Writers: Chris Burnham, Paul Dini, Steve Langford, David Lapham, Maria Lapham, Steve Foxe, L Marlow Francavilla, Francesco Francavilla, Ariela Kristantina, Kyle Starks, Henry Barajas, Steve Orlando, Clay McLeod Chapman
Artists: John McCrea, David Lapham, Erica Henderson, Francesco Francavilla, Jorge Corona, Fran Galán, Dani, Marianna Ignazzi, Anwita Citriya
Colorists: Adriano Lucas, Mike Spicer, Trish Mulvihill, John Francois Beaulieu, Brad Simpson, Fabiana Mascolo, Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover Artists: Chris Burnham & Adriano Lucas
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 22, 2023
The 1982 Creepshow movie ripped through cinemas with stories written by Horror master Steven King. The movie spawned two sequels, a comic book novelization, and the TV series Tales From The Darkside. After owning the ‘80s, Creepshow refused to die, returning with a web series, a streaming TV series, and Scholastic tie-in books. It’s even returned to comics courtesy of the good folks at Image. Are you ready for ten new terrifying tales? Then let’s dig into Creepshow TP Vol 1 and brave what we find inside!
If you’re interested in this comic, series, related trades, or any of the others mentioned, then simply click on the title/link to snag a copy through Amazon as you read the Creepshow TP Vol. 1 Review.
Writer & Artist: Chris Burnham
Colorist: Adriano Lucas
When three Trick Or Treaters ignore written instructions—and memories of draconian punishments awarded by the former owner of a shuttered house—they discover that Death still has its sting. Burnham’s story reminds us of society’s current trend away from traditional Trick Or Treating, and the ending highlights the sometimes twisted ethics of horror stories. Detailed penciling, tilted camera angles, silhouettes, textured coloring, and excellent shading and light sources give this comic a film noir appeal. The over-the-top violence and gore make Take One a fitting companion to Spawn: Unwanted Violence. Strangely, the morning after welcomes an October sun. Did the boys get their dates mixed up? Was that why we saw no other Trick Or Treaters on those dark streets?
Writers: Paul Dini & Stephen Langford
Artist: John McCrea
Colorist: Mike Spicer
A daughter’s birthday party becomes the latest battleground for separated parents. Shingo asks: when parents refuse to get along, how does this affect their children? The circular nature of the story suggests how parents can initiate a cycle of dysfunction and abuse that lingers for generations. Its lighter, humorous tone allows readers to recover from the last story’s graphic excess. The art’s more Golden Age than Modern and reminds me of the EC horror comics that the United States Senate called a Comic Book Menace in 1954.
The Gorgahmorahh Tree
Writers: David Lapham & Maria Lapham
Artist: David Lapham
Colorist: Trish Mulvihill
Dysfunctional families enrich the soil in which horror stories grow. The way Lapham draws people in The Gorgahmorahh Tree reminds me of his 90s Harbinger run. Each panel compels as Lapham contrasts the majestic, ancient tree with Daphne’s cluttered, disordered home. How much of what occurs is real? How much does Daphne imagine? This third story in Creepshow TP Vol 1 evokes classic episodes of The Avengers, Night Gallery, and Doctor Who. It also reminded me of Patrick Ness’ novel A Monster Calls and the 2016 movie. An unreliable narrator, a tortured daughter, and mesmerizing art turn an old gardener’s adage on its head in this unique take on an oft-told story.
Writer: Steve Foxe
Artist: Erica Henderson
Creator’s Rites tackles elder abuse: a subject most don’t want to face. Compare the years it takes to become a doctor or nurse with the weeks of preparation (perhaps via the Internet) to work in a nursing home. We may never become luminaries in the comic world, but if we live long enough, we’ll all need help meeting our basic needs. Do Henderson’s Old School TV animation style and vibrant coloring blunt the edges of Foxe’s story or make them sharper? Seemingly ripped from the final days of Stan Lee, Creator’s Rites cuts deep.
Writer: L. Marlow Francavilla & Francesco Francavilla
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Jimmy feels more kinship with wild animals than civilized people. The barber doesn’t hurt anyone, but his actions aid the animals in the forest outside town. The character reminded me of activist Nick Van Owen (played by Vince Vaughn) in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Scenes of town life evoke the Andy Griffith Show and Groundhog Day, with no newcomers saying “Heavy” or asking for a Pepsi Free. Francavilla’s carefree, heavy inks and limited palette–greens, yellows, and oranges—give Hair a faded appearance. Hair combines a love of nature with a yearning for a simple life in a mood piece that—while not surprising–lingers.
Writer: Ariela Kristantina
Artist: Jorge Corona
Colorist: Jean-Francois Beaulieu
When Alexis visits a Malaysian island with her friends, her boyfriend breaks off their relationship via cell phone. Incensed, she doesn’t wait for her friend to translate their guide’s warning. She crosses a bridge and discovers an ancient temple surrounded by Banyan trees. Her friend translates the caretaker’s warning, but Alexis storms past him too. What she finds inside the temple will haunt her forever. I like how Alexis’ fixation on social media blinds her to reality. Jorge Corona’s art and Jean-Francois Beaulieu’s soft, appealing colors conjure an exotic landscape reminiscent of 1974’s The Man With The Golden Gun and The Phantom movie of 1996. Fans of Clive Barker’s stories, and European comics like Leo’s Aldébaran and Christin and Mézières’ Valerian and Laureline series, should check this one out.
Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are
Writer: Kyle Starks
Artist: Fran Galán
A yellow-orange glow suffuses panels as Nancy remembers exploring the woods with her childhood friends. They find bodies drained of blood, but no one heeds their warnings. So, the kids decide to clear out the local vampire nest. The art and limited color palette give this story an all-ages appeal. While I missed the story’s logic, I enjoyed the meditations on adulthood and giving into fear. Mix Stand By Me, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, garnish with Night of the Living Dead and serve.
La Mascara Del La Muerte
Writer: Henry Barajas
Colorist: Brad Simpson
When rising star Lupe Lopez loses a Luche Libre bout, she steals her father’s mask from her grandma and returns to the ring. Too late, she discovers it retains the same power that ended her father’s career. Dani’s blotchy, smudgy style art suggests backgrounds. Characters and proportions sometimes look out of skew. It’s almost as if she draws the negative spaces rather than the positive ones. Simpson’s vibrant coloring gives her intriguing style energy and a heightened sense of reality. Sadly, this story in Creepshow TP Vol 1 seemed familiar and predictable. Still, Venom and Carnage fans will like how the mask manifests its power.
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Marianna Ignazzi
Colorist: Fabiana Mascolo
Parker does a deal with a demon. In return for taking regular selfies with his cell phone, he gets his youth back and doesn’t age. But what happens if he loses his phone? Ignazzi’s art gives this story scope and Mascolo’s coloring atmosphere. Still, the scene that tripped me up only had limited coloring. I had to flip back and forth several times to understand Steve Orlando’s story better and find clues as to who did what and when. Still, aspects of the story spoke to me, and I liked most of the art.
Writer: Clay McLeod Chapman
Artist: Anwita Citriya
Colorist: Jordie Bellaire
Sally’s parents value traditional Southern heritage in their lavish plantation home. Her mother trains her in etiquette, dancing, and deportment. Yet, as her rite of passage nears, Sally believes she doesn’t belong. The art ranges from adequate to impressive. Bellaire’s limited coloring schemes changed with each panel. Citriya hints at Sally’s struggle for identity with her bedroom decor, while other panels hint at her origin. Still, I needed more backstory to prepare me for the shocking reveal at the debutante ball. As exciting as it is, the revelation lacked emotional resonance.
Like a candy haul after a long night’s Trick Or Treating, Creepshow TP Vol 1 is a mixed bag of scary sweets. Some stories I’d happily give away. Others I will treasure. My favorites were The Gorgahmorahh Tree, Creator’s Rites, and The Bridge. You’ll discover yours when you delve into this rewarding horror anthology.