Talk us through itbr>
For issue two of Eeek Jason Paulos has prepared three original stories, though one of them, Easy Prey, is the most ambition effort from Eeek to date. Once again we have the equivalent of three morality plays, though the Writer does get off the straight and narrow with at least two of the stories not overtly concerning themselves with making a moral statement.
Once again there's an EC look and feel to things with the artwork, layouts, and storylines reflecting the Publisher at the peak of their creative output.
"This is want I think of yer native curse!" - Frank Fleagle
Jason Paulos launches Eeek Issue two with the ambitious Easy Prey, a tale that's pretty hard to pin down in the morality stakes. I was left with the feeling that those who got out of this story on the final page were perhaps the lesser of the evils going down. Carrie stumbles upon an isolated farm house and seeks safety from the snow filled night. Naturally, this being a horror yarn, the residents would appear to be relations to the Sawyer family of Texas Chainsaw Massacre fame. On the bright side of the inbred gene pool Carrie isn't dinner, but when she discovers the menu for the evening features Sheep brains and French fries she may well wish she was. As the days stretch into weeks Carrie finds herself in the role of domestic servant, washing and cleaning, and she has a feeling of impending doom. The Reader is wondering who the wheelchair dude is in the attic room just as a load of Orphans arrive. Read the rest of the comic to see what Wingnut, Mr Pervis, and The Walrus have in store for Carrie and the Orphans. It's not going to be pretty folks.
Having ventured into hillbilly country Jason Paulos next takes us on a safari in deepest darkest Africa as he launches into Colour Me Evil. Frank Fleagle is a tour guide out to make a quick buck off naive tourists. He has a habit of going where he's not wanted, which unfortunately include the sacred lands of the White Witch. Frank stumbles upon the Witch's hidden city, is excited by all the gold, and gets exactly what's coming to him as a reward. This one is not for the political correct Nazis out there who shouldn't be reading this site in the first place, but it put one hell of a smile on my face.
Issue two rounds out with a groovy curse story in Headtrip. Alex is a collector or rare tunes and discovers an album by the group "Spirals", their final one released just after they all mysterious went insane. Things aren't looking good for Alex as he insults his landlady, throws his girlfriend out, and totally focuses on his new album. Realising the danger he is in Alex tries to find a way out of the hypnotic trap, you'll have to read the story to find out how he goes friends and neighbours.
With Issue two of Eeek you can really see the development of Jason Paulos as a writer, we already know he's damn good with the ink, in two of the stories not everything is black and white. Sorry no pun intended there, and yes Colour Me Evil is a straight EC style story of a villain earning the true wages of their sins. In the first story, Easy Prey, Carrie the nominal antagonist isn't Miss Innocence herself and is in fact running from her sins. Whereas in a traditional EC style story we might expect a re-animated corpse to stumble after Carrie, in Jason Paulos' fable Carrie is out of the frying pan and into the fire. There's a feeling that she really didn't deserve her possible fate, or perhaps to get away from her crime scot free. It's an interesting construct that adds a new level to the story. In a similar vein Alex, the central character of Headtrip, really doesn't deserve his fate, though I guess an argument could be made that obsession is a sin of the modern world. Jason Paulos in Issue two is pulling away from his EC influences and heading into the darker waters of a more modern view of what the horror tale can do, and more importantly how it should work.
Before anyone writes in and points out that I have an obvious love affair with 1950s/1960s U.S horror comics that might be contrary to Jason Paulos' journey away from the EC mothership, I would point out Jason keeps the look and feel of that era of the genre to the forefront of Eeek Issue Two, but he imbibes the comic with a more modern take on things. It all works wonderfully well, there's no disjointed resonance between the two time frames.
Issue 2 sees Jason Paulos still coming to terms with the EC style narrator for Eeek. Two of the stories kick off with a lead in while one story doesn't. There's no unified presence as yet, Paulos' equivalent of the Crypt Keeper hasn't yet seen the light of day, but the introductions do still present the flavour of the two stories that have them with solid puns being much in evidence. Will be interesting to see if Eeek continues with multiple narrators, as it has Issues 1 through 3, or if Jason will pull something unique out of the grave in future releases.
As we have come to expect from anything with Jason Paulos' name on it, the artwork is of a high exacting standard. It's simply black and white stuff but the ink has been applied with a firm hand and an eye for detail. Some of the panels in the comic are artworks of themselves, albeit in a macabre gruesome fashion. The cover is simply awesome and wouldn't be amiss on a tee, broad hint there to Jason Paulos, Australia seems to have an abundance of great dark genre artists at the moment and thankfully some of them are plying their trade in the comic book arena.
I'm reviewing from the collected edition of the first four Issues that comes sans individual covers, but would like to send a huge thanks to the team at Tabula Rasa (see our links section) for hosting the individual Issue covers.
Issue Two of Eeek hit all the right spots for me, the horror elements were well conceived, the storylines were excellent, and the art was of a high standard. I managed to read my way through the comic three or four times before sitting down to fire up the word processer and just between you and me I'll be having another look once this review is finalised and sent in to the mincing machine otherwise known as the Editor. Was that a flash of lightening?
Before I forget, the full catalogue of current Eeek issues can be yours via lulu, Click Through. You are certainly getting value for money here.
Summary Execution ...br> br> Another great Issue, Jason Paulos really has the whole concept roped and branded. With one Issue left to look at, I'm wondering just how long the wait will be until we get the promised fifth and six releases. For sure I'm going to be pushing kids out of the way to get to the front of the queue when that goes down.
Jason Paulos has been following a pretty decent release strategy with Eeek thus far. We get an Issue each year rather than having a whole bunch of issues coming out on a monthly basis. It ensures that ideas are kept fresh rather than the Writing and Artwork having to be influenced by a release schedule that would bring the "work" word into play. Only problem is the wait between Issues.
Eeek Issue Two demands to be brought and read. If you like your horror comics then its must purchase stuff and thankfully the flame of the golden age is being kept alive and well Down Under. EC, or their modern equivalent, really should look at what Jason Paulos is doing; they might just dust off one of their old warhorse franchise and give it a modern spit and shine. I have no problems with that as long as the name Jason Paulos appears somewhere in the credits.
ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...br> br> Jason Paulos simply hits it through for a major with each Issue.