No announcement yet.

Creepy Volume Four: Family Values

    Ian Jane

  • Creepy Volume Four: Family Values

    Creepy Volume Four: Family Values
    Released by: Dark Horse Comics
    Released on: September 16th, 2015.
    Written by: Various
    Illustrated by: Various
    Purchase From Amazon

    Reviewed by Todd Jordan And Ian Jane

    Dark Horse Comics collects issues #14 through #19 of their revamped take on the classic Warren horror mag in one handy trade paperback edition. Here's what you'll find, under that awesome painted cover (which originally graced the front of #18)…

    CREEPY #14:

    “Black Feathers”, written by Ray Fawkes and illustrated by Tom Cokker. A pair of grumpy old men sit on a porch and complain about the crows. One of the men says he leaves bits of meat out on the lawn laced with rat poison to kill them off. One of the birds gets a bit too close to him and he pulls his shotgun out - BLAM! Bye bye birdie. He leaves the leftover gore on the porch and heads inside for that night but as the sun sets, more and more crows show up. They've got a taste for meat now. This won't end well, and it doesn't. The story here is a cross between Hitchcock's The Birds and the roach story in Creepshow but it works. Cokker's art is awesome to look at, this story would have been right at home in the original Warren run. Good stuff.

    “Blind Contour”, written and illustrated by Matthew Southworth. A man named Joe is told by his doctor that he has ocular degeneration. In six weeks or so, he'll be blind. Joe's a courtroom sketch artist, if he goes blind he's out of work, but then, he's sick of this job. He can't stop asking himself though, what he's afraid of. It's not the dark, is it his neighbors? When he sees some kids outside kill a dog he calls the cops, but he's worried that when he sees things like this, it'll be the LAST thing he sees… literally. This one plays out almost like a gory episode of The Twilight Zone but that's not a bad thing at all. Good suspense here and Southworth's illustrative style really looks fantastic in black and white.

    A few of Peter Bagge's one page gags are also included in this issue.

    CREEPY #15:

    “The Reverent”, written by Doug Moench and illustrated by Mike Norton. A small group of treasure seekers with a “who gives a fuck” collective attitude bust their way into a lost jungle temple. Despite the usual warnings and the natives being terrified, Flint and his crew shoot and chop their way to the entrance. Once inside, they realize that maybe they should have listened. This one ends in a way that could lead to a sequel or even a few stories as a serial, or it could be left as an ambivalent ending. The story is nothing new, but certainly fits the criteria for Creepy, and the artwork leaves a satisfying after taste. Plenty of gut-ripping and monster presence.

    “One Good Turn”, “Brother Creepy Leaves Home”, and “The Hoarder” by Dan Braun and Peter Bagge. In between the stories are one-page, 6-panel jokes at the expense of Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie. They seem very out of place in the likes of this comic and are distracting. It's a horror comic, not a funny one. The cartoon-style artwork is more than competent, but takes the reader out of the mood. It's reminiscent of those awful animated segments in the movie Creepshow 2. Kills the rest of the flow and isn't needed. Throw the readers anything else to fill the three pages these stink up; even a reprinted story would be better.

    “Malhiver”, written by Alex De Campi and drawn by Henrik Jonsson. A nameless musician isolates himself in a remote cabin to write the ultimate break-up album. His inspiration: that bitch Heather. He'll show her. First things first: a little bit of weed. Far away, Heather is bearing her sole to her best friend Wally, the apparent source of the discourse between the two lovers. Wally seems to have taken things into his own, um, hands and music boy isn't going to like what happens. Alex De Campi makes this reader's underwear tighten up, and she needs to write more horror/sleaze stories than just in her awesome Grindhouse series, also from Dark Horse . This is but a taste and I need more. And Jonsson's art fits well in this black-and-white format. Great shadows very detailed. These two need to do another Creepy story. No, five more.

    “Second Childhood”, written by Bruce Jones, illustrated by Ramon Torrents. What?? Bruce Jones and Ramon Torrents doing a new story?? Oh. Nope, this is a reprinted tale from Warren's Creepy #88 in 1977. Then Warren reprinted it in Vampirella #83 in 1979. Ok, so a reprinted tale, that's cool. But wait a second….Dark Horse just put out Creepy Archives Volume 18 with this tale as the the last story in the book. So in the same month we get the same story in two different books. That doesn't seem to be a well-thought-out plan. Apparently it's a classic comic story, as it's been reprinted so many times. Wealthy, pompous asshole Chad gives his old girlfriends to his buddy Dick Knobby (seriously), but Chad is never satisfied. He takes Dick on a trip to the jungle and steals a priestess, brings her back to the states and names her Irena. She is none too happy about her situation and won't give up the goods to her kidnapper. When he finally gets his way with her, things don't turn out so well for the rich lad. Bruce Jones' story is his usually high quality, but the artwork gives this story its impact. Expertly illustrated by one of the Warren staff artist greats Ramon Torrents, some of the imagery is downright upsetting. Specifically, images involving infants suffering physical abuse, and even more specifically infants being burned. Pretty chilling stuff.

    CREEPY #16:

    “Don't Not Click” by writer and artist Ted Naifeh. An urban internet legend spreads quickly about something named “The Whistling Man”, who comes to you via a link in an email. Click the link, and you can watch live footage of the Whistling Man approach your house and then approach you. What's gone is your sanity and what's left is your husk: a mindless whistling vegetable. A school teacher catches wind of this supposed link and plots a plan to use it against someone.

    “Like Clockwork” written by Rachel Deering, art by Vanesa R. Del Rey. A clockmaker finds himself in a lonely situation and decides it's time for a lady friend. What better way to find your perfect mate than to build one? A dead body, some clock parts in the brain pan…it's got to work. But in order to do such thing takes time and careful planning that only the insane can manage and this guy is more than qualified.

    “The Cats of Ulthar” written by Dan Bruan, art by Peter Bagge from an Edgar Allen Poe tale. Someone keeps killing cats until some gypsy types come into town. After that, the cat killers stopped killing cats and with a change in heart they fed them instead.

    “I Hate You! I Hate You!” written by Bill Warren, art by Mike Royer; originally published in Creepy #37 in 1970. A boy hates his father so much that when he grows up he builds a time machine to go back in time and kill the asshole of a man. There's just one thing: it'll be a one-way trip. He cannot get back to present day after going to the past. That boy done screwed up messing with time. Who's the asshole now, kid?

    “The Undertaker's Model” (the back cover) written by Jack L. Butterworth, art by Luis Garcia; originally published in Creepy #46. This one's a little pictorial history on the first man ever to be embalmed.

    CREEPY #17:

    “The Human Condition” by writer Paul Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra. A depressed loser in life decides pills are the way out. Then they'll be sorry. Before he can swallow a handful of something, a man shows up in his bathroom to give him an “It's A Wonderful Life” sort of suicide intervention. The dude has an epiphany that is a soon shattered. Was it mentioned the Clarence character has a giant hole in his face and one hanging eye, courtesy a self-inflict gunshot blast to the kisser? Great stuff a great team and Juan's work looks fantastic in black-and-white.

    “Arrangement of Skin” written by J. Torres, drawn by Ron Salas. An eccentric old codger brings his deceased Siamese cat to the best taxidermist the Victorian era had to offer. So pleased is he with the craftsman's work that he hires the man to do the same for his soon to be deceased dog. Being asked to put the dog down first and then do his work is a bit more than he is willing to do, but money talks and he does it. After he does the same with a horse he is offered even more money to go one step further. And it'll cost the taxidermist a lost more than it does the old man. It's a sick little tale with artwork that makes great use of shadow and gray tones.

    “The Duel of the Monsters” by script by Archie Goodwin, art by Angelo Torres. Every issue has a reprint story and this one is no different, putting in a schlock tale from issue #7 (Warren Publishing, 1966). In a little Spanish village, a soldier becomes unnerved by a rash of murders in his area. The thing is, murdering is his other job, as he's a vampire, and someone is muscling in on his turf. It has to be a werewolf. He knows the culprit, and hunts him down. But as luck would have it, the spawn of the devil isn't the know-it-all he thinks he is.

    This issue features a pinup in the front by Sergio Aragones. Uncle Creepy is getting married and the wedding photo he captured is insane. Also within the pages are one-page multi-panel gags featuring Uncle Creepy and his family. Like them or don't, there they are.

    CREEPY #18:

    “The Executioner”, story by Fred Van Lente, art by Alison Sampson. This slick little story is about a critic who hated the works of Edgar Allen Poe. Poe made him the executor of his writings and after the writer's death, a smear campaign of sorts by the critic back-fired. He made the master of the short story famous rather than helping him slip off into obscurity. Poe characters show up to help out too. Great artwork and a solid story like this one makes this reader happy.

    “Keeping Up With the Creepys” by Peter Bagge. This makes this reader unhappy. Cartoons don't belong in Creepy.

    “Winner Take All!”, story by Len Wein, art by Luis Bermejo. Originally published in the original Creepy run, issue #100. The story was printed in color back then and Dark Horse has kept it as such, and in all honesty it would look much better in black-and-white. The color is loud and distracting, but the story is a good one and Bermejo's art looks fine. Just ugly coloring is all.

    “The Man Who Walked Through Walls”, written by Peter Bagge, art by Simone Delladio. An immigrant loner invents a collar that allows him to walk through walls, an invention he exploits for his own gain. He takes advantage of the wrong person and some four-legged friends of said person have something to say about it. Simone Delladio's illustrations are perfect for this book and Peter Bagge's script is quite entertaining.

    “Over the River to Charlie”, story by Corinna Bechko, art by Drew Moss. A family of three moves into a haunted house whose ghost wants nothing more than to have a nice home. A magical doll house brings the ghost to the two young girls who are new to the house; a hanging branch on a tree by the river keeps the ghost on this plane. One of the girls figures out what to do. In an atypical fashion to tales like this, the good person seems to get the short end of the stick at the end.

    “Anniversary Gallery”, featuring pin-ups by Kevin Ferrara, Kelley Jones, Pete Woods, Shannon Wheeler, Nate Piekos, and Eric Powell.

    “Corpsepower: A Creepy Timeline”; a 3-page history of the title with half of each page filled with small cover reproductions.

    CREEPY #19:

    “Team Player”, written by Ivan Cohen and with art by Attila Futaki, is about a long-time pro baseball player who has yet to play on a World Series winning team. He's never even been on a team that's made it into the Series, despite his numerous MVP awards. This year that's going to change, and he is on top of his game. He's taking his team to the end and then kissing baseball goodbye. His good fortune doesn't come to him through hard work and determination, but rather from an unsavory source. And as you can imagine, his good fortune won't last long. His teammates will see to that. This one has a most unsavory (yet satisfying) end, and gives new meaning to the phrase “juicing”.

    “Mad Jack's Girl” written and illustrated by Gary Kaufman. Reprinted from Creepy #39 (1971). Jack is a street thug back when street thugs could dress like leather daddies and still be intimidating, and one night he kills an elderly gentlemen, the proprietor of a neighborhood shop. Or at least he though he killed the poor man. Jack's girlfriend Alice tells him otherwise and is none-too-pleased with the fact that Jack was involved with the assault. After an altercation with one of his thug buddies he goes to Alice's place for some comfort only to find she has some tea guests he'd rather not share a cup with, but her persistence to join them is more than he can stand.

    And lastly, “Acquisitions” is a tale brought to you by writer/artist Richard P. Clark. A wealthy old nut bag bites the big one and at his wake he's laid out in front of his favorite of all his possessions: his original Hieronymus Bosch painting. Catherine (granddaughter?) has a scheme in place to sell the painting out from under the estate's nose, but the painting is much more than just an amazing painting. The old geezer was able to utilize some black arts to perform a post mortem ritual to become part of the painting for all eternity, but the painting's boss man has other plans. Catherine will not like those plans. Clark's use of gray tones makes his artwork the appealing and gives it an edge over the other two stories in that department.

    This TPB also includes the Peter Bagge cartoon strips that were included in the various issues as well as the cover art for each individual issue and the different pin ups and one pagers that were included as well. All in all, a pretty great collection of retro style horror comics done right. If you don't already have the single issues, this is worth picking up.

      Posting comments is disabled.

    Latest Articles