Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review- EERIE ARCHIVES VOL. 6

EERIE ARCHIVES VOL. 6 (Dark Horse, 2011; Hardcover)
Collects Eerie Nos. 28-31 (originally published by Warren Magazines; cover dates July, 1970- January, 1971)
Writers: James Haggenmiller, Bill Warren, Buddy Saunders, R. Michael Rosen, Al Hewetson, Pat Boyette, Nick Cuti, Rich Buckler, T. Casey Brennan, Doug Moench, Ken Barr, Gordon Matthews, Don Glut, Chris Fellner, and Steve Skeates.
Artists: Dan Adkins, Billy Graham, Jack Sparling, Tom Sutton, Bill Dubay, Dick Piscopo, Pat Boyette, Rich Buckler, Carlos Garzon, Frank Bolle, Ken Barr, Jerry Grandenetti, and Tony Williamsune*. (*Tony Tallarico and Bill Fraccio's pseudonym)

This era was the tail end of the first creative slump on the title. Some veteran artists came aboard, and when coupled with then-new talent like Doug Moench and Steve Skeates, helped inch the title back home toward greatness. Issue 31 is the best issue in the book. 
Carlos Garzon and Frank Bolle turn in some impressive artwork. If you look at the list above you'll see artists who went on to do some notable stuff during the Bronze Age over at Marvel, such as Billy Graham (Luke Cage, Power Man). Others, like Dan Adkins, did a ton of work for various publishers over the years but have no character or run that fans identify them with. Jack Sparling is another great who must have been moonlighting from DC. He did a ton of art for their '70s Horror titles.
I, Werewolf by Ken Barr is my favorite in the book, in terms of both story and art. (In my Cliff Claven voice:) It's a little known fact that the original title to the Werewolf By Night series Roy Thomas pitched to Marvel in 1972 was I, Werewolf, but Stan Lee nixed it. I wonder if Roy was inspired by the title of this story? 
Issue 31's Point of View is one of those cause and effect time travel stories that I love to wrap my head around. Which is more responsible for an outcome, the cause or the effect? In this case, which one came first?
All house ads and letter pages are included, and they are quaint snapshots of this bygone era. Of particular interest are the Eerie Fanfare pages, where fans submitted writing and artwork samples. One of these samples of artwork was by Greg Theakston and Arvell Jones, two guys who went on to work in comics. It's very cool to see that they were once “one of us”.
I am thrilled to see Dark Horse continue this line of deluxe hardcovers. They release them far quicker than I can read them, but I am current on buying them at least. What's another year or two wait to read 40+ year old comics anyways?
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- These are some nice books. They are presented in the original magazine dimensions.
Linework restoration rating: 4.5 out of 5. These are high resolution scans and are generally excellent. There are one or two pages that look iffy, but it could be that the copy that they used for this book was an iffy printing. It happened back then.
Paper rating: 4.5 out of 5. Thick coated stock with a slight sheen. Semi-glossy paper is not optimal for black and white material but it doesn't detract from my enjoyment of the stories.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5. Superb sewn binding and a casing not glued square to the spine equals a book that lays flat. I'm happy.

Buy Eerie Archives Vol. 6 at InStockTrades!

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