For those of you who are not familiar with Haunted Horror, it’s a cool publication that reprints graphic horror comics from the 1950s, usually centered around a general theme, which in the case of this issue is “love.”
My little shriveling worms, welcome to these rotten pages I have the disgrace to host. You are here for an unlikely lesson in the revolting feeling many call “love.”
Significant others: Sometimes you want to let rats eat them, some others you worship their decaying corpses. Love is strange, indeed?
The stories within are my horrible homage to you. I sincerely hope that one day you will find the omega to your alpha, the nadir to your zenith, the zombie to your graveyard robber.
In total, the publication includes eight twisted tales:
- Date with a Corpse—originally published in The Unseen #15, July 1954
- Death Writes the Horoscope—originally published in The Beyond #26, April 1954
- The Hand of Glory—originally published in Chilling Tales #13, December 1952
- Horror Blown in Glass—originally published in The Beyond #9, March 1952
- Kiss and Kill—originally published in Witches Tales #20, August 1952
- Mark of Violence—originally published in The Thing #10, September 1953
- The Rat Man—originally published in The Unseen #9, March 1953
- The House—originally published in Chamber of Chills Magazine #18, July 1953
I really enjoyed reading this, because it brought back memories of when I was a kid. Growing up, I loved horror comics and magazines, and would regularly read stuff like Creepy, Eerie, Weird Worlds, Vampirella, and Famous Monsters of Filmland. While these publications were not high literature by any stretch, they did foster a love of reading which has lasted my entire life.
There is a local comic convention here in town in November. I think I may have to see if there are any of the vintage horror mags that I grew up reading. I’ll let you know if I find any. Happy reading!
On a recent trip to the comic store, I opted to discontinue a couple arcs that I had been following. I had just lost interest and it felt like they were dragging out the stories. So, I perused the racks looking for something different and then an issue of Creepy caught my eye. The cover—dark, gothic, and spectral—enticed me. I have loved horror since I was a kid, and I used to read early versions of Creepy growing up (much to the dismay of my parents). I had read a couple of the “new” Creepy publications put out by Dark Horse,so I decided to pick this one up and give it a read. I have to say, I really liked it.
The stories in the issue were reminiscent of the old graphic horror tales I remember from my childhood. Even the black-and-white artwork captured the shadowy essence of early graphic horror. And rather than being serialized, where you have to commit to issue after issue following a labyrinthine arc, Creepy is composed of several short vignettes, each one a stand-alone tale steeped in folklore and the macabre. I particularly liked one story entitled “The Picture of Death,” which was about an 18th century traveler who stays in a boardinghouse room that has a cursed painting. The painting, populated with grotesquely surreal creatures right out of an Hieronymus Bosch painting, comes to life and draws the unsuspecting man into a nightmarish realm. It was an amazing depiction of how art can also unlock darker regions of the psyche which can lead a person into insanity.
The inside of the back cover is a single-page one-panel tale depicting a mythological demon who creates a play so dark that reading it drive a person insane. I thought it would be worth sharing the accompanying quote.
Hastur, ruling from the lost, mythical city of Carcosa, revels in chaos and madness. None dare read the play written by this malicious entity, for fear of going insane, crying for salvation while Hastur’s soul-shattering stories give none.
Beware, precious reader, for you too will end up as the pitiful wretch seen here—one whose mind has traveled too far into the realm of the King in Yellow, only to be trapped with countless other lost souls!
If you have an interest in the macabre, then this is something for you. But be warned, these tales are not for the timid.
I picked this up the other day, figuring it would be a fun read as Halloween draws near, and that’s what it was—a fun illustrated horror magazine.
As a long-time horror fan, I used to read Creepy back when I was a kid and enjoyed it then, too. The thing about this publication that was most entertaining then and now is the host: Uncle Creepy. Each of the three tales in this issue include commentary by Uncle Creepy at the beginnings and ends. His sick humor makes the grim tales fun. And each of the tales has a twist at the end, which I also really enjoyed.
The first tale, “The Human Condition,” is kind of a dark spin on “It’s a Wonderful Life.” A grotesque spirit visits a young man who is depressed and contemplating suicide, showing him scenes of what would happen if he killed himself.
The second tale, “Arrangement of Skin,” is set in the Victorian era. It is about a taxidermist who receives unusual requests from an aristocrat seeking to preserve the life around him which he has become accustomed to.
The final story is “The Duel of the Monsters” which is set in a Spanish village in the foothills of the Pyrenees. It is basically a struggle between a vampire and a werewolf, each trying to gain control over the village by killing the other. But of course, there is the twist at the end. Sorry… no spoilers. You’ll have to read it yourself.
This comic is basically everything that I love about Halloween—that combination of humor and fright, of fun and fear. Happy Haunting, and keep on reading!
This is a creepy issue. Sara and Rooney search a carnival junk yard for two missing boys. They discover that they were abducted by a psycho-clown from another dimension. There is a definite nod to Stephen King’s It. In fact, after Sara saves the boys and vanquishes the clown, she tells the boys, “You’re safe… and I don’t think we’ll be seeing him… It… again.”
At the end of the tale, Rooney asks Sara if she can explain to her what happened. Sara is unable to, since when she went to retrieve the lost boys, she crossed into another dimension where time and space are different. She realizes that she cannot express what happens in another realm of consciousness or existence in a way that makes sense in our reality.
I could tell you what happened, but I’m not sure I could explain it. What was on the other side was… a different place. A different reality. There it felt like a week, but here…
I love creepy comics. They remind me of when I was a kid and I read all the campy horror comics. I think I will have to get a few for October. It would make for appropriate reading during that time of the year.
A couple of weeks ago, when I went to the local comic store to pick up my copy of The X-Files Season 10: Issue 4, I spotted this comic on the rack. I had one of those childhood flashbacks. When I was young, I loved the old horror comics: Creepy, Eerie, Tales from the Crypt, Weird Worlds, etc. I bought and read these obsessively, much to the chagrin of my parents. But the comics served as my “gateway drug” to reading. I firmly believe that were it not for these comics, I would not be the avid reader I am today. Anyway, since it was almost October and I was feeling nostalgic, I purchased the issue and saved it until this morning.
The magazine is a compilation of short illustrated horror tales. The artwork is excellent and the stories are very well written. The comic also includes a graphic rendering of Bram Stoker’s short story, The Squaw. What I found most fascinating, though, is that all the tales are instilled with a sense of morality, although the stories themselves are twisted and grotesque. The characters suffer horrific consequences as a result of immoral actions: incest, greed, selfishness, arrogance, and so forth. It almost felt like values were being taught in a way that would appeal to a younger audience, likely those who do not want to hear some old windbag preaching about right and wrong. I couldn’t help but wonder if the original horror comics I read as a child were similar and whether seeds of morality were planted in my mind at that young age. It was so long ago that I honestly can’t remember (please don’t ask me how long – ha ha).
I have to say that overall I was pleasantly surprised. My expectations were not very high, since this is essentially the resurrection of an old publication. Usually, I’m not impressed with remakes and such. But it is very good and I have to admit that my interest in the magazine has been piqued. I noticed they also revived Eerie. I may pick up a copy of that on my next trip to the comic store.