Friday, July 24, 2009

Eerie 45

Luis Dominguez provides the Dax-themed cover for this issue of Eerie, dated February 1973. The frontis for this issue is "Eerie's Monster Gallery: Vlad the Impaler" by Auraleon (art) and Fred Ott (story).

First is "The Mound" by Tom Sutton (story & art). In this story a comet crashes into Earth, causing a mysterious mound to appear. At this time humanity is battling an onslaught of bugs that are threatening to destroy mankind. Fearing the mound contains the bugs' savior, mankind has it blown up. But it instead contained mankind's savior, a giant anteater, and by killing it mankind seals its own fate.

Second is "Ri, Master of Men" by Martin Salvador (art) and Hal Turner (story). In the future mankind creates a massive computer, Ri, which is made ruler of the world. Ri also starts taking over people's minds, turning them into zombies. A group of people head off into space to escape Ri, eventually landing on the moon. There they find an advanced group of people... and Ri, who is still in control.

Third is "When Wakes the Dreamer" by Jesus Suso Rego (art) and Don McGregor (story). Yet another nonscensical McGregor story, featuring a man dreaming about a world where cities and people are vanishing and a weird werewolf like monster appears. The dreamer wakes up, finding that the same thing is happening in the real world.

Fourth is "A Blade For the Teacher" by Luis Dominguez (art) and Bill Warren (story). A powerful warrior seeks to fight his old master in battle to prove himself even more than his current elevated status. He recalls the statues of powerful warriors his master taught from when he was a student. He eventually finds the master, who permits him to join the statues by turning him into one.

Fifth is "Maneater" by Rubio (art) and Steve Skeates (story). An artist murders a woman who is trying to blackmail him. When he leaves he finds himself driving in a landscape like one of his paintings. There he sees the woman he killed, who bites his head off. In reality he gets into a car crash and is killed, although the police find his head missing when they come to the crash site.

Last is Dax the Warrior in "The Witch". A witch captures Dax and his men, seeking to steal their hearts and restore her lost youth. She also turns Dax into a ape like creature. Dax in his ape form kills a snake and puts its fangs into the heart of a nearby warrior. When the witch takes the hearts she becomes young again and restores Dax to his normal self. The poison injected into the hearts by the fangs kill her seconds later however.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm Not Dead!

...but as I'm sure you've noticed, my updating of this blog has slowed to a crawl. After a year and a half or so of updating this blog with a new issue nearly every day (and for a while, 2 issues a day), I've almost entirely run out of my supply of Warren magazines to cover. There's a few more left I got to put up here, which hopefully shouldn't be too far off. After that... well we'll find out what happens when we get there.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Vampirella 41

Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, dated April 1975. One of Enrich's best and most praised covers. Jose Gonzalez provides a one page intro from Jose Gonzalez.

First is "The Malignant Morticians!" by Leopold Sanchez (art) and Mike Butterworth (story, as Flaxman Loew). Vampirella adopts a new puppy. Feeding him dogfood she and Pendragon find a ring in it that belonged to his deceased Uncle. They investigate, finding a conspiracy surrounding morticians who have been turning dead people into dog food.

Second is Dracula in "Rainy Night in Georgia" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story is the finale in the Dracula series, although it has an open ended ending. This is the only story in the series to not appear in color. It features a woman who becomes pregant from a black man in the early 1900s in Georgia. Her lover is killed and she is forced to go on the run, pursued by her father and a racist sheriff. She comes across the Carnival that Dracula is in and is helped by Dracula and the birdman when her pursuers arrive.

Third is the 20 page "The House on the Sea" by Auraleon (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story). A ship about to be taken over by a mutiny from pirates who are hired hands on the ship suddenly crashes into a large house in the middle of the sea. The captain and some of his colleagues suddenly find themselves inside the house and find other people inside, with no explanation whatsoever of whats going on there. Eventually they find out that they are dead and that various dead people are appearing and reappearing in the house. An odd, but very good story.

Fourth is "The Wickford Witches" by Jose Ortiz (art) and Gerry Boudreau (story). This story takes place in a village where many people have been burned for being accused witches. A woman's father ends up dying after his daughter wishes it so because of the arranged marriage she is in. She breaks off the marriage with her fiance so he accuses her and her actual lover of being witches. Suddenly the ghost of her father appears, revealing that the fiance was responsible for his death due to the inheritance he would receive over it and kills the man.

Last is "Goodbye, My Love, Goodbye" by Fernando Fernandez (story & art). Fernandez would win the Warren Award for best artist/writer for 1975 for this story. It features a man in the future (well, not anymore, it took place in 1992!) where people are able to have artificial lovers. A man starts being dissatisfied with his artificial lover and ends her existence, destroying her so she can not be revived. He soon longs for another lover and finds Sonja, an artificial woman who is the embodiment of his fantasies. Eventually he feels the same way about her however, particularly upon finding she has a secret. He goes through with terminating her existence as well, only to find out afterwords that her secret was that she had a human soul.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Creepy 65

Ken Kelly provides the cover for this all reprint issue of Creepy, dated September 1974. Albert Michini provides the back cover in his sole Warren appearance.

First is "The Land of Bone" by Esteban Maroto (art) and Buddy Saunders (story). This story features a warrior Costan who finds himself in a world where every person he meets is a skeleton. He is joined by a skeleton wizard, Wikkander, who tells him that his lover Aruna has been captured by the Wizard Poxxalt. The two of them fight off various creatures and then defeat Poxxalt. Costan is surprised to find Aruna a skeleton herself, and gives Wikkander a ring on her finger. Once he gets the ring, the truth is revealed. Costan was a skeleton himself, and only thought that he was human and everyone else was a skeleton. Wikkander, a descendent of his brought him to life to free Aruna from Poxxalt.

Next is "Star-Slaughter" by Ramon Torrents (art, his Warren debut) and Rich Margopoulos (story), from Creepy 51. This futuristic story features humanoid robots battling each other. One of the robots kills one of the other ones, and realizing what he has done, kills himself. He is repaired by his creators, who mention that this is not the first time he has tried to kill himself.

Third is "The Men Who Called Him Monster" by Luis Garcia (art) and Don McGregor (story), from Creepy 43. An extremely nice art job, with the werewolf being obviously influenced by the original Wolfman movie starring Lon Chaney Jr. The main character, a black detective, who is hired to find the boy that is the werewolf, was based on Sidney Poitier. This story featured the first inter racial kiss in mainstream comics, although it only occured because Garcia misunderstood McGregor's line "This is the clincher" in his script. As usual, the story features McGregor's nonscensical political ramblings.

Fourth is "The Quaking Horror" by Auraleon (art) and Gardner Fox (story), from Creepy 42. This HP Lovecraft-esque story features a house that has a dark horror underneath it, a bizarre tentacled monster that was summoned hundreds of years ago. The entire house eventually collapses, destroying the demon for good. Some very nice art by Auraleon here.

Fifth is "Bed of Roses" by Felix Mas (art) and Doug Moench (story), from Creepy 51. This story is about a seriously deranged young woman, Rose, who works at a flower store and was apparently traumatized by being locked up by her mother as a kid. She goes completely out of control, killing with scissors a man who comes into her store, then later attacking her mother too. As the story ends she is kept in a padded cell at an institution.

Sixth is "The Accursed Flower" by Jose Bea (story & art), from Creepy 49. 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 plants 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.

Seventh is "A Chronicle!" by Jorge Galvez (art, his Warren debut) and Steve Skeates (story), from Creepy 42. This short story at only 4 pages tells of a man who pays little attention to his life, focusing instead on a research project that ends up being meaningless when someone else completes it. He then gets fired from his job and tries to rob a bank but is killed trying to escape. Not much of a point to this story, wasting Galvez's pretty good art.

Last is "The Third Night of Mourning" by Jaime Brocal (art) and Jim Stenstrum (story), from Creepy 49. 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.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Blazing Combat 1

After a very long wait Fantagraphics has finally released its Blazing Combat reprint book giving me the opportunity to finally read (and review) the remaining 3 issues of Blazing Combat that I don't own original copies of yet. Frank Frazetta provides the cover for this issue, something he'd do for each issue of this magazine. A good issue, but not at the level of issue 3 of this magazine, which I reviewed a while back.

First is "Viet Cong" by Joe Orlando (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story, like the first story of each issue of this magazine was about the Vietnam War. This story focuses on the experiences of a lieutenant while in the war.

Next is "Aftermath!" by Angelo Torres (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). Taking place during the civil war, a southern soldier and northern soldier befriend each other while burying one of their fallen comrades. The two soon get in a fight however over who started the war and end up killing each other.

Third is "Flying Tigers!" by George Evans (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story features a group of pilots working for the Central Aircraft Manufacturing Company and their adventures in the sky. One them are upset at the loss of life during their latest mission simply to protect a plane, although it ends up having their leader on it.

Fourth is "Cong View!" by Gray Morrow (art) and Archie Goodwin (story).A soldier is ordered to lead his troops through a mortar filled region during World War II to clear the way for another group of soldiers. He is hesitant to do so with his fatigued soldiers, but is forced to do so anyway. All his men end up dying during the mission. While more soldiers arrive and go through with their mission he just sits there and cries.

Fifth is "Cantigny!" by Reed Crandall (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). This story features a young soldier in World War I who is excited about facing German soldiers in battle but the regiment never comes across one. While heading through an abandoned city he finally comes across one as goes in an abandoned house to write a letter and ends up being killed by him.

Next is the one page Combat Quiz with art by Angelo Torres.

The sixth story is "Mad Anthony!" by Russ Jones, Tex Blaisdell and Maurice Whitman (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). In a battle in 1771 an american soldier has one of his eyes stabbed by a british soldier's bayonet. Two years later he takes part in a battle at Stony Point where his side wins. He ends up encountering the very soldier who stabbed him two years earlier and gets his revenge on him by stabbing one of his eyes.

Last is "Enemy!" by John Severin (art) and Archie Goodwin (story). An angry sargeant during World War II kills a German soldier they capture, mistakenly thinking he killed a colleague when he mistakes the soldier's initials on a lighter for the initials of the colleague.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Vampirella 105

Enrich provides the cover for this issue of Vampirella, dated May 1982. This issue features four reprinted Vampirella stories, melded into a single story with some edits to the art and writing. Jose Gonzalez provides the art while Bill Dubay provides the story. The four stories featured are "The Glorious Return of Sweet Baby Theda" from issue 67, "Orphee, Poor Orphee" from issue 68, "The Case of the Connected Clows and the Collector!" from issue 71 and "The Blob Beast of Blighter's Bog" from issue 75.

Vampirella and Pantha head to Hollywood and immediately get picked by an old woman, Theda to take part in a movie about her. In actuality, Theda seeks to take Vampi's face and Pantha's body and attempt her own comeback. Luckily for our heroines, Theda's butler saves them and they are able to escape. Later Vampirella works on making a movie where a number of robots are coming after her. At the same time a scientist who lives nearby has created a bizarre looking tentacled creature, Orphee, who is accused of being a cannibal due to recent murders. The creature watches Vampi fighting the robots for the movie and thinking they are real, interferes, fighting them off. It is soon revealed that the murders were committed by someone else, clearing Orphee. Later Vampirella works on another movie. Meanwhile movie stars have been dissappearing including one working on the movie. It ends up that a crazed man at the production studio has been kidnapping them and he does so to Vampi, who is able to escape. A parallel storyline featuring Pantha and her encounter with siamese twins with domineering sexual habits also takes place. In the last part of the issue Vampirella is recruited for a new movie with Pantha's help. The movie is directed by Emile Gorgonzola and is also starring his fat wife Beatrice who is a cannibal that desires to eat Vampi. Beatrice is actually an alien who has controlled Emile's mind and gotten him to bring her victims. With her getting old her power is slipping and Vampi and Pantha are able to defeat her and escape.