Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trick Or Treat Surprise - Roger Corman's The Raven -- The Comic Book

Those of you who are old enough and have a good memory may recall that filmmaker and producer Roger Corman once attempted to launch a line of comics based on films he
had created for drive-in fare.

Cosmic Comics hit comic book store shelves in 1995 featuring the titles Death Race 2020, Caged Heat 3000, Rock and Roll High School, Little Shoppe of Horrors and others. Unfortunately, they were very short-lived. What may interest you is that these were not the first comic book attempts to bring Corman's work to the four color newsprint page.

Back in the 60s, the book publisher Dell published quite a few comic books, many of which were licensed titles including Disney (Uncle Scrooge was the king of the heap, selling over 1 million issues per month), Looney Tunes, Little Lulu, Hanna-Barbera, TV shows and loads of one-shots based on holiday-themes and even horror movies (Universal, AIP).

It was in the Dell movie comics where Corman's work appeared. In the early 60s, Corman had seized upon an unusual bout of success adapting stories of the macabre and morbid written by Edgar Allan Poe, starting with The Fall of the House of Usher. Dell, which was allowed to publish without the censorship of the Comics Code, released three titles based on Poe films Corman directed: The Raven, The Masque of the Red Death and Tomb of Ligeia. Maybe the Comics Code thought these were adaptations along the lines of Classics Illustrated, which also had no CC seal.

As one might expect, the adaptations of the movies took liberties to fit their stories in just over 30 pages. They aren't really scary either. Still, Vincent Price's face prominently on the cover of The Raven serves to make this writer nostalgic for those days when horror could be conjured minus CG
effects and with great old school acting.

And now, The Raven...

Click on the page images to see larger legible versions. This comic adaptation may well be (c) & TM MGM, who own most of the AIP library of the era of the Corman Poe films. We present this comic just because we miss those old days, and it is Halloween.

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