Talk us through itbr>
Issue three of Eeek brings us four stories, three by Jason Paulos and one by Wally Williamson. Each tale features lead characters driven by either greed or personal fault who find to their cost that the punishment will fit the crime. In short, welcome to retribution central.
In keeping with the overall theme of the comic the stories are introduced by a narrator, not sure who the first one is, but Morton Stone Undertaker tackles the last three with the expected bad puns etc to anchor the comic in a sort of 1950s time warp.
Ready to tackle EC Comics as perceived by a Down Under Writer/Artist?
"Those who interfere with the dead are doomed to die horribly" - Local Houngan
At time of writing there have been four issues of Eeek, though it looks like Jason Paulos may have moved onto other things. Which is a pity as the comic really does capture a whole Tales From The Crypt look and feel and is a nostalgic flash back to when horror comics could pretty much do their own thing without intervention from a code of practice or the moral majority. If wondering why I'm kicking off my exploration of Eeek with Issue three and not approaching things chronologically, well this issue was a free download and we have to start somewhere. I will be looking at the other issues in due course. Let's go smudge the ink on this one.
Eeek Issue 3 kicks off with a tale of real estate greed, in fact the name of the Agent is Greely, thinly disguised there and yes I got a chuckle. Now we all known, at least in horror circles, that Real Estate Agents are the closest thing to Vampires we are likely to run across outside a Transylvania castle, hence the story is not going to end well for someone. Great first up story setting the pace and atmosphere for the rest of the comic, and most importantly the morality that the stories will steep themselves in. For North American readers replace "Real Estate Agent" with "Realtor" here.
The other three stories that make up the issue follow in a similar vein, hehehehe, greed amongst treasure hunters, a newbie serial killer, and some of that mutant x cream that finished off this desert of mayhem. There's a real feeling of the punishment fitting the crime, sometimes from beyond the grave, that conjures up the best of EC Comic's dark stable of horror releases that dominated the medium back in the 1950s.
Notable, for those wanting to relive their EC experiences, Eeek doesn't come with a page from the Editor, reader letters, or those nifty advertisements that EC seemed to attract. You know adverts for sea monkeys, carnivorous plants, or x-ray glasses that promised you could see through ladies outer garments. Of course at 28 pages in length Eeek doesn't have room for the extras, we're all here to read the stories right?
The artwork is superb in Eeek Issue 3, once again reminding of EC's 1950s output. We're talking black and white ink panels, with a touch of grey to soften the look and feel. There's a stark feel to things with the Artists not cluttering up individual panels with unnecessary background details. Considering the issue is best summed up as four morality plays, the art work captures the required feeling and should be appreciated in this light.
Notably Jason Paulos has captured an aspect of 1950s horror comic books that would be easy to overlook in these more political correct times. The women depicted in the stories, with the exception of the older ladies, are all slightly over ripe and a geek fan boy's wet dream. For a similar effect in the modern era you would need to venture into the realms of the video game, exhibit "A" Lara Croft. There wasn't a story to match EC's classic Something To Tide Them Over in Issue 3, but I would imagine the murdering vixen might just get a look in during the course of other issues.
The panels are crisp, clean, and easy to make out. Various fonts have been used for the text but I had no problems reading and the wordage was enough to keep the plot of each of the four stories flowing without becoming bogged down in the sort of detail that no one is really interested in. One gripe I did have with the issue however was that it could have done with another Editor having a brief look through the finished panels. For example page ten, "… to leave the artifacts until till we could come …". It's a minor point, but just making it in the interests of fully rounded review. There's nothing that will take you out of any of the stories and things generally flow like a well regulated river.
Overall I got a buzz from Eeek Issue 3, thought Jason Paulos had succeeded in creating a modern EC comic experience, and am looking forward to reading the other three issues currently available. I'm a huge fan of the older horror comic, available in archive hard back form by the way, and Paulos delivered exactly what I wanted. For those interested in having a look at Eeek then head on over to Jason Paulos' page at Lulu, Click Through. All four issues of the comic are available as separate items or it would appear you can buy the whole collection in one volume. Just placed my order and am currently downloading the TBA version of things.
Summary Execution ...br> br> I loved this comic and immediately had to have the rest, sort of like a horror geek Pokémon "got to collect them all" thing. There's just something about this style of horror comic book that really works for me, guess it's the innate feeling that characters will reap what they sow. Jason Paulos really has captured an era of comic book releases and Eeek deserves to find a much larger market.
Okay a few people might note the publisher is lulu.com and wonder about the quality going down here. For those not aware lulu is a sort of online self publishing place where you can offer your work as downloads and/or hard copies. While I have brought the odd book from lulu that sucked the life out of the universe I still totally support the concept. Eeek is a high grade comic book made available because of lulu, so once again I have to doff my hat to the website and say a huge thank you. You are getting a comic that rivals the best of the U.S publications at a fraction of the price. Everyone's a winner baby, and that's no lie.
If you love yourself some retro horror comic then I would recommend you dial into Eeek and prepare to have some fun times. Jason Paulos rocks, the comic rocks, lulu rocks, and you will be one of the cool kids with this in your hands. Thank you to the AHWA for the heads up on this one, Eeek is confirmed reading in my neck of the woods.
ScaryMinds Rates this read as ...br> br> Loved it, a return to the 1950s morality plays of EC.