Talk us through itbr>
Welcome to Issue four of Eeek magazine and four new stories written and illustrated by Jason Paulos, with an assist from Daren White. The continuing exploration of 1950s comic Americana continues though a couple of the stories show a distinct twist to what we would normally expect. Jason Paulos here is turning the tropes around and one expects having some fun with the subject matter.
Settle back and let's see what might be stirring down the local cemetery.
"Aha! My trusty enchanted shovel!" - The Undertaker
With Issue four Eeek magazine has found its feet, sorted where it exists in the universe, and developed a groove that should keep regular readers happy with life through the next decade. Assuming of course Jason Paulos plans on the magazine being an ongoing project. In short all the pieces appear to have been assembled for an above average journey into the grotesque, always remembering things are likely to be tongue in cheek. Eeek maintains its 1950s sensibilities while remaining firmly in the non serious camp.
Issue four kicks off with The Snitch, a prison fable that ensures the reader understands that in horror you always reap what you sow, no matter how long it takes to eventuate. Interestingly Jason Paulos has reversed what we would normally expect to read and manages to camouflage where the story is headed to an admirable degree. I wasn't expecting this one to terminate at the station it did. Similarly Death Wears Hotpants has one heck of a kicker in the tail, just when you think Wade has saved the day a surprise development has other notions in store for you. The first two stories kick things off big time and we, the audience, are on notice that developments are going to get pretty interesting. The first half of Eeek is rock solid, and I did note some twisting of the screw as Jason Paulos opens with a full throttle approach. For those not on the ghost train, it don't matter how much you have turned your life around, if you have made one mistake than the fates are out to get you. At least in the dark genre.
Story three, Death Can Be Fatal, is arguably one of the best tales Eeek has published across four issues. The Undertaker, previously introduced as a narrator, finds his hands, and shovel, full when the corpse of a mass murdered re-animates leading to a general coffin exiting by the deceased. They want brains, and they want them now! Look for some Author intrusion in this story, is that even allowed in comics? One of the best mixtures of horror and comedy you are ever likely to run across in comic book form, I was snarling at the moon while hitting this one.
The fourth issue rounds out with Six Digit Disaster a moralistic fable proving once again that Eeek is committed to the EC ethos of the antagonist nearly always getting their just desserts in appropriate fashion. There's a nice little twist in this tale that'll put a wicked grin on your face faster than the first League incident of the new season.
As usual the artwork is superb, with a very retrospective feel to things that will have you leaping onboard Paulos' groove train; hey I was pushing pensioners out of the way to be first in line. We're talking black and white panels, clear definition in the ink, and attention to getting the page right. It's all very professional looking and the quality simply seeps off the page. The Issue looks like it might have snuck off the printing press of a major New York publisher to be honest.
Once again the issue proves Jason Paulos is an excellent story teller with the requisite twists coming at you and the horror elements not being spared. You get the feeling Paulos could successfully tackle a full length graphic novel and I would be the first in queue to get my hands on that bad boy. Okay we may not be heading into new waters here, but there's still an original quality going down in the prose that goes beyond what EC attempted in various publications through the 1950s and 1960s. Wouldn't surprise me if Jason Paulos throws down a story about a Twitard meeting a "real" vampire in a future story, now how cool would that be!
So over all what we are getting is a venerable era of horror comic publishing being dragged kicking and screaming into the modern era with Jason Paulos in his Editor role being unapologetic about the whole thing. What's interesting, from a purely aesthetic point of view, is just how well the old style art works and how well the stories translate for a modern audience. As stated a few reviews back, if thinking of investing in the EC archive releases then spend some quality time with Eeek to get a feel for how things work. What I forgot to mention is that Eeek is by and largely a better publication than say Eerie.
Right from Issue One to the current Issue, Jason Paulos had been pretty adamant that there will be no advertising and nothing much else to distract from the fictional works on display. While whole heartedly applauding Jason for this attitude I kind of thought an Editorial might be worth exploring and maybe some letters to the Editor wouldn't go amiss either. Well okay I might be slightly self centred here as I love letters pages and editorials are pretty cool for giving insight into where the current Issue is at. As you can probably tell ScaryMinds is finally, with this review, up to date with Eeek so naturally we can become slightly demanding.
Eeek Issue Four is available from Jason Paulos' page over at lulu, right about Here!. While you are on
the page check out some of Jason's other work, we'll probably not cover it here at ScaryMinds due to us being a horror site and all, but it's well working
having a look at. Yes those prices are correct, once again value for money on the comic front, hence there's nothing stopping you from signing onboard
Summary Execution ...br> br> Jason Paulos saved the best for last and I got a hell of a good time with Issue Four of Eeek magazine. The only problem I have now is waiting for, I'm not a patient person, Issue Five promised sometime later this year. With four Issues now under our belt I can state that the Australian retro horror comic scene is in good hands. The waiting now begins for the next issue.
ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...br> br> Issue Four of Eeek magazine rocked the house down!