The Nightmare was a one page strip which appeared in SCREAM, the short-lived 1983 IPC horror comic which lasted for 15 issues before being merged into Eagle. Even after the success of 2000AD, many readers were surprised that the staid IPC/Fleetway had even got a weekly horror comic off the ground, so its rapid demise was less of a shock.

Earlier this year, I saw a post on Twitter which recalled The Nightmare

Well, Steve’s recollection was an improvement on the Scream Comic Files website where the verdict was, “this story is bollocks.”

What’s really weird about this strip is that it wasn’t written for Scream. As you can see below, it was bought by Dave Hunt, the editor of Eagle, for a feature they had called The Amstor Computer. It was the only thing I ever managed to sell to Eagle, and I was surprised (but pleased) when it turned up in Scream (incidentally, £23 in 1984 would be worth around £82 in 2020).

As I said, it was the only thing I ever managed to sell to Eagle. And what’s really bizarre is that I got the idea when I saw a book of fairy tales published by Peter Haddock, which had a cover by Johnny Red and One Eyed Jack artist John Cooper. Somehow the image of a hardcore action artist drawing fairy tale characters kicked off the story above. Of course, I didn’t say in my cover letter that this was what had given me the idea, so I was even more pleased and surprised to see that they’d given John Cooper the job of drawing it.

Of course, if I’d known IPC was planning a horror comic, I’d have sent them something along those lines (the only reason I saw the finished job was because I was buying Scream as a reader). But, given the circumstances, over the years, I’ve figured that maybe it was all down to fate – I was walking in front of a bullet with Humpty Dumpty’s name on it that day.

Incidentally, you can check out the whole page at this site where you can read full issues of Scream.