Monday, March 23, 2015


CREEPY ARCHIVES VOL. 10 (Dark Horse, 2011; Hardcover)

Collects Creepy #46-50 (cover dates July, 1972- January, 1973)
Writers: Jack Butterworth, Doug Moench, Rich Margoupolos, Jose' Maria Bea, Lynn Maron, Greg Potter, Ed Fedory, Cliff Jackson, Buddy Saunders, T. Casey Brennan, Dennis P. Junot, John Throxis, Steve Skeates, Bill Dubay, John Cochran, Fred Ott, James Stenstrum, Al Hewetson, and Al Milgrom.

Artists: 'Sanjulian', Luis Garcia, Esteban Maroto, Tom Sutton, Jose' Maria Bea, 'Jorge B. Galvez', Richard Corben, Cliff Jackson, Ron Cobb, Reed Crandall, Martin Salvador, Luis Dominguez, Jerry Grandenetti, Bill Dubay, Rafael Aurlaeon, Jaime Brocal, Josep Gual, Adolfo Usero Abellan, and Felix Mas.

Will you just look at all of that talent listed above? It should come as no surprise to anyone with a working knowledge of '50s-70s creators exactly how many great writers and artists worked on this title. Some of them did some early work here before they were considered great (Doug Moench and Richard Corben), others were veterans of the industry at this time (Reed Crandall).

These Warren Magazines were the illegitimate children of 1950s Pre-Code Horror comics like EC. Being a magazine meant that they could show things not permitted in comics due to the constraints of the Comics Code Authority. Creepy was a black and white anthology series 'hosted' by Uncle Creepy, a Cryptkeeper type with bad puns. All of the covers and the handful of pages with color are presented here in full color.

Luis Garcia and Esteban Maroto took photo realistic artwork to new heights. I wonder if they used photo models and lightboxes or if they were simply that good? If they came out today I would automatically assume that they cheated and used Photoshop. Reed Crandall is one of those artists whose work looks better in black and white than it does in color. His EC stuff was stellar but here he is at the top of his game.

The stories all run the typical Gothic Horror gamut. My favorite in this book is #50s Frog God!!, one of those cautionary tales that doesn't end well for the protagonist. These stories might seem tame to kids weaned on Saw movies but are worth a read for those interested in traditional Horror comics.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Issue #48 was an all-reprint issue. Only the cover and handful of new pages are reprinted here since the stories were all reprinted in earlier volumes.
Linework restoration: Scanned from the original issues and slightly cleaned up. Looks good enough for me.
Paper stock: Thick coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Smyth sewn binding. Book block has sufficient room to flex in the casing and lays flat.
Hardback cover notes: Faux leather casewrap, die is foil stamped. 

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