CREEPY ARCHIVES VOL. 11 (Dark Horse, First Printing, 2011; Hardcover)
Collects Creepy #51-54 (cover dates March- July, 1973, originally published by Warren Magazines)
Writers: Fred Ott, Doug Moench, Rich Margopoulos, John Warner, Martin Pasko, Kevin Pagan, Steve Skeates, Greg Potter, George Henderson, Bill DuBay, Tom Sutton, Don McGregor, Jack Butterworth, and R. Michael Rosen
Artists: Sanjulian, Auraleon, Esteban Maroto, Felix Mas, Ramon Torrents, Adolfo Abellan, Jose Bea, Reed Crandall, Tom Sutton, Richard Corben, and Martin Salvador
Things have started to gently rebound from the series' first creative slump. The recovery was largely powered by Doug Moench, whose writing is among the best of the 1970s. My favorite artist in this book is by Rafael Auraleon, as his work is genuinely creepy. No pun intended.
Issue 51 features an eight page preview of the full color 120 page Dracula paperback which Warren published in 1972. I did some digging, and it turns out this was an English language translation of foreign comics which ran for twelve issues, with unsold copies being rebound into an Annual over in the UK. The Warren book reprints the first six issues from the New English Library (NEL) series, which themselves were reprints of the 1971 Buru Lan Spanish series. It seems like something ripe for a reprinting if rights issues can be sorted out.
Issue 52's Them Thar Flyin' Things rules. That same issue features Reed Crandall's The Man With The Brain Of Gold. Crandall actually refined his craft as he aged, with his artwork being worlds beyond even his 1950s EC greatness. Richard Corben's incredible artwork turns up in #54's The Slipped Mickey.
This was a good but very inconsistent read. If I ever get around to rereading this book I will skip over most of the stories, as they sort of meander and have mediocre artwork. The good stuff is really good, though.
Volume 27 is currently in my possession, with the final volume (Vol. 29) being announced for a summer 2019 release. We will have the entire Creepy and Eerie runs collected in just 11 years, with Dynamite having already covered Vampirella across 15 books and Fantagraphics having done Blazing Combat a decade or so ago. There was a time when seeing all of these collected was little more than a pipe dream. Some argue that the golden age of collected editions is over, but who cares if this is true? We have gotten so many treasures and these books will last my lifetime. Some of them might even get read before I depart this mortal coil.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This is the part where I go into tactile sensations and materials used in physical media. Those with heart conditions, high blood pressure, or women who are pregnant should exit my blog at their earliest convenience, as their safety cannot be guaranteed beyond this point.
Linework and Color restoration: High resolution scans of the original magazines. The color portions came out very nice.
Paper stock: Coated stock with a slight sheen.
Binding: Sewn binding. This book will outlast me.
Dustjacket and Hardback cover notes: The hardback as faux leather casewrap with dye foil stamping. The dustjacket is laminated but was a little “wavy” fresh out of the shrinkwrap when I bought way back in 2011.