Wednesday, October 17, 2012

That Stuff'll Rot Your Brain!

We know all about EC Comics from the early 50's contaminating young baby-boomers' minds with lurid depictions of ghouls and maniacs, and how the government, through pressures from the usual sources (we all know who they are and they never seem to go away) laid the smackdown on the comic industry. And mostly from evidence built on fear and hysteria and flimsy research. But EC wasn't the only game in town. Far from it, as the terrific book, Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950's, edited by Greg Sadowski, shows.

Fantagraphics Books, 2010
Inside this book are collected stories from a wide range of titles including Voodoo, Web of Evil, Weird Mysteries, Strange Mysteries, to name only a few. Artists include Bob Powell, Jack Cole, Joe Kubert, Sid Check & Frank Frazetta among others. Greg Sadowski includes detailed notes on each of the stories selected and, as an added bonus, page after page of some of the coolest covers you've ever splashed your peepers on. If you were a kid in 1952 getting an eyeful of these covers at your local drugstore or newsstand, there was no way that dime was staying in your pocket. Those of us who came along years later missed out, but thanks to reprints and books like this one we can see for ourselves what all the fuss was about. Take that, Grandma!

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