Shawna Gore interview (Creepy)

 height=(WoW FEB 08)

The classic horror comic magazine, Creepy, gets deluxe treatment this month with Dark Horse's Creepy Archives. Westfield's Roger Ash contacted editor Shawna Gore to learn more about this project.

To link to this interview, use this link (right click and copy)

Westfield: For those who may not be familiar with Creepy, what can you tell us about the magazine?

 height=Shawna Gore: It's hard for me to not just start raving about how amazing Creepy is, because I've always felt it is one of the best comic titles ever published. Creepy was a horror anthology started in the early 1960s by Jim Warren at Warren Publishing, and it quickly became one of the most incredible showcases for fine comic-book art and storytelling ever published. Comics had been suffering for about a decade under the Comics Code Authority, and a lot of the great horror titles that had been published by guys like William Gaines at EC had effectively been neutered. Eventually, people like Jim Warren realized they could sidestep the restrictions of the CCA by publishing comics not in comic books, but in magazines, and Creepy magazine was soon delivering the kind of great, horror-based storytelling that comics fans had really been missing. The magazine was an instant success and continued to be published for years before eventually slowly grinding to a halt in 1983.

Westfield: Who are some of the artists that are featured in this first volume?

Gore: First and foremost is Archie Goodwin, who was an early editor of the magazine and one of its most prolific contributing writers. He's all over the book, and that is undoubtedly one of the primary reasons it was such a great publication. The stories were probably better known for their artists - Alex Toth, Gray Morrow, Joe Orlando, Reed Crandall, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson, and Frank Frazetta. These magazines were full of the most beautiful artwork being published at the time.

Westfield: Will any of the artists be contributing commentary or remembrances about their work for Creepy?

Gore: We're still figuring out exactly what the editorial content of the archives will be. I'm talking to a lot of people about contributing introductions to the series, and some of those people are contributors. But since we're still nailing down the details and have only one name formally attached to writing an introduction, I don't want to say too much. I can tell you that we're lucky to be working with Jon Cooke on the first introduction. He's about as much of an expert on the Warren book as you can get. He's writing a really cool piece on the history of Warren for the first volume of the archive.

Westfield: How complete will the reprinting be? Will it include covers and text pages and such?

 height=Gore: It will be an almost complete collection of all pages of the original magazines. I don't yet know if we will be including the original letter columns. We're not going to run every single ad from the original magazines, partly because a lot of them contain images that are now copyrighted by other people. But we're nicely reprinting the front covers, including the illustrated frontis pieces. Some of those are actual story pages, used for "Creepy Lore" features.

Westfield: Does Dark Horse have plans to collect more of the classic Warren horror titles?

Gore: Yes, next year we'll start publishing archive editions of Eerie in the same format as our Creepy collections, but beyond that we don't have any solid plans for other titles.

Westfield: Any closing comments?

Gore: I'd like to encourage anyone who's a fan of really beautiful comic artwork to try Creepy on for size, even if you think you might not like horror. For the most part, these stories aren't graphically violent, and most of them take that classic approach to horror where the really explicit details are rendered in shadows, but the spookiness of the way the characters and monsters are drawn delivers that same kind of visceral punch.