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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Horror Can Be Comic

I used to love comics, and though I've grown away from them, I still have a soft spot for them in my heart. In fact, the film Ghost World, based on the indie comic of the same name, ranks as one of my all time favorites. The follow-up film by the same creative team, "Art School Confidential", is also very good. (Despite the title, Ghost World is a non-genre, coming-of-age tale)

Anyway, horror comics have always been my favorites. EC reprints, Warren Magazines and Marvel horror mags were my constant companions during my formative years. So I still stop in the comic shop from time to time to see what's up.

Today I ended up ordering a collection, Son of the Gun, by surreal filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky (see Santa Sangre, The Holy Mountain, and El Topo). Now I will buy ANYTHING by Alejandro -- I've even came close to buying "La Vida Tarot" -- his Spanish language book on 40 years of working with the tarot. I know I can't speak much Spanish, but I could learn, right?

So as the manager was placing the order for me, I began to wander, and before I left, here are some of the things I found:

  • The first issue of the ALL-NEW tales of Stephen King's The Dark Tower will be released on February 7 -- the manager told me that some stores will be staying open until Midnight on the sixth so fans can get it! It's called "The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born".

  • A new series of "Friday the 13th", "Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" comics are in the shops now.

  • A series of Legion of Monsters horror one-shots is about to be released. The first one is "Legion of Monsters: Werewolf By Night". It also includes a Monster of Frankenstein tale. (On sale 2/21/2007) This book is to be followed by one-shots about Man-Thing (plus a Zombie tale on 3/21/2007), and Morbius (plus a Dracula/Lillith tale on sale 4/21/2007), and possibly a Satana book.

Too much goodness!


Charles Gramlich said...

I never really read a lot of comics as a kid, and am probably the poorer for it. They just didn't have that much available in rural Arkansas, and by the time I began finding comics I'd already started reading a lot of regular novels and the comics couldn't compete.

Clifford said...

That's a bummer. But the thing about comics is that they just as spotty as books -- the vast majority just aren't worth your time. But the best of the best compare pretty favorably with traditional fiction. And some of the art, especially in the Warren Magazines by the likes of Frank Frazetta, Bernie Wrightson, etc. was pretty spectacular at times. I actually got really into comics (Warren Mags) in college because I didn't have time to do much reading outside of coursework.

Wayne Allen Sallee said...

clifford, i was at tenth plant on the way to work today, boom! comics has a new book call cthulhu tales which is very nicely done. i miss those warren magazines, but i love the memories. check my blog, because i think i have an eerie cover planned for my next entry. wait awhile, because i am working one of those 12 hour shifts.

Clifford said...


Definitely! Though I got rid of most of my comics years ago, there were about 30 Warrens I just couldn't part with...I wonder if one of them is going to be the issue you highlight...

Sidney said...

They took the regular comic books out of our local drugstore when I was a kid but kept the magazine display.

I loved the Warrens including Vampi as you know, and also Marvel's black and white magazines which had new feature stories backed up by b&w reprints of tales from their earlier horror comics.

I was actually looking through some boxes last night for a one-shot Marvel b&w magazine that collected several Marvel pieces based on short stories.

It introduced me to Theodore Sturgeon, Robert E. Howard's horror stories and also to Robert Bloch's "Your's Turly, Jack the Ripper."

When I find the box it's in, I'll put something about it on my blog.

Clifford said...


I know the magazine you're talking about - it was called Masters of Terror. Marvel ran two issues and they were comic book versions of classic horror tales. They were brilliant--I prayed it would become a regular monthly book! But alas, two issues was all I ever saw.

Stewart Sternberg said...

I have always been a major comics fan. I still am. I loved it when the comics delved into horror. I still own early copies of Creepy and Vampirella. I also have purchased several copies of Hell Boy and Hellblazer (known to most as Constantine).

And as for the artists? Frazetta is king, with Wrightson close at hand.

And as for Cthulhu Tales, I'm gonna have to go out and get me a copy.

Clifford said...

Stewert -- where were you guys when I was growing up? I thought I was the only one keeping Warren in business as all my friends paid no attention to books that didn't feature guys in tights!

Add Jose Gonzales to that list of masters for his b/w work on Vampi. Never saw anything else he ever did though -- it would be interesting to see the stuff he was doing in Spain -- even if I can't read much of it. Heh!

Anonymous said...

It's interesting to see just how permeant virtual memory has become in our everyday lives. It's like everywhere I turn, I see something with a card slot or USB jack, lol. I guess it makes sense though, considering how cheap memory has become lately...

Ahhh... who am I to complain. I can't make it through a day without using my R4 / R4i!

(Posted from KwZa for R4i Nintendo DS.)

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