“Richard Corben, stands among us like an extraterrestrial peak. He has sat in his throne for a long time, above the moving and multi-coloured field of world comics, like an effigy of the leader, a strange monolith, a sublime visitor, a solitary enigma.”
As of late I’ve totally become an addict for all things Richard Corben! My fascination for Corben’s artwork started with Hellboy: The Crooked Man (although I was familiar with some of his earlier works through Heavy Metal magazine). After I read this marvellous tale I do not exaggerate when I say it left me totally creeped out!
I made the mistake of reading it at night, and afterwards I was nearly shitting myself, scared that the Crooked Man might get me! The story made a big impact on me, of course Mike Mignola’s superb storytelling was a factor but ultimately it was Richard Corben’s artwork which totally took me by surprise.
Soon after I was discussing my experience of The Crooked Man on a comic forum (I was still a novice in regards to who Corben was), and I was surprised when a forum buddy told me that Corben was in his 70s. This guy was basically a pensioner and he was banging out masterful works of art, I was in awe.
That was when my fascination with Richard Corben started.
Later on I bought ‘Creepy Presents Richard Corben’; a marvellous hardcover collection by Dark Horse, compiling Corben’s earlier works for Creepy and Eerie magazine. Suffice to say I absolutely loved it.
I’m a big fan off short stories, and some of the stuff in this collection were absolute gems. From Corben’s rendering of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems The Raven, to what is one of the best horror story short I have ever read: ‘In Deep’.
The thing that struck out in the stories was Corben’s visual eye for detail, and the innovative way he composed his shots/ angles, almost like a masterful film director like Hitchcock.
Not forgetting his use of colour and grey tones. It brought an almost otherworldy feel to his art, sort of like a hightened sense of reality.
After reading this exquisite collection, I purchased ‘Haunt of Horror’; Corben’s take on H.P Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe. Again it was a really enjoyable read. This collection was presented in Corben’s customary black and white artwork with grey tones. And to be honest he’s one of the best when it comes to that particular style. In terms of creating atmosphere he is second to none.
But the holy grail for was some of his much earlier works such as Neverwhere, The Last Voyage of Sindbad et al. As they were titles that were out of print, and hence, much sought after they were difficult to obtain. However, I am not one for giving up easily! Not only did I eventually acquire these titles, but also Jeremy Brood, The Bodyssey and the Den series.
My biggest wish is to see these titles getting republished again, and perhaps collected in a tome such as Creepy Presents. I am certain older fans and new fans alike would jump on to that possibilty.
This blog is filled with my reviews of Corben’s works, so please feel free to have a look. To me, Corben is without doubt a genius, he’s like the Ray Harryhausen of comics; a revolutionary in the fantasy/ horror genre.
I welcome any comments and recommendations from you guys, so feel free to forward them.