Sunday, June 21, 2009

Creepy 62

Today I'll be covering issue 62 of Creepy, featuring a cover by Ken Kelly. This issue is dated May 1974. This is one of Creepy's best issues, certainly a pleasure to read. Berni Wrightson provides a one page intro from Uncle Creepy.

First is "The Black Cat" by Berni Wrightson (story & art). This was Berni Wrightson's first appearance in a Warren magazine. A tremendous horror artist whose style was perfect for the black and white format of Warren, Wrightson was one of those artists who usually made an issue worth having even if the rest of the issue was poor. A very talented writer too, in fact his best stories are probably those he wrote as well. This story is an adaption of the Edgar Allen Poe story. A man and his wife own a beloved black cat. Eventually the husband grows tired of the cat, then upset at it. After the cat bites him, he cuts out one of its eyes and soon after hangs it. That very night his house burns down. Wandering into a bar, he finds another black cat that has one eye that starts following him. He brings it home and the wife quickly becomes fond of it. The husband loses control and tries to kill the cat. When his wife gets in the way he kills her by slamming an axe into her head. He hides her beneath a brick wall and is confident that the police won't find it when they stop by. The cat however, which was also walled behind the brick wall ends up attracting them to her corpse due to its screams.

Second is "Buffaloed" by John Severin (art) and Larry Herndon (story). Another western themed story perfectly fitting Severin's style. A buffalo Hunter, Hawkins, is nearly killed by a buffalo stampede. When he comes to he is being taken care of a native american woman, Little Fawn. Little Fawn's father is One Eye, who wants to kill him but is convinced by his daughter to speak to the buffalo spirits to see what he should do. Hawkins eventually recovers and spotting a group of white buffalo nearby starts firing on them, even though Little Fawn tries to stop him. One such buffalo however, one with only one eye, doesn't go down and stampedes him to death.

Third is "Firetrap" by Vicente Alcazar (art) and Jack Butterworth (story). This story is Vicente Alcazar's Creepy debut (he had appeared for a few issues in Eerie before this). A landlord visits his inner city property to collect rent because his superintendent quit. He refuses to do anything about the terrible condition of the place and is attacked by a woman who blames the death of her baby on him. As he's about to leave he is pushed down into the basement where the tenants lock him into a coffin, dump rats on him, and eventually light him on fire.

Fourth is "Judas", this issue's color story, by Richard Corben (art) and Rich Margopoulos (story). A group of aliens head throughout the galaxy, destroying worlds. Their next target is Earth. Earth sends a spaceship to stop the invasion that is piloted by St. John, a man who desires fame and fortune above all else, who even killed the original pilot of the ship to be in the position he is in. When his ship approaches the alien fleet, he is contacted by the alien commander who says he'll make him immortal if he permits them to attack Earth. St. John agrees to the deal. He is brought onto the alien ship, where his body is changed to an alien version that lives forever. He convinces the aliens to bring him to their leader so he can thank him; when he arrives there however he beats the leader to death and tells the aliens that he is their new leader and they are going to return to their home. The alien fleet departs, calling off their invasion of Earth.

Fifth is "Survivor or Savior!" by Gonzalo Mayo (art) and Steve Skeates (story). In the future the Earth is a wasteland due to pollution and war that has occurred. A man is sent back in time by a scientist to find a Chester P. Hazel, who he thinks can help prevent the war by doing something about the pollution. Our protagonist heads back in time, meets Chester, who oddly enough ends up being a woman, and saves her from an attempt on her life. Because the time machine can not return him to his present, he ends up dying of radiation poisoning, not knowing if what he did actually saved the future or not.

Sixth is "The Maze" by Leo Summers (art) and Steve Skeates (story). My favorite story of the issue, and one of Warren's odder tales. A man, John, is sick of his worthless life with his low paying job and nagging wife. He decides to start a new life, stealing money from where he works and heading down to the subway to run off. He is attacked by a group of maniacs and wakes up later deep in the subway tunnels, still possessing the money, but having no idea how to get out. He tries to escape from the subway numerous times but the maniacs prevent him from doing so. Eventually he finds their 'king', a grotesquely fat quadruple amputee who is fed the body parts of living people that his maniac 'subjects' bring to him. John continues to fail to escape and decides that by attacking the maniacs he'll be able to escape. He attacks their 'king', chopping his head off with a blade, and is declared by the maniacs their new king. He demands they let him out, but they refuse, and attack him. On the final page we see his fate, he has permanently become their new 'king', and like the previous one has had all his limbs chopped off and gleefully watches his 'subjects' brutally murder people to feed to him.

Last is "The Demon Within" by Isidro Mones (art) and Steve Skeates (story). A woman believes that she is cursed, that a demon lives with in her bringing death to everyone around her. We flash back to her past, where her parents were murdered and her sister was killed in a car accident. Eventually she gets married and has a son, but he too ends up dying. She flips out and stands outside a window on a tall building, about to jump. Her husband arrives to try and stop her, but when he's about to help her off he falls of the ledge to his death. She too jumps off seconds later to her death as well.

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