Mar 10, 2017

The 40 Years of Comics Project Friday Magazine 4: Creepy #85, January 1977

https://www.comics.org/issue/204458/

The first magazine I reviewed for this special part of the 40 Years Project was another Warren Publishing piece: Eerie. Warren's magazines have hovered in the background of my consciousness of comics for a very long time, accompanied more often than not by Heavy Metal, though that one occupied a bit more of my adolescent consciousness, to be honest. A few years back I was lucky enough to stumble upon a large collection of Heavy Metal, Eerie, Creepy, and various other magazines and underground comix that I picked up relatively cheap. I've been meaning to red them for a long while now. And look! I've started!

Creepy and Eerie are revered by large numbers of comics fans. They boast, most of the time, art superior to much of what was happening in mainstream comics at the time, and their aesthetic sensibility is definitely a little more mature than superhero comics of the 70s. Not all of them, of course, but definitely most. The stories in this issue are, I'm assuming, relatively normal for these publications. None of them made me sit up and take too much notice, aside perhaps from "Orem Got No Head Cheese" a lovely tale about cannibals and a brain tumor that animates their leftovers. It was kind of gross, a bit Lovecraftian, and certainly not a story I'd ever encountered before. The problem is, a lot of the others were. A man meets a mysterious woman who disappears at night and has something to do with wolves. Yep. She's a werewolf. Two vampires, ancient enemies, battle each other to the end. "The Terrible Turpin Turnip" is basically Lovecraft's "The Color Out of Space," though I can also see that Stephen King may have borrowed liberally from the tale for his Creepshow film and comic.

The art is, as I noted, fantastic. There's something to be said for letting an artist loose without the kinds of restrictions one might find in mainstream (and Comics Coded) comics. My favourite is definitely Luis Bermejo's work, the aforementioned werewolf tale. The expressions the characters carry in their faces and bodies are wonderful. I'm looking forward to seeing more of his work as I make my way through the rest of these magazine.

Onward!

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