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Eerie Archives Volume 1: Collecting Eerie 1-5 Hardcover – March 10, 2009
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The 1964 launching of Creepy, a black-and-white comics magazine that emulated the classic EC horror comics of the previous decade, was so successful that shortly afterward publisher Jim Warren started a companion publication, Eerie. The two magazines were entirely interchangeable, the only difference being that the imitation of EC’s iconic Crypt-Keeper who introduced the stories was Cousin Eerie rather than Uncle Creepy. Eerie boasted the same top-notch writers and artists. The first five issues, gathered in this volume, feature such stellar talents as Steve Ditko, Alex Toth, Gene Colan, and EC veterans Wally Wood, Al Williamson, and Reed Crandall. --Gordon Flagg
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Eerie and Creepy were not as good as EC's books, but they were certainly a welcome treat. The stories aren't always that great, and Cousin Eerie and Uncle Creepy aren't as good as the original Cryptkeeper, Vaultkeeper and the Old Witch, but Warren presented its stories with some of the most incredible artwork seen since the death of EC in 1955. Jim Warren managed to coax many of the classic EC artists into his stable, such as Jack Davis, Reed Crandall, George Evans, Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Joe Orlando, Johnny Craig (writing and drawing under the pseudonym "Jay Taycee"), and Angelo Torres. Warren also provided a platform for new, just-as-talented artists such as Gray Morrow, Alex Toth, and the large number of artists from Spain that would soon be gracing these pages with their work. In short, the artwork is SPECTACULAR!!!
The magazine format gave the artists the freedom of stretching out and using different styles besides simply pencil and ink. Although the pencil and ink is done beautifully, you also get to see these guys using charcoals, ink wash, stippling and pixelation, and it adds a whole new dimension to the art. As an artist myself, the Eerie and Creepy archive books are worth the money for the artwork alone!
The books are presented in the original black & white format, cleaned up and restored to immaculate condition, with the full color covers done mostly by the legendary Frank Frazetta, with a few done by the talented Gray Morrow. The books are high-quality hardcover editions, I believe with sewn binding, gorgeous dustjackets, and the grinning visage of either Cousin Eerie or Uncle Creepy presented in gold-leaf on the front of the hard cover beneath. The mags are presented complete with fan club pages, letters pages, and the original ads of the time (which are quite amusing, endearing, and which bring back a lot of memories). Each hardcover edition holds five issues each, as well as nice introductions written by the likes of Forrest J. Ackerman and Roy Thomas.
These books were the inheiritor of the EC legacy and they carried that legacy on until 1983. They were great fun, creatively inspirational, and now you can re-live them in a beautiful, high-quality format. If you were (or are) a fan of EC Comics, or remember Eerie and Creepy from your youth, these books are a must-have! And while the retail cover price is $49.95, you can get them from Amazon for only $32.95... the lowest price I've found for these yet!
Brent A. Soileau
The Deep Purple Hub