Scream!

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This article is about the British comic series. For the Misfits song by the same name, see Scream! (song). For other uses, see Scream! (disambiguation).

Scream! was a British weekly comic anthology with a horror theme, running from March 24, 1984 until 30 June 1984, published by IPC Magazines.

With a tagline of "not for the nervous", Scream! was supposedly edited by the fictional Ghastly McNasty. Ghastly's face was concealed by a hood, and a regular feature of the comic involved readers sending in drawings of what they believed he looked like.

15 issues were published before the title was cancelled due to an industrial printer's strike. Scream! was absorbed by Eagle, with the two most popular strips continuing in that publication. There were also five Summer Specials released, mostly consisting of reprints of horror-themed stories from IPC's back catalogue.

Stories[edit]

Stories included:

  • The Dracula File - the lead strip, about Dracula hunting in 1980s England and occasionally written by Simon Furman (famous for writing Transformers).
  • Fiends and Neighbours - a reprint from a more mainstream IPC comic Cor!!, about a family of monsters living next door to an ordinary couple.
  • A Ghastly Tale - one-off strips introduced by Ghastly himself.
  • Library of Death - one-off morality tales.
  • Monster - serial about a deformed man ('Uncle Terry') who grew up locked in an attic, similar to the Monster of Glamis. The strip borrowed from the 'gentle monster on the run' archetype as espoused by the Hulk, as Terry inevitably escaped, tending to murder people he didn't like due to his inhuman strength and lack of social restraint. Notably the script for the first instalment was credited to Alan Moore, with subsequent scripts credited to "Rick Clark," a pseudonym of John Wagner. After Scream! closed Monster continued in Eagle for some years.
  • The Nightcomers - about a haunted house which killed a husband-and-wife investigator team - their children were drawn to the house to continue the investigation.
  • Tales from the Grave - short stories illustrating the depravity of Victorian era London.
  • Terror of the Cats - an ill-fated experiment to harness the psychic energy of cats resulted in local cats becoming enraged and attacking people in a small town. This too was written by Simon Furman.
  • The Thirteenth Floor - Scream!'s most popular strip, concerning "Max" a crazed computer, in charge of an elevator in an apartment building - when someone bad or evil steps inside, "Max" would take them to The Thirteenth Floor as punishment. It continued in Eagle for several years after the demise of Scream!. The first 11 episodes were reprinted in Hibernia Books' 2007 collection, 'The Thirteenth Floor'.

Cancellation[edit]

It is an urban myth that the Scream! comic was banned due to a flurry of complaints from parents with such claims that "Scream!" being aimed at a younger audience, receiving a backlash from concerned parents over cover art and content, deemed unacceptable by adults who supposedly claimed that it was pushing graphic violence (mainly horror and fantasy) on younger children. This rumour by many fans and collectors of this short lived IPC publication is often cited for the reason of it only running up to fifteen issues (last issue dated: 30th June 1984), but on the contrary, it was nothing of the kind but merely an unfortunate industrial strike involving the publication's printers. The industrial strike resulted in IPC not being able to print any comics for several weeks. This repercussion led IPC to feel the publication had lost momentum, opting to cut their losses and cancelling it, leaving the strip stories within, unfinished. Scream re-emerged eight weeks later as the amalgamated Eagle and Scream! (issue date: 1st September 1984). Another comic title that fell the same fate with this particular industrial strike was Tammy. Tammy disappeared also at the end of June, and then two months later the Tammy masthead was added to Girl for a handful of issues before Girl received a makeover and relaunched with a new look.

References[edit]