CREEPY COMICS: AT DEATH'S DOOR (Dark Horse, 2013; Softcover)
Collects Creepy Nos. 5-7 and selections from Creepy Nos. 8, 9 (cover dates March, 2011- July, 2012)
Writers: David Lapham, Benjamin Truman, Timothy Truman, Doug Moench, Dan Braun, Joe R. Lansdale, Christopher A. Taylor, Alice Henderson, Craig Haffner, Keith Lansdale, Bill Morrison, Jeff Parker, Rick Geary, Doselle Young, Emily Carroll, and Peter Bagge.
Artists: David Lapham, Timothy Truman, Mike Vosburg, Lucas Marangon, Gene Colan, Walt Yablonsky, Nathan Fox, Jason Shawn Alexander, Kevin Ferrara, Garry Brown, Guus Floor, Wilfredo Torres, Patrick Reynolds, Richard Corben, Colleen Coover, Rick Geary, Kyle Baker, Dean Ormston, Emily Carroll, and Peter Bagge.
When Papercutz acquired the license to Tales From the Crypt several years ago, they relaunched it as a cheesy “cutesie” Horror anthology with substandard writing and artwork. They took what is one of the most revered and beloved names in Horror comic books and dropped the ball. They should have gotten top talent to work on it. That, coupled with the already built-in brand recognition, would have made the book an easy sell...like this new Creepy series that Dark Horse is doing. (singing) Loving you is easy 'cause you're beautiful...
Seriously folks, Dark Horse has assembled some tremendous talent on this title. Nearly every single story is a winner. David Lapham's The Field is a shining example of why I distrust farmers. Nathan Fox's artwork in Mine looks like Pushead, the legendary artist who did work for The Misfits and Metallica. I could go on and on. I think that I will.
If I had to pick a favorite in this book, it would have to be Commedia dell'Morte! by Christopher A. Taylor and Jason Shawn Alexander. In this story, a man who performs as a clown for events is also a serial killer who carries out “God's will”. When he performs at parties God “speaks to him” and shows him which parents the demons are. He later goes back to the house and kills them. It's sick, it's f**ked up, and worst of all...totally plausible. Kudos to Christopher A. Taylor for the script, and to Jason Shawn Alexander for the chilling, brilliant artwork. It is truly creepy (pun intended).
The Shroud is another winner amongst the winners in this book. A loser couple looking to make a quick buck bid on an unclaimed storage locker of junk. The locker has one old looking trunk which might have something of value in it...a trunk which contains Levay's Shroud of Satan. Don't meddle with things you don't understand, folks... Patrick Reynolds' artwork is chilling and photo realistic, my favorite combination. I am continually blown away by the quality of the writing and the artwork throughout this book. While there a few weaker stories toward the end of the book, they are still decent reads. It's the quality of the outstanding stories which really raises the overall enjoyment factor of this book, earning it a...
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- Okay, there is a twitching behind my right eye. The first trade in Dark Horse's Creepy Comics line has a Volume 1 on the spine and indicia. This book does not. Do it or don't do it, but don't leave us hanging, Dark Horse! Truth be told, I am opposed to volume numbers for series of books that don't have a finite amount of issues. If a series is done making new issues, like the Creepy Archives, then you know that there will be 25 volumes. For an ongoing series like this one, a volume number can be a barrier to entry for new readers as the title moves along. Very few people will jump in at volume 4 or 5, but if the collection simply had a name on it like this one then all is fine and dandy. That just my .02. Your mileage may vary.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Sweet smelling toxic Chinese ink likely sourced from the mercury in recalled thermometers, broken asbestos tiles, and lead paint chips coupled with the finest virgin Amazon rainforest trees make the nicest coated stock paper. Sorry environment.
Binding rating: 4.5 out of 5. Wow! Sewn binding on a softcover!?! Go Dark Horse!
Cardstock cover coating rating: 4.75 out of 5. The cardstock cover has a waxy coating that is sufficiently thick enough to protect it from shelfwear with repeated handling.
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