The Creeps (ongoing) – Various

5 out of 5

I’ll join in on the near unanimous praise for Rich Sala’s The Creeps: It has been able to pull off the full Eerie / Creepy effect without seeming kitsch or dated; it is thus possibly the best ongoing horror mag since those publications.

Not to say there haven’t been some quality attempts along the way, such as the primarily Bruce Jones-fueled Twisted Tales in the 80s, or even Vertigo’s Flinch did a pretty good modern spin in the early 00s, but in terms of creating that hosted anthology vibe, that experience that you can reliably turn to for a temporary transport to a world of Twilight Zone morality with a hag cackling puns at you at story’s end, The Creeps certainly has them beat.  Beyond the surface details that create the Warren mag feeling – the black and white pages, the magazine dimensions, the letters col, the painted covers – much credit goes to our overseer, Rich Sala.  Much as Matt Smith has reigned 2000 AD in to become the best anthology mag ever, Sala’s editorial oversight is what keeps Creeps stocked with fantastic, like-minded creators and quality stories, as well as an encouragement toward originality: While many of the stories follow an expected formula, Sala’s willingness to embrace deviations from the set horror staples, and allowances for adult content like nudity, give his staff room to dole out a fair share of surprises.

The last Creepy / Eerie Dark Horse iteration felt a bit too self aware for its own good.  At this point, 11 issues and a few years deep, The Creeps has proven that its ability to be a true modern-day inheritor of the Warren magazine throne is by no means a flash-in-the-pan experience, and as distribution grows – and more classic artists / writers join the team – it’s fun to think that the ride is just getting started.