Friday, December 10, 2010
A CREEPY WEEK (PART 4)
Okay, only a five month wait this time between issues and by this time, I've damn near almost forgotton there's a new CREEPY COMICS out there. Nevertheless, quite notable is the fabulous cover by veteran fantasy artist, Ken Kelly. Also notable, if only by their ubiquity are Uncle Creepy's lame retorts in the lettercol. It's also good to see Michael Kaluta's work, but I'd have to say it's not some of his best.
The stories again range from ho-hum to how come. Am I spoiled by the greatness of things past? Mebbe so, but I do get the sense that this group of writers and artists are giving it pretty much everything they've got. Editrix Shawna Gore is also giving it the 'ol college try, but things are barely reaching above the average point for the stuff passing as horror comics these days. "The Doll Lady", while well-paced and draughted decently by Kaluta, ends predictably and quite cliche. "X-Change Part 2" tries admirably with another take on the Nazi/Mengele conspiracy, but once again has a predictable ending. "Fit for a King" attempts to become a surreal tale of gay love taken to extremes (see sample pages below), but the cannibal theme is just purely over the top and doesn't leave much to (heh! heh!) chew on. The CREEPY CLASSIC "Wardrobe of Monsters" is exactly that -- a classic CREEPY story. Despite at least a couple of pleas from fans for a reference to what issue the classic tale originally came from have gone unanswered. Frankly, I don't know why. For that reason, I've done my own research and have included the reference for each issue's story in the "Contents" section.
The best new story of the issue goes to Nicola Cuti and Hilary Barta's zombie tale. Great title, great art and a competent story salvage this issue from the tug hauling it clean out of Horror Harbor. I love Barta's work. This time around her art looks like a cross between Bill Ward and Kurtzman/Elder. Bravo!
So, now you've got an idea of what DARK HORSE COMICS has done with the latest revival of our beloved CREEPY. Have I been too harsh with my critical pen? I've done a fair share of reading the plethora of horror titles out there in the world of comics these days, and, comparatively speaking, CREEPY ranks around the middle of the pack. How come? Well, for one thing, the brand new BELA LUGOSI'S TALES FROM THE GRAVE from uber horror fan and talented artist Kerry Gammill has shown great promise. This title could easily knock over the CREEPY tombstone with a flick of a Dracula-ringed finger at this early point.
I guess I'd have to say that if you are a monster kid and a die-hard Warren fan, CREEPY has a ways to go. If the intent is to "modernize" the moldering fuddy-duddy of a bygone mag into a hip comic for the average sequential art consumer then it has succeeded . . . to a certain extent. In the end, it still offers rare moments of the greatness for which CREEPY has become legendary. Of course, if that isn't enough for you, there's always DARK HORSE's CREEPY ARCHIVES reprints.
Vol. 1 No. 4
48 ppg (color covers/B&W interior)
Cover Price: $4.95
Cover art: Ken Kelly
Variant cover art: Nada amigo
Frontis: Michael Wm. Kaluta
"The Doll Lady" (S) Bill Morrison (A) Micheal Wm. Kaluta
"X-Change Part 2" (S) Craig Haffner and Dan Braun (A) Kevin Ferrara
"Fit for a King" (S) Andrew Foley (A) Rahsan Ekedal
"Zombie Wedding at Slaughter Swamp" (S) Nicola Cuti (A) Hilary Barta
Loathsome Lore "Abaddon" (S) Shawna Gore (A) Paul Komoda
"Wardrobe of Monsters" (S) Otto Binder (A) Gray Morrow