Before comics were invaded by mindless zombies, before Chucky caused havoc on reality TV, and before psychotic, bloodthirsty tomatoes struck fear into the hearts of everyone, comics were just plain “Creepy.”
In our final Halloween horror preview this week on Splash Page, Dark Horse Comics has offered up an exclusive sneak peek at their second volume of “Creepy” Archives (hitting stores on Dec. 24). The groundbreaking magazine series which ran for nearly three decades — doing for horror comics what “MAD Magazine” did for humor — featured some of the most iconic artists and writers to ever work in the industry, including Alex Toth, Johnny Craig, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood and several other four-color legends.
After the jump, check out an exclusive bone-chilling story from the upcoming “Creepy” Archives Vol. 2, and learn more about the influence of this historic magazine.
Having had barely survived a crusade led by Dr. Fredric Wertham which blamed comics for the rise in juvenile crime (and also led to some serious censorship measures, like banning the words “terror” and “zombies” from titles), the world of comics was an overly-sanitized — and dare we say “boring” — place in the early 1960s. Granted, it was during this whitewashed era that characters such as Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four were created, but for comic readers looking for tales of vampires and ghouls, it was truly a dark, nightmarish time.
However, Russ Jones (founding editor for “Creepy”) discovered a loophole — horror comics could be published in magazine form without the scrutiny of the newly-formed, self-censuring Comics Code Authority, opening the door for a new era of horror-based comics. Arguably, had it not been for magazines like “Creepy,” one has to wonder if current series like “Hellboy,” “30 Days of Night” or publishers like Vertigo Comics would even exist today?
But enough of our history lesson — check out what “Creepy” was all about in this 8-page story, titled “The Thing in the Pit,” by Larry Ivie and Gray Morrow!
Did you get a chance to pick up the first volume of “Creepy” Archives from Dark Horse? Are you a fan of old school horror, or is the current crop of terror coming out of Hollywood and comics more your style? Talk about it in the comments!