Publisher: Image Comics
Creators: Chris Burnham, Paul Dini, Stephen Langford, John McCrea
Release Date: 21st September 2022
Where do you begin with talking about a new Creepshow comic? Arguably one of the most famous anthology horror movies of all time, written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero, Creepshow is a darkly humorous take on the 1950s EC comics; and the comic book adaptation of the film closed the circle, with legendary artist Bernie Wrightson giving the whole thing the gold standard treatment!
So, 40 years later we have a new series of comics under the Creepshow banner. Which, after the launch of the TV series in 2019 on the horror streaming service SHUDDER, I’m surprised hasn’t arrived sooner. In the intervening years, there have been many, many great horror anthology series, both in comics and on screen, but there’s something about Creepshow for me that just has a real nostalgic thrill.
Notably, we are without the involvement of Stephen King on this Adaptation, which is a shame because I’ve enjoyed his writing on comic projects previously, and with no disrespect to Image Comics whatsoever, this is a title that I would have thought Joe Hill’s “Hill House” imprint would have been all over. While Joe Hill is a very successful novelist, I’ve always enjoyed his comics far more, and Creepshow is certainly a title close to home for him.
That being said, this first issue is a lot of fun, and it definitely stays true to its origins. This is very much a child of both the original Creepshow and the EC heydays that inspired it, and the influence of Bernie Wrightson’s legacy is firmly imprinted in the presentation of the artwork.
In this first issue we get two full stories, and an intro to a third:
The first story, “Take One”, is a Trick or Treat tale of teenage boys living up to their typically unpleasant and selfish stereotype, and the vengeful spirit of a bitter and twisted old man. This is a familiar horror anthology trope, but one that rarely disappoints. Chris Burnham’s writing and art on this short story are really, really good, not to mention unexpectedly brutal in places. I also think that Adriano Lucas’ colouring really makes the story come alive, with Pat Brosseau’s lettering delivering a lot in some very tight spaces, but with amazing clarity.
“Shinto” is an utterly bonkers tale of a struggling divorced mother who accidentally summons a man-eating demonic monster while trying to book a clown for her daughter’s birthday party. I enjoyed this story a lot, it went places I really wasn’t expecting and it was a lot of fun. Paul Dini and Stephen Langford did a great job on this story, and I loved John McCrea’s interpretation of the story, again reminiscent of Bernie Wrightson – and also for some reason I was reminded of Carlos Ezquerra and John Wagner’s work on Strontium Dog.
The last story is a snippet, or introduction to what looks like being a tale of murder and bargains with a demon, but… that’s about all I can tell you. I don’t know who wrote or drew it, and there doesn’t appear to be a title. It looks like it’s going to be a good, dark tale though, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
I will always be up for a good horror anthology series, and between the nostalgia that comes with a name I’ve known since childhood, and the quality of what we get in this first issue, I think this is a title that is going to be gracing my shelves for a long while to come.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Mark Scott
Mark Tweets from @macoy_comicgeek