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' - http://www.backfromthedepths.co.uk/