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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Maturing nicely with amazing color art!Oct. 2 2011
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To me Creepy was always #1 in the Warren Universe. It retained the one - shot story model -Eerie and Vampirella were by now doing episodic series- Sanjulian offers all three covers (the dust jacket is from a Frazetta from Creepy #3, maybe they couldn't get an unobstructed Sanjulian cover) and they are good ones, the fourth is a composite of the inside color stories. Auraleon, Maroto, Jose Bea and Ramon Torrents offer most of the interior artwork (these Spanish artists added an old world eeriness and graphic sex and gore to the storylines). The color is amazing There are two color stories in this volume, which are well done, but coloring Corben's story would have been a better choice (that would come later). Tome Sutton offers "It!' , which became a series in Eerie later, and Richard Corben's tongue in cheek color offering is gruesome and funny at the same time. This is the best of both worlds, color and glorious black and white and tonal greys, the inclusion of color, with the maturing of the magazine in leaps and bounds, has improved an already stellar sampling or art in comics.
Screw John Landis...this is awesome stuff!July 9 2013
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Outside of John Landis' foreword I loved this collection just as I have loved all the others. Credit to Dark Horse for printing the Landis foreword where he basically says Warren stories were just EC ripoffs but felt more sleazy and exploitative. He finishes by giving some credit to the presentation but comes off as a bit of an ass to me. I guess you can certainly say he gave his honest opinion though...while he said he can admire them more now it is odd they chose to have some Creepy hater give the foreword in the first place. Anyway, the art is excellent as always. You get some stories that are written better than others, but overall the collection is extremely entertaining. Dark Horse has done a fine job as usual and I hope they keep up the great work. I love EC too, but put Creepy right there with them even if Creepy was following EC's lead. Buy and enjoy!
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Creepy in Color!Oct. 1 2011
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Archives 11 covers issues 51-54 of Creepy. I will admit that any Warren magazine is usually better than the competition but I just felt that there were not enough great storylines in this archive. That doesn't mean that this volume isn't worth owning because there are some interesting things to look at. If this volume was based on artwork alone, the rating would be 5 stars. The current line up of artists were doing an excellent job of cranking out the work. We are teased with an 8 page color advertisment for Dracula, a 120 page color book published by Warren for the kingly sum of 5 bucks at the time. Esteban Maroto did the honors and what a difference to see his work in full color. Later in the archive, Maroto does the color honors again with the story "Descent Into Hell". It seems like Warren, acting on the feedback from fans going back to 1964, gambled that fans would enjoy some color in the magazines but he also knew he had a loyal base who loved black and white art. In a way, it was a happy medium for everyone. As much as I love the new group of artists, I love it when a golden oldie turns up and Reed Crandall has two submittals. 3 stories to comment on. First is an absolute farce as drawn by Richard Corben. "The Slipped Mickey" is horror done tongue in cheek and this story should be read for laughs. The 2nd story which provides an interesting concept is "The Last Hero" written by Steven Skeates. This is a Sci-Fi story about two groups of people. The first group has made the planet into a utopia with computers doing all the work and these people are free to pursue their pleasures. The other group is a bunch determined to destroy the computers and revolt because leading a life of pleasure is not what God wants. Well, with the machinery getting destroyed every night, someone has to try and put a stop to this. I'll leave the rest of the storyline to you, the readers. Finally, the most horrifying story in my opinion is "Freedom's Just Another Word" (story by Bill Dubay). Racism is tackled head on and realistically, there are true elements of evil presented as the story goes along. This story presents a rare opportunity to read a story that may not have been printed elsewhere other than a Warren magazine. To close, I commend Dark Horse for another beautiful archive book and eagerly await future editions.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Indescribable monstrosities!Jan. 1 2012
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Indescribable monstrosities? But alas not in a good way! There's a bit of foreshadowing in the fact that John Landis has so little to say in his forward on page 4. (Less than a half page). And after trudging through this volume of Creepy 11 I see clearly why. There's so little good to be said about it. I have had this book on my desk for weeks now and every time I try to read it I'm bored to tears and left to ask "What happened?" I remember this period well, back when it was fresh material, how I was left unfulfilled then...how I kept waiting for the usual thrill I knew was waiting for me each time a new issue of Creepy found it's way to the newsstand. I had come to know such wonderful frights from past years and had such faith in this great magazine that I assumed that the now "more mature material" was just a little out of my reach, that somehow I wasn't mature enough to get it. I was positive that if I just stuck with it long enough I'd get it. But I never did "get it" and it was a great source of sadness for me...like losing a best friend. For me the greatest thing about rereading these issues, Creepy 51 - 54, is that I have been more mature for many years now and I have more perspective....I know when I've been left out in the cold...and I've stopped wondering..."What happened?" I think even Dark Horse might have had a glimmer into this when they put a Frazetta cover on the front slip...to improve the overall image of this volume.
Before I descend into the ripping which I believe this volume deserves I have to say that Dark Horse continues to maintain only the highest of quality in all that they do. They deserve high marks for the excellent and faithful presentation of these volumes. The problem is the material itself. Wait! I can point my finger even more squarely...Bill Dubay. If I haven't already lost you in the downward spiral of my rant I'll most likely find myself on the firing line with this statement. It seems that Dubay has a large following of loyal fans...but I'm not one of them. I've heard it said, he single handily took a great magazine and made it "mature". What he really did was to wipe out any reference to the past. The Creepy I knew use to be fun as well as scary...now with these issues there's a banality to everything, even the violence...a white breading that brings the horror to the modern sensibilities and makes them "real and relevant". Also, Doug Moench and Steve Skeates dominate this volume...and that is one of it's major faults. The stories I like best are often by other authors...
First Creepy 51 has great art! Sanjulian's cover is beautiful and Estaban Maroto does a fantastic job of illustrating the cover story...but it's a boring story. (Moench) The Dracula color story is beautiful, but it's only a teaser...a toe in the water. It goes nowhere except as a lush commercial intended to entice you to buy the 120 page volume...Will Dark Horse ever publish that? It could be good...don't know...never bought it. Then comes one of the most disastrous stories to come along in a long time..."His Brother's Grave" by Kevin Pagan. Unfortunately Auraleon's art is static and uninspired and the story is just bad. The finale reads..."Born of insane, undying will...supernatural energies...god knows what...."Well, god knows what is right! "Bed of Roses" is another Doug Moench story that goes nowhere. Maniacal murders now seem to be all the craze...forget about vampires and werewolves....lets just do crazy and let that be good enough...
Creepy 52 is a little better. Nice Sanjulian cover and the story it illustrates isn't bad. Again Maroto does a fabulous job. And the Moench story is better than much of what he's done in previous issues. Then comes "The Last Hero" by Steve Skeates...What can I say...I had to force myself to get through it...so predicable I knew what was coming before I even turned the page. The same with "Halve Your Cake and Eat It Two" Honestly I'm getting bored trashing Doug Moench, but this story is a drag. Not scary, not interesting...again predicable. "Them Thar Flying Things" is one of the better tales in this volume and Jose Bea's art is always a pleasure to look at. My favorite story of this issue is " The Man with the Brain of Gold". It's just so odd that it stands out and Reed Crandall's work is a refreshing nod to the past glory of the truly golden years of Warren's publishing. "The Killer" by Steve Skeates is again a maniacal murder story...a complete bore.
Creepy 53 starts out looking like it's back to the horror the way things use to be. The cover by Sanjulian is frightening. But when you go inside the issue it's the same trend...down. "A Scream In the Forest" by Greg Potter is the first story and it's actually not that bad...considering what we've been fed up till now. Moroto's work is flawless. "The Stone of Power" by Skeates is a yawn. There's no there when you get there AND THEN comes the biggest mess of all "Freedom's Just Another Word". Story by Dubay! I found this story to be offensive on multiple levels. First it is incredibly predicable and secondly it is racist and violent for no reason other than just because it can be. Society was changing in the 70's and exploitation was all the rage. Shock was the answer to anything that was "creative". Just like the panel where the stereotype Daddy says "There can only be one reason for it...that Nigger's lusting after our white women!" God, I hated this story. It's violence for violence sake and it should have never been published. It was extreamly poor judgement...and from the editor no less. Just because he could. In comparison, "The Creature of Loch Ness!" by Moench is not nearly as bad...at least it only offends banality. Why Moench is so popular I don't get. The next tale, "It" is good...that's all...just good, but it's a huge relief from the previous fare. It's a nod back to what Warren use to be like. Tom Sutton is a wonderful artist, but unfortunately this is not his best work.
Then, Creepy 54. Hated the cover. By Dubay of course. Bad choice of concept, but one that will be used more and more frequently by the Editor. "The Slipped Mickey" is unique if nothing else and Richard Corben's art work helps to make it as successful as it is. The middle of the story drags a little bit but this is Doug Moench's best work in this volume. "This Graveyard is Not Deserted" is only worth looking at because it is one of Crandall's last works for Warren before he looses it completely. The story is...ummm...I can't find the words...oh, wait...bad! "Decent Into Hell" comes next. And it's title is symbolic of what has become of the Warren franchise during these years. Near the end of this tale, the main character, Atlas, say's it best..."And I strain...strain under the gargantuan mass borne upon my bruised back...I pray this crushing weight will relieve my agonized mind of memories..." There's a few more tales to rag on in this issue but the crushing weight of my negative rant has left me in agnoy...purchase this volume at your own risk...for diehard Warren fans only....
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A worthy addition to any serious graphic novel archiveJan. 12 2012
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Creepy is one of those flawlessly beautiful, classic comics that you wish every comic was like. While it's true that most Silver or Bronze age comics have some classic kitsch charm, the transcendent quality of Creepy and its ilk (sister publications like Vampirella and Eerie) place it as a series that accomplished far more than its simple name implied. Escaping from the oppressive structure of the Comics Code Authority by presenting itself as a "newsstand magazine" rather than a "comic," Creepy was able to explore things that other graphical modes of storytelling of the time could not.
By issue 51, Creepy had already reached its stride and had attracted many of the finest artists in the business: Sanjulian, Frazetta, Esteban Maroto, Tom Sutton, and many others who were masters of the black-and-white page, exhibiting masterful and exciting line work. Most of Creepy's artists focused on a more realistic, textured approach than their superhero-centric peers, making these pages a unique experience among comics of this era. Faces are emotive, zombie skin puckers and bloats, and damsels are pale and smooth as silk, no matter who is drawing them for any given story.
Of course, most written horror tales have to work very hard to evoke any sense of real fear, so Creepy instead thrives on creating atmosphere: a sense of trailing dread that emerges from a long night reading about ghosts, demons, vampires, and the occasional science fiction dystopia. Nothing has a happy ending, but every moment of it is completely beautiful. It's that dissonance between dread and beauty that follows the reader well beyond the pages and is a signature for the genre.
Dark Horse presents these collections in glorious, huge hardcover format--far larger than your average comic collection. Everything is preserved, including the original covers in full color, the occasional color story, letters pages, and ads for all manner of eclectic horror memorabilia (prompting one to hunt down some of the more interesting "scary" LPs of the 1970s). This manner of collection, from cover to cover, truly delves into what it must have been like to read these issues back when they were first released, revealing a wide world of neat stuff for which any young nerd or horror enthusiast would salivate. Glossy, white pages accentuate this artwork even more crisply than the original pulp pages would have.
Parents and librarians beware: These pages contain a fair amount of blood, gore, and occasional nudity. Of course, these are the things that make these stories really good, when the creeping sense of uneasiness isn't dominating them. While this whole series is designed with the collector in mind, it also perfectly preserves some of the best drawn pages from the past 50 years, making it a worthy addition to any serious graphic novel archive.