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Back-issue bins are a treasure trove of oddities and forgotten treasures, and one rarity from the United Kingdom may be making its return.
During a special Comica Conversations event held Sunday at the British Library, veteran writer Pat Mills revealed there’s been talk of collecting serials from the long out-of-print horror anthology Misty — “Moonchild” by Mills and John Armstrong, and “The Four Faces of Eve” by Malcolm Shaw and Brian Delaney. If successful, this would be the first proper printing of material from Misty since the magazine’s closing in 1984; in 2009 Titan announced a collection, but sadly it never materialized.
Although relatively unknown by American audiences, the girls comic is a fondly remembered part of the 1970s U.K. comics scene. Launched in 1978, Misty specialized in supernatural horror, and contained both standalone stories and serials like the aforementioned “Moonchild” and “The Four Faces of Eve.” Although roughly comparable to American anthologies like Tales From the Crypt, Misty (and a competing title, Spellbound) veered from the O. Henry-style twist endings in favor of psychological horror.
“IPC’s supernatural comic of the Seventies, Misty, gave us new moral lessons every week, often in superb punishment-fitting-the-crime style,” recounted the BBC’s Jac Rayner. “Don’t be vain, or ugly monsters will tear you apart. Don’t cause trouble at your mum’s shop, or you will be turned into a shop dummy. Don’t collect butterflies, or aliens will hunt and kill you for their collections. Don’t eat prawns, or prawnlike aliens will eat you, having first dipped you in garlic sauce. The beauty — or horror — of Misty was that you didn’t even have to be an evil person for a terrible fate to take you – you only had to have one tiny little moral hiccup, if that, to be damned for all eternity.”
The best way currently to get a taste of Misty is digitally, as the copyright-holders Egmont have made some of Mills’ Misty stories available on the comics app Sequential. But given Mills’ comments, we could be seeing something more substantial — and physical — in the near future.