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Eerie Archives Volume 10: Advance Hardcover Review


Eerie Archives Vol 10Dark Horse’s reissuing of the classic 1960s-70s series Eerie continues with the release of Eerie Archives Volume 10, collecting Issues 47-51, and what a blast from the past it is!

Originally printed beginning in the early-mid ’60s by the legendary Warren Publishing, Eerie circumvented the dictates of the oppressive Comics Code Authority by eschewing the traditional 4-color comic format, instead publishing in a black-and-white magazine format.  With an influx of talent eager to show what they could do, Eerie (along with sister anthology publication, Creepy) quickly established themselves as fan favorites.

During the editorship of William Dubay (after Archie Goodwin’s departure in 1969), who would oversee the run from Issues 43-72,  Eerie entered its second Golden Age, as evidenced in these pages.  Not relying solely on established American artists and writers, he called on talent from the Barcelona Studio of the Spanish agency Selecciones Illustrada, introducing American readers to a whole new raft of talent including Jaime Brocal, Martin Salvador, and the brilliant Estaban Maroto, whose Spanish series Manly would be reprinted in 12 parts as Dax, the Warrior (four chapters of which are included in this volume [Don’t miss his excellent piece, The Secret of Pursiahz.]).

Warren Publishing also took the bold move of running continuing storylines in Eerie, mixing them with stand-alone pieces, as well.  Along with the previously mentioned Dax, the Warrior, continuing stories represented in this volume include Dracula (art by Tom Sutton and written by Bill Dubay), The Mummy Walks (art by Jaime Brocal and written by Steve Skeates), and Curse of the Werewolf (written by Al Milgrom and art by Bill Dubay and Rich Buckler).

Still brilliant after almost forty years, Doug Moench’s Geneisis of Depravity (Issue 50, art by Ramon Torrents) still stands as an example of how story, art, and dialogue can work together, and represents one of the best things that the series has to offer.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I owned a copy of Issue 50 when it first came out, and spent several nights at church camp shivering with delight at its gruesome glories.  Stumbling across a copy at Comic-Con a few years back had me reaching for my wallet without even asking the price.  So, revisiting it in this new format brings up wonderfully nostalgic feelings for me.  

And, that is one of the great strengths of these editions.  They’re not just a simple reprinting of great art and storytelling, they are time capsules into the far distant, long-ago time of 1973.  Reading them now, the implied sex and violence is laughably tame by today’s standards, and looking for a “For Mature Readers” branding on this would get you laughed out of the comic shop.  Complete with reprints of the lush color covers and vintage ads for Aurora classic monster models, silent dog whistles, ant farms, and mad dog hypodermic needles, the volume also includes each issue’s letters pages (“Dear Cousin Eerie”) and “The Eerie Eye,” containing interviews with writers and artists, upcoming events, and a review of comics fanzines. (Younger readers might experience some confusion about the concept of “fanzines” but should just consider them blogs about comics written on paper.)

And, as a special bonus treat, this volume also reprints two horror-themed, cutout game spreads (complete with rules) created by Bill DuBay and reprinted in color!   

(Note:  Issue 51 contained material previously printed in earlier issues.  This volume provides references to the editions in which the works were originally collected and are not reprinted here.)




Tony Caballero, Fanbase Press Contributor



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