Brand new from Hibernia Press comes another of their comics archives titles, It’s Ghastly, the untimely demise of Scream! is an excellent addition to the histories of British comics from the seventies and eighties.
Scream! was a well remembered but sadly short-lived horror comic that ran for 15 issues in 1984 before industrial action by the National Union of Journalists led to its premature cancellation. David McDonald has interviewed the editors and many of the comic’s creators to detail the trials and tribulations of publishing a scary comic when Britain was gripped by the video-nasties frenzy and IPC still had bad memories of the media outcry that ended their Action title. The result is another fascinating glimpse behind the scenes that fits in nicely alongside Steve MacManus’ memoir The Mighty One, and Hibernia’s previous archive about Action.
I didn’t read Scream! at the time and confess I knew very little about it until 2000AD published their collection of Monster. However I find the background facts and stories about titles from this period fascinating and McDonald has produced an absolute stunning history of a comic that has now acquired cult status.
Inside you will find interviews with Mr Ghastly McNasty himself, Ian Rimmer, and creators including Simon Furman, as well as snippets from Dave Gibbons, Ian Gibbons and David Roach. The multi-talented Mike Carroll has produced some stunning recreations of the planned covers for the unpublished issues 16, 17 and 18, the highlight of which may be the wraparound Haunted Wood image by Jose Casanovas, another Spanish artist that I know far too little about.
There are also intriguing glimpses of stories that were not published, or ideas that never came to fruition. Alan Moore’s unused plot for the Monster strip is chief amongst these, but there was also a shelved idea for a Werewolf story which the editors intended to ask the late, great Steve Dillon to draw. We all know and love Dillon’s Cry of the Werewolf story in the Prog so the idea of him creating more fanged menaces for Scream! is a tantalising glimpse at what might have been.
Also included is an unpublished story called The Nightcomers with art by Jose Gonzales. Original writer Simon Furman has rescripted the tale and Jim Campbell has done a splendid job of restoring and lettering the artwork.
It’s Ghastly is another wonderful book from Hibernia. Sixty pages, ten of them in colour and available for a mere £7.50 from their website. Their print runs are limited so grab a copy now while stocks last and learn more about “Britain’s creepiest comic”. Highly recommended.