Wednesday, August 27, 2008

'SCREAM' Comic

Before the release of 'Scream' comic in 1984, horror/monster fans hadn't had a children's comic [in the Fleetway style format] that catered for their macabre tastes. There were 2 similiar themed comics aimed at the female readers 'Misty' and 'Spellbound'. There were also the 2 funny horror/monster themed comics 'Monster Fun' and 'Shiver and Shake', but none of these would give the horror fan the serious and sometimes grisly stories and artwork that 'Scream' would provide. Issue 1 of 'Scream' came out on monday 24th march 1984 and with this first issue came a free gift of a pair of plastic fangs, the 2nd issue came with a free plastic spider. Issue 2 also saw the start of a 6 part poster with each section of poster featured on the back of the issue. 'Scream was edited by a sinister cowled figure called Ghastly McNasty whos face was hidden by a hood, a competition was held with a 50 pounds prize for anyone that could draw what they thought Ghastly's face may look like. A number of these attempts were printed in the procceding run of the comic. It wasn't untill the 'Scream Holiday special' in 1986 that Ghastly's face was revealed.

The editorial had 2 fun sections in which the reader could say who they would like to see as Dracula[Dracula Spectacular], which was basically a photo of whom ever they chose with added fangs and widow's peak and the other section was who the reader would like to see chained up in a dungeon [The London Dungeon] this time the person's face and cartoon body in dungeon.

Stories in the first issue were as follows and artists name in brackets : 'The Dracula File' [Eric Bradbury], 'Monster' [Heinzl, Redondo from 2 +], 'The Thirtheenth Floor' [Ortiz], 'Tales from the Grave' [Jim Watson], 'A Ghastly Tale' [artist ?], 'Fiends and Neighbours' which first appeared in?????????, 'Library of Death' [several artists during the comics run - Casanovas, M.Capaldi, Mike Dorey, Steve Dillion, B.McCarthy, J.Cooper, Cam Kennedy, Ron Smith, Vivas, T.Coleman, S.Parkhouse, and Boluda], 'The Terror of the Cats' [Gonzalez, J.Richardson]which finished with issue 6 and was replaced by 'The Nightcomers' [J.Richardson] from issue 7.

'Scream' unfortunatly would end after only 15 issues and would then merge with 'Eagle' comic on monday 1st September 1984 issue 128, this merger was also short lived. Only 2 stories from 'Scream' would be featured 'Monster' and 'The Thirteenth Floor'. Then in 1985 a Scream holiday special was published which would feature familar stories from the comics run such as 'The Dracula File', 'A Ghastly Tale', 'Fiends and Neighbours', 'The Thirteenth Floor' and Library of Death'. as well as the comicstrips there were photo features on Madam Tussards Chamber of Horrors and the London Dungeon, the holiday special also featured a quiz, jokes, Ghastly McNasty gallery, and a game 'Ghastly's House of Horrors'. The following year 1986 another holiday special was published. Some of the familiar stories were featured as well as new ones such as 'Castle of Death', 'The Scream Show', 'Demon of the Deep' etc. 2 more photo features covering Alton Tower's Doom & Sons Haunted House and Disney's Haunted Mansion. Revealed in this issue was the cover of the proposed issue 18 of 'Scream' [what happened to 16 and 17?]. 'Ghastly's Holiday Ghost Hunt was the featured game. One of the original stories 'Monster' would now be published in a story format rather than as a comicstrip. 1987's holiday special had some original and some new strips again, as well as photo features on Thorpe Park - Phantom Fantasia, and The York Dungeon. The game in this issue was called "The Great Escape'. The 'Scream holiday special' for 1988 as the usual mix of old and new comicstrips, no features this time, only a quiz and another game 'Hunt for Dracula'. In 1989 the Scream holiday special came under a different guise as 'Spinechillers Holiday Special', the Scream logo seen above title in small letters. This particular special issue was slimmer than usual and no original stories from Scream were featured, the 7 new stories were all hosted by a character called Ghoul, stories were kind of a similar format to Scream's 'A Ghastly Tale' hosted by Ghastly McNasty in the original comic. Also in this special issue was a photo feature on 'The London Dungeon'. This would be the last of anything more from the creators of this wonderful iconic and cult macabre comic. A dying shame.

Anyone remember the original television adverts for 'Scream'? I remember 1 of them which was quite good although its a bit vague, it shows a boy and girl [I think] sat on a sofa reading the comic and looking over their shoulder from behind are a few ghoulish characters, and spooky music or thunder and lightning are heard and the usual sinister voice over.

Take a look at this wonderful site all about 'Scream' -

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I am sure there are quite a few of you out there that also used to or maybe still do drawings or paintings of monsters/Horror because of your love of the genre. I used to do quite a few when I had more time on my hands. I've decided to show you some of mine which I did nearly 20 years ago. These are all done in pencil and are drawings that I did from photos/stills from horror films. My favorite of the ones above is the one of Christopher lee as Mr.Blake from 'I Monster', this one came out better than my other attempts, possibly because of the better quality paper that I used, all the others were drawn on the same sort of paper that newspapers are printed on. Its been a long time since I did any artwork and its something that I have been meaning to start up again sometime. I sometimes used to do water colour pictures too, I never used the water colours like you normally do with them, I used to use the paint quite thickly. I did one of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster and one from the film 'Catpeople' (1982). I have always fancied having a go at a painting in the style of the covers of 'Famous Monsters' magazine, like the covers by Basil Gogos, using either oil or acylic paints.

If there is anyone that as any drawings or paintings of Monsters/ Horror and would be willing to show them, then please do.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Bassett's 'HOUSE OF HORROR' cards

I have already featured the 'House of Horror' cards from Bassett, but had only managed to include a few of the cards. Here at last is a picture of the full set of 50. This is a wonderful set of cards, the backs of the cards have a description of a character or scene featured on the card front.

Is there anyone that knows who did the art for them?

Thanks to James

Sunday, August 03, 2008

'HORROR' - Ian Allan Film Albums - 2

I was a bit uncertain to say whether this was a book or magazine, it certainly is the size of a magazine and it has a similar page count, and yet the cover and pages are a little thicker than a magazine. Anyway whatever it really is it is basically 54 pages of mainly black and white photos from the silent horror films up till photos from recent horror films of the time (1971), examples of pages shown above. There are some great pictures from the classic horror films and the descriptions to some of the photos are quite lengthy which helps to pad out the pages a little. The Ian Allan Horror Film album is compiled by Allen Eyles and published by Ian Allan of London. An interesting and entertaining publication which is a great introduction to images from the horror genre. Other film albums in the series included 'Westerns' and 'Cary Grant'.