EERIE ARCHIVES VOL. 7 (Dark Horse, 2011; Hardcover)
Collects Eerie Nos. 32-36 (cover dates March- November, 1971)
Writers: Clif Jackson, Steve Skeates, Gardner Fox, Larry Herndon, Gerry Conway, John Wolley, Don Glut, Bill DuBay, Marv Wolfman, Larry Todd, Buddy Saunders, Al Hewetson, F. Paul Wilson, Joseph Wiltz, Alan Weiss, John Cornell, Steve Engelhart, Doug Moench, John Ayella, Sanho Kim, T. Casey Brennan, Greg Potter, Christopher Wolfe, and Billie Fowler.
Artists: Clif Jackson, Tom Sutton, Frank Bolle, Richard Corben, Jack Sparling, Mike Royer, William Barry, George Roussos, Ken Barr, Ernie Colon, Larry Todd, Pat Boyette, Jaime Brocal, Bill Fraccio, Tony Tallarico, Frank McLaughlin, Carlos Garzon, Joseph Wiltz, Alan Weiss, John Cornell, Steve Engelhart, Frank Brunner, Mike Ploog, Victor de la Fuente, Jerry Grandenetti, John Ayella, Sanho Kim, Pablo Marcos, Bobby Rubio, Esteban Maroto, Joe Mascaro, L.M. Roca, Steve Skeates, Steve Lowe, Steve Cassman, and Dave Cockrum.
The Warren Magazines were the heirs to the artistic throne left vacant by EC. Being a magazine meant that they were free from the oppression of the Comics Code Authority and therefore able to do things that regular Horror comics of the day could not. There is an experimental vibe in the issues collected in this volume, with unknown talent appearing side by side with industry veterans. There are also several future fan favorites who cut their teeth in the Warren Magazines.
Issue 32 begins with an offbeat tale for Eerie titled Superhero!. It is a definite precursor to the Astro City hero the Confessor. InThe Wailing Tower Frank Bolle provides some stunning artwork, with the character Bill Reamy seemingly portrayed by Anthony Perkins. At least that is who I imagined as the star of the story as I read it.
|Artwork by Frank Bolle.|
Richard Corben's underground style of artwork was one of the things that gave these magazines some “street cred” among the comic buying public at the time. Those who were “down” knew who he was already. Everyone else merely discovered an artist with a fresh style.
There are some great talents in this book, and there are some who are, shall we say, less than great. Mike Royer does great stuff here, ditto Jaime Brocal and Carlos Garzon. L.M. Roca is one that I have never heard of but whose work really wowed me. This is one of only three published works of his (hers?). I am always fascinated by these what I call “footnote” creators. This industry is littered with broken dreams, and I always wonder what happened to people like this who obviously had talent. Were they too slow to make deadlines and get a steady paycheck and went elsewhere? Did they give up their art for “real work” altogether? Were they the unfortunate artist in the wrong place at the wrong time?
|Artwork by L.M. Roca.|
A lot of fans like Ernie Colon's work. I am not one of those fans. His work seems inconsistent, and intentionally so. His panels have decent composition and story flow but something about his work is off-putting to me. *shields face from rocks, eggs, and rotten fruit*
#34's Lair Of The Horned Man has incredible artwork by Alan Weiss. Growing up in Michigan one is constantly exposed to many remnants of Native American culture. The city of Detroit and many surrounding communities have names that are either Native American or French in origin. My Mom said that we have Native American blood in our family tree but I am not sure where or how much. In any case, I have always been fascinated by this sort of thing and always enjoy stories about the customs and “old ways”. #35's Money, by Sanho Kim, is almost like Manga, and comes off like an EC “preachy”. Very innovative for 1971.
|Artwork by Alan Weiss.|
There is some great early Mike Ploog artwork here. Ploog is a personal favorite of mine, as he went on to do my beloved Marvel Horror comics Werewolf By Night and The Monster Of Frankenstein, among others. Dave Cockrum, who went on to create/co-create Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus of the X-Men also has some early work reprinted here.
The topics of these stories run the gamut of typical Horror fare for the era. Forgotten evils, monsters, vampires, mummies, devils, lost civilizations, so on and so forth. Eerie also had some science fiction aspects to it, whereas it's sister title Creepy was more straight up Horror. This is also reminiscent of EC, as their science fiction titles were weird and almost Horror-tinged at times. There are one or two “drug reference” type stories for the hippies of the day as well.
While this book is inconsistent in terms of story quality it definitely has it's moments of greatness. Praised be Dark Horse for undertaking this most herculean effort of releasing the entire run of Creepy and Eerie in a deluxe hardcover format. There are currently 15 volumes of Eerie which I am current on buying (if not reading...), with the original proposal having 23 or 24 volumes mapped out. With volumes 16 and 17 already scheduled for release this year we are close to seeing this line completed.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- These hardcovers are presented in the same dimensions as the original magazines and contain all letter pages and advertisements from the original magazines.
DVD-style Extras included in this book: Foreword by Guy Davis (4 pages).
Linework and Color restoration rating: 5 out of 5. Cleaned up high resolution scans. Some fans complain about them but they look crisp and clear to my eyes.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Semi-glossy coated stock. It has that sweet toxic Chinese smell that I love.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5. Smyth sewn binding with seven stitches per signature. The book lays completely flat because the book block has sufficient room to flex within the squared casing.