Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Number 2458: Going crazy for horror comics

I was reminded recently that artist Steve Stiles died in January, 2020 at age 76. In 1991 he did some horror comics work for publisher Bruce Hamilton, who is also deceased. Stiles, who began his art career as a comics fan, could draw in a variety of styles lovingly based on the work of other artists. The stories I am showing today are an homage to the EC horror comics.

This is a what I wrote about Stiles in the Pappy blog for December 28, 2011:

Steve Stiles is an artist I first encountered in early '60s science fiction fanzines.Years later I saw his artwork popping up in underground comix, alternative comics, even Heavy Metal magazine.

In '91 and '92 Bruce Hamilton published some black and white horror comics, Grave Tales, Dread of Night and Maggots. There were only eight total issues of the three titles, and Stiles had stories in five of them.

Both of the stories I'm showing today are about insanity and comic book artists. "Black and White and Red All Over" combines art styles of Jack Davis, Graham Ingels and Johnny Craig in homage to EC Comics. It's from Grave Tales #2 (1991), and is written by Eric Dinehart. "Perchance to Dream," published in Maggots #3, is written by Russ Miller. Both stories are lettered by Bill Pearson.

1 comment:

Daniel [] said...

Of course, in real life, during their lifetimes those who demonized comic books suffered no more than condemnation by that minority that regarded comic books as more than a vulgar entertainment. Judith Crist became the movie-critic for TV Guide. Estes Kefauver is remembered as a crusader against crime; Gershom Legman as a pioneering sexologist and an early critic of Kinsey. Marshall McLuhan continues to be held in some esteem. Wertham was the only one to take some heat, and he might have fared better had he not developed a fascination with fanzines. The CCA lasted for decades.

Prisilla's belief that the goo forced the t-square into Gil's head reminds me of the reaction of many people to the destruction that follows upon various policies — even as things worsen at an accelerating rate, they blame the remains of the social order that they sought to improve with those policies.