Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eerie 135

Sanjulian provides the cover to this issue of Eerie, cover dated October 1982.

First is "The Spirit of the Thing!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 9, probably their best collaberation aside from the next story, "Collectors Edition". It features a professor who hypnotizes a student of his, resulting in his spirit leaving his body. The professor then steals the student's body, as his is about to die. The student's spirit, now bodiless, steals the professor's corpse from the graveyard and uses it to brutally beat to death his own body (with the professor's spirit) until the professor is forced to leave.

Second is one of Warren's all time most famous stories, "Collectors Edition" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 10. The story features Danforth, a man obsessed with the occult who hears of a book, 'Dark Visions' that he becomes obsessed with obtaining. Seeking to spend all of his wife's money on the book, he eventually murders the bookstore owner who told him of it in the first place, who had also committed murder to obtain the book. Reading the book, Danforth finds that it goes long past the time of the author, all the way to the present, and even the future, showing his own death, which shortly comes when his wife buries an axe in his head. Terrific art, terrific story, this is certainly up there among Goodwon's best stories. Ditko's drawing of Danforth's eyes slowly closing across the bottom of each page is also a nice touch.

Third is "Beast Man" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 11. The story features a boxer who has a bad heart, so he gets it replaced with a gorilla's heart! Only he finds himself becoming a monster! Or does he? It ends up everything is in his mind, but that doesn't stop him from going on a rampage anyway.

Fourth is "Blood of the Werewolf!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 12. A man wandering the city in a drunken stupor is found by a psychologist who has a werewolf for a son. The psychologist manages to transfer the werewolf curse onto our protagonist, who soon becomes a werewolf himself. He ends up going to a psychologist to tell him whats going on, but it ends up that the man is actually the son who was originally a werewolf, and shoots him dead with a silver bullet.

Fifth is "Second Chance!", with art by Steve Ditko and story by Archie Goodwin. This story was originally printed in Creepy 13. Its about a man who makes a deal with the devil to stay alive longer. The devil brings him back to life, but he ends up being stuck in a coffin! Luckily for him a gravedigger digs him out, but upon seeing this 'corpse' come to life, he kills him, which finishes him off for good. Pretty good story here.

Sixth is "Where Sorcery Lives" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 14. A warrior, Garth comes after the sorceror Salamand who was responsible for the destruction of his town and capture of his lover. The warrior battles various beasts sent after him by the sorceror and finally comes upon him. The sorceror reveals that he is going to use Garth's body such that the lover will love him, but ends up getting stabbed by her because he let his guard down.

Seventh is "City of Doom!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Creepy 15. This story features the Barbarian Thane in his first appearance, a character that would appear in random stories by Archie Goodwin throughout the years. Thane goes to a city where monsters run amock, including a sorceress who controls a tentacled monster. Thane defeats the sorceress when her own monster ends up turning on her.

The eighth story is "The Incredible Shrieking Man!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Eerie 4. The man of the title is in a mental institution, a man who does nothing but scream like crazy and act like a maniac. An employee at the institution becomes fascinated with him and ends up letting him out by accident when he can't control him. The screaming man goes crazy and ends up killing our hero's boss, for whom he was originally his boss, who was killed by him and brought back to life.

Ninth is "Fly!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Goodwin (story), from Eerie 7. This story is about a man covered in bandages who has had surgery to change his face. Only he keeps being bothered by a fly and falls out a window to his death. It ends up that the fly was attached to his head bandages near his ears which is why it bothered him so much.

Last is "Demon Sword!" by Steve Ditko (art) and Archie Goodwin (story), from Eerie 8. A demon sword is recovered as part of an archeological find. Soon after however murders start occuring. Two of the archeologists witness a battle between the demon using the sword and a warrior, and when the demon is defeated so too is one of the archeologists. The other ponders whether to destroy the powerful but dangerous demon sword.


Guy Budziak said...

I purchased this a short while back, at last year's big comic con here in Detroit (Novi, actually). I've owned just about everything Ditko's ever done during the Fifties and Sixties at one point or another in my life, he had a style well-suited for the horror genre. Some have said that he did his best work in the pages of CREEPY and EERIE, although some of his pre-code work from the early Fifties is pretty impressive in its inventiveness, even though his style was a bit raw at the onset. He had to tone things down a bit when he was doing those short stories for Atlas/Marvel in the late Fifties/early Sixties, but still the inventiveness shone through. Truly one of the most unique talents ever to work in comics, I'll always have an abiding fondness for his work.

Gary R. Peterson said...

Thanks for this annotated blog post filled with insightful comments and especially for listing where these stories were originally published. I've had EERIE #135 for awhile and just pulled it out again; one of those books I can revisit and enjoy again and again. -- Gary Peterson (Omaha, NE)