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Thursday, October 27, 2016

It's Ghastly!

It's Ghastly! is the latest publication from David McDonald's Hibernia and it's a corker if you're a fan of the short-lived eighties comic Scream! A thorough and hugely informative volume, it includes interviews with everyone involved editorially, from group editor Barrie Tomlinson and editor Ian Rimmer to sub-editor Simon Furman (before he made his name on Transformers).

As Hibernia have already published a number of strips from the title—and Rebellion recently reprinted 'Monster'—some of the history of the paper has already been told. Here David delves into the origins of the title and unearths a lot of artwork that remained unpublished, or was published in different forms, when Scream! was suddenly dropped after only 15 issues. Artwork had already been prepared for a number of strips and covers, which means that this volume contains the complete 4-part story that would have continued the adventures of 'The Nightcomers', Rick and Beth Rogan. With only eight pages of the original script still existing, author Simon Furman has rescripted the rest and the 16 pages have been newly lettered.

Elsewhere, lost covers have been mocked up by Mike Carroll and two scripts for unpublished short stories have been reproduced for the first time, one by Kev F. Sutherland, who confesses that he spent many months trying to get a story accepted in the paper, only to have one accepted shortly before the title folded.

Another interesting insight is into a number of stories that were considered for the comic, including a werewolf serial that was conceived following the appearance of a werewolf yarn drawn by the late Steve Dillon and a humour strip intended to be in the vein of 'The Bojeffries Saga' that was rejected by management, who wanted to use a reprint of an existing strip.

For anyone who loves knowing about the nuts and bolts of how a comic came to be, this is a goldmine of information. If you remember Scream! at all, this will be a fantastic trip down an enjoyably creepy memory lane.

It's Ghastly! Hibernia, 27 October 2016, 66pp, £7.50. Available from Hibernia.

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