Published on July 31st, 2023 | by Tim Chuma
The EC Archives: The Vault Of Horror Volume 3 TPB Review (2023) @DarkHorse
Summary: These stories may be a bit old-fashioned by today's standards but if you want to read the stories that inspired a whole lot of people in the horror genre it comes recommended.
This volume collects The Vault of Horror issues #24-#29 originally published in the 1950s and a big influence on a lot of writers and artists since then. Even if you have not seen any of the comics before the stories are quite familiar as a lot of movies and pop culture ended up being based on these stories.
There is an adaptation of one of Ray Bradbury’s short stories “Let’s play poison” in the book and some of the stories seem to have been based on older stories or a morality tale in some way as with the style of these.
These are quite different to a lot of modern horror stories and I am not sure if those who are familiar with the newer stories would be into it as much. Society and culture does change over time and some of the details of the stories you would not do these days like the portrayals of people of colour or the treatment of women in these. Men die in these a lot more but really only when they deserve it and you do not care as much.
If I was going to get these I would get a bunch of them to have as a collection and be able to read from time to time. It is a lot better if you read the volume story by story and don’t try and rush through it as it can be a bit much to take in more than a couple of stories at each setting.
The artwork and style still holds up as it was all hand-drawn and as a lot of other horror was based on these the originals are always the best.
Well worth reading if you are a horror fan and want to look up the older material or even if you have heard of these and always been curious as to what they are actually like.
Writer: Al Feldstein, William Gaines, Ray Bradbury
Artist: Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels, Jack Davis
Colourist: Marie Severin
Publisher: Dark Horse
Publication Date: July 12, 2023
Format: FC, 216 pages; TPB, 8″ x 11″