Sunday, 30 April 2017

The most forgettable comics I have ever owned - Part 18: Nightmare #1.

Nightmare #1, Thorpe & Potter
Hold on to your hats, Horror fans, because it's time for another round of the least appropriately named feature on the internet. You know. That one where I go on and on about a comic I'd once owned but had then completely forgotten about the existence of.

Of course, inevitably, as nearly always with this feature, that's not what this post is about at all.

It's about a comic whose presence in my life I've never struggled to recall. Nor whose contents I've ever truly forgotten.

Despite remembering those things, I did, however, for many years have no memory at all of what it was actually called.

What a mystery it was. The kind that could drive a man to madness. But, somehow, by some means beyond my recollection, a few years back, I stumbled across the above cover on the internet and realised at once that it belonged to the comic in question.

How well I remember its tales.

There was one about a pair of honeymooners who both turn out to have three eyes, thanks to one of them being a mutant and the other being an alien. It's a situation that I think we've all experienced at some point in our lives.

There was also a tale of an expedition to Africa that causes its leader, a conceited young woman with little grasp of how to endear herself to people, to be turned into a bee person.

There was also some sort of tale about a ghoul in a crypt.

I think there was a story set on a boat.

There may have been a tale of vampirism.

There may have been a yarn featuring legendary swamp monster The Heap but I'm not sure about that.

As far as I'm aware, Nightmare was a 1970 US publication by Skywald, which folded after twenty three issues and the, "Sky," in Skywald was Marvel Comics legend Sol Brodsky. However, the copy I had was a UK version from five years later, published by Thorpe & Porter, which differed noticeably from the original publication. For instance, even though this is issue #1, most of its material, including the cover, comes from issue #17 of the American mag. Why they decided to do it in such a random way, I have no idea but it clearly didn't work, as the mag folded after just two issues.

Despite being a Horror lover, I do remember that I didn't really like it, as it was filled with blood, guts, gore and other assorted tastelessness that offended whatever little basic human decency I have left. Even I find it hard to be entertained by the sight of a man eating human internal organs while they're still physically attached to their host body.

However, despite that, it's still a matter of relief to me that I did eventually find out what it was called and have thus spent the last few years free from the frustration of not knowing.

Once, there was a time in my life when I couldn't have discovered that. When I would have been deprived of all hope of ever again seeing a painting of a naked woman on an altar, with a chained unicorn gorilla at her side and a pile of human bones at her feet. Tim Berners-Lee, what a gift you gave to humanity. No wonder you got a knighthood.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if I approve of aliens and mutants getting married.
I think there might be something in the Bible forbidding it.
Speaking of aliens, the Trump government (if one chooses to use that term) has set up a hotline, a phone number you can call to report illegal aliens in your neighborhood. Apparently, people have been jamming it with prank calls (I assume they're fictitious, anyway) reporting space aliens, like little green men or xenomorphs that are popping out of people's rib cages.
Someone called to report that Sasquatch was illegally sneaking over the Canadian border.
Watch the skies!


Steve W. said...

I shall be on it to report Mork and Mindy as soon as I can.

Anonymous said...

Sasquatch can fly, MP?
Maybe thats why the Donald doesn't have plans for a big, beautiful wall on the Canadian border.

Anyway, Steve - Dez Skinn worked on Thorpe & Porter's comics in the mid-70s. Don't know anything about Nightmare specifically, but as an editorial method the haphazard reprinting of American comic strips does seem familiar somehow...


Charlie Horse 47 said...

Not sure if it happened in the UK too but since the cell phone camera, no more sightings of Big Foot or Aliens. How about the Loch Ness Monster? Faded away?

Kind of funny the first space ship sighting was of 3 triangular ships moving as one as aa saucer. Like in Arizona or New Mexico in the late 1940s? Press miswrote it as a flying saucer and, voila, people started seeing flying saucers for decades. Once that wore off; they started seeing aliens; once that wore off it was alien abduction... and then came the cellphone camera. Weird stuff.

Steve W. said...

There are still plenty of sighting of Bigfoot and aliens. YouTube is awash with them. It's just that the mainstream media completely ignores them nowadays, probably because it's so easy to fake them with modern technology that it's impossible to sort the wheat from the chaff.

When it comes to the Loch Ness Monster, however, sightings have fallen to virtually zero in recent years, to such a degree that I've seen people speculating that it's become extinct. Obviously, the alternative explanation is that it never existed in the first place but it seems likely we will never know.

pete doree said...

That's the only Skywald-ish book I ever remember seeing in regular newsagents too, Steve, maybe they only got the one issue out.

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