“CREEPY COMICS” Vol. 1 (Graphic Novel Review)

Posted by & filed under , .

Originally published at Fangoria.com on August 13th

With gruesome imagery and cheeky one-liners, CREEPY COMICS Vol. 1 (Dark Horse Comics) is an entertaining collection of morality tales. These terrifying originals come from the newly resurrected CREEPY compilation. This anthology contains 20 contemporary horror stories with ghoulish artwork. The first volume is set up with a strong list of talented authors—Joe. R. Lansdale, Dan Braun, Shawna Gore—and exceptional artists such as Bernie Wrightson, Rahsan Ekedal and Ken Kelly.

CREEPY was an American horror comics magazine launched during the 1960s by Warren Publishing. Though the covers were in color, the interior pages were drawn in black and white. Each issue began with an introduction by the host character, either from Uncle Creepy or from the rest of the Creepy family. This latest volume keeps the same format, adding a host in the beginning, who then reveals the moral message at the end.

“Drawn Out” by Lansdale follows a cuckolded husband who wants revenge against his cheating wife and his best friend. After he butchers them, the murderer thinks justice has been finally served, but karma has a way of twisting fate around when the husband commits suicide. Buried beneath the ground, the killer is still alive, but can’t move his body. Also, unfortunately, he can feel the army of ants feasting on his flesh. You will surely cringe at Ekedal’s artwork as dogs start tearing apart the husband’s chest, clawing their way to his beating heart.

Joe Harris’ “The Curse” (Parts 1, 2 and 3) dives into the mind of a psychotic madman. A young man, Jude, unexpectedly discovers he has the uncanny power of influence. If a father wants to murder his family, Jude can provide that scenario, but for a costly fee. However, when Jude starts dabbling with his client’s head, Jude doesn’t realize he is using the power on himself. Every time Jude uses his cursed gift, his skin sags, melting away day by day. As the story progresses, Jason Shawn Alexander’s gritty artwork becomes rougher and darker in shadows as Jude heads straight towards insanity.

Nicola Cuti’s “Zombie Wedding at Slaughter Swamp” is a hilarious tongue-in-cheek story about relationships. A voodoo priestess uses her zombies to carry out her schemes of revenge. She unexpectedly meets the love of her life, a wannabe rock star who uses and abandons women whenever he feels like. Under the influence of a love potion, the rock star now desperately wants to get married, but just when this mismatched couple is about to say their vows, swamp zombies crash their wedding. The cartoonish illustrations by Hilary Barta display a group of goofy-looking zombies, which sets the campy tone.

Returning with a vengeance, CREEPY COMICS Vol. 1 contains some of the funniest and heavy-hitting morality tales you’ve ever read. One story will leave a chill down your spine, while the next will make you burst out laughing. And because each author takes a different direction, the artists are free to be spontaneous and experimental. Out in stores now, this modern volume will make comic book collectors want to seek out the original CREEPY archives!