CREEPY ARCHIVES VOL. 6 (Dark Horse, 2010; Hardcover)
Collects Creepy Nos. 26-32 (cover dates April, 1969- April, 1970)
This is considered to be the tail end of the first "bad" era for the Warren Magazines. These issues were padded with reprints from earlier issues, and since Dark Horse has wisely omitted repeating those stories which have been reprinted in earlier volumes, we get 7 issues at nearly 300 pages. There are normally 4 or 5 in one of these Creepy Archvies. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Creepy, it is a black and white Horror comics anthology in the vein of the old EC Comics. Indeed, many of those talents from EC graced the earlier issues in this series. While there are still many notable writers and artist contributing to the series during this era*, there was an influx of unknowns of lesser quality as well. If this is a "bad" as it gets, I'll be happy if they do put all 25 volumes out. These are still very enjoyable reads.
*Tom Sutton, Archie Goodwin, Harlan Ellison, Neal Adams, Ernie Colon and Bob Graham, among others. That's not a bad stable of talent by any stretch. Some of the lesser names are pretty good too, and there are a few that are merely serviceable.
I love these big honkin' hardcover editions, with their nice paper and sewn binding. They are somewhat expensive (MSRP of $49.99), and the thing that really kills me is Dark Horse's release schedule. They have been cranking them out nearly every quarter, ditto its sister title Eerie. You can see where this adds up really quick. I love and hate this type of "fast tracking", because the completist in me wants to own all 25 Creepy and all 23 Eerie Archives. I like the fact that we will get the lines completed in just a few short years at this clip. My wallet, on the other hand, screams in terror (pun intended) at the release schedule. I also worry about all of these publishers flooding the market with all of these high-end hardcovers, fearing that people will say 'enough is enough', quit buying them all, and then the market will collapse. We'll be left with nothing. Marvel releases one volume per year of each title like this, and DC...well, their high end hardcover output is at a trickle these days. I guess that I am concerned about the long term health of this industry that I love so much.