I have always been fascinated by the supernatural and the unknown. The latest excursion of my fascination to this subject is the RTM series Bilik No.13. However, when I first started making TV programmes, I wrote and directed two telemovies which was well received - Teater Seram 1 and 2.
This was in the early 90s.
I have blogged earlier regarding my influences - John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, James Whale, Todd Browning and many others. However, I forgot to mention that during my school days, I would be busy reading horror comics - anything that I could get my hand on. Comics like Tales From The Crypt are like treasures, but it was my fondness for the comics Creepy and Eerie that taught me about graphic horror.I used to save my pocketmoney, skipping lunches, to be able to afford these comics which were very expensive. These magazines were not Beano or Dandy, these are glossy graphic B&W (and later full color) imported horror comics. So, I would be excited when a new issue arrived at this mamak bookstore in PJ New Town.
Unfortunately, reading these comics (and spending good money on it) isn't something my parents condone. So I had to hide my Creepy and Eerie collection. Maybe they were okay with Creepy and Eerie, but when I started buying Vampirella - that was a little too much. As most Vampirella fans know, the main character Vampirella is the sexiest living (or rather undead) creature ever created and also the most scantilly dressed.So, one day, I was asked to destroy my collection. Not sure what triggered it off (maybe my bad academic results had something to do with it), but whatever it was, I was asked to destroy or throw it away. Imagine, pristine Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella comics gone to waste. Argggh!
Creepy was first published by James Warren, a young entrepeneur who was a fan of EC Comics (who published Mad, Tales of The Crypt) and wanted to bring back the same kind of horror to the comics stand after it disappeared under the heavy hand of US Comics Code censors.
Warren had actually published Monsters Of Filmland another cult favourite, and decided in 1964 to publish Creepy. His decision gave the world the fantastic and graphic worlds of Frank Frazetta, Richard Corben, Jack Davis, Joe Orlando and Angelo Torres.
The old comics are now collector's items and can fetch thousands in the comics marketplace.
So imagine how I felt when I went to Kinokuniya recently and saw a hardcover collection of the first five issues of Creepy!! I was in comics heaven! It costs RM170 but what the heck, it was a great buy! In issue no.1, you will find Frank Frazetta's only full comic story drawn by himself called Werewolf. As most comics enthusiasts know, Frazetta is the grandfather of fantasy art and posters. The works of Frazetta and Corben have been the subject of many a guy's wet dreams.
I can't wait to get the next instalments of these classics.
By the way, for those who are fans of Frazetta - watch this clip from the movie Fire and Ice directed by Ralph Bakshi.