Eerie Archives Volume 5

Image of Eerie Archives Volume 5
Release Date: 
November 22, 2010
Dark Horse
Reviewed by: 

In years gone by, many a teenager/adult has had the pants scared clean off him/her by publisher Jim Warren’s magazine-sized horror comics, Creepy and Eerie. Never subtle in their bloody depiction of decapitation, impalement, werewolves, and vampires, they were—and remain—masters of in-your-face horror. Even in good old black and white, they can still run riot with the imagination, and make a mockery of all would-be contenders to the horror throne whose dependency relies heavily on technicolor-rendered illustrations to get their story told.

Both the Creepy and Eerie archives series have made numerous appearances on the New York Times Top 10 list of graphic novels, and there is little reason to doubt this latest tome will not follow suit.

Eerie Archives Volume 5 collects the classic issues #23–#27, all in a coffee-table hardcover, and closes the curtain on the 1960s, arguably the golden age of Warren’s horror. The dustcover is beautifully adorned with a Frank Frazetta painting of a scantly clad woman, large leopard at her feet. To find out more about the lady in question, you will have to read the “Dear Cousin Eerie” letter-pages included in the collection, where a photo and a fascinating up-dated story is supplied by one of the diligent fans, such was their loyalty to the magazine.

Apart from Frazetta, other masters contribute to the luridly luscious covers: Vic Prezio, Gogos/Bode and Jim Steranko, to name a few. Steranko’s subliminal and haunting cover to this collection couldn’t be in bigger contrast to his erotic and hallucinogenic Zap Art surrealism on Nick Fury, for Marvel Comics. Interior art is by Ernie Colon, Tom Sutton, Angelo Torres, Reed Crandall, and Tony Williamson, to name a few. Neal Adams, the undisputed master of tormented and psychotic superheroes, is given credit for his input, but I failed to find the actual pages created by him.

The writing credits belong to Tom Sutton, Archie Goodwin, Bill Parente, Don Glut, and a host of other established horror writers. Glut supplies an informative foreword and it really is worth reading, if just to catch the nostalgia of childhood and a very fond trip down memory lane.

The distinctive stories, originally published on relatively cheaply pulped paper, are lavishly reproduced here on wonderful thick paper stock, pleasant to the touch. The inclusion of “Dear Cousin Eerie”’s hilariously serious letter pages, original ad pages from the 1960s (live monkey for the low price of $19.95, anyone?) all add up to make this a must-buy edition. All credit to Dark Horse for lovingly reproducing this series of lost treasures of macabre mayhem and the overall attention to quality and detail they invested in.

Ghoulishly good, this latest collection will appeal to a wide spectrum of horror aficionados, and hopefully introduce a new generation to a genre never really given the accolades it so richly deserves.

It would be a bloody sin not to creep down to your eerie bookstore and purchase a copy.