Some of my earliest childhood memories involve seeing Eerie and Creepy magazines on the shelves of my town's local bookstore. I remember them so well because they creeped me out. For a young man of my age, around 8-10, I was not going anywhere near the promised fear that awaited me within those pages. Uncle Creepy and Cousin Eerie could stay where they were, trapped safely away behind the cover. Flash forward about ten years later and with my increased maturity (kind of) as well as the success of the Tales from the Crypt television show, I became emboldened enough to give horror comics a try. I started with the old Fawcett stories of the 1940s and 50s and eventually worked my way up to Creepy and Eerie of the 1970s. I realized through those readings, that the only thing I was running from as a youth was my perceived fear or likely prejudice of what I thought might be behind that cover, not what actually was. Today, as I write this review, I find that viewpoint very ironic as many of the themes within this completely reprinted volume of Eerie Issues #70-74 deal with that theme exactly; how prejudices determine our thoughts and actions and how not everything is as it appears to be.
Dark Horse Comics has reissued these classic tales of demons, goblins, circus freaks, immortals, and yes, humans, for about the last five years or so. We are now at Volume #15 of this immense archive. And after going through this 300+ page tome, I must admit, I had a wonderful blast from the past in getting to re-experience these 20 tales of mystery, suspense, horror, and humanity. It is well worth the investment time to read and well worth the investment of money to buy.
Like many of the Eerie installments, we are given several continuing serial tales like El Cid, Hunter II, Peter Hypnos, etc. And in this particular volume, we get to read the conclusion of the classic Coffin story run. We also get several standalone tales dealing of horror, sci-fi, satire, drama, and mystery. Not every story is for everybody. The Peter Hypnos stuff is simply not my thing. But there is no doubt in my mind that anyone reading this will find something they like within these pages. And more than likely, you will find quite a bit of likable material here.
Within these 300+ pages, we have stories of demon curses, goblin apocalypses, dystopian rebellion, sci-fi comedy, paranormal crime drama, and old school horror. There simply is not enough space for me to individualize each tale, but there were a few that really stood out to me. Goblin deals with a creature who is transported to our world and his efforts to return home. His search is not real easy as he encounters lots of interference from people who believe him to be a monster. Mordecai Moondog concerns a mansion haunted with seven spirits of evil and our skeptical exorcist hero that has a wonderfully surprising twist at the end. A Thin Dime of Pain is a grand old story of circus freak revenge as well as the only offering in color. And finally, The Expedition is a standard horror fare about two men venturing out into the wilds of Louisiana. There are many more, but it is probably best for you to read it for yourself and make your own opinions as the stories are that diverse. I can also not say a single bad thing about any of the art. There is not a single story that I can say is drawn poorly. All are top-notch and do not miss a beat with age.
One final blast from the past moment for me is that within this issue, everything is reproduced, including the ads. Ads for Super 8 classic horror movies, vinyl records of classic horror tales, and monster models galore. I actually had the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Giant Mantis models when I was a kid. So seeing ads for them, well let's just stay it brought back warm childhood memories of a simpler time. It was great.
To say reading through this volume was an experience is really an understatement. I had hours of pure enjoyment reading these stories. It rekindled my love for these types of comics while allowing me to recommit my desire to explore newer ones that I might have passed on for something as simple as thinking that I might not like it. No, you can't judge a book by its cover and just because the title says Eerie and has some morbid images, you can't base an opinion on that. If you do, you are simply missing out.
Writers: Various Artists: Various Publisher: Dark Horse Comics Price: $49.99 Release Date: 1/22/14