Creepy Comic Conversions — Issue #01 “The Case of the Painted Beast”

Creepy Comic Conversions — Issue #01
“The Case of The Painted Beast”

Conversion: Tim Snider
Publisher: Savage AfterWorld
Pages: 20
Available Formats:
PDF (DTRPG) – $0.99
Print (other options available) – $3.99

From a master of horror and author of Cryptworld comes “Creepy Comic Conversions” a series of adventures for Cryptworld RPG based on public domain horror comics of the ’50s and ’60s. In this review, I take a look at the PDF of its premiere issue featuring “The Case of the Painted Beast”. Author Tim Snider takes golden-age comic “EERIE” Oct-Nov., 1951, Vol. 1, No. 3 and turns its plot into a working adventure.

Issue #01 begins with a reprint of the story “The Case of the Painted Beast” from Avon’s comic series “EERIE” No. 3. The colorful comic becomes the setting and plot for the ensuing adventure. The town of Maple Valley is holding a contest to choose and buy an original painting by a local artist. The winning painting will adorn the newly renovated rotunda of the city hall. Artists from all around town enter. The judging is held at the city’s library. Mayor James Corbin and Town Clerk Peter Rollins act as the contest judges. Ezra Vale, an eccentric local artist submits his painting “The Forest of Fear”. It depicts a plant-covered green beast flanked by three smaller similar-looking gnomes in a woodland setting. Ezra Vale’s painting shocks the audience and does not win the prize. The painting returns with Ezra to his home while the winning painting, “Our Feathered Friends”, remains in the library awaiting display at city hall. A week after the contest, the library is broken into and the night watchman attacked. The painting “Our Feathered Friends”, which still resides inside, destroyed. The story continues to its fruition but I don’t want to spoil it for you. It is at this part in the story where player characters enter the adventure. It’s up to them to find out who destroyed the painting and assaulted the night watchman.

Past the reprinted story the comics conversion into a Cryptworld adventure begins. The layout in this section is very basic; single column justified text. The book is digest size so this simple layout is acceptable but a cleaner presentation for future issues would be nice. The author does an excellent job of converting the comic into a working adventure. He works the player characters into the existing story and provides scenes that keep in line with the story. Along the way, Cryptword game statics and information aids the gamemaster. The adventure is short and can easily be completed in an evening of play.

If you’d like to try to convert a publicly held comic of your own, go to The Digital Comic Museum for their catalog of scanned issues. They have a broad selection with a variety of topics to choose from. There are enough comics for everyone to reuse for their games no matter the subject. If you don’t have the time to do the work yourself, there are several more “Creepy Comic Conversations” titles under the Savage AfterWorld banner on DrivethruRPG. Also, for updates on Tim’s latest projects and other content check out his blog The Savage AfterWorld.

Tim Snider has hit on a great idea. Republishing publicly held comics with conversions to a roleplaying game. It’s certainly not the first time someone has lifted a plot from a printed source, but its pairing is unique. To receive the source material as well as the adventure that inspired or follows it is a new one for me. The adventure presented in “Creepy Comic Conversions” premiere issue is a hit. It’s perfect for an evening of play at a reasonable price. I highly suggest picking up a copy today.

~Stephen Pennisi

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