Savoy Comics 
Lord Horror #1



A Savoy Schopenhauer Production


ISBN 0 86130 075 0

Script—David Britton

Art—Kris Guidio


Lord Horror 1

  The English Lord fetches up in modern day New York, shoots heroin and dispatches a few muggers and urban vigilantes. Divine sings, Horror joins The Cramps on stage and Judge Dredd, Woody Allen and Freddy Krueger from Nightmare on Elm Street are put to the razor. Mikhail Gorbachev appears at the end with the request that Lord Horror become a human nuclear device (!).

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The first Lord Horror comic, wrapped in lurid yellow. Horror's debut is a picaresque caper blending elements of the original novel—the New York setting—with the ambience of the early Meng & Ecker comics—encounters with Judge Dredd and Betty Boop—which Guidio was also drawing at this time.

The central scene sees Horror singing Some New Kinda Kick with The Cramps, representing a passing of the torch from Guidio's early work as The Cramps' first and best illustrator (Tales From The Cramps) to his notorious Savoy strips. This incendiary pairing of the Lung of England with Cleveland's finest was given new flesh with the release in 1991 of the Lord Horror recording of The Cramps' classic Garbageman.

"I always see Lord Horror as being a very Byronic character. The man is a metropolitan Hamlet. He was a fashion violator, to be honest, so I like to think I gave him his look. The man's a hairdresser's nightmare—you couldn't look like that and not be Romantic to some extent. (Lord Horror) is deliberately provocative in certain ways. There are sequences in it where I've submitted drawings to David and he's actually said to me "Oh, there can be much more blood on this page," or whatever, and there is always the desire to go beyond what the last person did. And of course it has worth—you know that approach has worth. We're now in a position where there's nothing like it. For better or for worse, good or bad, people use Savoy comics as a yardstick."

Kris Guidio, interviewed in
Clive Barker's A—Z Of Horror (Harper Prism/BBC Books, 1997)

Although this issue and its sequel stand slightly outside the main sequence of Lord Horror material, being testing grounds for the character in a new medium, both feature unique supplements in the form of a free Horror poster in each issue and a portfolio of great Guidio drawings illustrating scenes from the Lord Horror novel. The poster in the first issue proved attractive enough in Manchester for its image to be purloined for use as a flyer advertising a Halloween party at a local club. Hairstyle observers will note that the early depictions of Lord Horror show a much more restrained cockscomb than the unruly bloom which burgeons in the later series.

"A weird mash of English history and sheer fantasy."


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