Hurrah! The Freaky Forum is back up and running after an extended period of spring cleaning or whatnot… Freaky Forum is the BB attached to the most excellent Back From The Depths website, which is devoted to 80s UK horror anthology comic Scream!
For those who have forgotten, or who just never knew, Scream! was a title published by IPC towards the end of the launch-merge-and-fold days of the British comic industry; it ran for 15 issues before being made the junior partner to Eagle (though Max, the fiendish computer from ‘The Thirteenth Floor’, assumed editorship of the hallowed Eagle for many years to come).
And yet in those fifteen short issues, it established itself as one of the strongest new papers of the eighties, remembered fondly by its readers, and its influence stretching beyond its own pages, thanks to its dark humour and expressionistic artwork, its wonderful stories (‘The Thirteenth Floor’ – homicidal computer runs a state-of-the-art council towerblock!; ‘Monster’ – Elephant Man meets Of Mice And Men via White Heat; all those one-off Twilight Zone/Tales From The Crypt-style strips), and its no-frills approach to packing in as many scares as possible each issue:
All in all, it had been an auspicious debut – the kind of comic that provided near Action levels of blood and gore.
And so it continued.
With its regular line-up of freaks and fools, and creeps and ghouls, the comic delivered week after week, however, the powers that be weren’t happy and – for some reason – the title was pulled with no warning (nary a ‘Great news for readers inside’) after fifteen issues. Even Ghastly McNasty hadn’t been informed, and went about his business as usual (‘If you’d like to see more from Dracula’s blood-soaked history…write and tell me’). However, the following week, Scream! was consumed by Eagle mk II…
As for why the axe fell, rumours still persist to this day. Was the comic just too gruesome for the IPC bigwigs? Or was it just another victim of the hard financial realities of the Eighties? Whatever; with those fifteen Scream! comics now considered collector’s items by latter-day fans, it’s achieved some sort of life after death – which is entirely appropriate when you think about it.
(from The Ultimate Book Of British Comics by Graham Kibble-White)
There’s the story behind the comic, character profiles, and even whole strips republished so you can relive the chills and spills you felt back when you first read the comic – or you can lose your Scream! cherry right now…
Anyways, BFTD and the Freaky Forum are both very enjoyable, and part of an effort to create a whole new, reader-created issue of the comic!
We are going to make a tribute to Scream!
The concept has been discussed in great depth on the forum and many great and original ideas have been suggested. We are always looking for new artists and writers to help bring this idea to life. Anyone with an interest in horror, comics, art or writing is welcome to join this project.
This site will initially show the stories online. Including concept artwork, story boards, rough drafts and general ideas. The ultimate goal is to collect the best of these stories and produce a paper-based tribute comic to Scream! You can be part of this amazing new vision as any contributions, from ideas to artwork, are always welcome. Just remember, It’s Not for the Nervous!
So have a look round, join the boards, and get involved in this marvellous project 🙂