When I was a little kid, the only comics I ever had any interest in were from the horror genre.
My siblings and I would be able to trade comics at the local second hand book shop - check three in, take three out - and apart from a brief Scrooge McDuck phase, I was almost exclusively digging around in the horror comic book bin.
These comics were in pretty good condition considering how many hands they passed through. No such thing as protective plastic sleeves or cardboard backing boards in those days - as least not at the comic-book exchange.
I wonder sometimes if anyone worried about what I was reading? Ghouls and zombies, vampires and monsters rising from the dead - skin falling from limbs and eyes hanging from sockets - I couldn’t get enough of the stuff. I still remember so many of the images but not many of the stories.
As I got older I kept up my interest in the subject matter. Sunday Night Horrors were the highlight of my week when I was actually able to stay awake through Radio With Pictures (olden days music video programme) I’d be rewarded, and terrified, by now classic horror tropes. My favourite ones were adapted from Edgar Allen Poe stories: The House of Usher, The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart.
It’s no wonder I was scared of the dark all.the.time.
If I managed to a) circumnavigate my mother making me go to bed at a reasonable time on a Sunday night, and b) manage to get through Radio With Picture’s hour-long music show, the Sunday Horrors would be the very best if c) The Abominable Dr. Phibes was the film shown.
It was my all-time favourite. Dr Phibes visits the ten biblical plagues of Egypt upon the people who caused his beautiful wife’s death. I especially loved the plague of locusts. Dr Phibes spent years and his considerable resources planning and plotting the death of each of his victims - one more ingenious and more gruesome than the last.
Late at night on a Sunday is still the best time to watch horror movies, in my opinion. Of course, now-a-days with on-demand and streaming Netflix and all that jazz, you might suggest I could just tee up a movie for 11am Sundays, but there’s just something about watching random horror classics “on TV” for that idea that there are others out there doing the same and also for those much needed advert breaks to calm the heart between frights.