• Tom Sutton’s Creepy Things

    Published by: IDW Publishing / Yoe Books!
    Released on: Jan. 7, 2015
    Writer: Tom Sutton, Nicola Cuti, Joe Gill
    Artist: Tom Sutton
    Cover Artist: Tom Sutton
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    Tom Sutton was a major contributor to the world of post-code horror comic books and magazines, working for the big guys and for the not-so big guys as well. Although his name may not be among the first to come up in a conversation about horror comic artists, his work stands out in a sea of talent that was cranking out those books in the 1970s. Some of his work is amazingly creepy and to a fragile young mind his work could be quite disturbing. The cover of Ghostly Haunts #41, featured in this book, was an image that stuck with this reader for a long time and seeing it again for the first time in decades immediately brought back an eerie feeling. That’s some serious power right there.

    Editors Michael Ambrose and Donnie Pitchford want to be sure that Sutton’s legacy remains fresh while exposing a new audience to his talents, and an introduction by Michael Ambrose relays a lot of great information about the man and his career. Sadly Tom Sutton is no longer among the living, but thankfully he left a lot of material behind to keep horror comic lovers happy for years to come.

    Sutton’s career spanned across publishers, working for companies producing the magazine-sized comics (their size made them exempt from Comics Code) in all their black-and-white grandeur and jumping over to color comics to also pay the bills. Check out his credentials; the list is gigantic. He was the artist on the very first Vampirella story for Warren Publishing and was there in the early years of Creepy and Eerie. Marvel Comics took him and put him on such titles as Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, and Werewolf By Night. Kitchen Sink snagged him for their Death Rattle series; Skywald couldn’t get enough of him; First Comics hired him. He was a workhorse for the reportedly fast-paying Charlton Comics, working on war titles and horror ones alike such as Fightin’ Army, Fightin’ Marines, Attack, Ghost Manor, Haunted Love, the aforementioned Ghostly Haunts, and Creepy Things, for which this book is named. In fact this book focuses on his work with Charlton Comics, representing a great segment of his warped, twisted, and sometimes rushed-looking pencils and paints.

    Some of the stories contained within this volume feature original art pages, and Sutton would no doubt thank the editors for doing so. Charlton was mentioned in the introduction to be pretty cheap and the coloring job on those titles along with the production values made Sutton’s work suffer. It’s nice to see the unmolested work as it was submitted to the publisher, because the inferior printing really muddies up his stuff. It’s night and day by comparison. His work was so much more than presented by Charlton (or the reprint label Modern Comics, whose stuff looked no better), and thanks to the editors for making sure th at was made clearly evident.

    The folks at Yoe Books have done a fine job with paying tribute to Tom Sutton. The information and materials featured here well-worth the price of admission and then some, and the comic stories highlighted inside are wildly entertaining. This is part of “The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics” series, and every volume of which is nothing short of fantastic stuff. It comes unquestionably and whole-heartedly recommended.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Ian Jane's Avatar
      Ian Jane -
      This book is GREAT, Sutton should be a much bigger name than he is. I loved every page of this.
    1. Todd Jordan's Avatar
      Todd Jordan -
      I remember a bunch of those comics from when I was a kid. Mostly the covers, but yeah. His stuff in Warren's pubs was always good stuff to ogle at. I wonder if his Charlton work kept him from being more of a name?