A collection of gory and ghastly Creepy and Eerie magazines

It’s impossible to review the Dark Horse Comics collections of Creepy and Eerie without a few fond recollections. In the ’60s and ’70s, my father owned a men’s tailored clothing shop on Moody Street in Waltham, Massachusetts. It was a fine place to hang around as a kid. My dad knew all the other business people in the area and I would spend part of the day visiting nearby stores. It was in Mr. Big’s toy store where I first discovered Aurora models. Their “snap-tite” collection was perfect for the budding model builder, but it was the types of sets that really set my imagination on fire — dinosaurs, Universal Film monsters, and most importantly, the bizarre and sadistic sets that were part of their Monster Scenes line. There was Dr. Deadly and his lab, The Pendulum, and The Hanging Cage. Then there was Vampirella, a fairly X-rated kit, that was really special, because she had her own magazine, Vampirella, which was part of the Warren publications that also included Creepy and Eerie. These magazines became the foundation of my childhood love of fantasy and horror, but somewhere along the way my collection was lost. Rediscovering these magazines in the Dark Horse collections reminds me not only of the ghastly fun these stories were, but just how weird the 1970s really were.

Now up to volume 19 for Creepy (collecting up to issue #93) and volume 16 for Eerie (collecting up to issue #80), Dark Horse has done an outstanding job with these collections, capturing all that was vibrant and exciting of these magazines. Each volume contains five issues and includes reprints of the letter pages and some of the advertisements, which, to be honest, was a huge part of what made them so fun. At first dedicated to mostly horror, later issues showcased fantasy and science fiction. Eerie also offered serialized stories like the “The Mummy Walks” by Jaime Brocal and Steve Skeates, and in later issues “The Rook” by Bill DuBay.

Avoiding the heavy hand of the Comics Code, Creepy and Eerie enjoyed the freedom and there is fun “wink-wink” sensibility with all the nudity, gore, and occult scares. But these stories were not just meant to shock. Some of the stories are dated and their twisted versions of O Henry-like endings don’t chill like they used to, but their cleverness is never lost. It’s the artwork, however, that makes these volumes worth owning, both for the wonderful cover art by people like Frank Frazetta, and for the interiors, which feature some of the best in the day, including Berni Wrightson and Richard Corben. Unlike some the unwieldy comic omnibus editions, the Dark Horse collections are read comfortably, but contain enough great content to keep you poring over them wide-eyed, much like I did when I was kid.

Creepy Archives Volume 19
Dark Horse Books
Introduction by Jack Butterworth
2014, 280 pages, 8.7 x 11.1 x 0.9 inches
$35 Buy a copy on Amazon

Eerie Volume 16
Dark Horse Books
Foreword by Peter Bagge
2014, 288 pages, 8.7 x 11.1 x 0.9 inches
$35 Buy a copy on Amazon

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Tarzan comic with story by Real Stuff's Dennis Eichhorn

TARZANCOVER

Tarzan and the Comics of Idaho comic book was produced to benefit the Friends of the Boise Public Library. It features a Tarzan story written by Dennis Eichhorn, author of the Real Stuff comic book from the 1990s that we've been serializing on Boing Boing.

If you would like to order a copy of Tarzan and Comics of Idaho #1 for your very own personal collection, please send us an e-mail at idahocomicsgroup@yahoo.com. Each copy is $3 plus shipping and handling.

Page8Tarzan

LISTEN: Tom Scioli and Ed Piskor on being professional comic book artists

Cartoonists Tom Scioli and Ed Piskor share a studio in Pittsburgh. We visited their studio to talk about what it’s like being professional comic book artists, selling their work, nostalgia, research, color theory, anger management, and “skewmorphism!”

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Drew Friedman's portraits of the pioneering legends of comic books

Drew Friedman is the great caricaturist of our age. His series of portrait books, Old Jewish Comedians, More Old Jewish Comedians, and Even More Old Jewish Comedians brought him well-deserved acclaim when they came out a few years ago. His latest book of meticulous watercolor portraits is called Heroes Of The Comics, and it includes short biographies of dozens of famous and not-famous-but-important cartoonists, editors, writers and publishers from the golden age of comics. I had no idea what many of the comic book artists I've admired for decades looked like, and it was a treat to finally see the faces of Steve Ditko (Spiderman), Dave Berg and Jack Davis (Mad), and John Stanley (Little Lulu), rendered in Friedman's detailed style, replete with liver spots, wrinkles, and rumpled clothes.

Friedman even included one villain amongst the heroes: Frederic Wertham, the psychiatrist who used flawed data to write Seduction of the Innocent, the infamous 1954 anti-comics scaremongering book that led to the end of the vibrant comic book industry and the careers of many of the heroes in the pages of Friedman's book.

Heroes Of The Comics, by Drew Friedman

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Battle of the butt-in-the-air arachnid superheroes


This recent Milo Manara cover painting for a variant issue of Spider-Woman #1 has generated a lot of comments on comic book enthusiast fora.

Poor J. Scott Campbell didn't get nearly the same amount of attention for his 1999 cover of Spiderman in a similar pose:

(Via Heidi MacDonald)

Over 1000 hilarious Nancy comic strips from 1946-1948

A few years ago my then 8-year-old daughter, Jane, started reading collections of old Nancy comic strips. I’d never paid attention to the strip and assumed it wouldn’t appeal to anyone over ten. But then I found Jane and her dad laughing out loud while reading Nancy in bed. “What’s so funny?” I asked. “Nancy logic!” they answered.

They pointed out Nancy logic to me: Nancy tries on a pair of thick-lensed glasses and shouts “Oh boy!” when she receives an ice-cream cone that’s almost as big as she is. Nancy’s aim is off to the right while shooting arrows so she paints an oblong target with the bull’s eye placed on the far right side. Nancy thinks leaving her coat on a chair brings her good luck, so when her aunt points at the chair and tells her to hang up the coat, Nancy hooks the chair on the coatrack.

Created by Ernie Bushmiller in the 1930s (and still running today by Guy Gilchrist), Nancy is about the mischief, charm, and naiveté of a young girl named Nancy, whose best friend, Sluggo, is a kind-hearted urchin from the wrong side of the tracks. Drawn in a simple, bold, and eye-catching style, Nancy is clever, hilarious, and a bit surreal. This volume offers over one-thousand strips that ran between 1946-1948, and although its title, Nancy Likes Christmas, suggests a holiday theme, only a handful of the strips revolves around Christmas. The setting is post World War II, but the gags, about the wishful and sometimes absurd logic that kids so often use, are timeless.

Take a look at more beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

Bomb Run – 1950s-era war comics filled with intense ironic twists and surprise endings


Part of Fantagraphics’ fabulous EC Library series, collecting and beautifully-presenting the best of Max and William Gaines’ EC Comics, Bomb Run collects the 50s-era war comics of Kurtzman and Severin.

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Jim – A collection of Jim Woodring’s non-Frank comics work, starring “Jim”


The inimitable cartoonist and toy designer, Jim Woodring, is best known for his wordless comic books about Frank, a funny animal who lives in the Unifactor, an imaginary world filled with Hindu symbolism and nightmarish creatures that are beyond good and evil.

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The Fade Out - Great new Hollywood noir comic book series

fade-out-coverIt's 1948. Charlie Parish, a screenwriter and "part-time reprobate," wakes up with a hangover in a bathtub he doesn't recognize. As flashes of the previous night's bacchanalia go through his dulled mind, Parish wanders through the abandoned bungalow, trying to piece together the bits into a coherent timeline. But he gives up when he spots the body of starlet Valeria Sommers sprawled across the floor. She'd been the star of the movie he wrote, the one currently being shot at Victory Street Pictures. The bruise marks on her neck make it clear she was strangled. In shock, Parish realizes he can't call the police (why not?). He wipes his prints off everything he's touched in the bungalow and slips away inconspicuously.

This happens in the first few pages of The Fade Out, a new comic book series by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, the duo behind the fantastic hardboiled-crime-meets-Lovecraft comic series called Fatale. To capture the look of 1940s Los Angeles, Baker and Phillips hired a research assistant, Amy Condit, who runs the LA Police Museum and curated the recent exhibit of the Black Dahlia case. She is worth whatever they paid her - the look and mood of The Fade Out is like a trip in a time machine to a Los Angeles built by Chandler, Fante, Hammett, and Nathanael West.

In addition to the murder mystery, it looks like this series is going to explore the endemic corruption of movie studios of the era, anti-Semitism, racism, and the effects of the House Un-American Activities Committee on screenwriters.

The back of the first issue has some nice bonus material, including an article about Peg Entwistle, a frustrated young actress who committed suicide in 1932 by jumping off the 45-foot-tall Hollywood(land) sign.

My review copy was the large-format "movie magazine style" variant, which costs a few dollars more than the standard-size comic version. I recommend it, because the art is excellent. fade-out-2 fade-out-3 fade-out-4

The Fade Out

Witzend - groundbreaking 1960s indy comic with art by Wallace Wood, Art Spiegelman, and Frank Frazetta

Wally Wood (1927–1981) is regarded as one of the world’s best comic book artists, and I agree. His science fiction stories for Weird Science and Weird Fantasy, which featured complex spaceship interiors, ruggedly handsome male astronauts, curvy female astronauts, repugnant monsters, and richly detailed alien landscapes, made him an instant and enduring hit with comic book readers in the 1950s.

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Mimi Pond: "MAD was our communist manifesto"

This episode of Gweek is brought to you by Bombfell, the glorious clothing service for men that sends handpicked outfits to your door. Go to bombfell.com/gweek to get $10 off your first purchase. And by Stamps.com — get a $110 sign-up bonus with the offer code GWEEK!

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Original art from the greatest private comic collection on earth

One evening several years ago my friend, the artist Coop, took me to the San Fernando Valley house of comic book art collector Glenn Bray. I was somewhat familiar with Bray, having read bits and pieces about his large collection. I knew that he was the first person to seek out and collect the work of the great Donald Duck comic book artist writer Carl Barks back in the 1960s, that he published some small books about grotesque-artist Basil Wolverton, and that he was the champion of forgotten genius Stanislav Szukalski (read my Wink review about Szukalski here). He was probably the first real comic book art collector, buying original work in an era when everyone else considered it to be worthless.

So I felt I was somewhat prepared for what was in store for me at Bray’s house. But when I stepped inside, I realized that I’d greatly underestimated the size and quality of his collection. Bray’s walls were covered with original art and paintings by the greatest comic book artists in history: Robert Crumb, Robert Williams, Jack Davis, Wally Wood, and dozens more. The second floor of his large house looked nothing like a home. It was a clean, organized library/museum dedicated to comic book art. I was stunned, not only by the amount of art Bray had amassed over the last 50 years of collecting, but by his aesthetic sensibility, which matched mine to a T. Like me, he was completely uninterested in superhero comics, concentrating mainly on old EC science fiction comics, MAD, and underground comics. That evening I studied the original art from many iconic comic book covers, but barely scratched the surface of his collection.

The Blighted Eye is a massive book containing samples from Bray’s collection. Arranged from A-Z by artist, it represents the tip of a comic art iceberg. The book also includes a long interview with Bray and many photographs of Bray with the artists he’s befriended over the decades.

The Blighted Eye, by Glenn Bray

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All of Robert Crumb’s work from his fantastic Weirdo Years

Argue with me until you’re hopping mad. You won’t change my mind that Robert Crumb is the greatest living American artist. And this anthology of his comic book stories from Weirdo, the magazine that he founded in 1981 (only 13 years after creating Zap the title that launched the underground comic book revolution), contains some of Crumb’s finest work. Not only does Crumb plumb deeper than ever into the depths of his neurotic soul, he also lays bare the behavior of modern society with a keen eye and a bittersweet sense of humor. Most interesting to me are Crumb’s comic book versions of old books, such as Psychopathis Sexualis, and science fiction author Philip K Dick’s bizarre religious experience (which Dick described as a “vision of the apocalypse.”)

Crumb’s output seems to have slowed to a trickle in recent years, which is alarming to a fan like me. Fortunately, Crumb’s work is usually so rich and dimensional that it can stand up to repeated readings, which I have done over the years.

R. Crumb: The Weirdo Years includes not only every comic book story that he wrote and drew for Weirdo, it also includes all 28 covers he illustrated. If you already are familiar with’s Crumb’s comics, this is a convenient way to reread all of his Weirdo stories. If you don’t know Crumb, this is probably the best introduction to his work.

See sample interior pages at Wink

Sneak peek at cover for Daniel Clowes' "The Complete Eightball" anthology

Can you recognize all the characters on the cover for Daniel Clowe's upcoming Complete Eightball 2-volume set?

This is a two-volume, slipcased facsimile edition of the Daniel Clowes comics anthology; it contains the original installments of Ghost World, the short that the film Art School Confidential was based on, and much more. Before he rose to fame as a filmmaker and the author of the best-selling graphic novels Ghost World, David Boring, Ice Haven, and The Death Ray, Daniel Clowes made his name from 1989 to 1997 by producing 18 issues of the beloved comic book series Eightball, which is still widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential comic book titles of all time. Now, for the 25th anniversary of Eightball, Fantagraphics is collecting these long out-of-print issues in a slipcased set of two hardcover volumes, reproducing each issue in facsimile form exactly as they were originally published. Included are over 450 pages of vintage Clowes, including such seminal serialized graphic novels/strips/rants as “Like a Velvet Glove Cast in Iron,” “Ghost World,” “Pussey,” “I Hate You Deeply,” “Sexual Frustration,” “Ugly Girls,” “Why I Hate Christians,” “Message to the People of the Future,” “Paranoid,” “My Suicide,” “Chicago,” “Art School Confidential,” “On Sports,” “Zubrick and Pogeybait,” “Hippypants and Peace-Bear,” “Grip Glutz,” “The Sensual Santa,” “Feldman,” and so many more. Full color illustrations throughout

Happy 100th birthday to Superman co-creator Joe Shuster

Superman artist Joe Shuster would have turned 100 today. Artist Drew Friedman celebrates the occasion by unveiling a new portrait of Siegel and his partner Jerry Shuster.

My new portrait of artist Joe Shuster and writer Jerry Siegel, circa 1939 in Cleveland, shortly after they signed away all the rights to their new character Superman to National/DC comics for the total sum of $130. The check they endorsed was actually for over $400, padded out with other payments due them, no doubt to make the signing more enticing.