Monday, April 5, 2021

The Warren Report Issue 56: September 1974


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

Vampirella #36

"The Vampire of the Nile" 
Story by Flaxman Loew
Art by Jose Ortiz

"A Wonderful Morning!" 
Story and Art by Fernando Fernandez

"The Tiara of Dagon!" ★1/2
Story by John Jacobson
Art by Esteban Maroto

"Good to the Last Drop!" ★1/2
Story by Martin Pasko
Art by Ramon Torrents

"Sword Play" 
Story by Martin Pasko
Art by Felix Mas

"Prey for Me!" ★1/2
Story by Rich Margopoulos
Art by Rafael Auraleon

"Puppet-Player!" ★1/2
Story and Art by Jose Bea

While in Egypt to do a gig, Vampirella and Pendragon are involved in a serious car accident (thanks, in no small part, to the alcoholic tendencies of Pendy) and their spirits fly out of their bodies and into some kind of time/space paradox. They awake to find themselves in ancient Egypt, Vampirella as Cleopatra and Pendy as her loyal slave. One night, CleoVamp is taken from her palace and brought before her brother (who also happens to be her hubby) Ptolemy in a dark underground chamber. Chained to a column, CleoVamp is dined on by Ptolemy, who happens to also be the Vampire-King of the Nile!

Her vampirism isn't much of a downer until she meets and falls in love with Mark Antony, who returns the favor with his undying love. Alas, as we all know, the union is not to last for, when Antony witnesses CleoVamp dine on a big cat with fangs bared, he gasps, utters profanities, and becomes one with his sword. Saddened, CleoVamp hoofs it to Ptolemy's tomb, where she puts an end to his undead reign with a stake to the heart. Amun-Ra appears and tells the girl that he will reward her service to him by transporting her to a planet beyond the stars, where blood flows like rivers and the girls wear nothing but G-strings: Drakulon! Suddenly, Vampirella awakens in a hospital bed, with a very handsome doctor named Antonioni smiling at her.

I don't know what to make of "The Vampire of the Nile." It's either a really dumb dream story or an equally dumb reboot of the origin. Was Vampi reliving events that had happened centuries before? I don't know. But one thing I do know: that "hic... burp" routine of Pendy's is getting really old. These Vampi stories continue to be disposable in the story department but rewarding with the "eye candy." Ortiz has stepped in nicely for Gonzalez in the "highlights" department; Vampi continues to be voluptuous and everything a pimply-faced teenage boy would love to "read" late at night after mom and dad have gone to sleep.

At some point in the future (could be tomorrow), all the adults in the world have been wiped out and the Earth is home only to children. We're not told if these children killed every single adult and how exactly that event transpired but, anyway, there are a whole lot of kids running around in this idyllic setting when word goes 'round that the last adult in the world has been spotted running up a hill. The kids give chase, catch him, and kill him. Oh, what "A Wonderful Morning!" I thought this one started out okay but quickly devolved into the usual preach. So many questions to be asked. Ferinstance, what's the cut-off age? Will these kids be killed when they reach that age a la Logan's Run? The color (by Corben) does no favors to Fernandez's artwork, which usually looks great in black and white. Here, it seems as though Warren hired somebody off the street to color by numbers (especially that hideous panel reprinted above, which looks like a TV Guide advert for Eight is Enough). I assume the deep, deep, deep message here is that kids could run this world a heck of a lot better than adults.

Simon Pepper, curator of the Arkham Museum, has had enough of the trollish high priest who continually visits and tries to barter for "The Tiara of Dagon!" Pepper tells the unsavory man one more time that the Tiara is not for sale, but his visitor pulls out a gold bar worth thousands and offers it up, hoping this time he has a deal. Pepper pulls a gun and nabs the gold bar, telling the little man to be gone. The priest laughs and tells the curator that he behaved exactly as expected and that the gold was treated with a chemical that will kill Pepper in a matter of minutes. Simon takes a shot at the man but he finds he's all alone in the museum. At first scoffing at the idea that he's been poisoned, Pepper soon learns that the priest was telling the truth. I love comic stories that are flavored with Lovecraft; there's such a huge universe to draw from. "The Tiara of Dagon!" is a bit disjointed and it's cloudy as to what's happening in that museum after Pepper steals the gold bar. Ideally, this would have been drawn by Tom Sutton; this does not look like your typical Maroto (not one half-nekkid chick to be found in that museum). 

"Good to the Last Drop!" is an almost unreadable bit of nonsense about a man who accidentally murders his wife when he discovers she's stepping out on him. He then chops her body up and takes it down to the coffee factory he owns and dry-freezes her teensy bits. The revenge angle comes in when he decides to serve her in a cup to her boyfriend. A miscue leads to both men drinking the coffee and dying... because the wife was so guilt-ridden she had decided to off herself and downed a shot of poison just before hubby killed her. This is the kind of murder/tryst story EC would do just about every month. The difference is that most of their tales worked. This one's just dumb. Nice to look at, though.

Marty Pasko is also responsible for the equally dopey "Sword Play," wherein a group of students discover their fencing teacher is a vampire. The first half of the story is like something out of a bad ABC Mystery Movie of the Week (complete with corny teen dialogue) and the "twist" comes off as though Pasko had written himself into a corner and couldn't figure out if he wanted to go full-out Pretty Maids All in a Row. The reveal is tired and desperate. "Prey For Me!" is another one of those The Most Dangerous Game riffs, this time with a werewolf (yep, just like The Beast Must Die, released the same year by Amicus). Eccentric millionaire invites big-game hunters to his estate, then drugs them and releases them into the woods with a rifle loaded with one silver bullet. Then he lets the wolfman out of his cage. All this, we're reminded several times, is done in the name of vengeance for all the animals killed by hunters. There's a good twist at the climax and the art by Auraleon is adequate (he did much better covers than interior art in my humble opinion). I might just have been in the mood for a story that wasn't crap.

Gino Malaspina is a master puppet-man; many come to see his shows and enjoy the playful violence. But the beatings his puppets administer to each other grow ever more violent until the little dolls turn the tables on Gino and give the puppet-master a good beating. The art of "Puppet-Player!" is much stronger than its script; the climax doesn't make much sense when you stop and think about it. But Jose Bea is such a strong penciller that, many times, all that's needed are some great visuals to forget about the silly words. Unlike the Fernandez story, I thought the color actually complemented Bea's work this time out. The color duties were handed to Michele Brand, who was once married to Warren artist Roger Brand and who would wed Bernie Wrightson soon after this story appeared.-Peter

Jack-"The Tiara of Dagon!" was the best of a bad batch of stories this time out, solely due to the highly unusual art by Maroto. He uses solid blacks and whites and empty spaces to give the story a noirish feeling that makes up for the half-baked Lovecraft references. I enjoyed all of the references to Ancient Egypt and Rome in "The Vampire of the Nile," and Ortiz draws a gorgeous Vampirella, but in the end it's just another dream story like "Superman Marries Lois Lane!" "A Wonderful Morning!" is another dated '70s fable; Fernandez can draw but the story falls flat and so does Corben's color. Jose Bea's continuing weirdness made "Puppet-Player!" bearable, though the story is marred by a disappointing finish.

I'm always happy to see a story drawn by Auraleon, but "Prey for Me!" made me realize that a big part of the artist's appeal lies in the way he draws women--and there are none in this story. Finally, Martin Pasko scrapes the bottom of the barrel with "Good to the Last Drop," which takes Lamb to the Slaughter to a new, more disgusting level. Incredibly, things get worse with "Sword Play," which is nearly incomprehensible. The best thing about this issue is the cover!

Creepy #65

"The Land of Bone"
(Reprinted from Creepy #47)

(Reprinted from Creepy #51)

"The Men Who Called Him Monster"
(Reprinted from Creepy #43)

"Tell-Tale Heart"
(Reprinted from Creepy #3)

"The Quaking Horror"
(Reprinted from Creepy #42)

"Bed of Roses"
(Reprinted from Creepy #51)

"The Accursed Flower"
(Reprinted from Creepy #49)

"A Chronicle"
(Reprinted from Creepy #42)

"The Third Night of Mourning"
(Reprinted from Creepy #49)

Jack-Not a great package, this. Nine stories, only three of which are worth reprinting: "Tell-Tale Heart," from way back in Creepy #3 in 1965, features strong art by Reed Crandall; "The Accursed Flower", from Creepy #49 in November 1972, a spooky story that highlights how weird Jose Bea's work can be; and "The Third Night of Mourning," from the same issue, a Gothic collaboration between James Stenstrum and Jaime Brocal. The rest of the issue is padded with junk by the likes of Moench, Skeates, and McGregor--hardly worth $1.25 in 1974.

Eerie #60

"24 Hours of Hell!"
Story by Bruce Bezaire
Art by Jose Ortiz

Story by Bill DuBay
Art by Bernie Wrightson

"Exterminator One"★1/2
Story by Bill DuBay
Art by Paul Neary

"Childhood's End"
Story by Budd Lewis
Art by Rich Corben

"The Man Hunters"
Story by Gerry Boudreau
Art by Wally Wood

"The Unholy Creation"★1/2
Story by Steve Skeates
Art by Leopold Sanchez

Story by Gerry Boudreau
Art by Isidro Mones

"24 Hours of Hell!"
When Samuel Garson and his new bride check into London's Whitechapel Hotel, they don't expect their 19th-century evening of bliss will turn into "24 Hours of Hell!" On this night, a group of miserable vagrants descend upon the hotel, dosing themselves with a drug called Jackass that turns them into murderers and rapists for a day before they die. The inhabitants of the hotel retreat to the top floor but end up fighting off the human monsters and, in the end, only two of the men survive.

I read this first episode of "Night of the Jackass!" thinking it was drawn by Bernie Wrightson and, on realizing that it was actually Jose Ortiz, I went back and looked for a credit but found none. Ortiz's scribbled signature on page one even resembles that of Wrightson. Bruce Bezaire's story is unrelentingly gloomy and not really my cup of tea; the whole thing recalls Night of the Living Dead.

Little Nemo is terrified of a monster named Igor who visits him every night. His parents don't believe it, since Igor and his fellow monsters disappear every time Mom and Dad come into their son's bedroom. Nemo's parents finally relent and let him sleep with them, but Igor promises that, come the next "Nightfall," he and his fiends will be back.


Wrightson does nice work in this eight-pager, which doesn't waste time on explanations. The art is superb and makes great use of shades of grey, though why DuBay chose to name the child Nemo (and, at one point, to reference Slumberland) remains a mystery.

"Exterminator One" 
It's 2014, and Peter Orwell's human brain is encased in the body of a robot. He is "Exterminator One," sent on his first mission to kill a human being. Peter thinks back to learning that he and his wife disregarded a government order not to have a baby and went ahead and brought a little girl into the world. Because Peter was considered genetically imperfect, he was jailed for four years, until he was given the option to taste freedom, in the body of a robotic killing machine. Too bad his first assignment is to kill his own daughter! He resists at first but eventually goes through with the murder, since the computer won't let him back out.

A captivating story with a brutal, surprising finish. DuBay does a nice job of moving back and forth between the present and the past and, as the conclusion neared, I expected Peter to be on a mission to kill his wife. The revelation that he was sent to kill his daughter was so much worse and the finale, where he is forced to go through with it, is just awful. Paul Neary's art is just right for a futuristic story with a robot as the main character.

"Childhood's End"
The creature known as Child sees a crystal fall from the sky and picks it up, thinking it a precious gift from Heaven. Though he hides the crystal under a bush, another little boy is watching and takes it when Child is gone. The crystal explodes, spewing forth starfish that attach themselves to the boy's face. The starfish cause illness but Child just wants to punish the boy for taking the crystal, so he kills the boy's father and runs off with the son. Villagers follow Child and shoot to kill; as he dies, the starfish leave the boy's face and attach themselves to Child.

"Childhood's End" is the welcome end of the Child series, featuring a cloying script and unpleasant Corben art. The color gives it that special sense of Corben weirdness, but there's not much to see here and I won't miss the series.

Brenda is ready to give up after spending eight months exploring outer space, trying to find out what happened to her husband, David. Her ship lands on the planet Thyna, and she and her two male companions discover big yellow aliens with tentacles and many eyes. The two men are killed, but one of the creatures spares Brenda, eventually taking her to a computer, where she learns that David's brain was transplanted into the kindly creature. She decides to stay with her man, tentacles and all.

"The Man Hunters"

"The Unholy Creation"

I am so thrilled to see "The Man Hunters," a new, eight-page outer space story drawn by the great Wally Wood! This one has it all: gorgeous color, a gorgeous gal, and creatures with tentacles. The story by Gerry Boudreau is nothing special, and it was obvious that the creature was David, but it's such a treat to see new art by Wally Wood that I really don't care.

Why doesn't Jason Boswell show up for his wedding? It turns out that he took a woman home from his bachelor party the night before and woke up at four a.m. While staggering home, he was set upon by crooks and murdered, all in order to provide a mad scientist with a fresh brain for his Frankenstein-monster-like creation. Unfortunately, the mad scientist forgot to hook up "The Unholy Creation's" nerve endings, so he can't feel anything. The monster kills his creator and is left to face life alone, unable to feel pleasure or pain.

We dump on Moench and Skeates a lot on this blog, and stories like this are the reason why. Were it not for some pretty cool panels by Leopold Sanchez, who draws a neat monster, this would be an utter waste of space. The ending is so abrupt that I found myself paging through the ads in the back of the book to try to find the final page or pages.


Dr. Archaeus doesn't recognize Jamaica Jennsen right off, but as soon as she leaves to notify Miles Sanford, Archaeus realizes who she was and that he can't go home. Sanford breaks into the doctor's room and reads his list of victims, but the doctor does not return. The next day, Miles boards a coach to visit Scotland Yard, but the coachman is working for Dr. Archaeus and takes a detour, delivering an unconscious Sanford to the ruined Lancashire Abbey, where Archaeus waits to kills him. Sanford manages to defeat the coachman, only to receive a fatal arrow in his chest from Archaeus's bow.

"Interlude" is another satisfying entry in the saga of Dr. Archaeus. The story isn't spectacular, the art isn't the best in the issue, but somehow it all works together to make a fun final product. I can't always keep straight who the characters are (other than Archaeus), but for some reason it succeeds and I look forward to the next chapter. All in all, an above-average issue of Eerie! A very sharp cover, too.-Jack

Peter-I really liked the first chapter of "The Night of the Jackass," while acknowledging that it has its faults. The title, for instance, doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, and it teeters on pretension. We're told that the drug causes the user to become psychotic and then die after 24 hours, but not why they sprout Spock-ears as well. And, though I thought "24 Hours of Hell!" was a grueling and grim roller-coaster ride from beginning to end, I'm not sure the hook should be stretched out into a four-chapter series. I guess we'll have to wait and see. 

"Nightfall" is a beauty. Tough to come up with new adjectives to apply to Bernie's work, so I'll add that this is probably DuBay's peak, the one he'd put on his résumé. It's got a very intense, Neal Adams/House of Mystery vibe to it ("Nightmare" from HOM #186 comes to mind), different in tone from any of the other Warren stories. Top Ten of all time? Probably. We'll see. At first glance, "Exterminator One" is a half-assed rip-off of Deathlok the Demolisher (itself a rip-off of Martin Caidin's Cyborg, the basis for The Six Million Dollar Man), but since Deathlok had just appeared a couple months before, I'll give Dube some slack. It's not that great of a read but it does have a nasty kick in the tail. 

After three interminably cute and pretentious chapters, "Child" is finally put out of its misery. I know the series has its fans, but I think this chapter might be the nadir. "...and it doomed your sweet soul. But child... poor child... have you even a soul? Daddy always said a soul makes man divine.... In your lonely, painful wanderings have you yet become... divine?" What kind of atmosphere bred writers who longed to be Doug Moench when they grew up, or did Budd Lewis come to Warren a fully-formed Moenchite? I love how our country doctor knows everything there is to know about the parasites latching onto little Timmy's face, despite this being a completely alien lifeform ("I got this theory..."). This really is the pits.

If nothing else, "The Man Hunters" brings Wally Wood back into the fold after a long absence, but it would have been more respectful had they given Wally a good script rather than an utterly predictable rehash of past outer space monster sagas. And what a happy ending! Gorgeous chick married to Cthulhu. This probably would have looked better sans color. "The Unholy Creation" is some warped public safety announcement about adultery, right? It's oddly disjointed and doesn't seem to know what direction it's going. It's better than "Child" but that's about as much praise as I'll give it.

Eerie won't be as much fun to visit once Boudreau and Mones finish their Dr. Archaeus run next issue. Panel for panel, I think this may be the best series Eerie ever ran. I didn't think that way the first time I critiqued the series characters a decade ago for From the Tomb (you can read it here and here); I probably would have handed the Silver Goblet to Hunter II. But a second reading has been enormously entertaining. My regret is that Jim Warren never talked Aurora into issuing a Dr. Archaeus Monster Scenes kit. Imagine that under the tree for Christmas!

Next Week...
A double dose of


Anonymous said...

EERIE #60 was my first “all new” (non-Dax-reprint) issue of a Warren mag, and as such, I thought to myself, “If this is the kind of stuff they publish every issue, Holy Cow! MORE, PLEASE!!” I mean, I was stunned by how gorgeous this comic was. Little did I know that, thanks to the vagaries of wildly inconsistent distribution, it would be an entire year before I saw another issue of EERIE for sale anywhere in my area. Sigh...

“Night of the Jackass” was shockingly intense and brutal for my 13-year-old sensitivities, WAY gnarlier than anything I’d ever experienced in a comic before. Chaotic carnage, just shy of absolute nihilism, magnificently drawn by Jose Ortiz.

“Nightfall” knocked me out, of course. I was already a Wrightson fan from reading SWAMP THING, but his superb use of ink washes here raised my appreciation of his artistry to a whole new level. It’s not much of a story, honestly, it barely even qualifies as a vignette. But it gives Bernie an excuse to draw monsters mischievously misbehaving for 8 pages, so it gets the job done. Style Over Substance FTW.

“Exterminator One” — I definitely noticed the similarities to Deathlok right away, although as you noted, the timing suggests that it’s nearly impossible for Dubay to have swiped the idea from Buckler. The thing that impressed me at the time (and still does today) are the differences between the two. Deathlok was all about the Cyborg as Anti-hero — fairly dark for a Code-approved comic for 1974, but still geared toward action/adventure. Whereas The Exterminator was a straight-up Horror Story. Dubay’s narrative is quiet, nuanced, chillingly horrific, and Neary’s formal, clinical, claustrophobic art is a million miles away from Buckler’s Marvel Bombast stylings. Not that one approach is “better” than the other (I like the Deathlok series a LOT) but the Exterminator story felt like a much more serious treatment of the theme.

“Childhood’s End” — yeah, yeah, I get it. It’s maudlin, sentimental, illogical, not Corben’s best work and a Frankenstein rip-off besides. Having never seen fully-painted comic art before, it blew my mind in the far-away Summer of 1974 and 60-year-old Me still loves it.

“The Manhunters” is definitely a compilation of Woody’s “SF Greatest Hits” and totally works on that level. Not having access to his EC stuff at the time (except for MAD paperback reprints), I wasn’t aware of how Old Hat this was, so I was suitably impressed. It’s still a decent example of Wood’s art, if not exactly Top Drawer.

“The Unholy Creation” — yep, yet another Frankenstein knockoff (that’s THREE Frankensteinian tales in one issue, if we count The Exterminator). And even though I think the Monster looks more goofy than scary, I love Sanchez’ art on this one.

I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t like Mones’ art on the Dr. Archaeus strip back in the day, which looked rough and crude to my eyes, but the atmosphere of dread enthralled me even so. I realized over the years that the atmosphere is mostly BECAUSE of Mones’ art. A “cleaner”, prettier art style — like Ortiz of Sanchez — wouldn’t have been nearly as effective (he declares with perfect 20/20 hindsight).

Wrap it all up in gorgeous front and back covers by Ken Kelly and Wrightson, and it’s a consistently stellar issue. I know nostalgia plays a big part of my high rating — but it’s still true :)


Quiddity99 said...

Jose Ortiz does an even better job than last time with the Vampi story, although I don't care for the "Oh wait, this is the real origin of her!" element, which will surely get thrown out and replaced with some other origin as soon as its convenient. I didn't mind the color at all for Fernandez' story, although the writing is a bit weaker than usual for him, especially compared to his great story from the previous issue. Beyond not having any of the typical Maroto women, "The Tiara of Dagon" has at least one page I can recall that really doesn't look like Maroto at all, as if he got Leopold Sanchez or someone else to help him out. The next couple of stories are big whiffs, especially "Sword Play" which bored me enough that I fell asleep reading it. I too thought of "The Most Dangerous Game" when reading "Prey For Me". "Puppet Player" is fairly good with it sticking to Bea's strength, writing and drawing extremely bizarre settings/characters. I don't mind an iffy ending if it gives us craziness along the way which this story certainly does. Unfortunately after this story Bea disappears from Warren's pages for over a year; will definitely miss him although he shall return. The back cover of this issue is actually the cover they originally intended for issue 31 before tossing it out to use the Frank Frazetta Luana painting, although the background has been removed. Overall somewhat of a disappointment for Vampirella's big 5th Anniversary issue.

This issue of Eerie on the other hand is up there among its best ever. "Night of the Jackass" is one of Warren's most praised continuing series, a sentiment I totally agree with. Great concept and strong opener with amazing Jose Ortiz art. Superb job from Wrightson on "Nightfall", which also has a really strong painting done by him on the back cover. "The Exterminator" is back, but its a totally different robot this time, the one we'll get the most focus on in this rather disjointed series. Strong story here, although the lettering from his remote robot companion had a weird font that made it really hard to read. "Childhood's End" is a fairly good ending to the "Child" series, although it has the weakest art of the the series. Great to see Wally Wood return to Warren for the first time in a while; they clearly loved the story enough to also put it in color and push Wrightson's cover painting to the back so this story could be cover featured instead. I've heard that Wood originally wrote the story and Dubay had Gerry Boudreau completely rewrite it, a sign of the bad fate future Wood stories would continue to suffer with Dubay as editor. We finish one series inspired by Frankenstein just to start up another with "The Unholy Creation"! My take is similar to yours, great art by Sanchez but not really sure of the point; this isn't really a new take on Frankenstein and the series will get only one more story if I remember correctly. "Dr. Archeus" continues to be great, and Warren shows yet again that it is completely willing to kill off its protagonist, although that doesn't mean the end of the series here with one more part coming next time. I'll miss this series quite a bit as well, although I'd say we're heading into the peak era of Eerie, as for me at least, its top three series, "Night of the Jackass", "Apocalypse" and "Coffin" are all featured over the next 10 issues or so. I'd put Dr. Archeus just below them for the best Eerie has to offer.

Got nothing to say on this month's issue of Creepy, a rare issue I don't own, although as its all reprint all I'm missing is the Ken Kelly cover and the color for The Telltale Heart.

Jack Seabrook said...

Thanks for the great comments.

andydecker said...

I don't know what is more stupid: Vampi as Cleopatra or Cleopatra as a vampire. The art was nice, but it can't safe this mess. Equally dumb is Pendragon as her soulmate through the ages.

The best of the rest is "The Tiara of Dagon". Maroto is nearly unrecognizable, which is interesting, and the conclusion fails in the art – Pepper is now a little sea-devil in a aquarium? -, but the story is competent. If one can ignore the big logic gap. Shouldn't each and everyone who touches the gold bar transform into a little sea-devil either? Frankly I didn't bother to read Puppet Player, but the puppets looked nicely evil.

Frankly I wonder why Warren favored stories about talking heads so much? Action wasn't the strength of the Spanish artists, but if you produce stories about talking heads the heads should have something interesting to talk about. And here the writers mostly fail.

Eerie # 60 is a strong issue. "Night of the Jackass" is at least straightforward without any of the usual nonsense. It will be seen if it can sustain more tales. "Exterminator One" is the first DuBay story I liked. "Nightfall" is also quite effective, but Wrightson can do no wrong. I wonder how Wood's original story was before they rewrote it. Of the two Frankenstein stories Skeates' is the better one.

Anonymous said...

This is the first I’ve heard of Wood having written “The Manhunters” himself, and Boudreau later re-scripting it, but it wouldn’t surprise me. Wood had a good sense of story, but his dialogue and captions tended to be fairly workmanlike. In any case, I doubt it was altered all that radically, probably not to the degree as those Wood stories in 1984 that Dubay butchered. My guess is that Dubay may have thought Wood’s scripting combined with the “by-the-numbers” story elements may have made the whole thing seem out-dated. So Boudreau was brought in to polish the prose, maybe “modernize” it a bit, not re-invent it from scratch.


Grant said...

It's hard to imagine an artist better-suited to drawing spooky puppets than Jose Bea. So I've always been very attached to "Puppet-Play."

And I definitely agree about the cover of # 36 (even though I like the issue IN GENERAL). But I hope that comment includes all four of them, because in some ways the inside covers outdo the front, with their red-haired Vampirella.

It's funny to read even a few "LITTLE NEMO IN SLUMBERLAND" comic strips after reading "Nightfall." Even though those strips have a dark side to begin with, "Nightfall" really takes the idea and runs with it.