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Completely Doomed by Richard Matheson,David Schow,F. Paul Wilson,Kristian Donaldson,Robert Bloch

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This special collection hearkens back to the best creepy, eerie horror comics of yesteryear, only these feature the added bonus of being adapted from stories by horror literature legends Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson, David J. Schow and Paul F. Wilson by comics luminaries like Ashley Wood, Ted McKeever and many more. Completely Doomed features the Eisner-nominated “Blood Son” by Wood and Chris Ryall, and 15 other adapted tales of wretched excess and predestined downfall, all presided over by the macabre madame, Ms. Doomed.

Reviews (6)
‘Doomed’ was a black and white comic magazine published by IDW; four issues were released, from October, 2005, to December, 2006. ‘Completely Doomed’ is a trade paperback that compiles selected stories from the magazine.

‘Doomed’ was an effort to revive the ‘Creepy’ and Eerie’ magazine-format horror anthologies pioneered by Warren publishing in the 60s, 70s, and 80s.

It’s a laudable goal, albeit one that has been tried multiple times, by multiple indie comic publishers.

Unfortunately, IDW is a low-budget comic book publisher, playing a role in the contemporary comics industry equivalent to that of Charlton Comics in the 60s and 70s.

IDW doesn’t pay top rates for writers or artists, preferring instead to rely heavily on novices and newcomers, who accept low rates in exchange for being given opportunities to break into the industry. Whatever one can say about the merits of this approach, this business model seems to be working, as IDW continues to field titles.

But, as everyone knows, you get what you pay for…....and in the case of ‘Doomed’, what you get is decidedly mediocre.

The artwork throughout this compilation is of very poor quality. Too many panels have the look of preliminary draft sketches and outlines, rather than polished, finalized artwork. Indeed, many of the artists in 'Doomed' seem to have only a rudimentary understanding of draftsmanship, and aspire to hide this fact by relentlessly pursuing the cartoony, quasi-abstract style of ‘indie’ comics. Their efforts to incorporate the visual effects of the black-and-white comic magazines of the 70s, such as Zip-A-Tone, ink washes, and graytones, display a clumsy, unschooled quality.

When you try to compare the illustrations in ‘Doomed’ with those of Warren artists such as Bernie Wrightson, Steve Ditko, Esteban Maroto, Alfredo Alcala, Russ Heath, Richard Corben, Reed Crandall, Alex Toth….the list goes on and on…..it’s painfully and abundantly clear that there simply is NO comparison.

The writing in ‘Doomed’ is as bad as the art. As the other reviewers here have noted, more than a few of the stories show evidence of having had whole chunks of their plot simply excised. The writers don’t make an effort to supply external narration to indicate to the reader that the narrative is disjointed and incomplete. I can’t help wondering if IDW was willing, in 2005 - 2006, to spend the money necessary to hire, and maintain, a sufficiently large editorial staff.

If it seems I’m being too harsh on IDW and ‘Doomed’, well, to be fair, Dark Horse, which currently holds the licensing rights to ‘Creepy’ and ‘Eerie’, and has issued comic-book-sized, black and white versions of those titles, hasn’t done a very impressive job, either.

I guess that it’s going to be a lot more difficult in this modern age to successfully revive the artwork and writing that made the Warren magazines so good. The worthy successors to ‘Creepy’ and ‘Eerie’ and ‘Vampirella’ and ‘Rook’ and ‘1984’ have yet to appear…….
I purchased this book because I was interested in reading "classic" horror/macabre fiction from Robert Bloch and Richard Matheson, as well as newer work from authors with disparate sensibilities, F. Paul Wilson and David Schow. I actually didn't realize this was not a text-based anthology, but a graphic-novel style anthology of short stories, from Doomed magazine.

But what an incredibly lucky accident. The stated goal of Completely Doomed was to bring back the feel of the "creepy" comics like Tales from the Crypt, an effort seen a few years back with Stephen King's "Creepshow." This volume met that goal admirably. The b/w artwork is outstanding, in a Frank Miller vein, with menace in the shadows, and film noir desperation bleeding from every panel. Several artists are involved, and their styles are disparate enough to create real visual interest.

The art is supported by very nice adaptations of the underlying stories, and the narrative drive of "good stories, well told" run through each piece. I loved reading an older story from Bloch with echoes of a Leave it to Beaver world gone mad, juxtaposed with the post-apocalyptic Nosferatism view from Horror's younger crowd. I would call out specific tales, but the truth is, I thought they all worked well when considering the author's era. I particularly enjoyed the early incarnations of motifs that have become classics...evil bugs, voodoo curses, tricky doppelgangers, and old deserted places with strange bespectacled men that you SHOULD NOT VISIT (but do.)

The book ends with a gallery of Doomed magazine covers. Several of these are exquisite, beautiful paintings that rival or surpass Norman Rockwell for detail, motion, and evocation of emotion. If horror short stories are your cup of tea (or maybe more accurately, cup of blood), then you'll enjoy this graphic anthology.

Advisory things: The gore is there, but very consistent with the "creepy comic" genre. It's artfully done, and hidden in shadows for the most part. There is some nudity, but artful and not pornographic. A small dose of implied sex, nothing explicit. (And, of course, because the genre requires it, if you have sex, you die.)

ISBN: 1600100783

Rating: 4.5/5

Votes: 573

Other Formats: doc rtf mbr lrf

ISBN13: 978-1600100789

Publisher: IDW Publishing (June 19, 2007)

Language: English

Subcategory: Graphic Novels

Pages: 240

Completely Doomed
Comics & Graphic Novels
Author: Richard Matheson,David Schow,F. Paul Wilson,Kristian Donaldson,Robert Bloch
Title: Completely Doomed