Monday, August 02, 2010

Comic Horror

Regular readers of this blog will know I have a fondness for classic pre-code American horror comics and have plugged collections of such stories here in the past, as well as unearthing 1950s press clippings of the unbalanced animosity towards such fare. Now, news comes of another collection of old horror comics in the sensationally titled The Horror! The Horror!: Comic Books The Government Didn't Want You To Read.

Published by Harry N. Abrams Inc and written by Jim Trombetta, this 304 page tome promises to present "over 200 covers and complete stories as they were originally seen, scanned from mint copies in the author's extensive collection". Apparently it will reprint stories that have "rarely been seen" rather than the often-reprinted EC Comics.

The book is published in October/November at £19.99 but can be pre-ordered from Amazon at £14.99.

Meanwhile, Marvel have recently published the third hardback volume in their Atlas Era Strange Tales series, reprinting ten remastered issues of pre-code horror from the likes of Stan Lee, Joe Maneely, Jack Katz, Bill Everett, Joe Sinnott and more. These Marvel Masterworks are very expensive (around £45 in UK comic shops) but a few years ago who would have expected these classics to ever see the light of day again, particularly in such a durable format?

For a really horrific image though, take a look at the cover of the latest Golden Age Human Torch book which came out a couple of weeks ago. In his introduction Roy Thomas calls the Alex Schomburg cover the most gruesome of Marvel's World War 2 comics. It's debatable which is the more horrific; the mutilation, the bondage, or the racial stereotyping, but in 1943 this was on the newsstands for children to buy. Today, it's the cover of a £45 book for adult collectors who can judge it as a product of its wartime era.

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