But this results in all the corpses rotting away to nothing since their summoner is dead.

Third is the story, "A Woman Scorned" by Richard Corben (art) and Bruce Jones (story), from Eerie 90. This story features a girl and the talking blue lizard she travels with in a desolate world, who keeps trying to get her to remember things, which appears as soon as she does. This includes a car, a house, trees, etc... We head to the past where we learn about the girl's childhood and her ability to cause anything she want to happen. She is soon able to get everything back to normal, including turning the lizard back into her boyfriend, but when she remembers him cheating on her, she resets everything to nothingness once again.

Fourth is "Bowser" by Richard Corben (art) and Jan Strand (story). This story is from Vampirella 54. The story is about a boy who owns a unique pet, Bowser, a tentacled monster. The monster eats dogs, humans, etc... causing the boy's parents to want to get rid of it. He lets the creature go free but it ends up the problems were due to Bowser being pregnant, and it has babies, many more little tentacled monsters.

"The Pest" is next, by Richard Corben (art) and Al Hewetson (story), from Eerie 33. A bug killing device is created that uses toxic gas, and causes problems for ill adults or children. Its creator is getting rich off of it and could care less until he turns into a bug himself, well at least thinks he does, and dies of a heart attack.

Sixth is "The Mummy's Victory" by Richard Corben (art) and Roger McKenzie (story), from Creepy 84. A mummy in a museum comes back to life and takes the place of an injured player in a football game, winning the game for them! Funny art by Corben on the mummy.

Seventh is the first part of a two part series, titled 'The Butcher'. This story's called "Forgive Us Our Tresspasses", with art by Richard Corben and story by Bill Dubay. This story is from Eerie 62. This gangland melodrama features a crime lord who is killed on his deathbed by assassins hired by one of his sons, hoping to frame a rival crime family. During the murder the priest who was tending the crime lord is mutilated and apparantely killed. After hiding out the assassins are all killed... by the priest, who survived the attack and now swears revenge as 'The Butcher'.

Last is the second and final part of the Butcher, titled "Bye Bye Miss American Dream" by Richard Corben (art) and Bill Dubay (story), from Eerie 64. 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.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Vampirella 40

Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, featuring Vampi and a dark, caped figure. This issue is cover dated March 1975. Ken Kelly provides another cover on the back of the issue, and Jose Gonzalez provides his usual one page Vampirella intro in the front inside cover. This issue was one of the first issues of Vampirella I ever read, so still remains somewhat memorable to me for that reason.

First is Vampirella in "The Nameless Ravisher!" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew). This story continues from the previous one, where a man who hunted human heads wanted to take Vampirella's head. He was killed at the end of the story, being decapitated. In this story we meet his two sisters, a pair of crazy old women who want revenge on Vampirella. They summon a demon, the Nameless Ravisher, which takes the shape of various entities, mostly those based in nature. The Nameless Ravisher attacks Vampi, first by flooding the room she is in, then taking the shape of a tree that attacks her. Eventually Vampirella defeats it, and the two old women are done in by the corpse of their brother. An odd Vampirella story, but Sanchez's art is a nice, rare alternative to the usual artwork on this series (not to say the usual artwork is bad, Gonzalez and Mayo were usually great. Just enjoyed someone else drawing Vampi for a change).

Second is the second part of the three part Dracula series, "The Winged Shaft of Fate" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). Color is provided by Michelle Brand. This story continues from the previous one, with Dracula now having a female vampire companion. Similar to the previous story however, this story primarily focuses on another couple that becomes involved when the carnival stops by. A man steals a large sum of money and plans to meet his lover, but the lover ends up getting bitten by Dracula. The man ends up leaving with another woman instead when his lover doesn't show up, only she does, as a vampire, killing them both.

Third is "The Face of Death!" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Carl Wessler (story). A man is angry at a former lover who has moved on and married someone else. He seeks to get back at her by attacking her during a halloween party. When he realizes that the party is only for people who bring children, he finds a boy alone on the street, Mort, and they go in togehter. Mort keeps trying to hang out with the man, who finally finds his former lover upstairs. When he is about to attack her however, he trips on her kid's blocks and falls out the window. Mort comes to see him, and reveals that he is death.

Fourth is "The Man Who Never Was" by Fernando Fernandez (story & art). Fernandez turns out a very interesting sci-fi themed story here, but his art is absolutely horrible compared to his normal work. Quite a dissappointment from someone who is usually so good. Not that its horrible compared to some other artists seen over the years in Warren publications, but for him, a big dissappointment. Anyway, on to the story, which is quite good. A man awakes after some sort of coma or unconscious state to find himself in a society that doesn't recognize him. His cash is worthless and those he talks to refer to society rules that he has no familiarity with. Further investigation by the police and doctors realize that the man has no record of existing. At least that's what they tell him. In actuality, they realize that the man existed in society nearly 200 years ago and must have been in some state of suspended animation. Rather than accept him into their society, fearing he may cause others to believe in the freedoms that no longer exist, they inject him with a substance that causes him to go unconscious for another 50 years, so those in the future can deal with him instead.

Fifth is "The Time Eater" by Paul Neary (art) and Jack Butterworth (story). Another sci-fi themed story that is very interesting and unique. One of Warren's most unique stories in fact. The Time Eater of the title is an entity that exists out in space, consuming time. As the story begins, the time eater is quickly reaching the point where it has consumed all future time. As a result, it has to start eating the past. We see the Time Eater consumer the past, causing time to go back further and further. A spaceship that approached the Time Eater lands back on Earth, then is deassembled. People who have died come back to life, then grow young, and eventually return to their mother's womb. Humankind de-evolves as does all other life. Eventually the Earth itself ceases to exist and the universe slowly shrinks until it too is gone. At this point the time eater has eaten all time that has ever existed and soon starves to death. A gaseous particle breaks off the time eater, causing the universe to slowly start reforming again. Time once again starts to pass by, the universe slowly returns to normal and the time eater eventually comes back to life to start the process all over again.

Last is "Home For the Holidays" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This is a Christmas themed story. It is told in two parts, very similar in fashion to the story "Bless Us Father" from Creepy 59. On the left side of each page we see a little girl and her nanny, who get ready for Christmas day and the return of her parents. On the right side of the page we see the parents boarding a plane to head home. The wife seems quite upset with the husband, who appears to have been recently released from prison. The husband realizes that a fellow passenger has a gun and tries to stop him. This results in a confrontation in the cockpit which results in the plane crashing... right into the home where the daughter and nanny are. Quite a bleak and depressing ending compared to many of the other Christmas themed stories that appeared in the Christmas issue of Creepy that came out the same time as this issue (issue 68).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Eerie 137

This reprint issue of Eerie is dedicated to the various heroes and characters of Eerie's past. The cover is a montage of various past covers featuring these characters. This issue is dated December 1982.

First is Darklon the Mystic in "The Price" by Jim Starlin (story & art) from Eerie 76. 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.

Second is "Exterminator One" by Paul Neary (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is from Eerie 60 This story features a robot that used to be a man, who was jailed and given the opportunity to be let out if he becomes a robot assassin. In the future people are only allowed to have kids if they are genetically perfect and he committed the crime of having a kid anyway. It ends up that the planned victim of his is his own daughter. While he can't do it on his own, the computer overrides him and smuthers her to death with a pillow.

Third is the Mummy in "The Mind Within" by Jaime Brocal (art) and Steve Skeates (story), from Eerie 50. This segment gives us some background info on the mummy, Jerome Curry, about how he found the amulet he used to become the Mummy, and about his desire to kill the various women who have spurned him in the past. When thieves steal the amulet however, Curry might find himself trapped in the Mummy's body forever!

Up next is "Death Wish!" the first part of the series Coffin, from Eerie 61. Art is by Jose Ortiz and story is by Budd Lewis. Coffin is a man whose stage coach in the desert is attacked by Indians, resulting in harm to the many aboard. Coffin heads after the Indian tribe and kills them, but the last three capture him and stake him to the ground, where ants ravage his body. He wakes up much later finding his decayed body and seeks revenge on the Indians, killing two of them. The third tells him they had nothing to do with the attack and curses him to live forever in his mutilated form. Coffin is brought to a hospital and while leaving discovers the true culprits, three white men who posed as Indians. Coffin enacts his revenge on them. A nice start to a really good series.

Fifth is the beginning of Eerie's more popular series, "Hunter" by Paul Neary (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story), from Eerie 52. Hunter is a half man half demon in the future who battles demons. This first story takes place in a snowy wilderness where Hunter comes across a church and battles three demons within it.

Last is "Stridespider Sponge-Rot!" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story), from Eerie 57. This is the first of a seven part series entitled 'The Spook' about a black zombie. The term, which is a racist way to refer to black people, had been created by Bill Dubay, who told Doug MOench to write a series featuring. Anyway, this is a fairly good story, featuring the title character encountering a sorceress woman who brings numerous zombies to life. The Spook is able to stop them by throwing her into a fire. Really nice art by Maroto.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Creepy 72

Ken Kelly provides a fairly good cover for this issue of Creepy, featuring a robot in a misty hallway. This issue is cover dated July 1975, and is an all Jose Gual issue. Jose Gual was a fairly good, but somewhat underrated artist at Warren who also did a lot of work for their chief competitor, Skywald. Wish he had done more for Warren than he did (in fact, Gual did only one more story for Warren after this issue). Not just good art, but fairly good stories throughout the issue too. Berni Wrightson provides a frontis of Uncle Creepy, the only interior art not by Gual.

First is "Vendetta", written by Rich Margopoulos & Gerry Boudreau. Howell Hayes, head of a large company tells an entire factory of employees that they are laid off. One of the laid off workers, a one armed man named Frank Troughton convinces fellow laid off employee Walter Hargrove to transfer his brain to an indestructable robot so he can get revenge on Hayes. Troughton storms into Hayes's mansion, only to find that Hayes is also a robot, who quickly destroys him. Hayes's energy completely runs out however due to contaminated cartridges produced by the closed down factory. Hargrove is found outside and as a mechanic is permitted to go inside to fix Hayes. He instead destroys him, repairs Troughton's robot body and places Hayes's face on him so he can take over his life.

Second is "Malocchi!" written by Don McGregor. This story was originally written and produced a couple of years ago, having been advertised on issues of Creepy as far back as 1972. A man, Troy Rutherford suddenly finds himself on fire and dies as his whole house burns down. It was exactly what he had told some psychic phenomena experts about days earlier, but they didn't believe him. The two experts, regretting that they didn't believe him track down the source of the incident to Madame Swambada, a psychic. When Swambada tries to poison one of them, they are able to prevent the same fate from happening to them and get her arrested.

Third is "Lick the Sky Red", written by Doug Moench. A psychotic arsonist sets a lab ablaze. One of the men is severely burned in the face, which ruins his life as he's laid off from his job and evicted from his apartment because of it. He stays in a shack and gathers some dynamite which he plans to use to get revenge on his boss. He meets a beautiful blind woman outside however and decides to forget the whole thing. The arsonist meanwhile starts a fire in the cabin and ends up getting blown up by the dynamite left there.

Fourth is "The Terror Stalked Heiress", written by Carl Wessler. This story is part of the series 'It' which appeared primarily in Eerie throughout 1974 and 1975. The series stars a corpse named Timothy Foley who comes back from the grave to help his niece Jill. Oddly for some reason in this story the family name of Foley is changed to Redey. Jill gets attacked by some monsters that live in a mirror. It arrives and saves her, and they cover the mirror with a blanket so the monsters can't get out. Later some men come to the house to kill her so they can take over her home, and It arrives once again and saves her, while the monsters from the mirror kill the criminals.

Fifth is "The Bite", written by Jeff Rovin. A city is plauged by a series of murders from a ghoul. A well known football player is suspected of the crimes due to part of his jersey appearing. In actuality he is being framed by two friends of his, who are being paid by the actual killer, a young woman our protagonist met just earlier. The football player is hauled off to jail while the ghoul moves on to another town to consume more victims.

The issue concludes with "Labrynth", written by Gerry Boudreau. A trucker, Sam, stops off at a truck stop he frequents. Inside he meets Dierdre, an emotionless women who joins him on a trip to Mexico. There they visit the catacombs and head deep inside with a guide. Dierdre admits to being in love with him but he has no interest in her so she kills their guide, preventing him from being able to leave her.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

1994 #29

John Berkley provides the cover for this issue, the final issue of 1994, from February 1983.

First is "Grandmother Running Box" by Vic Catan (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story features the character of the title, from the Little Beaver series. Running Box is in pursuit of Little Beaver, and also teams up with some women warriors as well. This story ends with a to be continued, but was never concluded.

Second is "Goddess" by Peter Hsu (art) and Timothy Moriarty (story). This bizarre story features humans fighting some bizarre ape like aliens. They land on a mountain that ends up being a large naked woman, who is also a spaceship. Yes, the story's that odd. Rather obvious that the story is little more than an excuse for Hsu to draw lots of naked women.

Third is "Ghita of Alizarr" by Frank Thorne (story & art). In this story Ghita is able to chop off Rahmuz's arms and Dahib helps drop him into a chasm, killing him. With Rahmuz dead, his minions all vanish. Ghita and the others leave Urd, with Runthar and Dakini now in charge. A fairly good ending to the Ghita saga, I wonder if this was meant to be its ending or if it was meant to continue further had the magazine not died.

Fourth is "Farmed Out" by Delando Nino (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). This story takes place in Luna City in the future. An enforcer (a cop) hopes to win the lottery which permits the winner to be sent to the lovely nature of Earth. Our hero and his wife end up killing the real winners, blowing up their home, and taking their place on the ship being sent to Earth. But it ends up that the whole lottery is a trick, and that those who win it are actually gassed and turned into fertilizer. A very good ending for this issue's best story.

Fifth is "The Warhawks" by Abel Laxamana (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is the second part of a story started in issue 27, unfortunately an issue I do not own. This story features the Warhawks, a group of astronauts fighting aliens in space, who end up being actors. The entire thing ends up being part of a movie.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eerie 136

Nestor Redondo provides the cover for this issue of Eerie, featuring the interior story Starlad. This issue is dated November 1982. Lots of stuff coming to an end in this issue.

First is the Rook in "The Fallen Part Two" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Budd Lewis (story). This story was the last Warren appearance of the Rook. This story continues from the previous issue, where the Rook has traveled into the future and encounters a crashed spaceship. In this story an evil alien being breaks out and starts killing people. The Rook and the others realize that the ship's pilot caused the creature's creation and that any exposure to it will cause the person being exposed (or animal being exposed) to also turn into a monster. The Rook solves things by traveling back in time and removing the alien pilot from his ship such that the alien monster was never created.

Second is "Space Force: Shipwrecked", by Paul Gillon (art) and Jean Claude Forest (story), in its final appearance. Chris and the others travel to one of Saturn's moons. The natives tell them of rat-like aliens gathering and of Valerie, that she is there and is considered a goddess. Chris heads there and finds talking frog creatures who attack him. After escaping he finally comes across Valerie, still encased in the orb that he too was encased in while in space. Mara meanwhile is confronted by the frog creatures as well. Unfortunate that the series suddenly ends here when it is getting interesting.

Third is "Starlad" by Vic Catan (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is another color insert story in the style of the one appearing in Eerie 134. This story features a sick boy who is about to die. His doctor tells him that he is actually an alien superhero, and he makes the boy into a superhero as well. In reality, the boy has died. I could tell by page two exactly where this story was going as Bill Dubay simply rips off his own story "Dick Swift and His Electric Power Ring" from Creepy 86. Very lame.

Fourth is "Haggarth" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). Haggarth's last appearance, this story resolves a number of running storylines such as the amazonesses, the stones, and the spirit Haggarth had encountered earlier. A fairly good finale, although not as well resolved as the earlier Haggarth storyline. Still the best story in the issue though.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Creepy 74

This issue of Creepy is a reprint special dedicated to Reed Crandall. The cover is a montage of various drawings of Crandall's from previous issues, in color. This issue is dated October 1975.

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

Second is "Curse of the Full Moon!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 4. A rich man, Henry, has his coach attacked by a wolf, and his driver killed, He encounters an old gypsy woman who tells him that it is a werewolf, and he is to be the creature's next victim. Henry plans to hunt the werewolf with his two hunting buddies and when the werewolf attacks him, he kills it with a silver bladed knife. Because he was bitten however, he becomes a werewolf himself and his killed by his friends.

Third is "The Cask of Amontillado!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), an adaption of the classic Poe story. This story was originally published in Creepy 6. The story features a man who encloses a colleague of his in a brick tomb. Goodwin adds a new ending to the story, where the protagonist, now an old man, returns to the scene of the crime and is killed when the chamber floods and the corpse of his colleague pulls him under water.

Fourth is "Hot Spell!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 7. A devil worshipper is captured by the townfolk and set on fire at the stake. Before he dies however, he curses them. Years pass and his descendants all pass away. The town however has multiple people who die due to fire. The townfolk think that an artist from out of town is a descendent of him, so they set his house on fire, killing his wife, then kill him too. But the ghost of the devil worshipper appears, saying that they'havea become as evil as he, and sets them aflame.

The next story, in color, is "The Beast on Beacon Street" by Reed Crandall and Budd Lewis. This story is a rewriting of the story "Wrong Tennant" from Eerie 24. A pair of ghost hunters arrive to help an old woman eliminate a ghost from her house. They initially have difficulty and one of them is killed, but the ghost is able to be stopped using electricity. Only it ends up the ghost was actually a victim of the old woman, who is a vampire and kills the last remaining ghost hunter.

Sixth is "Hop Frog" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), an Edgar Allen Poe adaption from Creepy 13. It features the title character, who is a midget that is constantly teased and absued by the king and his men. One night Hop Frog convinces the king and two friends to dress up as gorillas to scare some guests. Hop Frog takes this opportunity to bind them then set them all aflame, and leaves the castle for good.

Seventh is "The Squaw" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story) is next, a reprint from Creepy #13. This story, which is an adaption of a Bram Stoker story features a man who kills a kitten by accidently dropping a rock on it. The mother of the cat follows him as he goes to see a torture chamber and steps into an Iron Maiden. The cat jumps at the tour guide holding the iron maiden open, resulting in it shutting on the man, killing him.

Next is "Frozen Fear!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 16. 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.

Last is "Keep Your Spirits Up" by Reed Crandall (art) and Bill Parente (writer), from Creepy 25. The story surrounds an artist who travels to the spirit world in order to get inspiration. The spirits don't like him being there, and he eventually ends up going there so much that he is killed by them.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Vampirella 91

This issue of Vampirella, from October 1980 is an all reprint issue featuring various Vampirella stories. The cover is a montage of various past Warren covers (featuring artist Enrich and Sanjulian, from Creepy 51, 58 and 60, Eerie 41, and Vampirella 40 and 57) with new artwork from Enrich.

First is "The Carnival of Death" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew), from Vampirella 34. Traveling in Venice, Vampirella and Pendragon meet the Zymer, a cruel man who Vampirella gets upset at after he forces participation in a russian roulette type game. Meanwhile a rich couple invites many old friends to a ball they are having, and an invitation ends up going to Zymer too. A large group heads to the ball, where they find that the other guests are actually corpses! Vampirella finally snaps, killing Zymer by draining his blood. They depart, leaving the rich couple with their dead friends.

Second is "The Human Marketplace" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story), from Vampirella 53. Vampi is caught with her forged passport on the US border and agrees to work undercover in order to get off the hook. She is used to go undercover to thwart Algernon Silver, a man who plans to sell women to various world leaders and use them to kill them all at once. As usual, Vampi is able to save the day while Silver's own men also end up 'screwing' up his plans. Pretty good story with gorgeous art by Gonzalez.

Third is "City of Ghosts" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Roger McKenzie (story), from Vampirella 57. Vampirella is stranded in the desert and comes across a deserted town where she meets her husband from Drakulon, Tristan. Adam arrives but is shot by him. Eventually it ends up that it was all an illusion and Vampi is reunited with Pendragon and Adam.

Fourth is "The Headless Horseman of All-Hallow's Eve!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Bill Dubay (story) from Vampirella 56. Some extremely good art by Gonzalez here, one of his best Vampirella stories ever. Vampirella and Adam try to solve the mystery of a headless horsemen who is kidnapping young woman. Using Vampi as bait they find the truth, it is actually some men who are trying to sell the women into slavery. Vampi and Adam are able to stop their operations.
Fifth is "Pendragon's Last Bow" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Bill Dubay (story) from Vampirella 59. Vampi and Pendragon come to a new town where some murders have been taking place. Pendragon meets a beautiful woman Rosie, the owner of an antique shop directly above the place where the corpses have been found. The Van Helsings arrive and find that Rosie is a succubus, who along with her brother is responsible for the murders. Rosie and her brother are killed, but she saves Adam, who had been attacked by her brother before she dies.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eerie 133

Sanjulian provides the cover for this all reprint issue of Eerie, dated August 1982. This issue is dedicated to the artist Ramon Torrents, and also features all three Fleur stories.

First is "Destiny's Witch" by Ramon Torrents (art) and John Jacobson (story), from Creepy 59. Hundreds of years ago a servant is suspected of being a witch when she tries to remove some leaves from her master's daughter, which is supposed to ward off a vampire that's been plauging the village. In actuality she is a witch, and is betrayed by her boyfriend Oliver multiple times, who reveals her as a witch, then frames her as being a vampire when he is actually the vampire. Hundreds of years later however she gets revenge by getting him fried by the sun.

Next is "From the Spain of Legend" from Vampirella 34, featuring the character Fleur, in her first of four appearances. Art is by Ramon Torrents while story is by John Jacobson. Richard, a traveling Earl visits a fellow noble, Chelidonius, seeking lodging while he returns home from the Crusades. Chelidonius tricks the Earl, having him locked up as an accussed witch so he can take over his property. Within the prison Richard meets Fleur, a woman who claims to actually be a witch. When it is time for the 'witches' to be burned at the stake, Fleur kills their captors and escapes with Richard. Richard however attacks her since she is a real witch, and Fleur kills him.

Third is "Our Tarts Were Young and Gay", from Vampirella 35 by Ramon Torrents (art) and John Jacobson (story). This story also stars Fleur and features her encounter in a brothel with a very odd customer. After this story Fleur wouldn't have her own story in Vampirella again for years, although she did have a short cameo in a Vampirella story in Vampirella 50. Terrific art by Torrents and the best of the Fleur stories in my opinion.

Fourth is the final Fleur story, "Night of the Alley Cats" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story), from Vampirella 68. This was Fleur's last appearance overall. Its a good thing, as this was quite a poor story, not on the level at all of her other stories. Fleur gets involved with the investigation of a murder involved with a gang. It ends up that the man she is seeing is responsible for the murders and through her witchcraft he gets whats coming to him.

"The Quest" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Budd Lewis (story) is last, from Vampirella 67. This story features an Amazoness-esque heroine who tries to save a holy city from a group of barbarians. In the city she finds a group of dead lords as well as a pair of bizarre pillars made up of naked people who ask her to join them. After saving the city from the Barbarians she does so. The final page reveals that the entire city is actually a giant spaceship of aliens whose time goes much, much slower than ours. All the humans in the pillars end up being used as fuel for the ship. Quite an interesting story here.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Creepy 82

This issue of Creepy is all reprints, featuring Esteban Maroto. The cover is a montage of panels from the interior story "A Scream in the Forest". This issue is dated August 1976.

First up is "Forgive Us Our Debts" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story), from Creepy 50. The story is about a pair of drug smugglers whose plane crashes in the jungle. One of the smugglers, Manning, escapes while the other, Hunter, loses one of his arms to a crocodile. He gets his revenge by later taking Manning captive and forcing him along with his collegue Sharon in the jungle to recover their lost drugs. Along the way they encounter a bizarre group of humanoid creatures who are guarding the drugs along with a large amount of treasure. When Hunter goes to get the drugs, Manning shoots him in the back. He goes to claim the treasure himself, but when Sharon is unable to cover him due to going insane from fright, the creatures kill him. Pretty good story with very good Maroto art, although its a tad long and drags a bit in the middle.

Next is "A Most Private Terror", from Creepy 52. This story is drawn by Esteban Maroto and written by Budd Lewis. This story takes place in a winter setting, featuring a man hiding in a cave from a snow beast. He thinks to a past encounter with such a beast, which was a beautiful woman who turned into a werewolf that he had killed. Realizing he's going to freeze to death, he sets himself on fire, then once putting the fire out heads out of the cave. He becomes so frightened however that he falls off a cliff to his death. It is revealed at the end however that all that was following him was a little white rabbit.

Third is "Deja Vu" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story), from Creepy 51. This reprint is in color, with a page removed from the original story. A psychologist hypnotizes a young woman, who tells him of a past life where she was a witch who was burned at the stake after being accused by a man who ends up being her ancestor. She curses him, saying that his descendents will be killed by cats. He tries to convince her to stay, but she runs off, and ends up being killed by a cat, just like the curse said. He is revealed to be a descendent of the witch.

Next up is Relatives by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bruce Bezaire (story), from Vampirella 35. This story is about a pair of astronauts who encounter a civilization of bizarre looking aliens. One of the astronauts, a deeply religious man, refuses to believe that the aliens are intelligent and kills one of them, only to later find out that they were praying when they met him. A fairly good, although quite short, sci-fi story with some extremely odd looking aliens.

Last is "A Scream in the Forest" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Greg Potter (story), from Creepy 53. An extremely good story with some very beautiful artwork. A society of dwarves is plauged by Fearies, large one eyed beastly creatures that kidnap their women for food. Screams echo throughout the forest, most likely from their victims. One of the dwarves, Ussel, is nearly captured by one, but is saved by Arn, a powerful swordsman. Arn agrees to help Ussel wipe out the Fearies and they head through the woods, fighting off another one along the way. Eventually they come across a large cave, and inside Arn knocks out Ussel, handing him over to the Fearies. Arn is actually working with the Fearies, capturing them prey in exchange for diamonds. Ussel awakens just as they are about to eat them, and there is another scream in the forest.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Vampirella 29

Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, featuring Vampirella pursued by an underwater monster. This issue is dated November 1973. Quite a good cover. Bill Dubay provides the two page "A History of Vampires" on the inside front and back covers.

First is "Vampirella and the Undead of the Deep!" by Jose Gonzalez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew). Vampi witnesses the burial of Alastair, who she met in the previous issue's story, who is being carried into the water. Vampi goes under water where she sees many dead bodies at a ball. She also finds Tristan down there, but he soon transforms into a watery beast after tricking her into getting rid of her blood substitute. Vampi escapes and bites the dead bodies down there to get the blood she needs.

Second is "The Evil Eye" by Ramon Torrents (art) and W. Eaton (story). Hundreds of years ago Ezekiel Lanier testifies against a witch, lying, causing her to be burned at the stake. The witch curses him, saying that he and ten generations of descendents will lose what they cherish most. This is done through an evil eye kept in a box of hers. Whenever someone opens the box they suffer the effects of the curse. It starts with Ezekiel, whose eyes and tongue rot away, and continue throughout the years through various descendents until modern times.

Third is "Stairway to Heaven!" by Fernando Fernandez (story). A man finds himself in limbo, not remembering who he is or what he's doing there. Slowly he remembers where he is, that he's in limbo between life and death after being in a car accident. Realizing where he is, he decides to accept his death and die. Some insanely good artwork by Fernandez here, arguably his best. Only downside is one very obvious swipe from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Fourth is "Last Lunch For Rats!" by Auraleon (art) and Doug Moench (story). A young boy named Harold is picked on from some other neighborhood kids who poison his pet rats. Later Harold ends up vanishing when he holds his breath under water, and is never seen again. Years go bye, and the kids grow up and start a business. Soon they start dying under mysterious circumstances. Eventually only two are left, with one, a judge, sentencing the other, who was Harold's only friend, to jail. The judge is found dead himself soon after however, from Harold.

Last is "The Vampires are Coming! The Vampires are Coming!" by Isidro Mones (art) and Doug Moench (story). This story takes place during the revolutionary war. A young drummer boy sees a vampire sucking the blood from dead bodies. He tells some adult soldiers of what he saw but they don't believe him. He later is confronted by the vampire again, but is able to kill him with his drum sticks. Unknown to him, the vampire's victims will soon rise themselves...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Eerie 134

Rudy Nebres provides the cover for this issue of Eerie, cover dated September 1982. The cover features the hero the Fighting Armenian, who makes his first Eerie appearance within.

First is the Rook in "The Fallen" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Budd Lewis (story). The Rook discovers that the world is going to end in 2011 unless he does something (yet he's traveled further than that in the future many times in stories past). He heads there and arrives at a outpost off the coast of Mexico. There an alien ship crashes, and a sleeping alien is found inside. The story ends just as the creature wakes up and escapes.

Second is "Space Force: Shipwrecked", the third story in this series. Art is by Paul Gillon while story is by John Claude Forest. A ship crashes on the shore, resuling in some refugees fleeing, chased by aliens, which Chris and some others help defeat. Heading inside they find many more robots with the face of Valerie, the woman who was sent out into space along with Chris. Our heroes then travel through the ocean, but are attacked by Lizard Men. Chris is injured and comes down with a disease, but due to Mara kissing him, not his injuries.

Third is "The Fighting Armenian" by Rudy Nebres (art) and Bill Dubay (story). This story is in color, but not the traditional color one is used to seeing in a Warren magazine. Instead its like someone tore 8 pages out of a color comic and put it in the middle of the magazine. Very poorly done. An extremely lame story as well, featuring a dumb Russian super hero who is recruited by a woman to save her husband, but it all ends up being a trap by her in order for some bad guys to get their hands on a scientist. The woman ends up being a man in the end. Oh yeah, and the Rook randomly appears as well. This character originally appeared in the Rook's magazine and thankfully would not appear in Eerie again.

Fourth is "Zud Kamish", the final story for this character. Art is by E.R. Cruz and story is by John Ellis Sech. In this story Zud goes after the assassin from the previous story who killed his son, lover and robot friend (seems like they died for real, something I doubted would be the case when the previous story ended given the rather light hearted nature of the series). The assassin meanwhile also swears revenge on Zud for throwing acid in his face in the previous part. The two do battle, eventually getting blown up by a grenade. Zud survives though, and runs his own adult book store, with no arms and legs left however.

Last is "Haggarth" by Victor de la Fuente (story & art). The man that Haggarth saved a few stories ago works with some of the amazonesses in order to obtain the stones he's looking for. Haggarth, Ethan and Eco run into some more Amazonesses themselves, but do eventually find the stones they are seeking. Haggarth wants to dump them and escape, upsetting Ethan. They do so, although Ethan still keeps one to himself.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Creepy 71

A terrific issue of Creepy, dedicated to Luis Bermejo. Five new stories from him in this one, all with extremely good artwork. This issue came out in May 1975, at which point Bermejo was at the top of his game. Unfortunate that he couldn't always stay this good. Some very strong stories too. Berni Wrightson provides a one page intro from Uncle Creepy in the frontis.

First is "Room For One More" with story by Doug Moench. A mysterious killer with a skull-like mask collects corpses, sitting them next to each other in a room. The story then changes focus to a young undertaker, who meets the wife of a deceased man, Rita and the two hit it off. It ends up that her deceased husband is alive however, and plotting with his wife's lover, Augie, to fake his death. He demands the undertaker get involved with them and help him continue to fake his death. Instead the mysterious killer shows up and kills him. Later Rita sneaks in and faces a similar fate. As does Augie when he tries to kill the undertaker to keep things a secret. The undertaker ends up being the killer, collecting corpses and talking to the corpse of his dead fiance, whom he is upset at, suspecting she didn't want to marry him. When he mistakenly goes out in public with his mask on he loses it and the police find him shooting at a fiance's body, trying to kill her again like he did before. A little complicated, but a very good story to start the issue.

Second is "But When She Was Bad" with story by Gerry Boudreau. A young woman is in a car crash with her parents, being the only one to survive. Soon afterwards she starts hearing voices in her head, telling her to do bad things. This starts with her killing the family dog, but escalates to her tampering with stop lights, causing a car crash, and beating to death her guidance counselor and another man with a baseball bat. As the police come to collect her it is revealed that this behavior started before the crash and is why her parents were killed.

Third is "His Name Was John!", with story provided by Budd Lewis. This story is told through two perspectives, at the top of the page an alien creature approaching the Earth, and at the bottom a priest named John. The alien being causes John to collapse, sending his consiousness to his ship. There, the alien reveals that he created all life on Earth and that was created himself from another being long since dead. He decides to make John his own 'son', returning him back to Earth where he soon finds tentacled growths appearing on his back. A very similar story to Jose Bea's "The Other Side of Heaven" from Vampirella 28.

Fourth is "The Song of Alan Bane". Story here is by Gerry Boudreau. Alan Bane of the title is knight of darkness who kills many and causes the people of the countryside great fear. Multiple times knights and armies try to defeat him but are all killed. Eventually he is done in however by a young woman and priest who head to his lair. This story is told in the form of a poem. Some very nice art, but easily the weakest story here.

Last is "The Minotaur", an adaption of the Nathanial Hawthorne story. Adaption is by Rich Margopoulos. The minotaur is a half man/half bull creature who is possessed by King Minos and kept in a labyrinth. Every year the King demands fourteen people to be handed over to be sacrificed to the Minotaur. Prince Theseus volunteers to head there such that he can defeat the Minotaur. With help from the princess, he is able to defeat it and escape with his people.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Vampirella 107

An all Esteban Maroto reprint issue of Vampirella. This issue is cover dated August 1982. The cover is provided by Sanjulian.

First is "The Blood Red Queen of Hearts" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Bill Dubay (story), from Vampirella 49. Probably my favorite single Vampirella story in this magazine's history, although the Blood Red Queen would make many return appearances down the in later issues, each declining in quality. This story introduces the queen, who has slain six people, taking their hearts. With the acquisition of a seventh she believes she'll become the queen of Chaos. She summons a demon which she sends to take the final heart, from Vampirella. Vampi meanwhile returns to the hospital where Pendragon is kept and saves him by giving him a blood transfusion. The demon has hidden himself within Pendragon's body however, and attacks Vampi when the transfusion takes place. Adam meanwhile returns to the hospital, having been cleared due to Sara confessing to the attempted murder. Adam saves Vampirella and shoots out the demon's eyes, forcing it away. Vampirella is cleared of all charges, and Conrad is revealed to be alive, having been in hiding. Alas, the Queen does not have such a happy ending, with the demon tearing her eyes out to replace his. Some extremely good art by Maroto here in his first story featuring Vampirella herself (he'd do his second and last Vampi story in issue 50). The final page, showing the Queen's fate is particularly good.

Second is "Moonspawn" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story), from Vampirella 26. A very quick paced story with not much dialogue, it features the origin of werewolves on Earth, which occurs when a meteor crash mutates a wolf, which attacks a gypsy, turning him into a werewolf. He battles a fellow gypsy who stole his girlfriend and they both end up dying.

Third is "Black and White Vacuum to Blues" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Doug Moench (story). This story was in color in its original appearance in Vampirella 34. Despite some very good art, this is a poor, very confusing story about a clown being pursued through the old west, space, and other places. It ends up that the clown is just a character on television.

Fourth is the first of a three part series featuring Dracula. This story is titled "The Circus of King Carnival", originally from Vampirella 39. Art is by Esteban Maroto and story is by Gerry Boudreau. This story was also in color in its original appearance. Despite being the title of the series, Dracula barely appears at all here. Instead the story focuses on a couple who come by a freak show that Dracula is a part of. The husband visits a shaman as he wants to save his dying wife, but the shaman tells him he'll have to bring him a human heart. The husband attacks a thief who is captivated by the butterfly lady in the freak show, and kills him to take the heart. Only the butterfly lady kills him. Meanwhile, Dracula bites the neck of the wife, preventing her from dying by turning her into a vampire.

Fifth is "Look What They've Done!" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Steve Skeates (story), from Eerie 36. This unique story breaks the fourth wall, having the lead character argue with the writer and plead to the reader. A hippie, he refuses to go along with the plot, and ends up getting killed by an alien.

Last is "Snow White and the Deadly Dwarfs" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Steve Skeates & Gerry Boudreau (story), from Vampirella 39. A young woman lives in a large mansion all by herself, well except for dwarves that live with her and call her snow white. Her boyfriend doesn't believe her about them, and when he comes over they stab him to death to 'protect her'. Only it ends up that the dwarves weren't after all and she did it all the stabbing herself. Some extremely good art by Maroto on this story, one of his best.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Eerie 132

Sanjulian provides the cover for this issue of Eerie, featuring Haggarth (although the character painted here looks nothing like Haggarth!). This issue is cover dated July 1982.

First is the return of the Rook to Eerie, in "The Dane Curse!" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Budd Lewis (story). A pretty good story, but we kick off right in the middle of things, meaning this story probably originated from the Rook magazine (which by this point was cancelled) and is continued here. In this story the Rook is in the past, helping a woman who others are accusing as a witch. The Rook takes the blame himself to save her and is jailed, then they go ahead and jail her too. It ends up that the mob is possessed with a demon and that when they are about to execute him, the demon comes out and he destroys it. The past changed, the Rook appears back in the present, not remembering what happened.

Next is Zud Kamish in "Hero of the Milky Way" by E.R. Cruz (art) and John Ellis Sech (story). In this story Zud is recruited to guard an ambassador. He agrees to do so, then helps save the ambassador from an assassination attempt. The assailant responds by blowing up Zud's home, apparently killing his son, lover and robot friend. Or so it seems. The story ends here, to be continued later.

Third is "Space Force: Shipwrecked", by Paul Gillon (art) and Jean Claude Forest (story), continued from Eerie 129. In this story Chris is on Venus, battling aliens with some soldiers in a facility. One of the robots he comes across has the face of the woman that he was jettisoned out into space with. They are able to narrowly escape from the facility before it explodes.

Last is "Haggarth" by Victor de la Fuente (story and art). Haggarth once again runs into Ethan and his friend Eco. Haggarth agrees to help them search for the treasure they are looking for when they let him borrow their canoe. They later come across an amazoness that Haggarth helps. Later when Ethan and Eco are captured by them Haggarth captures their princess, enabling them to escape.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Vampirella 47

Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, dated December 1975.

First is "Mother's Coming Home" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Bill Dubay (story). Taking place during the period of time while Pendragon and Conrad are supposedly dead (found out not to be the case two issues later), Vampirella is away on her out trying to avoid the authorities. She comes across Barbara, a young woman who acts as if her dead mother is still alive. It is later revealed that Barbara was in a mental institution and was the one who murdered her mother. Vampirella sucks the blood from her, killing her, the first time she does so without any guilt.

Second is "The Secret Legacy of Gaslight Lil'" by Luis Garcia (art, miscredited as Jose Garcia) and Bill Dubay & Victor Mora (story, Mora uncredited). This story was originally printed in Europe in the publication Pilote and appears rewritten here. It features a woman who works as a prostitue under Gaslight Lil of the title and gains the powers of a succubus. She partially drains the life of two men who come by and also controls their minds, causing them to head out with her and become outlaws. A fairly good story, enhanced much by Garcia's terrific art. Unfortunately this would be his last story published in a Warren magazine. One of the characters in this story is visually based on the actor Paul Newman.

Third is "Children of Wrath" by Ramon Torrents (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). A wealthy man leaves his job and fiance to join the Brandon Abbey monastery, having to pay $1 million dollars to join. His fiance Elizabeth, very upset, heads there himself and sneaks in, being captured. There she finds that the abbey is actually some sort of bordello where men live out their every whim, particularly with the women they have captured there. She is kept there herself and raped by those there. Eventually she is able to escape when her fiance tries to kill her, taking his knife and killing him. Then she and the other woman kill all those there. In the epilogue we find the opposite occur, as a woman heads there to join the Convent of St. Elizabeth.

Fourth is "Gamal and the Cockatrice" by Auraleon (art) and Bruce Bezaire (story). A terrific story, one of the best Warren stories of all time. It is included within the top 25 stories in the Warren companion. A tribe in the dessert is told by one of their members, Gamal, that he has killed the cockatrice, the half chicken/half snake creature that kills anyone who looks at it. Using a complex story he tells them how he killed it. When the man offering a reward for the death of the creature refuses to pay, Gamal admits that he also kidnapped another cockatrice and that he will unleash it unless they give him a third of the tribe's wealth and three of their women. They relent to his demands, and it is never really revealed whether he actually killed or captured a cockatrice.

Last is "The January Man" by Luis Bermejo (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story features a group of boys who meet the January Man, a mysterious man who brings them to another world. He claims to be the guardian of January, and that when he dies he will have to choose another guardian. Back in the real world everyone gets worried over the missing children. The children defeat the evil Summer Guardians, but two vanish while doing so. The January Man helps the remaining children bring them back to life. Afterwards they return to the real world , with one of them made the guardian for next January. The light hearted nature makes one wonder whether this story was originally intended for a Christmas issue.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Creepy 139

This is an all Alex Toth reprint issue. Toth was a terrific artist, so its nice to see so much good artwork from him here. This issue is cover dated July 1982, with a cover by Rudy Nebres.

First is "Daddy and the Pie" with art by Bill Dubay. This story is from Eerie 64. It 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.

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

Third is "Grave Undertaking" with story by Archie Goodwin, from Creepy 5. This story was Toth's first one for Warren. A pair of undertakers make a deal with a doctor to bring him dead bodies for use in medical classes. They initially dig up graves, then start committing murder to fulfill this task. Upon hearing of a nearby town with a number of deaths, they head there and take all the bodies. What they hadn't realized was that all these people died from a vampire, and thus have become vampires themselves!

Fourth is "Rude Awakening" with story by Archie Goodwin (story). This story, from Creepy 7 is about a man who keeps having dreams of a glasses wearing man attacking him with a knife. He's so freaked out by them that he falls out a window and is brought to the hospital, where he faces none other than the glassed man!

Fifth is "Survival" from Blazing Combat 3. The story is provided by both Toth and Archie Goodwin. An old man in a post-war landscape ravages for food found from small cans, and has to fight of wild dogs. He gets excited upon realizing that there is other people nearby when he finds a raft, but upon finding out that they have taken some of his food he goes on a rampage and kills them all. He is shocked to find a woman among the people he killed. My favorite story from a superb issue of Blazing Combat, the only one I own. I love the final lines of the story "Suddenly, the air filled with a taut, shrill, horrible cry of pain and rage... Animal-like in pitch and quality, it rose higher into the night, ripping, tearing my head apart! I tried to shut it out... out... but it wouldn't! ...and couldn't stop it... for in a while, I realized the truth... and knew that the raw, shrill scream... was MINE!"

Sixth is "Phantom of Pleasure Island" with story by Gerry Boudreau. This story is from Creepy 75. It is a murder mystery taking place in an amusement park where a mysterious sniper has killed multiple people. One of the suspects is killed while the other one agrees to sell his rival amusement park, removing him as a suspect. The killer ends up being the wife of the park owner, who wanted him to pay more attention to her than the park, and thought that her murder spree would accomplish that goal.

Last is "Unreal!" with story by Toth, from Creepy 78. This story features an actor named 'Baba' Boone who does a lot of stunts, but is extremely quiet. As the story ends it ends up that is the case because he is a robot. A good story, though a tad predictable.