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Review – Creepy Archives Vol 18 HC (Dark Horse)

21895Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Writer: Various
Artist: Various
Release Date: 5th February 2014

Collecting issues #84-88 of Warren Publishing’s legendary horror imprint, Dark Horse’s latest Creepy volume is another strong entry in the series.

These issues see the first appearances of the “themed” issues, where every story revolves around the one topic, be it the planet Mars, monsters (just for a change), Christmas and bizarrely, Sports.

Despite not sounding like an obvious pick for a horror anthology, the Sports issue is exceptionally strong, mainly due to it’s creative cast which reads like a who’s who of comics. The late, great Carmine Infantino pencils over half the stories, while Dick Giordano, John Severin, Richard Corben and Walt Simonson all make appearances, each one as impressive as the next.

In addition to all these famous names, there’s also an appearance in the letter column from a 12 year-old Bret Easton Ellis that raises a smile. Unsurprisingly, it seems the author of American Psycho and Lunar Park was a horror kid!

The Monster issue (#85) is the most graphic of the bunch, with future 2000ad artist Jose Ortiz pushing the boundaries on the brilliant “Orem Ain’t Got No Head Cheese”, while “The Thing In The Well” brings to mind The Ring quite heavily. I wonder if Koji Suzuki read Creepy?

While the writing is extremely dated, there’s no small amount of charm to these stories. Each little tale is like a time capsule, evocative of their era and with an atmosphere of dread that more than makes up for their occasional lack of weight, while the art is, almost without question, stunning.

Dark Horse are really excelling themselves on these collections and Creepy Volume 18, much like the previous 17, belongs on your bookshelf.

Rating: 5/5.


INTERIOR ARTWORK PREVIEW
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The writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle

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