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


14 comments:

Peter Gray said...

Just done a post on
http://petergraycartoonsandcomics.blogspot.com/2008/08/graham-allens-comic-work.html

Graham Allen who drew Fiends and Neighbours in Cor!! which went into Buster and Cor!!...a very good comic strip.

Peter:)

Paul said...

Thanks for that Peter, I'll take a look.

Ghastly McNasty said...

Back from the Depths is currently running comic scans from Scream and Eagle on a weekly basis in the Theatre of Terror comic blog.

Peter Gray said...

Feel free to use the Fiend and Neighbours picture for your horror blog.

M.I.K. said...

I mentioned the ad over HERE. I don't remember a girl being in the adverts but there was definitely a boy in them. That "Not For The Nervous" tagline featured, and I think there were two adverts which tied in with the free gifts which came with the first two issues. Also seem to remember a cat in there somewhere as a reference to "Terror of The Cats" and possibly a bat and maybe Dracula too.

Paul said...

Hi Peter
Thank you for saying that I can borrow the Fiends and neighbours scan, I'll try and get round to putting these and other similiar comicstrips such as Horrornation Street in The Cobwebbed Room.

Thanks for the link Ghastly McNasty, I shall take a look, it will be great to see these scans. Do you know how long Scream lasted in Eagle?

Hi m.i.k.
Now that you mention certain things about the advert, these images do seem familiar. Its really hard to believe that these adverts haven't turned up yet, when you consider the amount of old TV ads that are shown on nostagia programmes, you tube etc. You would of thought that these would of been shown at some point.

Planet Mondo said...

My parents ran a newsagents for most of the 80s, so always had first dabs on a copy of scream (and Fangoria - but that doesn't really count on this site does it)

Briony Coote said...

Hi everyone, I've just signed up to this website! I'm very intrigued to know just what Ghastly looks like. Ghastly's lovely looks are supposed to be hidden on this website somewhere. Has anyone found it and if so, can they please direct me (and others)? Thanks!

Paul said...

Hi Briony,
Welcome! As you may of noticed I have put up the picture of Ghastly McNasty's face, what do you think? Not as horrible as you thought?

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stuartbray said...

I have the comic which shows Ghastlys face!!!!

I'll scan it if ya'll want to see it!

Paul said...

Thanks for the offer of sending a scan of the comic featuring Ghastly's face, but I already added a picture of this awhile ago on the blog, if youy put 'Scream Comic' in the search box at the top it should come up. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

hi
anyone know how long the thirteenth floor last in eagle.
15 issues in scream
many in eagle
TF started in eagle in issue 128
john

Paul said...

Hi John, As far as I can tell 'The Thirtheeth Floor' is in issue #222 of Eagle, not sure if it continued after then at all. Hope this is of help 'Eagle and Scream' lasted from 1st September 1984 to 10th November 1984.