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The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 2

The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt Volume 2 (Ec Archives, 2)The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt Volume 2 by Al Feldstein
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another fun collection of six issues from the classic EC comics run! After the first few issues in Volume 1, the format has solidified into the Crypt-Keeper, the Old Witch from HAUNT OF FEAR, and the Vault-Keeper from VAULT OF HORROR all getting to introduce a tale in each issue, with the Crypt-Keeper getting to go twice because it’s his series.

The stories are as cheesy and charming as ever. I was pleasantly surprised to come across a few I remember being adapted for Amicus anthology films. In this volume, you’ll find “Reflection of Death,” about a man who doesn’t realize he’s come back from the dead until everyone screams when they see him, which was in 1972’s TALES FROM THE CRYPT movie. There’s also “Bargain in Death,” about gravediggers encountering a man who faked his death for the insurance money and mistaking him for a ghoul, and “Drawn and Quartered,” about a down-on-his-luck painter doomed by a spilled can of paint thinner, both of which were in 1973’s THE VAULT OF HORROR movie (the latter starring DOCTOR WHO’s Tom Baker). There’s also a story called “The Living Death,” about a hypnotized man who can’t die until he’s released from hypnosis, which is clearly a riff on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar.”

These comics are a lot of fun, and I can see why they were so popular back in the day. Once again, I’m grateful to Dark Horse for releasing these trade collections in full color and at a reasonable price.

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And Then I Woke Up

And Then I Woke UpAnd Then I Woke Up by Malcolm Devlin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A stunningly original piece of science fiction-horror, Malcolm Devlin’s novella works both as a story in its own right and as a metaphorical examination of the power of narrative, from the stories we tell ourselves so we can survive to the political narratives we choose to believe. It’s an incredible piece of work that lifts a mirror to society and hits hard with the reflection it presents. If I have one complaint, it’s only that I wish it were longer so Devlin could really dig deep into the metaphor and unearth further observations. Highly recommended.

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