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Five Horror Comics that Influenced “Doctor Crowe”

Writer Corey Fryia is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to publish his newest comic, Doctor Crowe from 215 Ink.  He stopped by to share five horror comics that led to the creation of the book.  

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5. Creepy

Creepy was originally a horror-comics magazine that started in the ‘60s.  Back then, you could pick up a copy of Creepy at your local newsstand and enjoy its anthology-like format of classic, black-and-white horror shorts. Today, Dark Horse publishes the anthology in a more traditional comic book format, but the tradition of anthology style horror shorts continues.

Each issue of the Doctor Crowe mini-series features four separate, serial anthology-style adventures that pit Dr. Crowe and his allies against unique, otherworldly threats that must be eliminated at all costs. Naturally, when I was looking for some guidance in how to pace these horror adventures I turned to the pages of Creepy.

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4. Ghosted

If I’ve said it once, then I’ve said it a thousand times – I am a huge fan of Josh Williamson’s writing. I am almost 99.9% sure that I’ve read all of his published work. One of those published works is the Image series called Ghosted.

Ghosted is important to me as a writer for two reasons. The first reason is that this is the series that first introduced me to Josh Williamson’s writing and, without gushing too much, Josh’s writing has had big influence on the way I approach my writing. And that is leads right into the second reason – Ghosted is the series that nudged me in the direction of trying my hand at writing a horror comic. The end result is Doctor Crowe.

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3.  American Vampire

When it comes to modern day horror comics, there are few books that compare to American Vampire. Scott Snyder is a premiere horror writer (among other things) and Rafael Albuquerque is gruesomely beautiful.  Needless to say, I love this series.

When it came time dream up all these horrific monsters and supernatural creatures that Dr. Crowe encounters, I turned my eyes to American Vampire for design inspiration and even used several panels from series as inspiration/reference for the art team.

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2. Baltimore

What more can be said about Mike Mignola? Simply referring to him as a comic book legend doesn’t feel like enough.  Most folks are familiar with his work on Hellboy and B.P.R.D, but the Mignolaverse series that influenced Doctor Crowe the most was far and away Baltimore.

It’s easy to look at Baltimore and Doctor Crowe and see some similarities, but interestingly enough I wasn’t introduced to Baltimore until the first issue of Doctor Crowe was already completed. That being said, it has helped inspire my writing process for the second issue and I only wish that I read started picking up the Baltimore trades earlier. I was totally missing out!

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1. Five Ghosts

“Wait a minute! Five Ghosts isn’t purely a horror comic! How on Earth did it make this list?  This is preposterous! “

Five Ghosts made this list because, as far as comic book influences go with Doctor Crowe, there is no series out there that has influenced my approach to this mini-series as much as Frank Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham’s Five Ghosts. If you’re unfamiliar with this Image series, Five Ghosts chronicles the travels of treasure hunter Fabian Gray and his rare ability to harness the ghosts of five literary characters. Those literary characters are Merlin, Robin Hood, Sherlock Holmes, Miyamoto Musashi and…Count Dracula!

While Five Ghosts skews more towards pulp/action/adventure, there are horror elements injected throughout, the entire series, especially when the ghost of “the Vampire” (aka Count Dracula) comes into play. In fact, the most recent Five Ghosts story arc, Monsters and Men, packs quite the pulp-filled horror punch. As both a creator and a reader, there are few books that I look forward to reading more month in and month out than Five Ghosts.

Corey Fryia is a Canadian comic book writer and occasional editor who resides in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He’s the writer/co-creator of “Doctor Crowe” from 215 Ink and the co-editor of “Out of the Blue: A Collection of Strange Stories” and the upcoming sequel, “Out of the Blue: A Collection of Campfire Tales,” has had shorts published in various independent publications. You can find more info on Corey's work by visiting and follow him on Twitter @coreyfryia.

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About The Author
James Ferguson
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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