Monday, December 5, 2022

The Warren Report Issue 99: November 1978-January 1979 + Best of 77-78



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

McQuaite & Simonson
Creepy #103

"Angel of Doom!
(Reprinted from Creepy #16, August 1967)

(Reprinted from Eerie #32, March 1971)

"On Little Cat Feet!"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #38, November 1974)

"Thumbs Down!"
(Reprinted from Creepy #6, December 1965)

"Lucky Stiff"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #38, November 1974)

"The Black Cat"
(Reprinted from Creepy #62,  May 1974)

The latest Creepy Annual sets off a three-month period that will see no less than five all-reprint packages published by the good folks at Warren. You know ol' Jim was looking at this slate and seeing nothing but dollar signs. The only drawback for poor Jim was the box-office disaster of Ralph Bakshi's Lord of the Rings cartoon, which guaranteed an equal no-show for Warren's rip-off zine, Ring of the Warlords.-Peter

Jack-I gave "Bookworm" four stars the first time around, with a story by Gerry Conway and art by Richard Corben. The art by Jeff Jones on "Angel of Doom" is sharp, as is the vivid cover. Al Williamson also does a nice job with "Thumbs Down!" and Bernie Wrightson's art is superb on "The Black Cat," but the stories that accompany the pictures aren't nearly as good. For some reason, two terrible stories are pulled from the same issue of Vampirella.

Eerie #97

"Within You... Without You"
(Reprinted from Eerie #77, September 1976)

"Time and Time Again"
(Reprinted from Eerie #79, November 1976)

"Years & Mind Forever"
(Reprinted from Eerie #87, October 1977)

"The Terror Beyond Time!"
(Reprinted from Creepy #15, June 1967)

The entire Jones/Corben "Within You... Without You" saga in all its glory with a so-so Archie Goodwin/Neal Adams time-travel dinosaur tale thrown in to fill space. Save your dough.-Peter

Jack-If I hadn't read these stories before, I'd think this was a pretty good collection. The cover has vivid color and Mayerik does a good Corben impression, while the three-part Jones/Corben story at least has some sexy art. The old Goodwin & Adams story isn't very good, but I'd never turn down a lot of pages drawn by one of the best comic artists ever. I do take issue with columnist Joe Brancatelli's characterization of Jenette Kahn as "awful"--I've always thought highly of her.

Barbara Leigh
Vampirella #74

"Hell From on High"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #22, March 1973)

"The Blood Queen of Bayou Parish!"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #23, April 1973)

"Wolf Hunt"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #14, November 1971)

Three stories? Methinks a bit of laziness on the part of the Reprint Selection Office at Warren. Still, if you just have to spring for a Vampi reprint issue, this is a pretty solid selection, slim as it is. Best thing about it though is the Barbara Leigh cover.-Peter

Jack-That is a nice cover. "Wolf Hunt" was the debut of Esteban Maroto and I called the art "tremendous." "Hell from on High" was enjoyable, but "The Blood Queen of Bayou Parish!" was a disaster. The art by Gonzalez on both stories was excellent, though.

Patrick Woodroffe
Galactic Wars Comix

"Killer Hawk"
(Reprinted from Eerie #61, November 1974)

(Reprinted from Creepy #51, March 1973)

"Star-Bright Lantern 909"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #48, January 1976)

"The Time-Eater!"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #40, March 1975)

"Mother Knows Best"
(Reprinted from Creepy #86, February 1977)

"Now You See It..."
(Reprinted from Creepy #83, October 1976)

With Star Wars now a year and a half in the rearview, Jim Warren turns his attention to, appropriately enough, Star Wars rip-off Battlestar Galactica! Galactic Wars Comix (the Reprint Office is always quick with a snappy and original title) kicks off with an article devoted to the TV show ripped from the pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland #149. We know the information is all up to date since that particular issue of FM was published about 30 days prior to the release of Galactic Wars and because... well, Famous Monsters!-Peter

Jack-As usual, this group of stories features good art and mediocre writing. We get a Wally Wood story from 1974 and two Al Williamson stories from 1976 and 1977, demonstrating yet again that the EC artists still can deliver the goods. "Mother Knows Best" is the most cogent among the reprints, with "Star-Slaughter" being the worst.

Creepy #104

"The Games" 
Story by Roger McKenzie
Art by Pablo Marcos

"The Caretaker" 
Story by Bob Toomey
Art by Alfredo Alcala

"Mother Park" ★1/2
Story by Roger McKenzie
Art by Jose Ortiz

"In the City of God" ★1/2
Story by Budd Lewis
Art by Pepe Moreno (Casares)

"Holo Cost" ★1/2
Story and Art by Terry Austin

"Keep Kool" ★1/2
Story by Bob Toomey
Art by Alex Nino

Gladiators Zerem and Horscelon (imagine, oh I don't know, Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis on steroids) survive lions and tigers in the pit but maintain their sanity through their love for each other and the idea that one day they'll be free to return to the lives they led pre-Games. But, as they knew would happen eventually, the Emperor decides the ultimate battle would be Zerem vs. Horscelon, with the victor granted complete freedom.

The two friends put on a stunning display of sweat, blood, and homoerotic action before Zerem gets the upper hand and seems ready to deliver the killing blow, before he rebels and sends his spear soaring towards the Emperor's box. The weapon bounces off the steel torso of the android, doing very little harm, and Zerem is rewarded for his treason with a blast from the wrist band of the Emperor. Zerem is killed and Horscelon granted freedom to ponder a human's "freedom" in this violent world ruled by robots. 

"The Games" resembles one of those late-night Steve Reeves muscle-fests we of a certain generation all grew up on; it's big and it's dumb and it doesn't break any new ground. As mentioned in regard to past Pablo Marcos offerings, I have a hard time concentrating on anything in a panel aside from the impossibly pumped-up chests, ripped thighs (man, those have got to hurt), and teensy-weensy thongs assigned to each and every character. It's a blancmange of ickiness. The reveal, that the gladiators live in a world that's been conquered by robots, smells like it was thrown in at the eleventh hour to justify its placement in the issue.

After one thousand years, the last man on Earth has grown bored. Picked by lottery, ten centuries before, to be "The Caretaker" of our world while the rest of us search for a more habitable planet ("Global warming is a myth!"), the man has been kept alive in a small city encased in a bubble. If he leaves the enclosure, he will die. Deciding to visit his home for the last time, the man (accompanied by his robot-servant and his android dog, Fido) leaves the bubble and begins to age rapidly. Once he dies of old age, his robot carries him to the beach and buries him in the sand. A maudlin little Hallmark Movie of the Week, "The Caretaker" is enlivened a bit by Alcala's ink-heavy graphics but sinks with the weight of its syrupy sentiments. Writer Bob Toomey never explains why a polluted and ugly world needs a caretaker. As with "The Games," the robot is only a tangential afterthought.

In the future, two cops (Raymond and Chandler... no, I'm not making it up) chase a child-murderer into an automated amusement park and face the wrath of the park's "mother," a voice that controls the park's dangerous rides. The voice protects the lumbering murderer until the reveal of the man's evil deed, and then the park turns its deadly attention to him. I had to reread "Mother Park" to get the gist of the climax, since the pretentious drone of "Mother" put me to sleep the first time 'round. Jose Ortiz does his best impersonation of an interested artist, but there's only so much he could do with this turkey of a script.

Trapper Wolfer O'Connel becomes stuck in a snowstorm on a narrow ledge high above a rocky canyon when he discovers a passageway in the mountain that leads to a valley filled with warmth and sunshine. Wolfer treks through a beautiful field until he comes across a giant temple. Standing outside the structure is a tall android in what appears to be Aztec garb.

The giant introduces himself as Ilnyal and explains that he is an explorer from another planet who was trapped here years ago when his ship was damaged by natives. The generator that keeps Ilnyal alive and produces the sunshine and beauty all around them is dying and, once the machine stops, so does Ilnyal. Would Wolfer be so kind as to stay with him until he dies?

"In the City of God" is a bit overly sentimental in its climax, but it's certainly the best reading so far in this issue and Pepe Moreno's art is richly detailed. The "robot" section isn't even the best part of the story; that would be the intro where Wolfer must fight off a trio of "flathead braves" on the narrow ledge. Little details in these things always nag me; for instance, just how dense is this "City of God?" Does it stretch for miles and then suddenly become a snow-filled landscape? 

"Holo Cost" is a silly short-short about the final battle between man and woman after a million years of male domination and female servitude. Women finally get fed up with lugging the beer to the boss on the couch, tailor tight spandex outfits that show off nicely tanned legs, and beat their captors into the dust. Terry Austin's art is lovingly detailed and would work perfectly in an issue of Marvel's Amazing Adventures, but here it stands out like a sore thumb. And Steve Englehart, surely one of the two or three best comic writers of the "Bronze Age," is on autopilot with his preachy script. The fact that the last woman on Earth is revealed to be a hologram controlled by a machine might be a surprise in an issue that doesn't scream "Robots!" on its cover. 

Hermes Aquila Valdez, a mechanical genius, becomes bored with the human race and transports himself to a distant, deserted planet. There, he builds himself a fleet of mechanical servants and pits them against each other in violent fighting matches. But Hermes becomes bored of this entertainment as well and orders a new product from the Sears catalogue, a carton of living protoplasm that can be molded into whatever its owner desires. Hermes fashions himself a Conanesque gladiator and a giant dragon and lets the show begin! 

There's a clever twist in the tail of "Keep Kool," but I won't spoil it for those who haven't dived in yet. Yep, the Nino art, as always, is something special (and thank the Gods we don't have to drink it in sideways!), but Bob Toomey's script is one of the most original and imaginative we've run across in this dank, moldy dungeon in quite some time. The dialogue between Hermes and his metal men is very funny ("I'm going to take a nap. Don't call me unless something special comes up, and I do mean the Sears delivery."); it's one of those rare times where writer and artist seem to be completely in tune with each other. Easily the best story in an otherwise dreary package.-Peter

Jack-It's always good to see Nino, especially when the pages are not sideways, but "Keep Kool" bored me. It was better than "Holo Cost," though, which was mercifully only six pages long. I liked "In the City of God" best, both for its intriguing opening and its tender climax. I especially enjoyed the art by Pepe Moreno. Art was the only draw for me in "Mother Park," which I think would've have worked better if set in the present rather than the future. "The Caretaker" quotes Fredric Brown's "Knock" and seems to have echoes of Logan's Run, but the art by Alcala is only fair. Finally, "The Games" confused me and I'm thankful for your summary to explain who were the robots. Oh, and it was cool to see Brancatelli mention Afta, a zine I wrote for at the time.

Eerie #98

"Quarb and the Warball"
Story by Bill DuBay
Art by Luis Bermejo

"Got You on My Mind"★1/2
Story by Bruce Jones
Art by Russ Heath

"Honor & Blood"
Story by Nicola Cuti
Art by Leo Duranona

Six million years ago, a primate couple in Olduvai Gorge are zapped by a ray from a visiting spaceship and later give birth to an intelligent baboon that they christen Quarb. He grows up more intelligent than those around him and looks suspiciously human; he also doesn't seem to age. Eventually, he leaves the gorge and heads off on his own.

Along comes 1979, and Restin Dane reads of the discovery in Olduvai Gorge of a six-million-year-old petrified treehouse that looks like the habitat of the first intelligent man. Restin hops in his time machine to travel back for a closer look. Inspired, Bishop Dane takes Manners the robot and hops in the other time machine to investigate his own ancestors in eighteenth-century Scotland. Both Restin and Bishop are quickly captured; Quarb has built a sleek, futuristic treehouse and electronic equipment with which he monitors the occasional return of the aliens, while Bishop meets his rifle-totin' grandmother Elisa, who thinks he's an emissary of the lecherous Evan McQuarb. Hmmm...

Miscommunications are quickly ironed out and both Danes befriend their captors. Elisa McDane's father Murdoch wants revenge against Evan McQuarb for impregnating Elisa, so Manners climbs inside a big, iron Warball and is rolled downhill, finally crashing into the castle of neighbor McQuarb. In ancient times, aliens mistake Restin for Quarb and take him to their ship to study. McQuarb surprises Manners by explaining that they have met many times before when Manners traveled through time. In the present, Katie and Jan receive a visit from none other than Sir Evan Quarb, who marvels at Restin's inventions.

In Scotland, Bishop insists that McQuarb marry Elisa, but the six-million-year-old man's proposal is rejected and he disappears. In the present, Quarb sees his fill of Restin's lab and departs, leaving Katie and Jan oddly in love with him. In the distant past, Quarb fools Restin into thinking he's no more intelligent than the other primitives, and Restin returns to the present in the time castle just as Bishop makes his return. Along with Katie and Jan, the Danes swap stories about the various incarnations of Quarb, the father of the human race.

DuBay does a nice job of weaving three storylines (and timelines) together in "Quarb and the Warball," but I'd have chosen a different title, since the Warball has very little to do with the story. Will we see Quarb again? I certainly hope so! As usual, Bermejo's art is pleasing to the eye, and my favorite thing about the story is the fact that, six million years ago, Quarb liked to smoke a pipe.

A man accuses his wife of infidelity and beats her. Another man wakes from a nightmare and stares in the mirror at the skull-like birthmark on his cheek. He goes to a bar and meets the wife-beater, whom he later pushes into the river behind the bar. Two drug-addicted punks rob and kill an old man in the park. The man with the skull on his cheek encounters them on a rooftop and pushes them both off of the edge to their deaths. A woman seems to shoot and kill her husband, but it's only a scene in a stage play. The man with the skull birthmark encounters the woman in a dark alley and, thinking her to be a killer, starts to strangle her. His act is interrupted by the police, who shoot and kill him. The woman notices that his skull birthmark is gone, but in the last panel we see a similar mark on the policeman's neck.

Why? I have no idea. "Got You on My Mind" made almost no sense to me and was a waste of the talents of Russ Heath. There is one panel where the man with the skull birthmark recalls being cursed by an African witch doctor, but it's up to the reader to guess why. The cursed man is holding an African woman, so maybe the witch doctor was punishing him for assaulting and/or killing her? The main character seems to have dreams and they may lead him to kill the people he kills, but I'm not really sure. Maybe Peter knows better.

Sean Varly has traveled to Romania with his fiance, Peggy, to view the ruins of Castle Vrykola, his ancestral family home. They meet his cousin Mara, a beauty with a couple of fierce dogs, and she takes him to Vrykola Manor, where he finds a family diary. In the weeks that follow, Sean and Mara translate the diary and create a Vrykola family tree. Sean admits to Peggy that he is falling in love with Mara and Peggy warns him that Mara may be a vampire. Sean visits Mara's elderly father, who says that Mara is a centuries-old vampire and he is a werewolf. On his way back to the manor, Sean finds Mara's servant girl lying dead in the road, her throat torn out, and sees a woman who he thinks is Mara being ripped to pieces by Mara's dogs. It turns out the dead woman is Peggy, who was jealous of Mara and was trying to convince Sean that she was a vampire. With Peggy dead, Sean marries Mara and embraces his identity as a Vrykola.

At least the prior story was drawn by Russ Heath! "Honor & Blood" is drawn by our least-favorite Warren artist of 1978, Leo Duranona, and it seems to be a mix of pencil and ink and watercolors. At the top of page one it says this is "Chapter Five," and I vaguely remember something about the Vrykolas before, but the stories to date haven't made much of an impression. I don't really blame Peggy (Sean's fiance, for goodness sake) for being upset that he falls in love with Mara right away, but I can't figure out why Peggy is killed by the dogs at the end, and I think Sean was a bit insensitive to marry Mara so soon after Peggy's death. Nick Cuti's Warren stories will not go down in history as examples of great comic book writing.-Jack

Peter-Looks to me (and the evidence would definitely be "Quarb and the Warball") that, in 1978, Dube was being paid by the word rather than the page. At first, I thought the Rook stories were kinda fun, but now they're bloated and my mind continuously wanders. I find myself checking to see how many more pages are left. Holy crap, this thing was 31 pages long. Who in their right mind would greenlight 31 pages of dense text and zero interesting plot? Next...

I liked "Got You on My Mind" (especially Russ Heath's version of Boris Karloff), but the end was a bit confusing. Did the cop become the new "angel of death" (or whatever you'd call our protagonist) after saving the actress, or was he sent to kill "Whitey?" Is there a fleet of skull-faced terminators out there? If so, why the voodoo scene? Never mind. Best line in an Eerie funny book in ages: "How can vampires have a family tree? Vampires can't reproduce!" Aside from that nugget, "Honor & Blood" continues to be nothing more than a soap opera with bad art. The icing on the cake is the Scooby-Doo revelation in the final panels. Good riddance to another bad Eerie series.

Gonzalez & McQuaite
Vampirella #75

"The Blob Beast of Blighter's Bog"★1/2
Story by Bill DuBay
Art by Jose Gonzalez

"Peter, Peter"
Story by Gerry Souter
Art by Leo Duranona

"Sasquatch Love"★1/2
Story by Cary Bates
Art by Jose Ortiz

"Business is Booming"★1/2
Story by Bob Black
Art by Isidro Mones

"A Matter of Principle"★1/2
Story by Budd Lewis & Len Wein
Art by Azpiri

No sooner does Vampirella complete filming the epic, The Beauty and Behemouth" [sic], than Pantha, her agent, signs her up to start another production across town, working for sleazy director Emile Gorgonzola. Ignoring warnings from director Mr. Lumet that Emile "'eats girls like Vampi for breakfast,'" our shape-shifting hotties begin work on "The Blob Beast of Blighter's Bog," co-starring the director's massive wife, Beatrice.

After a grueling scene in the bog, Emile is ready to fire Vampi and replace her with Pantha ("'the one with the body'"), but Beatrice talks him out of it and invites Vampi over for dinner that evening. Pantha senses danger but Vampi goes anyway and, at Chez Gorgonzola, Emile tries to murder her with a big knife. Beatrice helpfully explains that she came from another planet decades ago and was trapped here when "'a treacherous southern bog swallowed my ship.'" Pantha appears in feline form and scares the Gorgonzolas, allowing Vampi to sink her teeth into the fat, hungry alien. In the end, Beatrice is jailed, Emile is locked away in a nuthouse, and Vampi and Pantha have a new story for Pendragon.

At this point in the saga of the sex kitten from the stars, the main attraction in this series is the various sexy ways Jose Gonzalez manages to depict Vampi and Pantha. This episode is no exception to that rule, though I had to laugh when Emile referred to Pantha as "'the one with the body,'" suggesting that she is better built than Vampi. To me, they could be twins! DuBay lays on the goofiness, as usual, and the conflict, such as it is, passes quickly.

Peter Marley sits by the grave of his wife Constance and remembers back thirty years before, in late eighteenth century Salem, Massachusetts, when he arrived by boat from England and quickly became employed as a carver of wooden figureheads for sailing ships. Peter's carvings were of weird creatures, but the ships that bore them had good luck, so Peter was a success. Three wealthy traders used his services exclusively, but as the War of 1812 came to an end, Peter's business began to fail and his wife took sick. When she died, he took revenge on the three merchants, setting fire to the drawings of his figureheads, secure in the knowledge that the ships they were on would burn simultaneously. "Peter, Peter" waited till Halloween to take more revenge; he carved pumpkins to look like the merchants and delivered them as gifts. When candles were placed in the jack o' lanterns, the men's heads burned as well. The people of Salem broke down the door of Peter's shop to confront him, only to see him hold up a pumpkin carved to resemble himself; when he smashed it, his own head exploded.

I liked "Peter, Peter" for the most part and thought it was a reasonably good showcase for Duranona's art, which seems to fit fairly well in the time and place of turn of the eighteenth-century Salem. I was a bit confused by the conclusion, but the caption in the last panel explained it for me. I guess asking for logic is too much and I should be satisfied with a reasonably good story and art that's not awful.

Teddy, Susan, and Mike have discovered a female Sasquatch in the woods of Northern California so, in order to get closeup photos, they rig up a Sasquatch suit for Teddy to wear and spray him with an irresistible love potion. Martha, the Sasquatch, likes to imitate Susan's actions, like brushing her hair with a tree branch. The love potion and costume work perfectly and soon, "Sasquatch Love" is in the air! Martha takes Teddy off by herself but doesn't want to let him go and acts on her lust.

In order to rescue Teddy, Mike puts on a backup Sasquatch costume and he and Susan stand across a lake from Teddy and Martha. Susan pats Mike on the head, so Martha pats Teddy on the head. Susan pushes Mike toward the water and Martha pushes Teddy. Unfortunately, a bee flies into the eye opening of Mike's Sasquatch mask. He begs Susan to pull the fake head off. She does so and turns to see the horrible way Martha has imitated her, by tearing Teddy's head from his body.

Okay, who didn't see that ending coming? Bates's story is just plain dumb and it seems clear that he came up with the punch line and then worked his way back with the plot to try to set it up. Unfortunately, the premise of the story is weak; why do they need to put Teddy in a suit and spray him with love potion in order to take pictures of Martha? She walks up to their camp, for goodness sake, and imitates Susan's acts. Ortiz does his best but the script is a loser.

Life is dull for Dr. Lewis Jordan, who runs a small-town morgue in a place where no young, interesting people ever seem to die. Dr. Jordan solves that problem one evening by murdering his shrewish wife, and soon, "Business is Booming"! Dr. Jordan starts killing people left and right to keep himself busy at the morgue and the police are none the wiser. Too bad his wife decides to return from the dead with a committee of Dr. Jordan's other victims to do him in.

This is about as close to what we should be reading in the Warren horror mags as we're likely to get. The art by Mones is decent but nothing special, and the story plods along from start to finish with no surprises, but at least it's horror and it does have some gruesome touches, such as the severed head of a little girl rolling out of a dark alley and the sight of Dr. Jordan's dismembered body parts lined up in jars at the end.

In a post-apocalyptic future wasteland, a man eats only caterpillars and grubs, refusing to eat humans he kills because it's "A Matter of Principle." He comes upon two men about to murder a woman for food, so he kills them, but he/s not in time to save her, so he takes her corpse and lays it out until a bug lays eggs on the rotting flesh; the man will wait for grubs to hatch.

Azpiri's art is the highlight of this tasteless story. The panels remind me of the work of Esteban Maroto, without all of the flowery nonsense that can sometimes make a Maroto story hard to take. I didn't fully understand the main character's refusal to eat human flesh, but by this point in a Warren mag, I've given up expecting sense. Azpiri's signature in the panel reproduced here has the year as '72, so the story must've been in a drawer for years.-Jack

Peter-After a while, it's only natural to throw your hands up and go with the flow. I mean, seriously, this Vampirella series is just camp garbage and I doubt it'll ever be anything but. Dube clearly has no idea in which direction he wants to take his characters and what could even a competent writer do with a sexy female vampire who poses no risk to the human race and simply wants to be a Hollywood star, month in and month out? At least we get some good art (including some genuinely gruesome images) from Jose Gonzalez, who was probably also throwing his hands up around this time.

If you want an example of why I don't care for Leo Duranona's art, look no further than "Peter, Peter." Every character in a Duranona story is physically misshapen and ugly. The script by Gerry Souter (in his one and only appearance in a Warren zine) takes a familiar plot and does nothing original with it. "Sasquatch Love" is a lot of fun, but EC would have left that final panel out. We get it. What I don't get is what these three ding-a-lings thought would happen if you mess with a savage beast. If "Sasquatch" has an EC vibe to it, then "Business is Booming" reeks of 1967 Warren (especially the art). It's a mediocre story, but I must mention that it has one of the most "over the line" images we've ever seen in a Warren funny book (see right). Kids rarely get killed in comics, but Bob Black (another writer belonging to the "blink and you'll miss him" club) ignores the stop sign and flies right through the intersection. "A Matter of Principle" is gross-out sci-fi and not at all to my liking.

Warren Presents #1: Ring of the Warlords

"The Curse"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #9, January 1971)

"The Last Dragon King"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #67, March 1978)

"Jackie and the Leprechaun"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #53, August 1976)

"Prelude to Armageddon"
(Reprinted from Creepy #41, September 1971)

"A Secret King"
(Reprinted from Eerie #74, May 1976)

(Reprinted from Eerie #41, August 1972)

Jack-Some fabulous art here! "The Curse" and "Prelude to Armageddon" are drawn by Wally Wood, while "The Last Dragon King," "Jackie and the Leprechaun," and "Chess" are the work of Esteban Maroto. Gonzalo Mayo does a great Maroto impression in "A Secret King." Of course, the writing is never at the level of the art, but it's a nice-looking package.



Best Script: Nicola Cuti, "A Tale of a Fox" (Creepy #100)
Best Art: Alfredo Alcala, "Seven Sisters of the Sea" (Creepy #101)
Best All-Around Story: "A Tale of a Fox"
Best Cover >
Worst Story: "Orem Ain't Got No Head Cheese" (Creepy #85)

The Ten Best Stories

 "A Tale of a Fox"
2 "Temple of Seilos" (Creepy #88)
3 "A Martian Saga" (Creepy #87)
4 "Seven Sisters of the Sea"
5 "The Door Gunner" (Creepy #89)
6 "Bloodstone Christmas" (Creepy #86)
7 "Night Eyes" (Creepy #102)
8 "Presto the Besto" (Eerie 83)
9 "A Woman Scorned" (Eerie #90)
10 "The Glorious Return of Sweet Baby Theda" (Vampirella #67)


Best Script:
Bill DuBay, "Skimpole's Monsters" (Vampirella #61)
Best Art: Bernie Wrightson, "The Laughing Man" (Creepy #95)
Best All-Around Story: "Professor Duffer and the Insuperable Myron Meek!" (Creepy #100)
Best Cover> 
Worst Story: "Bessie" (Creepy #94)

The Ten Best Stories

1 "You're a Big Girl Now" (Eerie #81)
2 "The Christmas Flower" (Vampirella #58)
3 "Blood Brothers" (Creepy #89)
4 "Skimpole's Monsters"
5 "Companions in the Sun" (Vampirella #61)
6 "The Laughing Man"
7 "Professor Duffer and the Insuperable Myron Meek!"
8 "...But First, This Brief Interruption" (Vampirella #65)
9 "A Woman Scorned"
10 "Willie's Super-Magic Basketball" (Eerie #95)

Next Week...
Miller's Year One gives way to
Mike Barr's Year Two


Quiddity99 said...

My memory of Creepy #103 is excitingly buying a copy of Creepy I didn't own yet, then opening it up and being horrified to realize it was an all reprint issue. LoL. I'm sure many buyers of the Warren mags back in the day had that happen to them. This seems to be an animal themed issue outside of the inclusion of "Thumbs Down" which made no sense. I loved "On Little Cat Feet" and always a plus to see Wrightson's "Black Cat" again. Eerie #97 was my first exposure to the Corben dinosaur trilogy. Never got my hands on the other 3 all reprint issues.

A shame this reprinted Ken Kelly cover (from Eerie #63) took out all the background in favor of just repeating "Robots!" over and over again. The twist for "The Games" I should have seen a mile away given the theme of the issue but somehow didn't. I enjoyed "The Caretaker", primarily for Alcala's art. "In the City of God" was my favorite of the issue. Had completely forgotten that another Wolfer O'Connell story popped up. Austin's art doesn't fit Warren at all, but they did surprise me with the ending of "Holo Cost". I felt "Keep Kool" was somewhat of a bust, beyond Nino's usual quality artwork.

"Quarb and the Warball" has the usual Rook issues with it being too bloated and trying to cover too many different storylines, cutting back and forth between them repeatedly. Very overwritten as well. It was a pain to have to read all those captions. Quarb is a pretty good new character though. The idea for him was originally submitted via a fan contest from a year or two back. Typically Russ Heath and Bruce Jones together means great stuff, but I wasn't a fan of it this time. I was though fairly happy with what I believe is the last of the "Honor and Blood" series.

Quiddity99 said...

Cool Vampi cover, which I assume was a Gonzalez drawing that McQuaite colored and added the monster to. We're back to Hollywood with Vampi and I continue to prefer her in these fluff stories to the more serious ones. I really enjoyed "Peter Peter", the highlight of the issue for me. The rest of the issue is rather mediocre and/or disgusting (in the case of the last story). Somehow I never picked up on the fact that the last story is an inventory story, but seems obvious now as Len Wein hasn't worked for Warren in years. Makes me wonder if the other recent Azpiri story was one too.

My picks for the best and worse of 1977-1978 (going in no particular order on the stories)

Best Cover: Vampirella 58

Best Stories:
Dick Swift and his Electric Power Ring! (Creepy 86)
The Generations of Noah (Creepy 92)
The Laughing Man (Creepy 95)
Gaffer series (Eerie 83,85, 87, 92)
Magnificent Ephemeral (Vampirella 57)
Yellow Heat (Vampirella 58)
Fallen Angel (Vampirella 60)

Worst Stories:
Castles Made of Sand (Creepy 88)
Abelmar Jones series (Eerie 92, 93, 95)
By Degrees (Vampirella 68)

Jack Seabrook said...

Thanks! I love seeing other people's best and worst. Sometimes, one person's best is another's worst.