Review – Eerie Comics #4 (Dark Horse)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: Dark Horse
Writer: Al Ewing, Dan Jolley, Ales Kot
Artist: Kelly Jones, Norm Breyfogle, Sloane Leong, Howard Chaykin
Release Date: 11th December 2013

Come round, come round. This creeptacular issue of Eerie contains terrible tales filled with deadly doppelgangers, ill-fated elixirs and vile Venusian viruses. Grim faced grandparents and innocent little boys and ghouls will be equally terrified and titillated by the startling stories within the pustulent pages of this month’s Eerie.

A throwback to old EC horror comics and TV anthology shows like Tales from the Crypt, with its portmanteau structure and pun happy host (like the Crypt Keeper or Elvira) Eerie is a fun read, particularly for fans of classic, often campy, horror. Made up of three short stories and two full page ‘Ickstarter’ campaigns for grotesque sounding inventions – complete with detailed descriptions of their use – Eerie offers a lot of ideas in its black and white pages. While the first two stories offer a format familiar to horror anthologies, as dastardly rogues are undone by darkly ironic twists, the third story offers something more unexpected and bizarre.

Such is the brevity of the stories that to describe is to essentially tell them, but overall the writing is solid, darkly humourous and marvellously economical. Just as each story has a different writer, art duties are switched with each tale and each artist brings their own unique style to the table in service of the mood of the story. Kelley Jones’ ashy grey and heavily shadowed art works perfectly in Al Ewing’s tale of a sinister psychiatrist, while Norm Breyfogle’s clean lines and Toth influence is a great fit with Dan Jolley’s story of a wealthy jungle adventurer. Billy Graham’s art has an old pulp fiction magazine feel to it that wouldn’t look out of place in a publication of the time that it’s inspired by. Graham also writes the third story and it is his tale which offers the most surprising and innovative stuff.

With a fine mix of art and solid, tightly written stories I heartily enjoyed Eerie. A throwback black and white horror comic is perhaps a tough sell (what a terribly sad world) but for an old monster movie fan like me it was a lot of fun.

Rating: 7/10.

The writer of this piece was: Joe Morrison
Joe is Freelance film journalist based in Glasgow.
You can also find Joe on Twitter.

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