Zombies’ editors dutifully credit the artists for each story, though the writers behind these garish comics don’t receive their due—in the days before Marvel Comics put credits on its stories, comic book writers, in particular, typically remained anonymous. For art fans, though, the book’s cover trumpets a top-flight marquee of big-name artists from the period, even if some of these (Frank Frazetta and Basil Wolverton, most notably) only appear in a cover gallery. Still, a few of the names who show up for full stories are definitely worth noting: Jack Cole’s “The Corpse That Wouldn’t Die” puts his typically manic style to fine use in a horror pulp setting, while Wallace Wood’s “Thing from the Sea” blends that artist’s slick penwork with some effectively eerie panels. The shot of a murdered sailor walking through an underwater ocean vista is particularly striking.
While most of the selections in Zombies are in (slightly murky) color, two entries are original black-and-white art pieces taken from the collection of artist Bill Leach. First of these, “Live Man’s Funeral” (from Black Cat), is illustrated by Al Eadeh, a prolific artist for Atlas/Marvel in the early fifties. The story of a grave robber who meets an unhappy end in a glass coffin, it has the aptly grotesque look of a less scratchy Graham Ingles—just the thing for this tale of undead revenge. I was unfamiliar with Eadeh’s name before I opened this volume, but now that I’ve seen it, I want to track down more of it.
In this, the resurrectionists of “The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics” would doubtless say that they’ve succeeded in their mission.