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spotty writing
competent art
historical bonus 2
total score 4
Shok Therapy 1 _ Shock Therapy 2
Shok Therapy #1
Shock Therapy #2
REVIEW SCORE: 4
REVIEW SCORE: 4
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keyline
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Shock Therapy
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1979 / Shok Media Creations
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Shock Therapy is a self-published British sci-fi fantasy comic from Howard Priestley and Anthony Webster. I believe there were three issues of the series, but Priestley and Webster called the first issue a "special" edition and did not number it. The second issue was the first to be numbered. If I can get a hold of the first, non-numbered issue (which they also called "the blue issue") I'll be sure to add it here.

It's remarkable that the first numbered issue is actually titled Shok Therapy because Priestley and Webster didn't know how to spell shock, which they readily admit in the introduction to book #2. But despite the misspelling, they retain the publishing name of Shok Media Creations for the second book.

Though they themselves declare that Shock Therapy is "an amateur non-profit making comic book" (and it won't be mistaken for anything more), there are some halfway decent stories and artwork in the series, but it's mostly snippets of prose and panels or pages of illustration. Taken as a whole, both issues of Shock Therapy are pretty crappy. Don't get me wrong, Priestley and Webster could both draw; they just hadn't attained a very polished look at the time.

But Priestley got his chance to show off his matured skills when the Shock Therapy title was picked up by British comic-book publisher Harrier Comics in the mid 1980s for a six-issue miniseries. Harrier was only around for a few years, but they published more than 120 issues of over 30 titles in the mid-to-late '80s. Priestley wrote and illustrated most of the second iteration of Shock Therapy and his skill level had markedly improved and the newer issues of the book are quite enjoyable.

So really, this "amateur comic book" turned out to be quite a success story for Howard Priestley. He enjoyed a decent career as an illustrator and published other comic stories in Comics Unlimited, Graphixus and Pssst! He also designed CD covers for Bootsy Collins, Mallia Franklin and George Clinton, among others. In 2011, he revived the Shock Therapy title and self-published some new stories, though I have yet to see any of these newest issues.