Monday, October 26, 2020

The Warren Report Issue 45: August/September 1973

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

Eerie #50 (August 1973)

"The Mind Within"
Story by Steve Skeates
Art by Jaime Brocal

"This Evil Must Die"★1/2
Story by Al Milgrom
Art by Martin Salvador

"Genesis of Depravity!"
Story by Doug Moench
Art by Ramon Torrents

"Monarch's Return"
Story by John Jacobson
Art by Paul Neary

"Lord's Wrath"★1/2
Story by John Jacobson
Art by Aldoma

"The Disciple"
Story by Steve Skeates
Art by Isidro Mones

"The Secret of Pursiahz"★1/2
Story and Art by Esteban Maroto

"The Mind Within"
As the mummy strangles a woman, he notices that the man with her is Doug, brother of the mummy's fiance. Worried that Doug heard the woman call him Jerome, the mummy kills Doug as well. The mummy returns to the museum, where "The Mind Within" of Jerome Curry returns to his own body. Wandering around early 1900s' Boston, Jerome remembers his studies of Ancient Egypt and his discovery of an amulet that allows him to transfer his mind into the body of the mummy. He used the mummy's body to murder women who had spurned him, but he fell hard for Suzanne Hindley and asked her to be his wife. Doug's funeral makes Suzanne feel the need for Jerome to comfort her in the bedroom, and he nearly strangles her without thinking, since he's gotten so used to doing that to ladies when he's in the mummy's body. He transfers his mind back into the mummy's form once again and kills a prostitute, but while he's out having fun a couple of crooks break into the museum and make off with various treasures, including the amulet. The mummy returns to the museum and Jerome discovers that his mind is stuck in the ancient body!

Finally, a mummy story that makes sense! I can't imagine why Skeates thought it a good idea to spend the first couple of stories in the series having the mummy run rampant without really explaining what was going on, but this story is a much-needed clarification. Jaime Brocal's art continues to shine. The need for the mummy to strangle a pretty girl every few pages demonstrates some level of sexism and sensationalism, but then this is a Warren horror comic, so I guess we get what we pay for.

"This Evil Must Die"
On a street in Dwarves Bay, a man in a top hat uses his silver cane to battle a werewolf but, when a group of townsfolk arrive, the furry fiend makes his escape. The man in the top hat is Master Goodman Blacker, who has been summoned to help stop the string of recent murders. Insisting that "This Evil Must Die," Blacker says he's a man of god and that the werewolf is a creature of the devil. He promises to destroy the creature that night. The townsfolk get plenty of silver ready, while Blacker heads off alone to the woods and casts a devilish spell in order to discover the werewolf's human identity. The full moon rises and Arthur Lemming transforms into a werewolf. He heads for the woods, pursued by villagers, but when he gets there he knocks over Blacker's cauldron of magic water just before the warlock discovers who the werewolf is. Lemming escapes into the woods but Blacker is not so lucky--the townsfolk see he's a conjurer and kill him.

I prefer Salvador's art to that of Buckler, who drew earlier entries in this series, because Salvador's work looks more like it belongs in a Warren horror magazine. The story is mediocre, and the fact that the werewolf knocks over the cauldron by mistake just in the nick of time is kind of silly, but the whole thing has a feeling like one of Nathaniel Hawthorne's tales and there is a particularly nice page with no dialogue at all.

"Genesis of Depravity!"
A woman summons up Satan and he basically talks her to death, explaining that he's making her the first vampire. Eventually, she seduces and bites a certain count and he turns into a vampire himself named--wait for it--Dracula.

Doug Moench tries to bludgeon the reader with words from the very tiresome figure of Satan, who (for some reason) selects this dull woman to make a "Genesis of Depravity!" Ramon Torrents contributes art that looks rather like the work of Maroto, though one panel in particular looks (to me) an awful lot like a swipe of an Ingrid Pitt vampire movie still.

Archaeology student Jason Talbot stumbles upon an ancient building in Greece and meets Sebastian, a servant, and his mistress, an old woman who thinks that Talbot is her husband Agamemnon, just back from ten years of fighting the Trojan War. Unfortunately, Talbot is perhaps the most ignorant archaeology student in Greece (he prefers Harold Robbins to the classics) and fails to realize what Clytemnestra did when her hubby came home. As in the old story, this gal murders Talbot--with an axe.

"Monarch's Return"
Knowing the end of "Monarch's Return" from the first page doesn't help make this story any more interesting, and Paul Neary's art varies wildly from pretty cool to barely competent. He especially seems to have trouble drawing faces, which may be why so many of his characters wear glasses. The final killing is shown reflected in a mirror, which has a nice subtlety to it, but (again) Neary's pages are too cluttered.

In a small German village in the year 1650, cruel Baron Odolf despises the local people and doesn't care when his speeding carriage runs over a little girl. Father Martin tries to mediate but gets an invitation to dine with the Baron that night, something that usually ends in poison and death for the guest. Knowing that the villagers resent him for trying to talk to the Baron and the Baron wants to kill him, Father Martin turns to the local sorcerer, who gives him a snake ring with poisoned fangs that will put the Baron to sleep when they shake hands. At the Baron's castle, Father Martin's handshake is declined so he grabs the Baron by the throat, causing the man to pass out on the floor. The Baron awakens in his own dungeon and heads outside, where he hops in his carriage and heads for the village. On the way, he sees workmen digging and is killed when a modern-day train runs over his carriage, which is parked on the tracks.

"Lord's Wrath"
"Lord's Wrath" was chugging along pretty well until the ending came out of left field. You know it's bad when Cousin Eerie has to explain what happened: "'Apparently the Baron slept far longer than he realized,'" quips our host. That begs the question of how his body remained unchanged over three centuries, how the castle remained unchanged, how his horse-drawn carriage remained unchanged...oh, I give up. Artur Aldoma Puig signs his work "Aldoma" and contributes decent art; nothing special, but not bad, either. It's a shame John Jacobson couldn't come up with a more sensible finish.

Easily the coolest thing in "The Disciple,"
this nightmare creature has
nothing to do with the story.
A square named George notices hippie after hippie wandering in a daze into a building and follows them to see what's up. He discovers a cult leader taking over their minds. Resisting mind control, George bonks the leader over the head with a bottle and suddenly realizes the hippies now listen to his own thoughts. "The Disciple" likes the idea of being a cult leader and takes over.

Another poorly-thought out story by Steve Skeates, this one has art by Munes that is average at best. Once again, the premise is somewhat intriguing and we readers wonder what all the hippies are up to. We follow George in and wonder why the mind-controlling cult leader wants all of these scraggly folk to meld their thoughts with his. That's fine, but then the story goes off the rails and ends with no explanation and a "twist" ending that is unsatisfying. I don't know if these writers had to crank this stuff out so fast that they didn't bother to think it through, but that's sure how it seems.

Dax meets yet another wise old man with a long beard who tells him "The Secret of Pursiahz," a beautiful young man whose wings petered out when he failed to listen to the gods and flew too close to the ground. His winged girlfriend had it worse: she got stuck in a giant spider web! Dax ventures out, sword in hand, and finds the girl, but she's dead. He kills the giant spider and meets a bunch more of the winged gals, who tell him all is forgiven and Pursiahz can come back. Dax returns to deliver the news and heads off to look for some beautiful girls to sleep with, something he missed out on this time. The young man has the old man fashion some makeshift wings, flies too close to the sun, and crashes to Earth, where he will be remembered as... Perseus.

Dax manages a rare story without sex.
Huh? Perseus? Shouldn't that be Icarus? I even Googled Perseus to be sure but I couldn't find anything about him with wings flying too close to the sun. Am I nuts here? The story should've been called "The Secret of Icaruhz." No one would have guessed the end! Maroto's art is just the same as in every other Dax story, with lots of willowy folks looking perfect. This particular entry is duller than usual.-Jack

Peter-For the first time in... well, it's been some time, I have to disagree with you, Jack. It's about "The Mind Within," which I consider to be just as dumb (if not dumber) than the previous two chapters of the Mummy. At what point did Skeates suddenly think, "Hang on a second, I think I may have forgotten to explain myself..." and concocted the biggest backpedal in flashback history? When the "mountain of mail" came flowing in? I'd prefer to be left in the dark if this is what we get. Seems to me to the flimsiest of excuses to enjoy a bit of brain-changing. As much as I thought Rich Buckler was the wrong artist for the Werewolf series, I think Marty Salvador's generic guy-with-fur look is worse. The script is awful as well. Neither the Mummy nor the Werewolf series has any kind of compass as of yet.

That other Satana
If anyone is keeping score, Warren's Satanna predates Marvel's Satana Hellstrom by a whopping two months (Hellstrom's first appearance coming in Vampire Tales #2), but Marvel's lawyers obviously thought they had a case for plagiarism and threatened Warren Publishing with a lawsuit. Evidently, the case was settled out of court (perhaps Jim Warren sent Forry Ackerman over to write pun-filled captions for Marvel's upcoming zine, Monsters of the Movies as recompense?), as this was the one and only appearance of Satanna in a Warren zine. To make matters even more confusing, Marvel introduced Lilith, Daughter of Dracula, who wears a costume similar to Satana. You can read about the incident in Rocket's Blast Comic Collector #103 (October 1973). All I got out of "Genesis of Depravity!" (a typically Moenchian title that) was that Satan sure talks a lot but doesn't actually say anything (typically Moenchian that). Let's count our lucky stars that Marvel put the stake through the heart of a second Warren female vampire series. Though "The Secret of Pursiahz" makes very little sense, I found it to be the most entertaining Dax entry I've read in quite some time. 

Not one of the non-series stories did a thing for me (outside of that very brief Curse of the Demon-esque sequence Jack mentioned in "The Disciple." Bad plots, mediocre art, and lots and lots of words sink all three. Is it my imagination, or did Neary use Harlan Ellison as a model for Jason Talbot? Aldoma, who appeared only twice, has a generic style that harkens back to the bad old "Dark Ages" days of Tony Williamsune. Overall, a very weak issue.

Enrich Torres
Vampirella #27 (September 1973)

"Wolf Hunt"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #14)

"Welcome to the Witches' Coven"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #15)

"Quavering Shadows"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #15)

"The Frog Prince"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #13)

"Return Trip" ★1/2
Story by Jose Toutain
Art by Jose Gonzalez

(Reprinted from Vampirella #16)

(Reprinted from Vampirella #12)

"War of the Wizards"
(Reprinted from Vampirella #10)

Since this is, effectively, the 1974 Yearbook, we get a boatload of reprints and only one original story, but that's more than what's offered up with the Creepy and Eerie Yearbooks, so just smile. That one original, "Return Trip," is the latest installment in the Vampirella saga. This time, Pendragon's ex-wife, Rose, teams up with a new character named "the Dreamer" to eliminate Vampirella and her drunken ex. The plot unravels when the Dreamer (who can enter his victim's minds and manipulate their dreams and, thus, their real-life actions) can't force Vampi to kill Pendragon. Frustrated, Dreamer pulls a dagger and is about to slice up Vampi's best bud when Patrick, the youngest of the Pendragon clan, shoots the man dead. Vampi wakes from her dream-state and hustles Pen out the door. 

The script is nothing special, more of a vignette compared to what we're used to seeing, length-wise, from a Vampi chapter, but the art is superb as usual and the color is fantastic. It ain't Corben Color but it's still miles above the muddy junk or washed-out tones we've had foisted on us already. The rest of the supporting cast was given the issue off; I suppose any more characters stuffed in this 8-pager would have been too much. Surprisingly, Warren decides not to give over the color section to the title's star from here on out. Big mistake, methinks. As for the reprint, for the most part this is a good selection. "Cilia" is the only out-and-out dog.-Peter

Jack-Meh. I thought the color in the Vampi story was up and down from panel to panel: the bright panels look good but the dark ones are muddy. I had to laugh when the gals on the beach were admiring Vampirella's stylish "bathing suit," but I question the moral at the end of the young boy shooting and killing the bad guy in order to show that there's too much hate and vengeance in the world. It might have been better to shoot him in the leg!

As for the reprints, I rated "Wolf Hunt" and "War of the Wizards" highly the first time around, but the rest were not very good. All of the reprints come from issues 10 through 15, which represent the period from March 1971 to April 1972. That means less reliance on former EC artists and more reliance on the new, Spanish artists, yet the Wally Wood story still stands out.

Creepy #56 (September 1973)

"In My Father's House!" ★1/2
Story by Doug Moench
Art by Rafael Auraleon

"Innsmouth Festival" 
Story by John Jacobson
Art by Adolfo Abellan

"Consumed by Ambition" 
Story by Jack Butterworth
Art by Martin Salvador

Story and Art by Richard Corben

"The Way of All Flesh" ★1/2
Story by Doug Moench
Art by Jose Bea

"The Bell of Kuang Sai" ★1/2
Story by George Henderson
Art by Isidro Mones

"In My Father's House!"
A no-nonsense cop named Caulk investigates the murder of a rich man named Emil Strand. The killing has obvious roots in devil worship but interviews with Strand's lady friends (who have all gone insane and reside in mental institutions) drum up no clues. Finally, something one of the girls says spurs Caulk to visit a local church, where he discovers a secret society literally raising the Devil in the basement. Showing a little spunk to the demon called up, Caulk becomes the high priest of the coven, but his tenure comes to in an end when he gets too comfortable.

"In My Father's House" contains another really bad Doug Moench script, one that makes little sense, obviously inspired by hardboiled dicks like Mike Hammer and Lew Archer. Moench tries to make his dialogue come off just as tough as those arm-breakers, but it just sounds silly and contrived. Auraleon's art is not very good here; his old priest looks just like every other old guy he's drawn before. The twist climax is anything but surprising. Why is the demon, confined to a pentagram earlier in the story, free to pop up in the crowd (and in a robe, no less, like he's hiding) in the final panel. Makes no sense = Doug Moench.

"Innsmouth Festival"
Just another day at the office for Harrison Farnsworth, editor at a "true stories of the supernatural"-type magazine, with Farnsworth interviewing a barber who claims to have cut the hair of a mermaid, a woman who has captured the ghost of Marilyn Monroe on film, and an old woman who claims three men in black are following her, waiting for their chance to silence her. She's stumbled on the secret plot "of the cosmic conspiracy to overpower Earth and make us all slaves to their godless master." The old woman has proof of her crazy story as she pulls a strange-looking weapon from her purse and hands it to Harrison, claiming it's a "supper (sic)-secret ray gun" dropped from one of the "scout saucers." Smelling a really juicy story for his rag, Farnsworth begins to dig deeper until he's called into the office of his editor, who gives him a more pressing assignment: travel to Innsmouth and investigate a cult that practices human sacrifice. Harrison dutifully hops in his car and starts driving.

"Innsmouth Festival"
When he arrives in Innsmouth, he is startled by the apish appearance of the inhabitants but chalks it up to water pollution. Tracking down the two sisters who wrote to the magazine proves to be a chore as no one will speak to him. With a little help from a local lad, Harrison finally knocks on the door of the Gilman sisters and is pleasantly surprised to discover they are both quite beautiful, lacking all the brutish qualities of their neighbors. The sisters explain that they are share a different world view than the other inhabitants of Innsmouth, who perform human sacrifices to a god of the sea named Cthulhu, who "lies dreaming in the sunken city of R'lyeh, waiting for the proper time to return." The women explain that they believe in Hastur, Lord the Air, and are hoping their loving God shows up well before Cthulhu. As the Gilmans explain that there is a sacrifice planned for that evening, Harrison feels oddly drowsy and passes out.

He awakens to find himself alone and heads for the waterfront, where he finds the Gilman sisters tied to a pier and several of the brutish Innsmouthites standing guard. Using his noggin, Harrison wades out under the pier and unties the gorgeous gals--just in time it turns out--as a giant, tentacled creature rises from the sea and heads for land. The trio flee for town but a mad mob stops them and the giant creature approaches from the rear. Seeing the ray-gun given to him by the old woman fall out of his pocket, Harrison watches in awe as one of the sisters scoops it up, points it, and blasts the creature to atoms. Returning to the home of the sisters, Harrison gladly accepts their invitation to stay the night, hoping there might be some hanky-panky in the works. The girls disrobe but, before Farnsworth can get more than a few moments into his fantasy, he notices they both have wings. "Don't worry about us," says one of the Hasturians, "we'll be very comfortable hanging from the rafters!"

"Innsmouth Festival"
John Jacobson borrows heavily (actually cut and pasting a few lines here and there) from 'ol HPL, but that's all right by me; I'd much rather have a Cthulhuian fantasy than yet another werewolf who's actually a vampire. Jacobson gets the tone and atmosphere spot on right from panel one, where we're informed that Harrison Farnsworth (himself a nod to Weird Tales editor Farnsworth Wright) is trapped in this nowhere job, interviewing loonies who see Churchill in their corn flakes, and yet somehow sees the positive side. Every crackpot who walks into his office could conceivably be the next cover story. Using the actual names of the deities is a plus as well (except in the case of the "Esoteric Order of Dagon," which inexplicably gets retitled "Dragon"); why steal from HPL and then hide the theft by summoning up "Cthon?" The final reveal is cute, as is the sub-plot of the old lady and her ray-gun. We're left to ponder her fate when Harrison calls in and discovers that the woman was last seen "driving away from the city... in the company of three men in black...!" This is the best Adolfo Abellan art we've seen so far. The villagers are suitably Lovecraftian, as is the octopoid monster, and the Gilman girls are an eyeful in the buff. More Lovecraft please!

A carnival owner travels to the Rain Forest to buy two skeletons alleged to be vampires. When he gets there, he sees one with a stake in its ribcage and the other... no stake. Angered at what he perceives to be a rip-off (you know, cuz any skeleton with a stake in its ribs must be a vampire!), the man questions the seller, who tells him the long and sordid story of Count Yaroslav, a vampire fleeing from Europe and hoping for a more peaceful clime in which he can rip some throats out. In the guise of an explorer, Yaroslav tries to slide easily into the neighborhood, but a yen for fresh blood sees him attacking a young villager named Pedro. 

Now that Pedro is a vampire, Yaroslav teaches the boy how to ensure that his victims don't come back from the dead and create an overpopulation of blood-suckers in the area. But Pedro has other ideas and, once the sun comes up, he stakes Yaroslav in his casket and becomes king vampire. He tells the chief of the local tribe that he expects a sacrifice each night, but when the tribe offers up a goat, Pedro hits the roof and attacks a pretty young girl, draining her of blood but getting a knife wound in the bargain. The young vampire heads back to his casket to mend but the blood trail attracts a swarm of vicious soldier ants and they pick Pedro's flesh clean from the bone. As the salesman finished his story, he adds that, though he's clean of flesh, Pedro still lives on.

"Consumed by Ambition" has a few good points to recommend, chief Amon them the twist halfway through when Pedro retires his maker and gleefully looks forward to eternal life as a killing machine. Off the top of my head, I think I consider this my favorite Martin Salvador work, but that might change. Salvador's never been one of my top Spanish artists, though; his style is just a little too formulaic and there's no real dynamic to his presentation. Salvador's art never seems to tell us more than what we read in the caption.

Lawrence Cardiff travels miles to visit the castle of Baron Talbot when he hears the Baron has a werewolf problem. Cardiff has concocted a very original means of killing lycanthropes... with a silver-fanged flea, attracted only to werewolves. After a young girl is viciously slaughtered, the Baron feels he has no choice but to take a chance on Cardiff's offbeat solution, but Talbot is a greedy SOB, so he ties Cardiff to a tree as bait for the wolfman. Still in his human guise, the werewolf approaches Cardiff and tells the man to ready himself for death. But the salesman has another pitch up his sleeve. 

I usually can't be bothered about spoiling the twist in these things but "Lycanklutz" is a different story altogether. Its reveal should lead to at least a loud chuckle. Hands down, the most fun I ever had reading a Warren story. Didn't say this was the best Warren story of all time (I've already gone on record on that one), but you tell me what was more fun. Corben the writer is every bit as important as Corben the artist here. His one-liners are spot-on, as are his nods to the past (I'm not sure how he snuck the whole poem from The Wolf Man in without some repercussions). The color is gorgeous and the breasts are huge. And, yep, there's that finale! I think this was the first time I ever noticed Corben (and the way he drew breasts). It made quite the impression on me. In fact... (oh gosh, this is tough to admit) a friend of mine and I made a short film based on "Lycanklutz" for film class in eighth grade on a budget of about ten bucks. Werewolf was nothing but a shadow (and our eighth-grade maiden didn't even have breasts yet, as I recall) but it didn't turn out too bad, if I do say. Don't look for it anytime soon on YouTube, however, as the film is as lost as London After Midnight. The age of Corben Color starts now.

"The Way of All Flesh"
An aging, blind vicar tries to drum up business in his small village, but something sinister is killing the young people off. After Alex loses his wife, Margaret, in this deadly purge, he turns to Satan to return her (and the other townsfolk) to him. The dead do indeed rise (or, rather, dig their way free) and congregate at the blind vicar's church. His mission accomplished (or so he thinks since he can't exactly see what's shambled into his place of business), the vicar dies a peaceful, happy death and Alex becomes a believer in the Lord. What a dumb and confusing tale. Why would Alex believe in God? Wasn't it his incantation that brought the corpses out of the grave? And what was killing the people off? Was Doug Moench's point that God was trying to make a point to Alex by offing forty of his children? And, if it was Alex that filled that church, how was the vicar the triumphant one? And why did the new parishioners disappear when the holy man expired? I had hopes, in the beginning, that "The Way of All Flesh" could soar above Moench's previous stabs at literature but this, like all the rest, gets bogged down in the mire of pretension. And, hey Doug, can you find another exclamation than " God!" Three or four times per story may be above the limit.

"The Bell of Kuang Sai"
Kublai Khan demands that his greatest metal-man create him a bell for all times and Kuang Sai gets to work. But after dozens of attempts, Kuang just can't seem to get it right; the bells always have a long crack marring their beauty. Khan tells Kuang he has three more tries before he gives him the "death by a thousand slices" treatment (akin to listening to Bon Jovi's Greatest Hits), so Kuang visits an old wizard, who calls out to all the gods to find out which one has it in for the master metal man. All available gods exhausted, the Lord of the Bells is called on (who'da thunk?) and tells Kuang that he must sacrifice his most precious treasure. Knowing he only has one more try before he goes down in history as the worst bell-maker, Kuang tosses his precious daughter, Fen, into the molten steel and a perfect bell for Kublai Khan is crafted. Well, almost perfect. Every time the bell is rung, it sounds like a young girl screaming. 

Not a bad little story at all and Mones does a decent job illustrating (except for that hilarious Lord of the Bells, a demon that looks more comical than evil) the otherworldly aspects of the script. The credits mention that George Henderson is adapting "The Bells of Kuang Sai" but what he was adapting no one seems to know. I'd have liked a stronger ending; the narrative just sputters out and leaves us with a final "shock" that is anything but.-Peter

Jack- Corben's art looks like nothing else at Warren and "Lycanklutz" is a winner! Horror, humor, and gorgeous color--what more do we need? The twist ending is clever, as well, and I can only hope that this story is a sign of things to come in the Warren mags. The rest of this issue was pretty good; I gave 2 1/2 stars to every story except "Cursed By Ambition," which is unfocused and takes a weird left turn halfway through. The rest of the stories all suffer from endings that are a letdown. I kind of liked "In My Father's House" for the way Moench tried to mix horror and noir, and I thought "Innsmouth Festival" got off to a good, funny start and had some above-average plotting. Abellan's art is still too scratchy for me.

"The Way of All Flesh" is overwritten in that special Moench fashion but has a likably gloomy atmosphere and Bea's art fits it to a T. "The Bell of Kuang Sai" is surprisingly good until the flat finale. This issue is easily the best of the three we read this time out.

Next Week...
Gerry Conway has a whole
lot of 'splaining to do!


Quiddity said...

A really solid issue of Eerie in my eyes, a far better 50th issue than Creepy's 50th issue. Agreed on the Mummy series, I consider this the best story in the series thus far. The downside to the werewolf series is that Salvador's art just isn't that scary. The upside is the story at least continues to be pretty good (a little less over the top this time) and I didn't care for Buckler's art, so Salvador is at least an upgrade. "Satanna" I liked a lot (beyond that ultra wordy page), Torrents' art is considerably scary and effective. Thanks for the history on this one; I always thought this was supposed to be a continuing series, but it just stops here. The lawsuit would clearly explain why they never went any further with it. If you're ever seen M. Night Shymalan's "The Village", "Lord's Wrath"'s ending reminds me much of that movie. Pretty good art job by Aldoma in one of only 2 stories he does for Warren. I liked "The Disciple" a lot as well, principally due to Mones' excellent art job. He can turn out some pretty crazy looking monsters when he needs to. Dax's story is decent as well, but yeah, they totally whiffed on their historical figure, that totally should have been Icarus! I wonder if it was Maroto or the translator/script writer who screwed it up.

Great Vampi cover this time; as usual just a so-so Vampirella story within. Thankfully this whole storyline with Pendragon and his family comes to an end, although his grandson shooting the bad guy is just a ridiculous resolution. As for why Vampirella herself doesn't usually get the color feature in her magazine, its almost certainly because they didn't want to limit the Vampi story to only 8 pages per issue, which is what they are typically restricted to for the color story (outside of one-time for each magazine where an issue gets 16 color pages, around the summer of 1974). I prefer the choice, it lets us see a variety of different Warren artists in color beyond just Richard Corben, who gets the majority of the Creepy color stories. I am very much looking forward to the next Vampirella issue, which includes the premiere of one of my favorite Warren artists/writers and one of my top ten favorite Warren stories.

This issue of Creepy is quite special for me as it was my first ever Warren magazine. Why, is just random luck. I'm too young to have been around when the Warren magazines were originally published and assembled my collection rather randomly; this just happened to be the first. Agreed that "In My Father's House" is a mess as is Moench's later "The Way of All Flesh". "Innsmouth Festival" is a strong performance from both Jacobson and Abellan; unfortunately I don't think Warren draws from the Lovecraft well that often (I recall Skywald doing it a lot more). "Consumed by Ambition" is a fairly good vampire story as well. "Lycanklutz" is a lot of fun; Corben's got the perfect mix of comedy and horror here and for the first time a Warren color story looks quite good. Good ending to the issue; I think every time you see Henderson credited in a Warren magazine he's adapting something, although like you I have no familiarity with the original story.

andydecker said...

Did Moench got paid by the word? "Genesis" must be the most dumb vampire-origin I have ever read. (And I read a few.) The "Satanna" background info was new to me, but Marvel really had some balls to threaten a lawsuit. Except for some generic concepts the stories have nothing in common except the name. Not that the actual story is worth anything, but it is kind of amusing that Marvel never did get its "Satanna" off the ground. All those efforts for nothing. It is a wonder that Warren didn't tell them so go ... It is interesting that all this didn't have repercussions for Moench. As petty as the comic companies were at the time, it is kind of a wonder that Moench did get so much work the next year from Marvel.

I never was a fan of the Werewolf serial, I find the creature design so boring and the story so dumb. It should have ended after the first two or three parts. I actually prefer Buckler because at least there was some dynamic on the page. Salvador's art - which I often like - just is static and his werewolf looks more like a man with too much hair instead of a monster.

But you are right that Buckler's style clashed with the overall Warren style at the time. His art looked like something out of "Dracula Lives" or "Savage Sword."

I like the Enrich cover of Vampirella. (On the other hand, did he ever delivered a bad one?) It is like a parody of a Gothic cover, just the light in the tower is missing.

Quiddity said...

Regarding Moench, perhaps he didn't even name the character; Bill Dubay as editor tended to overwrite a lot of his writer's work; that may explain why Marvel didn't care? If anything, I think that was more likely than not, as Moench is on the record as saying that the later series he would author "The Spook" was not named by him but by Dubay.