Scream! (comics)

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Scream!
The cover of the first issue of Scream!
Publication information
PublisherIPC Magazines
ScheduleWeekly
FormatAnthology
GenreHorror
Publication dateMarch – June 1984
No. of issues15
Creative team
Written byJohn Wagner, Alan Grant, Simon Furman, Alan Moore
Artist(s)José Ortiz, Eric Bradbury, Brendan McCarthy

Scream! was a British weekly horror comic anthology that was published for 15 issues by IPC Magazines in 1984.

Controversy over horror comics had led to the introduction of the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955, under which the first prosecution occurred in 1970.[1] The editorial approach to Scream! was to de-emphasise the horror label and deliberately not repeat the style of its more controversial precursors, making it more tongue-in-cheek for younger readers, as evidenced by its coverline "not for the nervous".[2]

List of stories[edit]

Stories included:

  • The Dracula File - the lead strip, about Dracula hunting in 1980s England. Written mainly by Gerry Finley-Day 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 the comic's fictional editor, Ghastly.
  • 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 a 12-storey apartment building - when someone bad or evil steps inside, Max would take them to The Thirteenth Floor, a virtual reality where they would be tormented or killed. 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'. Originally written by John Wagner and Alan Grant (under the pseudonym Ian Holland).

Editor[edit]

Scream! was edited by Barrie Tomlinson, Ian Rimmer and Simon Furman but in the tradition of counterparts such as 2000 AD and Tornado it was claimed to be edited by its fictional host, Ghastly McNasty.[3] Rimmer claims to have taken inspiration for the name Ghastly McNasty from a Liverpool band called Filthy McNasty.[3] 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.

Cancellation[edit]

Despite fan speculation that Scream! was cancelled due to complaints from the public the reason it, along with five other IPC titles, ceased publication was in response to an industrial dispute.[3][4][2] It subsequently merged with Eagle to form Eagle and Scream!, in which the series Monster and The Thirteenth Floor were continued.[3] There were also six seasonal specials released, mostly consisting of reprints of horror-themed stories from IPC's back catalogue.

Collected editions[edit]

  • Monster (Rebellion Developments, 2016, ISBN 9781781084533)
  • The Dracula File (Rebellion, 2017, ISBN 9781781085998

2017 special issue[edit]

After Rebellion Developments acquired the rights to the stories, a Scream! & Misty Halloween Special was published in October 2017. This included all-new stories based on characters from both comics.

Further reading[edit]

  • 'IT’S GHASTLY’ The untimely demise of Scream! (64 pages, Hibernia Comics, 2016)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Baker, Martin (1984). A Haunt of Fears: The Strange History of the British Horror Comics Campaign. London: Pluto. pp. 8–17. ISBN 0861047516.
  2. ^ a b 2000 AD (19 December 2016). "Eagle, Thrill-power, and Scream: Barrie Tomlinson, part two". Soundcloud. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d 2000 AD (17 June 2016). "The Cursed Earth Uncensored and Scream!". Soundcloud. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
  4. ^ Flood, Alison (8 January 2016). "Alan Moore's early comic Monster to be republished". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2017.