Monday, December 13, 2021

The Warren Report Issue 74: May 1976



The Critical Guide to
the Warren Illustrated Magazines
by Uncle Jack
& Cousin Peter

Vampirella #51

"Rise of the Undead" 
Story by Flaxman Loew
Art by Howard Chaykin & Gonzalo Mayo

"The Edge of Tomorrow" 
Story by Gerry Boudreau
Art by Zesar

"Uncle Wiggly's Magic Box" ★1/2
Story by Bill DuBay
Art by Leopold Sanchez

"Whitechapel" ★1/2
Story by Gerry Boudreau
Art by Rafael Auraleon

"The Castle the Dungeon and All" ★1/2
Story by Gerry Boudreau & Steve Clement
Art by Vincente Alcazar

Vacationing in France, Pendragon and Vampirella stumble upon a village held in the grip of unfettering, uncaring, unmerciful, unholy evil! The dead seem to be fighting their way up through the filthy stench of the grave and preying upon the locals. After battling with one of the resurrected corpses, Pen and Vampi take refuge in the "Hanged Man Hotel," where the owner lays out the grim story for his audience. 

In the 18th Century, the Seigneur Monsieur Le Marquis de Sanglant was hanged for the crime of being an aristo. Despite the fact that his larynx was being crushed, Sanglant managed to issue a lengthy curse on his murderers, explaining that every year after their death, on the anniversary of their crime, the guilty would rise up and feed on the living. The only antidote is the "hand of forgiveness" given to the descendants of the guilty from the descendant of the hanged.

Learning that the latest Marquis Sanglant lives nearby, Vampi hops aboard a horse (heedless of chafing) and heads for the Marquis's estate. Alas, the Marquis is not a man to issue a pardon to the "spawn of the gutter" and he orders the Drakulonian off his property, pronto. As she's leaving, a voice calls out to our heroine; approaching on horseback is the Marquis's son, Armand, who confesses that he doesn't share his father's hatred for the locals and is, in fact, in love with a commoner named Hortense. 

Armand accompanies Vampi back to the hotel, where he is told that Hortense has gone out for a walk (possibly to see Armand) and is in danger of being munched on by dead people. Vampi and her new friend gallop out into the woods where they rescue Hortense, thereby ending the centuries-old curse. 

Yeah, I have no idea why, either. If they were in love for months already, why did the dead rise this time out at all? There's no big exorcism or "I forgive thee for thy past misdeeds" speech. Armand whisks Hortense into his arms and the corpses shamble back to their graves, Whatever. Who can make sense of any of these Flaxman Loew scripts, anyway? Vampi and Pen seem to be globe-trotting without any means of paying for any of this (remember their two-bit vaudeville routine?) and this is one of those odd-numbered issues where no mention of the Van Helsings is made.

I sound like the proverbial broken record, but what the hell is Vampirella wearing in the intro to "Rise of the Undead?" Is that some sort of nod to Linda Ronstadt? Halter top and jeans? Our jarring discovery of the issue is that Vampirella is a master of the martial arts and kicks some undead ass with her karate moves (although she seems to be delivering one of those chops with an unbelievably long arm (see above)! Meh. It's harmless and it delivers twelve Moench-free pages of mindless entertainment.

Fifty years after the "communist takeover," mankind has been sterilized and androids do all our work, provide us with pleasure, and procreate for the human race. Peter has had enough (believe me) and wants to have a baby with Linda the old-fashioned way (and the way Linda is drawn, I don't blame him). The couple attempt to put one over on the government by sneaking into an "insemination board," but their plot is thwarted and the couple is put to death in a very nasty fashion. But, have no fear, their small act of insurrection will lead to victory one day.

"The Edge of Tomorrow" has some snazzy graphics by Zesar (especially when it comes to the female form), but Gerry's script is strictly stale "Harlan Ellison Meets Westworld." What do the commies have to do with all this, anyway?

Charles Ulysses Farley, aka "Uncle Wiggly," bestselling author of over a hundred children's books, has died but, at his funeral, the man makes a comeback. For some reason (known only to Bill Dubay, evidently), Wiggly is eternal. The only problem with Wiggly is that, though his spirit remains strong, his body is rotting away. But Wiggly keeps pumping those books out, even when he's reduced to a skeleton with just a little meat on the bones, propped up in bed and giving dictation.

"Uncle Wiggly's Magic Box" (I assume the titular item is the man's casket) is just as daft and nonsensical as any of DuBay's other scripts, but there's an undeniable charm that oozes from the panels even as you're rolling your eyes and sighing over silly character names and dopey dialogue. Still, the realist in me wants to know how rotting Wiggly still has his voice box.

During the bloody reign of Jack the Ripper, a private detective is hired by Jacqui Lindstrom to locate her missing sister, Maria. The only clue is that the woman may have been pregnant and seeking an abortion. The detective narrows the list of illegal abortion doctors to one, Dr. Ernest F. Kanin. When Kanin denies ever seeing Maria before, the dick gets suspicious and follows the doc around London that night. Kanin leads his tracker to a charity clinic and, a few hours later, the sleuth enters the clinic to find Kanin gone and the body of Maria laid out on an operating table.

The detective meets up with Jacqui in a bar to deliver the bad news, but the report is interrupted by the entrance of Maria, who seems very chipper for a corpse. When a drunken sod tries to manhandle the girl, she shoves a glass into the man's face and disappears during the ensuing melee. The PI later finds Maria gutted in an alley and heads back to Kanin's office.

He confronts the physician with his suspicions that the doc is actually Dr. Frankenstein, in hiding in London and rebooting his experiments with the dead. Kanin replies in the affirmative and explains that he had to murder each one of his test subjects (all prostitutes) when the serum injected in them drove them to violence. Kanin/Frankenstein picks up a revolver, shoots the private eye dead, and explains that he thinks he's gotten the serum right this time. The private eye agrees when he awakens, a little sore, and promises not to make a fuss. Besides, he convinces himself, he owes the doc for giving him a second lease on life.

"But I don't understand!"
Yeah, well join the club!
Not sure if I'd be so understanding, since the second life is only granted after his first is snuffed out by Dr. Frankenstein. The script for "Whitechapel," like "Uncle Wiggly," is a box full of wonk, but I like that Boudreau actually tried something a little different (even if it is a variation of the "vampire who was really a werewolf" twist). I'm not sure how our unnamed private eye was able to connect the dots from Karnin to Frankenstein with just a cufflink but, if he hadn't, we'd still be reading the damned thing, I guess. Auraleon's art is sharp, very evocative and nicely choreographed. 

A knight is accompanied by his magician across the country with sacks full of gold. When the men are ambushed and the magician is killed, the knight travels on. He knows his final destination is just over the hill yonder and when he gets to the crest he sees... the twin towers. 

The final caption for "The Castle the Dungeon and All" sums up my feelings about that climax. It's about as cliched as you can get, but there's no explanation forthcoming. Has the knight been somehow cast into the future by his magician's errant spells? Has the world ended and man has gone back to wearing chainmail? But if that's so, how are the buildings lit up? This is Gerry hoping the reader will be dazzled by the out-of-left-field (unless you saw Planet of the Apes) shock ending, rather than question what the hell the story was about in the first place. Pretentious prattle.-Peter

Maybe the letterer and proofreader were distracted...
Jack-Peter, your writeup was more entertaining to read than this issue of Vampirella! The best story of a weak lot was "Uncle Wiggly's Magic Box," a tale I really didn't want to like but one that won me over in the end, mainly due to Sanchez's art, especially the big panel on the final page. "Whitechapel" got too gory for my tastes but I can't resist Auraleon's art, big foreheads and all. "Rise of the Undead" is pretty tedious and I was intrigued to see what Chaykin would do with the characters until I realized that Mayo must have just about completely redrawn the thing, since there's not much evidence of Chaykin visible to my eye. The scratchy and unfocused art didn't help the tired SF plot of "The Edge of Tomorrow," a story that made it clear that, while there may be a new editor at Warren, we're stuck with the same old letterer and proofreader: in one word balloon, "obsolete" is spelled "absolete," which may be what happened to my stomach muscles somewhere along the way. The worst story in the issue is the last, "The Castle...," with poor art and an ending that rips off The Twilight Zone's "One Hundred Years over the Rim," sort of.

Eerie #74

"The Demons of Jedediah Pan"
Story by Bill DuBay
Art by Jose Ortiz

"Father Creator"★1/2
Story by Bill DuBay
Art by Paul Neary

"A Secret King"★1/2
Story by Budd Lewis
Art by Gonzalo Mayo

"The Expedition!"
Story by Budd Lewis
Art by Leopold Sanchez

Riding through New Mexico in 1912, Frito and his fellow banditos happen upon the wagon of traveling salesman Dr. Perry Bottles, who gives them some Miracle Wonder Elixir but fails to avoid their wrath when he admits to being out of stock of corsets and mustache wax and devoid of money. The banditos hang poor Dr. Bottles by his thumbs from a couple of trees. Soon, along comes Jedediah Pan in his jalopy. Claiming to dabble in dentistry, he examines the mouths of the banditos and diagnoses Footus in the mouth; he offers to let his three dental hygienists provide treatment. Pan summons up three demons, who proceed to rip out all of the banditos' teeth. Pan rescues Dr. Bottles and the men depart, leaving the unconscious banditos behind. Six months later, Dr. Bottles encounters the banditos once again and gives them sets of wooden teeth.

"The Demons of Jedediah Pan" would not be half as entertaining as it is without the fine artwork of Jose Ortiz, who illustrates all of DuBay's silly conceits with a straight face. Hopefully, now that Bill is no longer burdened with editing chores, he can tone down some of the over-the-top attempts at humor in his stories and focus on plot.

In outer space, the latest in a long line of men known as "Father Creator" zips around in his spaceship, preparing messianic sons to send down to planets to teach the inhabitants wisdom. When the latest son is brought to life, he informs Father that the "mother" voice Father has been conversing with on the ship is really in his head. Thinking himself crazy, Father commits suicide. Just then, a delegation of women from a females-only planet appears on the ship, ready and willing to learn from the son just how babies can be made by a method other than asexual reproduction.

What do you get when DuBay's humor disappears and Paul Neary provides illustrations that are a mix of spaceships and swipes of Michael Douglas head shots from TV Guide? You get a dopey story just like this one. I admit to barking a laugh when I realized that the women did not know about men; it reminded me of the "Planet of the Men Meets Planet of the Women" skit from Saturday Night Live.

471 A.D. looks an awful
lot like 1,000,000 B.C.
A male child is born to fifth-century English King Uther Pendragon; the boy, Arthur, is spirited away and raised by Merlin the Magician in the company of Merlin's stunning familiar, the bikini-clad Snivel. When Black Riders steal an important item from Merlin, Arthur is sent away for his safety, while Merlin searches for his stolen stone. With the aid of a giant and some old-fashioned trickery, Merlin recovers the stone (and the sword stuck into it) so that young Arthur can pull it out and no longer be "A Secret King."

Gonzalo Mayo's art is a feast for the eyes in this extended (20-page) retelling of the story of the young King Arthur. The story has been retold so many times that one wonders why Budd Lewis felt the need for yet another version, but Mayo's art (which looks an awful lot like Maroto's) is stunning. I've never seen Snivel look quite this great; she's a dead ringer for Raquel Welch. If her sexiness were toned down a bit, this could fit in a mainstream comic and it would really benefit from some color.

A pair of office workers who must have seen Deliverance one too many times take off for the country, floating down a river on rubber rafts in "The Expedition!" One man gets cold, so they enter an abandoned shack, where they find plenty of blood and a severed hand. Darkness falls and they build a fire outside the shack; as one man sleeps, the other sees a shadowy figure on the edge of the camp. After being awakened and seeing nothing, the sleeper goes back to sleep. In the morning, the men return to the river, where a giant monster overturns one raft and eats the man on board. The other man initially thinks he can control the monster with an old Indian talisman, but the monster is hungry and pays no attention.

Sanchez does a nice, Jack Davis-like job on this ten-pager, which conjures up some suspense and then has a kind of silly finish. This is a fairly uneven issue of Eerie--no standouts, but not terrible, either. I think we've all had enough of Paul Neary for a while.-Jack

Peter-Dube proves he's an equal opportunity offender. Done with "spooks," Dube now grants us "Frito's Banditos." Despite the stupid stereotypes, I admit I laughed a few times at "The Demons of Jedediah Pan." Doesn't make it right. "Father Creator" is a grueling exercise in patience that comes with no reward. At only eight pages, the story feels like eighty and Paul Neary contributes what might be his worst art ever (starring Michael Douglas as a Photoshop puppet). Seriously, you can count on one hand the serious science fiction stories published in Warren that were actually worth reading.

At least "A Secret King" has some very nice graphics by Mayo to celebrate. The story itself is entirely too long and rambling. I was finding it hard to keep track of the characters and what they were up to. "The Expedition" is a three-page joke expanded to ten, with a really dumb punchline. I can't figure what's worse about Eerie: the series that go nowhere or the one-offs that go where so many other horror comics have gone before. Skimpy content this time out, a mere four stories, but I won't complain too much.

Creepy #79

"As Ye Sow..." ★1/2
Story by Bruce Jones
Art by Luis Bermejo

Story and Art by Alex Toth

"The Super-Abnormal Phenomena Survival Kit" 
Story by Jim Stenstrum
Art by John Severin

"The Shadow of the Axe!" 
Story by Dave Sim
Art by Russ Heath

"Visitation at Pliny Marsh" ★1/2
Story by Gerry Boudreau
Art by Martin Salvador

"The Pit in the Living Room Floor!" 
Story by Budd Lewis
Art by Joaquin Blazquez

After the plague devastates mankind, the population is divided into two groups: the "dead" and the "livin." The livin' hide where they can and the dead hunt them down and feed on them. The dead follow all the vampire rules: no reflection, sunlight is a no-no, and they must drink blood to survive. Far back in the hills live a redneck "dead" family that includes willowy Ulla, who has somehow survived the plague without becoming one of the dead like the rest of her clan.

One day, while foraging for vittles, Ulla enters a cave and comes across a livin' man named John, who sweet talks the girl into keeping his location a secret. Ulla falls in love with John and, a few months later, the proof is in the pudding (or Ulla's stomach). Her family want to know how a "dead" can be with child (though they always suspected the girl "wasn't right"), but Ulla ain't talkin'. It's not long before the hillbillies locate John and string him up to bleed him. Ulla intercedes and gets a face full of buckshot for her trouble. The lightbulb goes off over Ma's head and the clan decides to keep John chained in his cave for as long as he's capable of impregnating Ulla. Of course, Ulla isn't so willowy anymore.

"As Ye Sow..." is a very unsettling story, that's for sure. The opening scene is of Ulla and her kin opening the throat of a baby and drinking its blood. As nauseous as the panel makes us, be aware that we bought this funny book for just that reason. Creepy comics are supposed to be creepy! Even for a non-code-approved comic, this is seldom-charted territory. The climax, with Ulla forced to become a food factory, is equally unsettling. I literally cringed at several scenes.

My problem with the script (which welcomes in the Bruce Jones era of Warren) is that it's unfocused and, frankly, inane at times. I like that Bruce left the back story of the plague and what's happening in the rest of the world out of the strip; other than the throwaway line about the aftermath of the catastrophe, the only knowledge we have of this new world is what's happening right here in these mountains. 

Having said that, I have to wonder how long ago this plague occurred and how Ulla avoided her family's fate. If we're talking decades, how has Ulla stayed young? She couldn't have been born into the new world as Bruce explains that the "dead" cannot procreate. If the rest of the family know the girl's not "right," why haven't they strung her up and dined on her? Does Ulla drink blood to ward off suspicion? Finally, the idea of using Ulla as a food processor is a clever gimmick, but how is it these vampires survive on one little toddler every nine months? Bermejo's art is perfect for the subject, always keeping us on edge, but the depiction of Ulla after the buckshot (with a drippy eye after what must be at least five years gone) looks like it was drawn by a grade-schooler.

Roy and Louise land on the small island of Kuiloa to climb its treacherous mountain and seek the hidden entryway into the tomb of the goddess, "Kui." Though the entry is hidden behind eleven centuries of overgrowth, Roy manages to find the door and the couple enter the awesome cavern only to discover that it will become their final resting place as well. Like several of Alex Toth's writer/artist stories in the Warren zines, "Kui" has an interesting build-up that fails to deliver; the climax, Roy and Louise trapped under tons of sand after they accidentally trip an "alarm," is cliched and abrupt. But Toth, who wins a "special recognition trophy" in this issue's Warren Awards, uses his trademark three-quarters black ink panels to magnify the claustrophobia.

Worried about that dark, abandoned castle on the hill? Wonder why little Mabel's mom and dad never come to her soccer matches? That werewolf who lives on Maple Street keeps harassing you on the way home from school? Well, fear not, you only have to send $199.99 to I Want To Live, Inc. for "The Super-Abnormal Phenomena Kit!" and all your supernatural troubles are over. The utility belt alone is worth the two large!

What a wild and wacky "story" Jim Stenstrum graces us with. Drawing from an obvious love of monster movies (the Hideous Sun Demon reference should tip you off), Jim crafts a laugh-out-loud advertisement for boogeyman defense. I'm hoping that, somewhere deep in Jim's files lies the complete 560-page SAPS guide (Excerpt page 24, rule 10: Do not open coffins. What possible motive could you have for doing this thing?) and he'll share it with us someday. I can think of only two artists who could properly illustrate this Mad Magazine-style parody of monsters, and the other one is Jack Davis. The only thing missing is the "Captain Company" address on the clip-form.

A little boy slowly but surely becomes convinced that his own father is responsible for the axe murders plaguing his town. At first it's just a hunch, but soon he is faced with the proof when he opens the feed box in his father's barn and his eyes widen at the remains of one of his dad's victims. One night, when his father arrives home after "work," the boy hefts his own axe and trouble comes to an end.

Gerry Boudreau eschews the usual simile brain-leaks (The crop would soon come in like an alabaster sunrise screaming "Love me" at the top of its cloudy voice)  to deliver what reminded me of an old-fashioned Southern tale a la To Kill a Mockingbird. No, of course I'm not dopey enough to compare the two; I'm just saying it's got that vibe. The climax of "The Shadow of the Axe!" is open to interpretation, isn't it? We never actually see Pop swing that axe. Couldn't he be just cleaning up after his precocious son's night-time wanderings? Mom's wink at the close almost adds weight to that theory. But, hey, extra points to Gerry for exiting without an expository. I'm currently wrapping up a book-length dissection of the Atlas pre-code horror comics and Russ Heath was the star of that era, believe you me. Russ was the master of every genre he dabbled in.

The startlingly original creature

Twenty years after he's murdered and unceremoniously dumped in the swamp, Joe Prentiss rises from the muck thanks to a wayward space creature's crash in Pliny Marsh. Joe heads out to find his murderers (his wife and her beau) and the creature, having realized the mess it's made, goes after Joe. All parties merge for a swinging time and normalcy is regained. Sorta. 

Just as I begin to believe Gerry could write without peppering his script with the purplest of prose (Mother Nature was in labor, about to give birth to a new dawn...), up pops "Visitation at Pliny Marsh," an utterly forgettable reanimated corpse/terribly designed alien potboiler that continually pleads with the reader to "Skip me! Skip me!" Amongst several giggle-inducing moments is when a local comes across the shambling corpse on a deserted highway and swears it's Joe Prentiss! Twenty-five years and several missing layers of flesh later, this Joe Prentiss must have been a man who made an impression on people! Martin Salvador's art is awful, seriously awful, with no charisma or interesting choreography to speak of. And gee, I wonder where Marty got the inspiration for his alien visitor? Extra points to our proofreader this issue, who coins the new word "ineffacatious" and "occassionally" spells other words wrong. Hopefully, new editor Louise Jones has a dictionary close by when she's reading the scripts.

And his rubbery inspiration?

Something is breaking through the floorboards in Avery Lawton's apartment. Quickly he grabs his rifle and, as a human head and torso arise, Avery blasts the thing. But what lies at the bottom of the pit below Avery's living room floor? The intrigue and wonder gnaw at the man's insides and he knows he has no choice; grabbing a fifteen-thousand-foot rope he happens to have lying around, Avery descends into "The Pit in the Living Room Floor." What he finds when he finally arrives at the bottom is wood. When he breaks through the boards, he recognizes his own living room and himself, just before his face is blown off.

It's the never-ending circle, boys and girls and, just in case you didn't get that in the end, Budd Lewis explains it for you. Actually, since it's Joaquin Blazquez who's illustrating, perhaps an explanation would be in order. It's tough to tell what's going on at any point of this story. How could Avery not have recognized himself bursting through the floorboards in the first place? I'm still trying to figure out where Avery bought that rope. 

On the lighter side of things, this issue brings us the winners of this year's illuminating Warren Awards. This year's picks aren't as jaw-droppingly... unique... as last year's, but handing the hockey cup over to Bruce Bezaire as "Best Writer of the Year" is Bizarre.-Peter

Jack-What a strange issue of Creepy! "The Shadow of the Axe!" was my favorite story, with good suspense and excellent art by the great Russ Heath. I agree that "As Ye Sow..." was distasteful, but it built as it went along and ended up pretty good overall, including the art. Severin was the right choice for "The Super-Abnormal," but I thought it seemed like eight endless pages of Mad parody. How do you parody a parody? "Kui" is another throwaway from Toth, who can do better, and the series of disturbing events that make up "Pliny Marsh" are not a substitute for good storytelling. As for "The Pit," I thought it was one of the worst stories we've been subjected to in quite some time.

Next Week...
A fond farewell to
the Brave and the Bold!


Anonymous said...

For once, I actually did acquire all three of these back in the day (probably at the good ol’ Corn N Bib Liquor) but have very little memory of the contents of the VAMPIRELLA and EERIE issues. Odd. A rare month when all 3 of our rotating cover artists get a cover each. The Sanjulian Vampi is uncharacteristically blah, but the Kelly and Enrich covers are nice.

I thought Chaykin’s layouts provided a solid framework for Mayo’s figures. It’s less All Over The Place than his usual. I’m not crazy about Zesar’s art but the other 3 stories in the ish are redeemed by the terrific chiaroscuro of those magnificent Spaniards. Alcazar was firing on all cylinders around this time and Sanchez can do no wrong.

This month’s EERIE : Ortiz and Sanchez fine as ever , dead-eyed Michael Douglas photo-swipes and King Arthur Retold, heavy on the Mayo (sorry). What kind of name is ‘Snivel’ for a spunky sexy Sorcerer’s assistant?

This month’s CREEPY is the clear winner. True, ‘As Ye Sow…’ is full of plot holes and dodgy logic (even as a teen, I was a bit confused by parts of it), but its melancholy, moody and disturbing as hell. I guess the entire situation is something like I AM LEGEND / THE OMEGA MAN, with the hillbilly vampires full-on undead types and Ulla representing a new mutation of the virus, Half Undead / Half Livin’ (how else could she survive that shotgun blast to the face)? Also, the family of monsters with a pretty blonde ‘white sheep’ reminds me of THE MUNSTERS.

‘KUI’ continues Toth’s streak of dramatically weak but visually jaw-dropping stories. And once again, it’s a stunner, an absolute triumph of Style Over Substance.

I adore ‘The SAPS Kit’ front to back. Jim Stenstrum’s wacky script still cracks me up all these decades later, and Severin’s art matches the tone perfectly. It’s like something from CRACKED (only actually funny….and minus Fonzie).

‘Shadow of the Axe’ begins a beautiful series of Heath-illustrated masterpieces over the next year or two. Wow! Gorgeous and unsettling. I’ve often wondered myself if the kid was committing the other axe murders. I don’t mind the ambiguity of the ending, at all, at all. I’ve also wondered why Dave Sim never wrote more stories for the Warren mags after this brilliant piece. At least we have this ‘One Hit Wonder’ to savor.

I’ve always thought Salvador’s Pliny Marsh Monster was swiped from Frazetta’s bloated Black Lagoon Creech from the cover of EERIE #3. But that toy is a plausible source too (any idea when it was made?)

‘The Pit in the Living Room Floor’: it just now dawned on me — I wonder if Kathe Koja read this one way back when. Something about it reminds me of her famous debut novel ‘The Cipher’. It’s not EXACTLY the same set-up but still…


Quiddity99 said...

Odd to see Flaxman Loew return for this issue; I've got to assume this was an old inventory story. This is the rare story from him that doesn't feature a guest romantic love interest for Vampi. Howard Chaykin providing the pencils results in some odd layouts for a Vampi story as well as Pendragon looking rather off in several panels. An odd one time experiment and Chaykin never does another Vampi story. "The Edge of Tomorrow" makes me think much of Brave New World; it is typical future dystopian fare but like you I'm quite happy with Zesar's artwork. Seems like he's aping Fernando Fernadez's style in several panels, or perhaps used the same reference photos. Some great artwork by Sanchez; this is the one story from this issue I didn't get a chance to finish by the time of your post though so no thoughts on the story as of yet. Pretty interesting story with "Whitechapel", and an interesting twist in the end. I really question why the protagonist was happy with getting a second life from Frankenstein when Frankenstein ended his first one. A story perfectly suited for Auraleon. "The Castle, the Dungeon and All" is a weak and at times hard to follow story with a totally WTF ending, but most notable for me is the artwork, a great job by Vicente Alcazar until you realize he is massively swiping panel after panel from Luis Garcia, mostly from the story "The Wolves at War's End" which also features a medieval knight as the protagonist. No issue with the occasional swipe but it is really over the top in this story.

The latest entry in the Jebediah Pan series comes off as filler to me, but I didn't mind it that much as it was a fairly good comedic horror story with great Ortiz art. "Father Creator" was a fairly interesting concept with some strong art for the most part (I knew Neary was swiping the "son" character from someone as he looked so familiar, but didn't pick up on it being Douglas until you mentioned it). While the Merlin story contains some very good art, the story just meandered and went on far too long for me; with rare exception when Warren's publishing a story as long as 20 pages it does not have good results. "The Expedition" is a pretty decent wrap up for the issue. Seems like we're pretty light on continuing series in Eerie at the moment or perhaps that's due to Louise Jones just taking over and them spending their time coming up with some new ones for the future.

This issue of Creepy features one of Warren's best covers of all time I'd argue. Truly amazing job from Enrich. We're finally at the era of Warren where we can expect regular appearances from Bruce Jones, this first tale of his comes off as far more extreme than most of his stuff. "Kui" continues the trend of rather simple Alex Toth stories. "The Super Abnormal Phenomena Survival Kit" was a great parody of Warren's Captain Company stuff, a story that comes off far more like a Mad or Cracked story but works quite well here. "Shadow of the Axe" was from Dave Sim, not Gerry Boudreau, in what was his only Warren story. Great effort from him and Russ Heath, who will be providing the art for some of the very best stories from the Louise Jones era. "Pliny Marsh" was a story that at least kept me guessing as to where it would go and the end twist with the alien worked out pretty well. I loved "The Pit in the Living Room Floor" if only because it is such a bizarre story (despite being predictable). A rare story that was perfectly suited for Blazquez's art style. I never thought of how long that rope would have to be, but now it seems quite ridiculous!

Grant said...

I can't hep liking Anonymous' line about Severin. Judging by the covers, Cracked really did get hooked on the same few pop culture subjects over and over.

Jack Seabrook said...

Entertaining comments as usual! Thanks for reading and for leaving your thoughts.