Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review: Eerie Archives Vol. 5

EERIE ARCHIVES VOL. 5 (Dark Horse, 2010; Hardcover)

Collects Eerie Nos. 23-27 (cover dates September, 1969- May, 1970)

Writers: Bill Parente, Don Glut, Gardner Fox and others.
Artists: Reed Crandall, Ernie Colon, Tony Williamsune (pen name credited for the collaboration of Tony Tallarico and Bill Fraccio), Jerry Grandenetti, Frank Bolle, Tom F. Sutton, Bill Barry, Jack Sparling and others.

I am a completist, meaning that I love comprehensive hardcover collections like this. The sinister undercurrent to being a completist is that you have to sift through much wheat and chaff. This book is nearly all chaff. The talent is mostly sub-par when compared to the earlier volumes in this series, but it does pick up later on in the series. Still, I have sworn to own all 23 volumes in this series, so I will buy them all as they are released. 

This series really lost its way, diversifying itself with science fiction and swords and sorcery type stories as opposed to the original Gothic Horror flavor of the earlier issues. Plus, the talent that worked on many of the stories in these issues was mediocre at best. Ernie Colon and Tom Sutton are just churning out pages and cashing checks, with no real effort put forth. I had no real impetus to read this book, other than to finish it so that I can get to another one in my backlog. 

Sadly, the best story in this volume is one that was reprinted from Creepy #1, with superb writing by Archie Goodwin and artwork Angelo Torres. Wrong Tenant, from Issue 24, does feature artwork by EC Comics alumni Reed Crandall.

I guess that if I were buying this series bi-monthly 40 plus years ago I'd have stuck with it, too. With no Internet or cable television, what else would one do to alleviate boredom? Talk to humans? I don't think so!

The OCD zone- Perfectly fine high resolution scans on nice, coated stock paper with sewn binding. While I agree that non-coated stock works better for black and white material, that ship has sailed for this line of books. I am happy with this book overall in terms of production, just not the stories in this particular volume.

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