Review Scream Comic (1984)

Discussion in 'Comics: General' started by Doctor Omega, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Contributor

    Feb 5, 2017
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    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.

    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".

    Stories included:

    • Fiends and Neighbours - a reprint from a more mainstream IPC comic Cor!!, about a family of monsters living next door to an ordinary couple
    • 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.
    • 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'.

    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.

    Rimmer claims to have taken inspiration for the name Ghastly McNasty from a Liverpool band called Filthy 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.

    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.

    It subsequently merged with Eagle to form Eagle and Scream!, in which the series Monster and The Thirteenth Floor were continued.

    There were also six seasonal specials released, mostly consisting of reprints of horror-themed stories from IPC's back catalogue.


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