FOR THE LOVE OF WARREN: HOW I DISCOVERED REALLY GOOD HORROR COMICS, AND SOME FERVENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEGINNERS

“Pinball Wizard” (CREEPY #66, November 1974)-¬†from writer Doug Moench (of MASTER OF KUNG FU fame) and Richard Corben, this is the story of nice old man who runs the neighborhood malt shop, but he is constantly harassed by mob thugs who rough him up for protection money. When the thugs kill the kindly old duffer, a pinball-loving young boy takes matters into his own hands, proving that you’d better be nice to kids (and those they love) because you never know what kind of powers are at their disposal…

“Thrillkill” (CREEPY #75, November 1975)-writer Jim Stenstrum and artist Neal Adams team up for what is considered by many to be the single finest hour for the Warren stories. A horror story of an all-too-human nature, this chronicles a sniper with a hunting rifle who perches atop a building and starts picking off random innocent passersby. While shocking carnage is depicted in ultra-realistic detail, the script relates what leads up to the bloodbath and its shattering in-the-moment terror.

Neal Adams at the top of his game, and that’s saying something!

It sounds pretty sparse, but this is hardcore stuff with an excellent script and is one of the highlights of Adams’s already impressive career. Simply put, this is one of the best stories ever printed in the comics medium and if created in the post-Columbine environment it would probably never see print.

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