Creepy #91 (1977)

What a line-up in this one! Neal Adams! (a reprint, but a terrific story). A clever monster story by Berni(e) Wrightson! A story by John Severin with inks by Wally Wood – a combination I’ve never, ever seen before! The great Alex Toth! The underrated Luis Bermejo! Berni(e) Wrightson in collaboration with Jeff Jones! And, perhaps most amazing of all, a story written by Dave Sim.
 
Yeah, Dave Sim. The cartoonist who wrote and drew 300 issues of Cerebus, one of the most controversial and famous cartoonists of all time, a true independent spirit maven, writes a story in this issue, illustrated by the great Russ Heath.
 
It’s weird to remember back to around when Cerebus launched, when Sim was simply a big name fan looking to go professional. He did work for many fanzines in ’76 and ’77, and obviously sold a few professional stories. Sim’s talked many times how creating Cerebus was in some ways an attempt to find work at the big publishers. It’s clear that Sim tried to diversify his portfolio of quality work in an effort to make himself more useful to publishers, a very interesting strategy.
 
The story’s really not too bad. It’s a twist ending story about an axe murderer who gets his comeuppance. It’s not a great story, but "Shadow of the Axe" is quite readable and, quite logically, plays to the strengths of artist Heath. I like the way that Sim obviously gave some thought to how the story would play on the page, and how the rhythm of the events would play out. It’s a solidly professional bit of writing, and it’s clear that if the ‘bus hadn’t worked out, Sim could have had a decent career as a freelance writer.
 
But that’s parallel universe stuff. In this universe it was a gateway to bigger and better work.
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