Creepshow #1 ADVANCE REVIEW: nostalgic horror is reborn just in time for the season of spook

"Take One", Writer & Artist: Chris Burnham; Colorist: Adriano Lucas; Letterer: Pat Brosseau. "Shingo", Writers: Paul Dini & Stephen Langford; Artist: John McCrea; Colorist: Mike Spicer; Letterer: Pat Brosseau.


 

Just in time for the season of spook comes Creepshow #1, the first of a 5 issue miniseries from Image Comics! Though based on the TV show of the same name from horror streaming service Shudder, Creepshow boasts a well-authored and goofy history. Initially an oddity of a film directed by George Romero and written by Stephen King, Creepshow capitalized on the blending of horror and comedy made (accidentally) popular by the overtly corny terror tales churned out by EC Comics. In the spirit of the original, but with hefty modern gore, Creepshow #1 comes trick or treating early this Wednesday with a bucket of sweet chills and tasty frights.


Creepshow #1 is divided into two short stories. The first, "Take One", is an absolute joy to read. Relying more on horror than humor, this tale comes to gritty life with meticulous linework and attention to shadows. Everything is given a darkened depth that coincides with muted yet powerfully spooky colors. The complex blues in the sky, the faded greens of curbside trash bins, and the haunting yellows of neighborhood windows bring the setting, ironically, to life. The writing achieves its purpose, delivering a campfire cautionary story with a morally on-the-nose center. This could come off heavy-handed, but Creepshow thrives on this approach, doling out a form of Aesop's Fables drenched in viscera.


"Shingo" departs from "Take One" with a less muted color palette. Backgrounds matter less than the action at hand, drawing the eye exclusively to characters. Faces are rendered in doll-like detail, a dazed expression worn by every character. This works well with the premise of the writing, which banks less on gore, and more on the underlying concept the story is putting forth. Granted, after the more high octane pace of the previous story this tale feels like an odd follow-up. The contrast could have potentially worked well, but I felt less thrills and chills from "Shingo" than I would have liked.


A third, untitled installment caps off Creepshow #1, insinuating its own interesting storyline that I hope hints at an overarching story across this miniseries. Black, white, and red give a limited color scheme here but works when the red bleeds across the page, breaking the silence of the monochrome panels with piercing fear.


Overall, Creepshow #1 delivers a terror thrill-ride of nostalgic horror. With this title, I don't see anything game-changing added to the gleaming shelves of current horror comics, but it offers a fun and thoughtful read nonetheless.


Creepshow #1 earns itself a fearful four POPSs out of five!


Be sure to check this book out when it hits shelves this Wednesday at YOUR LOCAL COMIC BOOK SHOP (!!!) or from the Image Comics website here!


RECOMMENDED READING

If you're willing to journey farther down the rabbit hole of horror anthology comics then I must recommend the comics adaptation of the Creepshow movie. If that doesn't strike your interest, then go back in time with Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 1! Finally, if you'd rather stick to something more modern, one of my personal favorites is Tales Told in Techni-Horror!


 

Austin Kemp read Batman #315 (Batman vs Kite Man) when he was 5 years old, and hasn't stopped reading comics since. Austin is a college writing teacher and has a masters degree in Comics Studies. Austin and his partner, Savanah, live in Massachusetts with their master, a cat named Chaplin.

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