Grab It Right
Hailing from the subtle time machine days of 1964 comes this classic issue of Creepy magazine by Warren publishing sporting a classically iconic cover by the one and only Frank Frezetta. This issue is an old school DM's dream with a classic mix of horror, science fiction, sword and sorcery all done with the dark edginess of Warren from its hey days. There is a ton to mine from this issue The contents speak for themselves and here here's what's included with the stories in this issue : Thane: City of Doom by Steve Ditko and Archie Goodwin; Adam Link, Champion Athlete by Joe Orlando and Otto Binder; The Adventure of the German Student by Jerry Grandenetti and Archie Goodwin (from the story by Washington Irving); The River by Johnny Craig; and The Terror Beyond Time by Neal Adams and Archie Goodwin. Also includes Creepy Fan Club information. Cover art by Frank Frazetta. Cover price $0.40.This issue is a microcosmic trip back in time to when the blending of genres wasn't quite so stable. Like many of the horror comics of the thirties, forties and fifties. Creepy was throwback in time and tastes. While not much has changed really. The iconic stories of Warren always seemed to walk a fine balance between tasteless and iconic. Many times they often broke the conventions of their subjects. This makes them very suitable for use as adventure fodder.
Thane: City of Doom by Steve Ditko and Archie Goodwin is a really nice little sword & sorcery tale that plays fast and loose with the conventions of the traditions of S&S. There's plenty of magic, monsters, excellent artwork, and a twisted ironic slant to the tale but there's also room to mine this tale as fodder for a sword & sorcery tale or as a jump off point for other explorers of this ruined city state. What for example is happening below the ruins of City of Doom. Are there more secrets just waiting for a clever DM to exploit? You bet there are if your A. Willing to invent them and B. Are willing to use the elements of the story to create your own woven sword and sorcery tale. This story makes an excellent jump point for an AS&SH or sword & sorcery retroclone idea.
Adam Link, Champion Athlete by Joe Orlando and Otto Binder, Adam Link is one of those characters whose iconic and status transcends the material. If you want to know what a golem or android would be like in a Weird Tales or a science fantasy setting. This tale is a good jump off point. This tale is perfect fodder for the Weird Adventures retroclone setting or any pulp science fantasy setting. There are several gimmicks that could be applied to any robotic or old school golem PC or NPC as well in this one.
The Adventure of the German Student by Jerry Grandenetti and Archie Goodwin (from the story by Washington Irving). You know your in for a Gothic fueled treat when Archie Goodwin and Jerry Grandentetti are at the helm. Everything about this story is perfect fuel for a Ravenloft style retroclone adventure or for as fodder for a Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonsque fueled game adventure. There's a bit of meat for this one and if I was going to pull from this tale. I would certainly track down and read the original tale. This tale could also with a bit of wrangling be used for a Lamentations Of The Flame Princess style game to boot.
The River by Johnny Craig, this tale makes an excellent adventure encounter bit. There's a whole subtle gimmick about the story that screams Gothic adventure fuel. The art isn't bad at all and certainly the characters of the tale could make decent NPC's.
and The Terror Beyond Time by Neal Adams and Archie Goodwin. This is a classic in the Lovecraftian school of subtle and twisted with a bit of tweaking this could be perfect fodder for a mini adventure encounter with bells. All in all this isn't a bad little tale at all.
Looking through this issue is like taking a mini time trip for me especially looking at the Creepy Fan Club information and staring at that cover art by Frank Frazetta, and finally that price tag of $0.40. is making me want to take a trip down to the local drug store and see if the latest issue is in stock.
Hope that this issue is going to help you out for some of your old school OSR gaming inspiration.