Review by The Dean at Ain't It Cool News
I think I’ll be keeping an eye out for Asylum Press from now on. It’s strange how limited your choices can seem week to week, but if you’re willing to dig a little there’s almost no end to the number of publishers and creators out there putting out some really interesting stuff. Superheroes might seem like the clear majority in comics, but there are plenty of twisted minds out there flooding our funnies with monsters, murderers, and all sorts of spectral miscreants. Can’t decide what type of horrific thing you’re in the mood for? Well, then EEEK! is probably just the thing to sate those malicious voices in your head (or encourage them, for all you Werthams out there).
EEEK! is a compilation of tales in the classic EC style that combines morbid humor with a genuine wickedness to make a quick, enjoyable read that seems to understand its place in the world of horror comics better than most. I’ve tried a lot of these horror collections in recent years, and most have been disappointing in how safe or uninspired they seem. EEEK! is far from the most vulgar or the goriest comic I’ve read, which may disappoint some, but the fun of this series is in exploring the oddities of its characters and stories. You might see the twists coming early on, but that doesn’t make getting there any less fun, and if the stories don’t keep you reading, the art from Jason Paulos certainly will.
Paulos, along with Jason Fischer and Daren White, share the writing duties between the three tales in EEEK! #8, starting with what I felt was the best of the three in “Body Farm,” about a forensic scientist who loves his work studying decomposing bodies a little too much. “Incident at Slumber Camp” is your typical slasher mystery with a satisfying twist, and “The 12:05 Train to Hades” is a tale of ghostly comeuppance for ne’er-do-wells in the London Underground. Paulos’ Pencils (a great name for an art store should he ever open one) are easily the star of each, however, and reminiscent of Bernie Wrightson, who is honored in the town name of “Wrightsonville” in “Incident at Slumber Camp.” Yes, I think he’s that good. It’s just distinct enough to not be an imitation, but the detail in some of the corpses and faces, and the lighting effects from flashlights or car headlights, are nothing short of stunning.
So if you need a monthly horror fix, you can do a lot worse than EEEK! Jason Paulos is an artist to know, and the stories here are reminiscent of the genre’s classics, but the real gem here might be Asylum Press itself, because what the hell is HAIRBUTT THE HIPPO and why have I never heard of it before? I don’t know, but I’m gonna go find out…
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