Creepy #10 is an endearing collective tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, one of the most influential and greatest horror authors. This issue contains a series of Lovecraftian tales that dive headfirst into the macabre and suspense. Each creative team-up finds inventive ways of bringing Lovecraft’s famous name and influential works into the spotlight of popular culture. If you have never read Lovecraft (you call yourself a horror fan? Shame on you!), this issue will inspire you to buy one of his books to see what all the hype is about.
WRITTEN BY: Doug Moench, Matt Weinhold, John Arcudi, Jim & Ruth Keegan, Dan Braun, Bob Jenney
ART BY: Darick Robertson, Jim & Ruth Keegan, Bob Jenney, Kelley Jones, Richard Corben, Peter Bagge
PUBLISHER: Dark Horse Comics
RELEASE: October 3rd, 2012
If you have read H.P. Lovecraft’s “At The Mountains of Madness” or “Herbert West: Reanimator”, you know the author’s writing primarily focuses on the fear of the unknown. At his prime, Lovecraft used his descriptive words to build suspense out of the strange and unexplained. What caught me off-guard with this issue of “Creepy,” these authors and artists are using horror comedy to describe a Lovecraftian tale. Because this is an unexpected if you’re not versed in the continuing exploration of Lovecraftian fiction this may seem off kilter. Nobody ever really thinks, “I want to read Lovecraft to get a good laugh.” But the end result is surprisingly hilarious and at times, laugh-out loud. Neil Gaiman has written several Lovecraft parodies and he once said “You only parody something if it’s really important”. That holds true for this edition of “Creepy”.
From Dan Braun and Pete Bagge, “The Strange Case of Panel Six” is a cartoonish play on storytelling. Two siblings suddenly discover their life is being displayed in a comic book. Word-for-word, everything they say is being repeated onto the page. The siblings try to think up ways of doing something different to break the pattern. Bagge’s artwork is animatedly exaggerated when it comes to eyeballs and facial reactions. Dan’s short story is a quick read and Bagge’s panels looks like a weird version of the Foxtrot comic strip.
Continuing with the bizarre, Matt Weinhold/Darick Robertson/Richard P. Clark’s “Mint in Package” is a hilarious premise about a collector who discovers Lovecraft’s Elder Gods as toys. The Dark Godz collection is a rarity, especially since their toy factory was previously burnt down. As they play off of Weinhold’s satirical humor in the beginning, Robertson and Clark then bring in the horror towards the climatic last page. When you open the toys from their mint condition packaging, a hideous creature pops out.
As the laughs keep coming, Bagge’s “The Bane” is another hilarious tale where a teenage girl hides under her bed covers. Bagge displays such poetic eloquence as he describes the girl’s teen angst. Afraid to go outside, the girl is frightened by what people will say when they see her face. Bagge’s keeps the panels in tight medium shots, steering towards the shadows and gray tones. What could be actually more hideous than a flesh-eating monster? How about a zit on the face?
The laughs come to a halt and the terror comes about in John Arcudi and Richard Corben’s “The Illuminations of Charity Wallis.” Booth Wallis dreams about gold after discovering the Necronomicon. Because Booth’s wife, Charity, can read Latin, he believes she can translate the text. The more Charity deciphers the meaning of the passages, she is repeatedly plagued by nightmares. As Arcudi builds the suspense as Charity’s life worsens, Corben illustrates such eye-popping imagery. The artwork highlights Charity’s surreal nightmares, depicting cavemen with eyes and mouths on their chests.
If you are looking for horror comedy, “Creepy” #10 is a near perfect anthology issue. Each short tale is filled with lots of enjoyable campy humor and finishes off with a twisted ending. After reading a few of these shorts, you will want to re-visit H.P. Lovecraft’s work, and what better time than Halloween month.
Rating: 4/5 skulls
Reviewed by Jorge Solis