This vein-chilling second volume showcases work by some of the best artists to ever work in the comics medium, including Alex Toth, Gray Morrow, Reed Crandall, John Severin, and others. Each archive volume of Creepy is packed with stories (usually up to eight short stories were featured in every issue!) running the gamut of gruesome subject matter, from reimagined horror classics such as "The Cask of Amontillado," to spectacularly mind-twisting shorts such as "The Thing in the Pit," or the macabre maritime yarn "Drink Deep."
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These reprints of '60s b&w horror comics magazines Creepy #6–10 are aimed at the connoisseur. They're faithful reproductions, to the extent of including each issue's cover, seven or eight short stories, table of contents, letter column and ads (updated with Web site addresses). Since the glossy stock is much finer than the authentic newsprint, visually, these pages are better than the originals, with moody, dark blacks that punctuate the shock endings. Even if they don't make sense, the villains get what they deserve, regardless of historical period—Roman, Victorian or contemporary. Some Archives projects run into trouble with color, since it's cheaper to print without it, but here, there's no loss to the gorgeous art. Various shading and cross-hatching techniques provide depth to the illustrations of outstanding talents: Gray Morrow, Reed Crandall, Al Williamson, Joe Orlando, Alex Toth, John Severin, Angelo Torres, Gene Colan and Steve Ditko. Combine them with writer/editor Archie Goodwin, one of the best ever in the business, and the result is pulp at its highest level of craft and entertainment. (Dec.)
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This second collection of the 1960s, which attempts to replicate the success of the classic 1950s EC horror comics, shows a ratcheting-up of quality as some of the era’s most talented artists were added to the magazine’s roster, including Alex Toth, Steve Ditko, Gene Colan, and EC veterans Wally Wood and Johnny Craig. The scripts, most by editor Archie Goodwin, are generally workmanlike and emulate EC’s reliance on ending with a twist. Enduring appeal lies in the stellar artwork, which is served well by Creepy’s black-and-white format and oversized pages, which this archival volume duplicates. --Gordon Flagg
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