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.


alex said...

When you look at this terrific cover, you have to wonder
"Holy cow ! This guys KNOWS how to draw. He IS an artist !"

Anonymous said...

'His name is John', has stayed with me for a very long time.
A classic!