I really loved my first read through of The Weird World of Eerie Publications by Mike Howlett (available through Amazon at a great price, as well as your local book and comic shops!)-now I’m going through and making notes and marking up the book with a shopping list of things to find and ghastly ghoulish delights to indulge in. So what makes this such a great gift? Well…I’ll tell you.
Eerie Publications is a truly WEIRD tale of cheap thrills, cheaper paper and monstrously manic tales that will drive any horror fan wild. Don’t believe me, try THE SEWER WEREWOLVES! After what had to be a brain rending and cheek shredding amount of research, Howlett has created one of the best books on a comics company I’ve ever read. It works as a story about how a gun toting exploitation master flooded the newstands, and impressionable minds, with ghastly product ranging from Stenchy Lycanthropes to Savage Sharks and right on to doctored crime scene photos. It also works as a way to put these books in to context and begin to really explore them, sifting through the reprints and the responsibilities is fascinating. Redraw this! Reprint that! Repeat Repeat Repeat!
Artists are named, processes revealed and by the end of the book you find yourself wanting more data, more sidebars and a lot more narrative from the author.
And that narrative is the real treasure that this book provides. Instead of a diffracted portrait of Eerie Pubs and it’s band of not so merry mates told from interviews that provide the story in chunks, Howlett’s voice is the star of the show. He is one of the Million Mindwarped March that Eerie Pubs left behind! And it shows as ripped cheeks (that appear to have milk bones shoved in them at odd angles) are lovingly presented and pieces of art are dissected and examined in detail. This is a boots on the ground perspective of not only the magazines and comics, but of the experience of reading and enjoying them! The two narratives blend seamlessly into an entertaining whole that not only reveals the nooks of each gore splattered werewolf staking a vampire, but brings the reader into the experience so much that you can’t help but get excited to own these…all of these…for yourself.
Besides, any book that has those amazing covers for me to gawk at over and over and over is a good thing.
Essential, even for those that may not think they need to know more about Eerie Publications, black and white horror comics or even comic books, because anyone reading this blog understands the underlying obsession of collecting and compulsion of learning exactly what made these weird bits of mass produced mayhem so great.
Give it as a gift, get one for yourself and be prepared to bid at the last second. Because you’ll need to read at least one of these magazines cover to cover!