It is sadly too easy to forget this anthology has been hitting shelves over the past few years and delivering some of the creepiest content available. Horror comics aren’t ever a massive sell. Throw into account the short nature of each tale and people just seem not to get on board. That’s a shame because this comic is a great monument to both remembering and continuing the gory shorts that used to be present in titles like the original “Creepy” and the EC Horror classics.
The first tale, “Mine” from Joe R Lansdale and Nathan Fox, is a simple enough premise but well executed. It’s a horror/zombie/western where a lone rider makes a simple mistake of pillaging some plain items off a dusty corpse. This sets in motion some wicked scenes brought to life by Fox’s crazy style. It’s a tale that’s much more fun than you would think because of the energy of the creators.
The second tale, “Commedia dell’Morte” by Christopher A Taylor and Jason Shawn Alexander, is a tale that actually has the ability to haunt you. This short is about a party clown who also does what he believes is God’s will. The deadpan panel approach and the unreliable narrator make this tale more than what is on paper. There’s a stark cinematic style to Alexander’s scenes and an unnerving quality to the action. You’ll want to shake this one off as quickly as you read it because it will give you nightmares.
The lowlight of the issue is “The Wreck” by Alice Henderson and Kevin Ferrera. A train wreck isn’t all it appears to be, and the shock at the end shockingly won’t satisfy and doesn’t make you squirm or gasp. It instead elicits a groan that was not the desired outcome. The resolution to this tale is the only hook of the tale, and it only takes a bit over a page, so the rest of the pages simply drag out the mundane until the, supposedly, grand finale.
There’s a short Adolf Hitler fuelled interlude brought to us by Dan Braun, Craig Haffner, and Garry Brown and it’s just plain weird. It’s almost like a set of fact pages about the many women in Hitler’s life. It feels like the creative team just wanted an excuse to draw some Swastika spanking and other Third Reich accoutrements. There’s nothing bad about these pages, unless you find some of the creepier moments in Hitler’s life re-enacted on the page bad, and then you’re going to hate this. At least it’s short.
The final tale is titled “Fair Exchange.” Archie Goodwin and Neal Adams provide serious old school nastiness. It reminds a lot of a “Tales From The Crypt” story from back in the day where a rich old man slowly buys the entire body of a younger man to impress a lady friend. In the end, she goes for the younger man in the older body because he has the money – weren’t women always grand and suitably presented as such? This tale feels similar, but the payoff at the end stands up as something completely different and very cool. Double points for use of second person narration and some very sinewy old men.
“Creepy” isn’t perfect, but it’s got the same pizzazz the old horror comics had. The art is experimental and the writing is aiming for a shock and willing to do most things to get it. The formula is present but the reveals are still a thrill. You can enjoy this for some nostalgia but also on its own terms. The good is very good and the bad doesn’t stop the whole package being a fun ride. Drop some money and give the old ticker a test, see if you can handle “Creepy.”