Tag Archives: EC Comics

Optical Delusion – Hunter Shea

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Hunter Shea has tapped into our childhood for his latest offering of fear. Remember those ads in the backs of comic books? Muscles like Charles Atlas. Sea monkeys. Joy buzzers. Fake ice cubes with a fly in the middle. Gum that turns your mouth black. Oh, and the ever popular, X-ray glasses. I certainly remember them. More specifically, I remember wanting them and my mom saying “absolutely not”. Well, what would happen if she did allow me to get those x-ray glasses and after 10 minutes of making my eyes hurt, I tossed them aside only to have my dad pick them up and put them on. And, what if, in between the fuzzy-eyed headache it produced, he saw a glimpse of a girl’s panties she had on underneath her clothing? And what if, in desperate attempts to get more than a glimpse or two of what the females looked like under their winter clothing, it caused something else? Something more hideous, more macabre, and it wouldn’t let you turn away?

Optical Delusion was a fun ride into every boy that grew up in the 1970s and 80s past and warped it with a Twilight Zone twist and an EC Comic turn. My last couple of reads from Shea have been my favorites. He’s honed his chops the last few years and is churning out nothing but quality lately. So much so, that he’s quickly become one of my go to writers that can’t miss.

 

5 Victoria’s Secrets out of 5

 

* This ARC was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley

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Grave Business – Graham Ingels and Al Feldstein

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I have vivid memories of going through my older brother’s comic book collection when I was kid. He was a big fan of the many different Marvel superheroes and rarely missed picking up the latest Spider Man or X-Men offering. He would also hit garage sales with my grandma and use his allowance to pick up box after box filled with comics that some parent was selling off now that their kid had grown up and didn’t read them anymore. Years later, these same grown up children would lament when they would learn that their old comic collections was now worth a king’s ransom, but was sold off by their unknowing parents years ago. While I did enjoy Marvel’s superheroes (The Hulk was the one I gravitated towards), the ones that I really liked were the older EC comic’s The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror, and Tales From the Crypt. I would be mesmerized for hours going through the dog-eared copies that had the most amazing illustrations. Keep in mind, this was the late 1970s/early 1980s and kids read their comics – over and over. They didn’t keep them in pristine condition in protective plastic. So read those EC tales I did and I loved them. When I stumbled onto the Grave Business collection on Amazon, I couldn’t click BUY fast enough. And so the walk down Memory Lane began…

Grave Business is chock full of gothic tales of revenge and mean people getting what they deserve. Sure it all follows a predictable formula, but the stories are so entertaining, so reminiscent of horror stories you’ve read from many of the greats. Then, you realize that those stories were written many years after Graham Ingels drew them for EC and you can’t help but wonder how many horror authors were heavily influenced by those beautifully drawn macabre tales. Grave Business also includes the tragic story detailing how horror comics were considered to be the root of all evils amongst children and that there was even a congressional hearing that caused the comic industry to impose a code of ethics that basically sounded the death knell on horror comics, EC, and the lively hood of their talented creators. Entertaining AND educational. I loved Grave Business and I think you will too.

5 bubbling cauldrons out of 5
You can also follow my reviews at the following links:

https://kenmckinley.wordpress.com

http://intothemacabre.booklikes.com

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5919799-ken-mckinley