Creepy #1 (Warren)

250px-Creepy1

Rating: 5/5 – Some of the best creators to ever work in the industry, all in one book.

Recently I had the opportunity to purchase a large amount of older Creepy and Eerie issues.  For those not familiar with these titles, Creepy and Eerie were black and white horror-comics magazines that ran from the mid 1960’s though the middle of the 1980’s.  Much like the Tales from the Crypt series from EC in the 1950s, these issues had multiple stories from some of the best writers and artists in the industry at the time.  Creepy number one is no exception.  Well written stories combined with art from Frank Frazetta, Joe Orlando and Gray Morrow just to name a few, made this a fantastic first issue to kick off a new publication.

This issue has 7 stories in all with the majority of them being horror, while the second story has more of a science-fiction and fantasy feel to it.  Although not every story in the book is a great read, the art for each tale absolutely is.  Without going into each story separately, I’ll limit it to just a couple of the stories that really stood out.

Frank Frazetta’s art on he story titled Werewolf is simply stunning.  Although it’s only six pages long, each panel is a mini work of art on it’s own and we’re even treated to a half page splash that could easily work as a full color cover.  In this story a big-game hunter investigates the rumors of an immortal beast prowling the villages of Africa.  The hunter feels as though this beast’s pelt and bounty is worth the price and decides to go after it.  It ends up being a more than he bargained for.

“Success Story” by Archie Goodwin with art by Al Williamson tells the story of comic strip artist Baldo.  He’s currently got one of the best selling strips in the country and he’s very proud to admit it.  The only issue….he’s not actually the one doing the work.  He’s secretly having a separate writer, penciller and an inker all doing the work for him while he takes all the credit.  It’s a clever little story of revenge.  We’re in an era where stories are de-constructed to fill up multiple issues in a series.  This story and the others within this issue are all well told…in six pages.  Quite the accomplishment.  Williamson’s art really stands out with detailed and realistc backgrounds and perfect facial expressions and body language.  Although Frazetta’s work is amazing, I felt that this story was the strongest overall.

I really can’t say enough good things about this first issue of Creepy.  It really is the complete package.  Creative and clever short stories, showcasing some of comic history’s greatest artists.  What more can you ask for?  It may not be feasible to get the actual first issue in your hands, but fortunately it has been reprinted, Dark Horse has been doing volumes of the “Creepy Archives” that you can purchase for far less than the original issues would set you back.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas – shawn@comicspectrum.com
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