Martin John reviews the horror anthology Creepy #5
Credits & Solicit Info:
Story by: David Lapham, Benjamin Truman
Art by: David Lapham, Timothy Truman
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: Wed, March 23rd, 2011
The newest, gnarliest, and ickiest incarnation of the classic horror anthology Creepy is clawing its way onto your must--read list for 2011! Don't miss the demented debut of Creepy #5 this March, which features strange and stunning offerings by David Lapham (Stray Bullets), Timothy Truman (Conan), classic Creepy cover artist Sanjulian, and much, much gore. Whether you prefer your horror tales bloody and bold, or supernatural and subtle, Uncle Creepy and his maleficent minions are sure to satisfy your lust for scary stories!
Cracking open a new Creepy magazine is a wonderfully nostalgic thing for anyone who has read a horror comic collection in the past. The inside front cover features a Uncle Creepy pinup by hackin' Gene Colan, followed by a table of contents with names like Tim Truman, David Lapham and Doug Moench . The book even features a letter column with advice from Uncle Creepy. The rest of the anthology is jammed full of throwback black and white art. Could anyone ask for more from a horror comic? With spooky introductions to each tale, the nostalgia creeps right into the reader's bones, preparing them for frightening goodness. The only problem with Creepy #5 is that there isn't all that much horror within in the comic.
Dave Lapham delivers the high point of this issue of Creepy, bringing a tale of a hack writer trying to complete his second novel in his dead grandmother's house with neighbours that have an incredibly large sunflower. Lapham's art is inkier and sketchier then his Stray Bullets work, but it works for the genre. The story is crazed and demented but can anyone really expect less from Lapham? The manic tone of the story and wacky conclusion were plain fun.
Also featured in the comic was Timothy and Benjamin Truman's twisted tale of a mother's love for her son. The story is a chronicle of mystical horror involving demons and shamanic rivalry. I love Truman's ink washes in the art but it's incomplete and messy in places. My biggest complaint is that some of his x's that he used to mark where he wanted to spot blacks are still visible. It seems a little messy to me but Truman's art is so strong, it's easy to overlook tiny nitpicks on the production side.
The strangest tale of the book goes to Dan Braun and Lucas Marangon's real-life accounting of cults gone wrong. Jonestown, Charlie Manson, and Heaven's Gate are mentioned in the same breath as Scientology, which is a very ballsy move for a comic. The art has a nice simple line and is pleasurable to look at. Lucas delivers some solid cartooning and one great shot of Tom Cruise as a raving lunatic. The accounting of events ends with a nice little twist that ties the story back to the magazine and Uncle Creepy that made me smile a little.
Murdicide by Doug Moench and Mike Vosburg has one of those little twist endings that you expect from a Creepy story. Murdricide is a simple pulpy horror story that begins with two men falling from a building with only one surviving. The story doesn't really deliver in the thrills and chills category, falling flat at the big reveal. Mike Vosburg helps ease the disappointment with a style reminiscent of early 70's artists from Marvel which adds a vintage flavoring to the book.
Overall, Creepy #5 is a nice little read if for those looking to revisit the feelings they had when first cracking open an EC collection. However, for those looking for cutting edge horror stories, look somewhere else. They won't be found in this issue. Creepy didn't even make me shudder this month.
Review by: Martin John