Richard Corben is one of the giants of the last 50 of comic book artists, and ComicConnect is thrilled beyond words to be able to bring to market, for the first time ever, the complete 8-page story ‘Change… Into Something Comfortable’ from 1973s Creepy #58.
James Warren, Creepy’s publisher, allowed Corben to really blossom as an artist with the magazines black and white with grey tone format. Corben was able to experiment beyond the limitations of standard comic book printing, playing around with texture and tone that would become the trademark of his style. Corben was also right at home with the magazine’s horror theme, and without the comics code intruding on the subject matter and content.
‘Change… Into Something Comfortable’, written by Doug Moench, begins on Halloween as a standard werewolf tale, with a group of trick or treaters stumbling upon a real monster. The story continues along those lines with the werewolf running into, and then mercilessly slaughtering, unsuspecting Halloween revelers, before revealing itself to be something more. The werewolf, continuing to bask in the full moon, searching for more victims, happens upon a large party at a secluded mansion. Lurking as to pick off his prey the werewolf finds the partygoers more than prepared for his attacks. The guests, it is revealed, are actually monsters masquerading as humans on the one day of the year that they can fully embrace their true natures. The story ends with the werewolf, after all the murder and mayhem that he has caused, becoming a meal for the partying creatures. The story is a wonderful addition to the classic horror comic genre, with its unexpected conclusion and darkly moral message. All brought to you by the periodical’s humble host, Uncle Creepy.
Corben’s drawing in this story is nothing short of remarkable, densely illustrated in lushly painted black and white with a confidence most artists strive for but rarely achieve. The art is both welcoming and visceral, the werewolf moves with purpose, and the terror he inflicts is imprinted on the reader. Corben’s storytelling is innovative, breaking from the standard when it suits the story, page four’s opening sequence is jarring in it’s break form what is expected, bringing us right in to the action with brutal close-ups, only revealing the perpetrator reflected in a pool of blood. The story even provides a moment of empathy with our murderous werewolf, as he comes to his terrible fate, the look on his face as he realizes the terrible cost of his actions.
Stories like this are a collector’s dream, the kind of thing that becomes available so rarely that it becomes almost something out of legend. Corben is one of the most collected artists of his generation, his work imprinted on readers, giving them images and nightmares that last through the years. The rarity, especially of work form this era, drives collectors into a frenzy. We expect this story, special for its age, content, and artistic excellence, to be one of the most highly contested pieces in our Event Auction.
This story comes form the widow of long time Corben collaborator and friend Herb Arnold, an accomplished artist in his own right (his story ‘Strategic Retreat’ from Creepy #129 is also available in this auction), who collaborated with Corben, coloring much of his work in the 1980s, including this story upon its first appearance in color in 1984’s Werewolf which reprinted a collection of Corben’s 70s short stories. Arnold’s color guides from that story are up for bidding in this auction as well.
You can find this marvelous story, as well as many other great selections in the original art session of Event Auction #52, ending on December 12th.
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