Creepy and Eerie return… but who owns the characters?

I’m a huge fan of Warren’s classic titles Creepy and Eerie — the time travelling ‘Rook’ a particular favourite character — so make mo apologies for a straight as supplied reprint of Dark Horse’s press release about their revival, although I have to wonder quite where the copyright lies as regards some of the characters featured in the original titles. See below for more about this.

The magazines that gave a whole generation the shivers are back. Creepy and Eerie were the definitive horror and sci-fi comics of the 1960s and flourished up until the early 1980s. Dark Horse Comics has entered into an agreement with New Comic Company to create archive editions of this classic material, as well as launch new Creepy and Eerie comics for modern horror fans. The licensing deal will encompass publishing, select film and TV development, and merchandising. Many of today’s brightest stars will lend their talents to the venture, including horror legend Bernie Wrightson (City of Others) and modern master Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Criminal Macabre).

Creepy is best remembered for its classic horror and was hosted by Uncle Creepy, while Eerie often ventured into science fiction and featured Cousin Eerie as its host. The rest of the gang includes Hunter, Child, El Cid, Marvin the Dead Thing, and the newly developed Creepy Family.

The magazines, originally published by Jim Warren are remembered as presenting some of the era’s greatest genre comics work.

“Both Creepy and Eerie are fondly remembered by comics fans as representing the best of science fiction and horror, and Dark Horse is proud and excited to relaunch these classic titles,” said Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson.

“Mike Richardson and Dark Horse have an impressive and deep understanding of what it will take to help us correctly re-launch Creepy and Eerie. It’s a great fit for our brands,” said New Comic executive and Submarine Entertainment Co-President Dan Braun, who negotiated the deal in cooperation with CAA — who represents both New Comic and Dark Horse. Deals in TV and Film are expected to be announced shortly.

New Comic Company acquired all rights in all media to the Creepy and Eerie comic book series earlier this year and was formed by New York based Submarine Entertainment and Los Angeles based Grand Canal Film Works.

New efforts are expected to debut this fall with the classic tales being prepared for the hardcover Dark Horse Archive series.

New Comic and Grand Canal Film Works executive Craig Haffner added, “The depth of this library across the horror, sci-fi, and fantasy genres makes it truly tantalizing for a multitude of different platforms. Our association with Dark Horse will take us one step closer to realizing our goal of returning the Creepy and Eerie brands to their former stature and beyond.”

Dark Horse has set a tentative release date for the comics in early 2008.

I think this is great news: many of the Warren strips are simply superb, and well deserving of a modern collection. However, given the bizarre history of Warren, I suspect that since some creators feel they own the characters published — creator Bill Dubay says he owns “The Rook” for example — there may be some interesting spats ahead. Other characters and stories may also have reverted to the artists.

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The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



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