Eerie Archives Volume 8 (Anglais) Relié – 20 septembre 2011
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Issue 37 opens with an oddly, out of place mess of a story by Steve Skeates called "The Other Side of Atlantis". I can't understand how this story ever made it's way into a horror magazine, especially since it ends quite abruptly in the middle of the story where our dear Cousin Eerie quips... "The future looks rocky for Targo and friends"... The fact that it is never followed up with a resolution sequel tells me that some one else must have felt the same way. There's little else in this issue to comment on other than how dreadful "Dethslaker" by Douglas Moench was. It is uninspired and a chore to read.
Issue 38 begins with an overly long Douglas Moench potboiler called "Stake in the Game", but things soon jettison off into pure delight with the event of T. Casey Brennan's "The Carrier of the Serpent". This is a lush story with fabulous art by Jerry Grandenetti. It is rich in horror and filled with symbolic imagery that really gets under your skin. Then turn the page and find another T. Casey Brennan classic, " A Stranger in Hell" illustrated beautifully by Esteban Maroto. Finally, "The Night the Snow Spilled Blood" is disturbing in all the ways that good horror tales should be and Tom Sutton's art is fantastic.
Issue 39 strikes another home run with Ken Kelly's cover for "The Disenfranchised". The first story, "Head Shop" is a gruesome tale illustrated by Jose Bea. I really loved this story. It's classic Eerie! Although things take a turn for the worse with the boring debacle of a story called, "Just Passing Through" by Steve Skeats, all is thankfully resurrected when you turn the page and come to the cover story "The Disenfranchised" illustrated by Tom Sutton. Sutton is on a huge creative roll during this period. It's not so much that the story is so great, it's more about the way that Sutton illustrates it! Next up is the first installment of "Dax the Warrior"! Dax is the first solid continuing character to make an appearence... but again, it's all about the illustrations. Maroto is in complete control, drawing and writing his tortured warrior into one dimensional perfection. It works in the drawing, but suffers in the story telling....yet because it's drawn so beautifully it's a huge pleasure visually. Then sadly, Doug Monech follows with a tale that drags the issue down. His "Yesterday is the Day Before Tomorrow" takes a well worn path to mediocrity. Then finally, one of the strangest stories to ever see the light of day brings this volume to a close... "Ortaa" by Kevin Pagan. It's another one of those "what were they thinking" stories...it's not really so bad, but my guess is that it probably seemed more interesting in the authors head. While Jamie Brocal does an adequate job of illustrating it, it's clear that there's really not much you can do with a giant octopi limbed heart that's been cooped up in a cave for a thousand years...
Issue 40's cover, by Sanjulian is uninspired...especially after the previous masterpieces by Ken Kelly. Maybe it's all that green...whatever the case, it's all soon forgotten when you open up to the first offering "The Brain of Frankenstein". This story is an interesting twist on an old tale written by Fred Ott and wonderfully illustrated by Mike Ploog. Never mind that the ending is a little bit of a let down...I loved it. (It's unfortunate Warren didn't have Ploog do more stories for them...His art is beautiful and reads very well in black and white).
Suddenly and strangely in the next story we are brought back to Atlantis with Steve Skeates "The Once and Powerful Prince". Here a small blurb tells us that the earlier tale of Prince Targo (issue 37) is still unresolved...but that this one is from an earlier time in his life....WHAT? This strange mix feels very much out of place in a horror magazine with it's magic rings that allow humans to breath underwater and to talk to all those fishes in the sea...the only horror with this story is the time it wastes to read it. Next is the continuing adventures of Dax with "The Paradise Tree". Not much to say about the story that I didn't say about the first installment, but one thought comes to mind...they should have begged, borrowed and stole to get Frank Frazetta to do a cover using Dax as inspiration..."Deathfall" by Sanho Kim falls onto deaf ears with this reader, but "The Prodigy Son" by Don Glut and illustrated by Jose Bea makes up the deficit. Finally this issue ends with "Pity the Grave Digger!" It's an admirable attempt at an old style horror theme, but it feels somewhat uninspired. It doesn't help that the art is by Auraleaon. He is one of my least favorite artists of all the Spanish invasion.
Then comes Issue 41 with it's fantastic cover by Sanjulian! This cover is still as powerful for me today as it was when I first saw it in that old small town corner news stand so many years ago. It took my breath away then and still does to this day. It's one of Sanjulian's best ever! Inside the issue you find the first story entitled "Warped". It's a classic tale written by author Kevin Pagan and illustrated by my favorite artist, Jerry Grandenetti. This piece is flawless and is one of my all time favorites. If the Eerie stories were ever made into a movie like "Tales From the Crypt", this would be at the top of the list to be included. "West Coast Turnaround" by John Wooley follows next and although it is drawn by Tom Sutton it seems to be somewhat uninspired, still it is easy and fun to read. The third tale, "Heir Pollution" also written by Wooley is the second home run of the issue! It is perfect and perfectly drawn by Jose Bea. "The Caterpillars" by Fred Ott is good but somewhat predicable. "Derelict " is a space age yawn written by John Thraxis and for the fourth time in a row Steve Skeates strikes out with a story called "The Safest Way!" Again as with the some of the others mentioned above...my question is..."What is this doing in a horror mag?" You could barely call it SiFi. Last but not least comes one of my all time favorite Dax stories, "Chess"! It's a tale that finally brings some depth of character and humanity to Dax.
Dispite the fact that I've been a bit critical on some of the work included in this collection, as a whole I enjoyed this edition throughly and couldn't put it down until it was finished....This is one to read again and again.
The writing is getting better but the "everyone's a werewolf in the Family" endings were hurting the magazine, but they are fewer and fewer in this volume.
And the first holiday issue, with the dust jacket painting and blurbs like "blood on the snow!" and "special holiday issue!" (I think the blurbs help the painting sometimes.) Welcome to christmas Warren style, the movies would soon follow suit and present "black" xmas movies.
Well worth the price of admission and looking forward to Eerie 9
and the art work even better. I certainly hope that all the issues of EERIE become
available to us as with each new book it just keeps getting better. There will
never be anything like EERIE (or CREEPY) again. The worst part of this collection is waiting for the
next archive to be available.