Friday, May 18, 2012

Comic Reprintapalooza!

It is really kind of unbelievable, the amount of old comic book material being given the fancy hardcover reprint treatment.  It's way too much to digest, but I'm trying!  Among some of the newer releases:

Mysterious Traveler: Steve Ditko Archives Vol. 3:  This ongoing series has been collecting Ditko's work from the 50's, which was an especially interesting period artistically.  The stories are mostly crummy Charlton mystery junk, but Ditko was still laying in a lot of detail and imagination in this era. Given Charlton's lousy pay ($6.50 a page for finished art, versus $14 at the time at Marvel) it's amazing he spent as much time as he did on this stuff.  But evidently Ditko savored artistic freedom over all else, and at $6.50 a page I'm guessing the Charlton editors were just glad the stuff was coherent.  I still think Ditko's best work was for Marvel (both superhero and in the Atlas mystery anthologies), but this material is a close second. 

Tomb Of Terror Vol. 1: A new series reprinting Harvey's horror line from the 1950's in full color.  I have a number of the original books and was never particularly interested in collecting these titles, because, sadly, the work is mostly awful.  That doesn't mean there aren't guilty pleasures to be had, but tedious "shock endings" that don't shock and bashed-out artwork gets pretty old after awhile.  On the other hand...

Forbidden Worlds Vol. 1: ...this new series, collecting books from the ACG comics group, is definitely a notch above.  Redeemed by a couple stories by the great Al Williamson and a (slightly) more literary tone, this is a series I'll probably keep getting.  If the weight of all these books doesn't smash through the Earth's crust and send me plummeting to the Earth's core...


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