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Bringing together the finest names in comic book horror, this volume features nearly 50 comics that caused a furor in the US and sparked legislation to crack down on explicit horror—from the 1940s to the 21st century. Includes names like Steve Niles, Pete Von Sholly, Michael Kaluta, Mike Ploog, Rudy Palais, Rand Holmes, Vincent Locke, Frank Brunner, and many more. Reproduc Bringing together the finest names in comic book horror, this volume features nearly 50 comics that caused a furor in the US and sparked legislation to crack down on explicit horror—from the 1940s to the 21st century. Includes names like Steve Niles, Pete Von Sholly, Michael Kaluta, Mike Ploog, Rudy Palais, Rand Holmes, Vincent Locke, Frank Brunner, and many more. Reproduced in black and white for this brand-new collection.


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Bringing together the finest names in comic book horror, this volume features nearly 50 comics that caused a furor in the US and sparked legislation to crack down on explicit horror—from the 1940s to the 21st century. Includes names like Steve Niles, Pete Von Sholly, Michael Kaluta, Mike Ploog, Rudy Palais, Rand Holmes, Vincent Locke, Frank Brunner, and many more. Reproduc Bringing together the finest names in comic book horror, this volume features nearly 50 comics that caused a furor in the US and sparked legislation to crack down on explicit horror—from the 1940s to the 21st century. Includes names like Steve Niles, Pete Von Sholly, Michael Kaluta, Mike Ploog, Rudy Palais, Rand Holmes, Vincent Locke, Frank Brunner, and many more. Reproduced in black and white for this brand-new collection.

30 review for The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shawn

    So this is a huge collection of comics. It certainly has some flaws. Let's get the elephant out of the room first of all - the decision to print this in the Standard Mammoth Book format size is a mistake, although I'm sure it kept the price down. It wouldn't be so bad if all the comics were being shot from their original artwork, sans color, but that's a rough expectation for some of the older stories represented here. So, along with the small page size, you get stories shot from the colored, ne So this is a huge collection of comics. It certainly has some flaws. Let's get the elephant out of the room first of all - the decision to print this in the Standard Mammoth Book format size is a mistake, although I'm sure it kept the price down. It wouldn't be so bad if all the comics were being shot from their original artwork, sans color, but that's a rough expectation for some of the older stories represented here. So, along with the small page size, you get stories shot from the colored, newsprint comic page, which is then printed in black/white/grey. Combine that with the expected *wordiness* of old comics and, yeah, it's a muddy, sometimes ugly strain on the eyes most of the time, at least for the first half of the book or so. So that's that. And the "best of" approach falls into doubt as well. Because, obviously, they can't get the rights (or afford to get the rights) to EC or Warren or Marvel or DC horror comics stories - and that's understandable and okay - but perhaps some of the space in the short history essays might have been used to include lists of "Hey, here's the other great stories from these time periods which you should really check out but we can't reprint." And, lacking that, one begins to suspect that the book is really a collection of Editor's faves and easily obtainable, public domain reprints. And even that's okay - but it does make one crave an actual, intensive, well-considered overview of the horror comics genre, with inclusive, balanced choices - which is not to be found here. But that's okay as well... Because, if you can find a cheap copy (currently running $8 to $20 used on bookfinder.com) and you commit to the eyestrain, this is a fun read and a nice overview of how horror comics have changed (and stayed the same) over time (it was my bathroom reading for most of the preceding year). That's it for the short version of the review, and now.... (still with me? let's have some fun!) The text pieces are informative but uneven (for example, they go a bit overboard on selling how "gruesome" the pre-code comics were - yes, for the time they were, but you don't need to make it sound like they were near psychotic in their depiction of awfulness). The Golden Age ("The Dark Age Of Comics - 40s and 50s") section holds some surprises, despite the sometimes stiff artwork. The adaptation of Poe's "The Black Cat" (from 1944) keeps in the alcoholism, the cutting out of the eye and even the eventual hanging of the cat! "The Corpse That Wouldn't Die" has expressive Jack Cole artwork and a dynamic splash page to recommend it. "Dungeon Of Doom" has a subway conductor bump his head and start seeing monsters (there's a ghoulish face-melting panel!) before the fun, paranoid wrap-up. "Marching Zombies" has a cursed tribe of hideous monsters and a dark, dark ending of endless, undying torment. "Partners In Blood" - a Gothic vampire story - can't shake off its surprisingly sapphic undertones with the vampire's countess's fixation on the Professor's niece (especially as the set-up basically rips off "Carmilla") but has a thoroughly lame "wrap-it-all-up-in-one-panel" ending (lesson - old castle parapets are slippery, especially when you are a dwarf!). The stiff, quasi-Al Feldstein artwork of Matt Fox makes the story "The Hand Of Glory" come across as oddly obsessive, whereas Lou Cameron uses "The Man Who Would Be Fate" as an excuse to draw a phantasmagoria of crazy, rubbery monsters and Ditko-like dimensionscapes There's some goofy stuff here as well - "Hitler's Head" has a bunch of Nazis, who have fled to South American, haunted by Der Fuhrer himself as a hunchbacked demon, finally to end up all dead with their own Hitler heads! "No Rest For The Dead" has a cemetery groundskeeper tormenting the ghosts in his care with lies and black magic. "Terror Of The Stolen Legs" sets up its premise in the splash page and then ignores or forgets about it until the final panel! "The Living-Dead" seems to be hosted by EC's Crypt-Keeper (picking up work on the side?) and has Nazi's AND Zombies! "Grave Rehearsal" features evil mud-baths at a Transylvanian spa, a rich authoritarian and ghostly revenge. " A Glimpse of the Pit" features 5 potential hosts ("The Teller" and 4 monsters) before settling on "Freddie Demon" to tell you the story of two sisters, one evil and one good, and how the evil one arranges the incredibly easy murder of their wealthy, eccentric uncle (he sleeps on a bed under a canopy of spikes, "just to be different"!!!). "The Thing That Walked At Night" is not a good story (a weird, adopted daughter periodically turns into a cat-monster) and has an absurd twist ending but I give the artist credit for pulling off a highly cinematic (cheap horror cinema, at least) final panel. Lifting some old Monogram B-Movie plot (a gangster's worst revenge scheme ever!), "Dead Man's Revenge" has a hood gives a mad-doctor the brain of his recently murdered rival ("His body will be dead, but his brain will live on in that ugly carcass. Ah, how I hate that guy!") with the expected result. This story has some hilariously blunt dialogue ("And so, I take my revenge!") and one of those final panels completely crammed with an enormous and wordy explanatory speech balloon. The best Golden Age story here is Jerry Grandenetti's work on Case 105-B of the occult investigator character, Dr. Drew (Stalker of the Unknown! He has a castle on Bone Hill!), "The Witch's Doll" (1949). It's frustrating to see this beautiful work reproduced so weakly - Grandenetti (heavily influenced by the Will Eisner studio style) produces some amazing atmospherics (love that distant cityscape on the horizon in the splash! Great shadowy lighting when Drew casts a spell) and dramatic framing (imaginative & dreamlike, a fore-runner of Steve Ditko, text interacts symbolically with image at one point), all while delivering the goods (the first page ends on a funny gag - contemplative, pipe-smoking, cape-wearing Dr. Drew rushes to a victim's bedside only to announce he's not *that* kind of doctor, and a later panel of attack by puppets is excellent)! The 60s - 70s ("The Horror Returns") sees horror comics recovering from the EC Congressional hearings of the 50s, inventing new ways to scare and new approaches to old stories (and also discovering that publishing horror comic MAGAZINES exempted them from the Comics Code). While Warren's groundbreaking CREEPY and EERIE can't be featured, you do get a nice cross section of a lot of small publishers: Dell, Major, Charlton, Skywald and the sleazy Eerie Comics (see my review of Zombie Factory: 27 Tales Of Bizarre Comix Madness From Beyond The Tomb). "Santa's Claws" features some absolutely beautiful, Wrightson-esque Frank Brunner artwork to illustrate its tale of a vampire preying on an isolated Rumanian village who gets his comeuppance at Christmas time. Similarly, an Austrian village is stalked by a werewolf in "Tradition of the Wolf" (interesting choice of a non-European main character) which fits an intriguing character study into a small amount of pages (it could be said that this is both the joy and the downfall of the horror comic anthology story - the lower page counts mean stories must be compacted and deliver quickly). "Sea Of Graves", with some nice, early work by Mike Kaluta, has a standard ironic ending for its tale of scuba-diving archaeological skull-duggery. A brooding, Gothic style suffuses Tom Sutton's very Bluebeard-like "The Game Keeper" and his "The Weirdest Character I've Ever Known" (an old chestnut but nicely done) for Charlton Comics GHOSTLY HAUNTS. Meanwhile, his "Through A Glass Darkly" for GHOSTLY TALES moves in Lovecraftian realms of psychedelia and cosmic horror (oh, to see this shot from the original art)! On the more traditional side, we get a slice of Conte Cruel from WEIRD with "The Fatal Scalpel", involving a cuckolded plastic surgeon. The story may not be much to write home about but the clean artwork, with its rubbery (and at times disturbingly demented) character expressions is quite nice. Finally, on the experimental side, we get two stories from Skywald (I have two collections of their work to read soon). The stories - "Now — Another Maniac!" and "Ghouls Walk Among Us" — themselves are traditional (dream-irony twist-ending and ironic-ending monster story) but the stark, sparse black-and-white artwork (along with the near-wordless storytelling and the suspenseful, cinematic presentation) make them stand out. The best here is the simply cool and bizarrely inventive "The Monster Of Dread End" wherein an entire city neighborhood is abandoned because of a rash of mysterious child murders (they're eventually found as mangled, balled-up corpses) and the strange mystery is finally solved only by one brave boy returning to the lonely streets. Taken from a Dell Comics GHOST STORY issue from 1962, this is a story that, had I read it as a child, would STILL stick in my memory as an adult. Very, very cool monster story (worth noting - it has a central conception to it that you could only really sell to a reader in an illustrated horror comic book, it probably would not work in text) and worth the price of this book alone. Next up is "The Faithful Few" (80s and 90s) and here's where things go a little pear-shaped. Again, essential work from TABOO is not included (so no Steve Bissette, for one) and the lack of quality reproduction and reduced size really works against Rand Holmes' Wally Wood-esque artwork in "Killer Planet" (which is more of a WEIRD SCIENCE type story from DEATH RATTLE about a predator world), Mike Ploog's wonderfully cartoonish work on "Over His Head" (which is another EC throwback from TWISTED TALES) and plays havoc with John Coulthart hyper-detailed engraving style on a (semi-) adaptation of Lovecraft's THE DUNWICH HORROR (very odd, more a series of images than a telling of the story). Arthur Suydam's "Christmas Carol" is a nice slice of creepy, disturbing Victorian Gothic served up in some beautiful moody artwork. You also get some Mr. Monster (superhero monster fighter - a fondly remembered book of my youth with wonderfully energetic action art) and DEADWORLD (predecessor of THE WALKING DEAD, a zombie apocalypse comic with scratchy art style) which were both fun to revisit but shouldn't really be here as they either don't fit or were an ongoing series, respectively. And then you also get some other stuff, either unimpressive ("Home Ties", "The Confessor Demonicus Ex-Deo") or flawed (the excellent Tim Sale adaptation of Robert E. Howard's "Dream Snake" has all it's effective suspense undermined by the fact that the last page is missing and replaced by a duplicate page!) So finally that leaves the 21st Century and "A New Millenium For The Macabre" - and it feels a lot like the 80s-90s section. A smattering of some good stuff (Grant Margett's stark, cramped adaptation of Lovecraft's "The Festival"), or nearly good (nice artwork by James Fletcher on Stephen Sennitt's "The Crawlspace", a very EC-like homicidal fairy tale version of "There Was An Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe"), some interesting (Dave Hitchcock's engraving style on "Immortal A Vampire Tale", two fumetti stories - "The Graveswellers" and another version of "Dread End") and some just not to my taste at all (the horror-noir "A Letter From B.S.", the annoyingly manga-styled "Luna's Story"). The book ends on an okay story from a Zacherley comic, "Shuteye" that, like the Howard adaptation, has some production flaws. And that's about it. Not bad enough to call a missed opportunity, but it really meanders its way across the finish line as well. Worth picking up, for the older stuff at least, if you can find it cheap.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Quentin Wallace

    This is a HUGE volume of horror comics starting with the 40s and continuing until present day. I'm a huge horror comic fan, so it would be hard for me not to like this one. The majority of the book is spent on the older precode books, but there are more recent selections as well. Overall it's not bad. I don't know about some of the selections, but I assume some copyright restrictions may have limited the choices at least a little. Also, the format itself isn't the best with some stories as the si This is a HUGE volume of horror comics starting with the 40s and continuing until present day. I'm a huge horror comic fan, so it would be hard for me not to like this one. The majority of the book is spent on the older precode books, but there are more recent selections as well. Overall it's not bad. I don't know about some of the selections, but I assume some copyright restrictions may have limited the choices at least a little. Also, the format itself isn't the best with some stories as the size of this volume is smaller than the original publication size. You end up losing some detail in the art and sometimes having to squint to read some of the text. Plus it was in black and white, which usually works as good or better than color with horror comics. However, since many of the stories were originally in color, the transfer came across muddied. Overall though it's a good value for the money, and it is a nice horror comic collection. If you're really into horror comics, especially older stories, you'll enjoy this one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angel

    I liked this one. It is a pretty big collection of old comic books from the mid-40s to today. Though they are in black and white, the quality is still good. The stories are an interesting blend of monsters, horror, scary situations, and things reminiscent of an episode from "The Twilight Zone." TO be honest, as a reader today, I did find it kind of amusing to see what some people considered "shocking" back then. They worried kids would go insane if they read some of those comics. Then again, I p I liked this one. It is a pretty big collection of old comic books from the mid-40s to today. Though they are in black and white, the quality is still good. The stories are an interesting blend of monsters, horror, scary situations, and things reminiscent of an episode from "The Twilight Zone." TO be honest, as a reader today, I did find it kind of amusing to see what some people considered "shocking" back then. They worried kids would go insane if they read some of those comics. Then again, I probably would have been the kid back then sneaking these comics into their house. Overall, the publisher did a good job of bringing these together in one volume. It also looks like they put out similar volumes on other topics, which I may seek out. Anyhow, if you want a look at older comics, or you want something to read for Halloween, this is certainly a good choice. And it lends itself to browsing and skipping too if that is more your style. I borrowed it through Interlibrary Loan at my workplace, but this would be something I could see myself buying. * * * * I first read it in October 2008. Reread it in September 2010 after I got in the mood for some horror (and hey, just in time for Halloween). I finally bought a copy (it was pretty cheap, so I said why not). I had forgotten that this book, as other reviewers mentioned, seems to have shipped out with a couple of defective pages (basically a couple of pages in a couple of the comics are duplicated, and I noticed one incorrect cover in an introduction), which can be a bit of a nuisance. However this is still a pretty good collection. The best part is definitely the chapter with the comics from the 1950s and 1960s. I think not only are the comics entertaining (certainly some are cheesy by today's standards), but you get a glimpse at what people thought was a "big deal" back then. The 70s and 80s was ok, a bit of hit and miss. The 1990s was ok, better than the previous decade. The new stuff was interesting. Clearly, you get to see a variety in the genre. It is a pretty good time to read horror and horror comics/graphic novels, even if you do have to put a bit of effort to find some since it seems the best work is being done by smaller publishers. So, the anthology is not perfect, but it is pretty good. And I think a lot of readers will enjoy it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    MJ

    Well, it certainly is mammoth. But there are just too many problems with the book to recommend it. For starters, all the comics are reproduced in black and white. I'm sure this was to keep costs down, but the results are often muddy and hard to read. The Dunwich Horror adaptation was impossible to read. Two of the stories were printed with their pages out of order, which is just careless. Where was the copy editor? And where was the copy editor for many of the story introductions? A few of them Well, it certainly is mammoth. But there are just too many problems with the book to recommend it. For starters, all the comics are reproduced in black and white. I'm sure this was to keep costs down, but the results are often muddy and hard to read. The Dunwich Horror adaptation was impossible to read. Two of the stories were printed with their pages out of order, which is just careless. Where was the copy editor? And where was the copy editor for many of the story introductions? A few of them bordered on oddly incoherent. I found myself wondering more than once if they had been translated from another language. The biggest problem, though, was the material that was missing. Despite frequent references to it, there was nothing from EC, DC, or Marvel, or from Krendel, Frazetta, Wrightson, Jeff Jones, and a host of other artists. Perhaps it was too expensive to get the rights. Perhaps Normanton wanted to highlight less famous stuff. Either way, it should have been addressed. Ultimately, though, the book was pretty unsatisfying.

  5. 4 out of 5

    David Corleto-Bales

    Finally knuckled down and finished this one that I bought at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco back in '08. Well! I enjoyed the old 1950s horror comic choices, but I question mightily the ones after that. These are the best? Not by a long shot. Some of the storylines didn't make much sense, ended abruptly, and were pretty standard fare. I was disappointed that the editors seemed to choose comics from black and white magazines like "Eerie" and others rather from the classic comic series like Finally knuckled down and finished this one that I bought at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco back in '08. Well! I enjoyed the old 1950s horror comic choices, but I question mightily the ones after that. These are the best? Not by a long shot. Some of the storylines didn't make much sense, ended abruptly, and were pretty standard fare. I was disappointed that the editors seemed to choose comics from black and white magazines like "Eerie" and others rather from the classic comic series like "Tomb of Dracula" or DC's "House of Mystery." Horror comics are little respected in this superhero-heavy genre. In fact, I can't find ANY horror comics from the '60s or '70s at my local shop. Tyranny. At any rate, it was enjoyable but I wanted more. I think I could do a much better job of choosing strips to go in a book entitled "The Best of..."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Suvi

    The decision to publish even the colour comics in black and white was probably not the best. I thought it was my eyes only, but apparently not. I doubt a magnifying glass would have helped much, especially in Dunwich Horror. I was mostly interested in the older ones, but even they weren't exactly the best horror comics of the era. The later comics on the other hand were too bare-breasts-in-your-face-to-divert-you-from-the-ridiculous-story. Worth the read for the pre-1960s section I guess, but not The decision to publish even the colour comics in black and white was probably not the best. I thought it was my eyes only, but apparently not. I doubt a magnifying glass would have helped much, especially in Dunwich Horror. I was mostly interested in the older ones, but even they weren't exactly the best horror comics of the era. The later comics on the other hand were too bare-breasts-in-your-face-to-divert-you-from-the-ridiculous-story. Worth the read for the pre-1960s section I guess, but not particularly impressive as a whole.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    WOW! This thing is brimming with weirdness. Fun look at pulps you'd never see otherwise. I try to read one a night before going to sleep... muhahah.

  8. 4 out of 5

    David Agranoff

    Super awesome-ness. Horror comics from a wide span of a century. Must have for horror comic fans.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Whitehead

    Peter Normanton seems to know a lot about the subject, so it’s a shame he’s such a bad editor. Many of his intros are superficial enough to be wine reviews. Further, I’m not buying his explanation for the complete absence of material from EC, DC and Marvel, as I suspect prohibitive royalties were probably part of the problem. And worst of all, at least four of the stories are mangled by misprints, including a missing final page from an edge-of-your-seat tale. Editing problems notwithstanding, ov Peter Normanton seems to know a lot about the subject, so it’s a shame he’s such a bad editor. Many of his intros are superficial enough to be wine reviews. Further, I’m not buying his explanation for the complete absence of material from EC, DC and Marvel, as I suspect prohibitive royalties were probably part of the problem. And worst of all, at least four of the stories are mangled by misprints, including a missing final page from an edge-of-your-seat tale. Editing problems notwithstanding, overall this is a good anthology of work from the pre-code days of the 40s and 50s all the way to the new millennium.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark NP

    This is just what I’ve been looking for! If you’ve been following my quest for modern horror comics that mirror the EC comics from the 1950s, you’ll know how pleased I am. This book contains a breadth of horror comics, a comprehensive collection from the 1940s and 50s that follows through in every decade until the 21st century. The golden age of horror comics before the comics code was introduced are still among the best, and those writers and artists were the most prolific, but it’s good to see This is just what I’ve been looking for! If you’ve been following my quest for modern horror comics that mirror the EC comics from the 1950s, you’ll know how pleased I am. This book contains a breadth of horror comics, a comprehensive collection from the 1940s and 50s that follows through in every decade until the 21st century. The golden age of horror comics before the comics code was introduced are still among the best, and those writers and artists were the most prolific, but it’s good to see that quality horror comics never stopped getting published.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey W Brigham

    Yes, the book should have been bigger. Yes, it should have been in color. The book has flaws, but man... those comics were fantastic! This book shows the progression (or regression) of comics from the awesome period of 1940s - 1954 to today. The biggest impression it leaves on me is how the paranoia over communism in the 1950s really murdered the world of the horror comic. It did rise from the grave, but, as Stephen King's character Jud Crandall said in Pet Cemetery, "Sometimes dead is better." Yes, the book should have been bigger. Yes, it should have been in color. The book has flaws, but man... those comics were fantastic! This book shows the progression (or regression) of comics from the awesome period of 1940s - 1954 to today. The biggest impression it leaves on me is how the paranoia over communism in the 1950s really murdered the world of the horror comic. It did rise from the grave, but, as Stephen King's character Jud Crandall said in Pet Cemetery, "Sometimes dead is better."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tor Jonsson

    I have a real soft spot in my heart for this genre of comics so take it with a grain of salt but I suspect anyone looking at this already has a similar passion. A lot of great obscure comics in here. "Now... Another Maniac!" is a favorite with its stark artwork and clever twist. "No Rest for the Dead" is great too. Classic 50s style in artwork and tone. Any fan of the genre should love it. Once you're done with EC pick it up.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Dylan Rock

    An excellent collection of horror comics from the 1930s to the modern era. While the quality of the book does leave much to be desired, given that it is out of print as of 2018 and cheap copies are quite easy to come by, if you can find it for a good price. Do so and enjoy some cheap chills especially as we're nearing Halloween

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brendan

    I dunno--started this years ago and never picked it back up. Probably there's a reason for that. Thought it wa.s time to get it out of my "currently reading" list

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chris Parsons

    Been chipping away at this anthology for a few years now. While not all great, of the 50 or so there are some real gems. Recommended for any fan of pulp horror or classic comics.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rory

    This was quite the experience reading this. When it says mammoth it truly means it. Each part is divided into decades, Part 1: 40s & 50s, Part 2: 60s & 70s, Part 3: 80s & 90s Part 4: 21st Century. There were some enjoyable stories here (my personal favourite being 'The Monster of Dread End') but it doesn't pick up until the second part. There's a nice adaptation of Poe's 'The Black Cat' in the first part but most of the other stories are pretty forgettable to be honest, most of them featured aba This was quite the experience reading this. When it says mammoth it truly means it. Each part is divided into decades, Part 1: 40s & 50s, Part 2: 60s & 70s, Part 3: 80s & 90s Part 4: 21st Century. There were some enjoyable stories here (my personal favourite being 'The Monster of Dread End') but it doesn't pick up until the second part. There's a nice adaptation of Poe's 'The Black Cat' in the first part but most of the other stories are pretty forgettable to be honest, most of them featured abandoned castles and the recent or long dead. The 70s & 80s mixed things up a big by having sci fi elements in some stories (there's a terrific one about a deadly alien fungus that attacks people), and towards the last section I came across some stories that interested me enough to check out more of the artists and writer's work, most notable is Steve Niles' occult detective Cal McDonald. It's a mixed bag but I'm glad I read this book through to the end, it just goes to show that even from times gone up until now there is a strong audience for these macabre stories.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nigel Hill

    I found this very good value for money and a very enjoyable piece of light reading. The Comics start from the 1940's to present. Not every comic is a masterpiece, but the nice thing is that they are relatively short, so for every duff one there are three to four good ones. The best ones to me are the 1950' to 1970's ones as they have added nostalgia value ( used to collect "pocket chiller library" and "Dracula Lives" many moons ago) and the black and white artwork is nice and atmospheric. Readin I found this very good value for money and a very enjoyable piece of light reading. The Comics start from the 1940's to present. Not every comic is a masterpiece, but the nice thing is that they are relatively short, so for every duff one there are three to four good ones. The best ones to me are the 1950' to 1970's ones as they have added nostalgia value ( used to collect "pocket chiller library" and "Dracula Lives" many moons ago) and the black and white artwork is nice and atmospheric. Reading this has led me to order some other old horror comic reprint volumes, such as "The EC Archives", "House of Mystery." So this makes an ideal starting point for any horror fans wanting to try something a little different.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tlingit

    When I strated this book I wasn't impressed. It began with older comics that were very dated. As I went through the book though I found some of the stories entertaining and still others not as much. What really caught me was a story I read originally in Heavy Metal that was drawn and written in a cheap horror comic book. I liked Heavy Metal's version better. It was about a woman who gets raped by some wretch her husband brings in off the street. She births a throng of what looks like sperm gnome When I strated this book I wasn't impressed. It began with older comics that were very dated. As I went through the book though I found some of the stories entertaining and still others not as much. What really caught me was a story I read originally in Heavy Metal that was drawn and written in a cheap horror comic book. I liked Heavy Metal's version better. It was about a woman who gets raped by some wretch her husband brings in off the street. She births a throng of what looks like sperm gnomes with eyeless catfish faces. Anyway, some of the drawings are cheesy but that's the nature of the beast when it came to horror, then and now. Just finding that story in this book for me made it worth wading through the chaff.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    This is another of those 500+ page book collections of horror comic stories reprinted in black and white. The stories are mostly from publishers other than Marvel and DC and, in my opinion, many of them have more horror value than the EC stories that I have read. The book also examines these comics over time and has some historical analysis of the comics of certain years. My main criticism is not the fault of the book itself, but of a few of the stories chosen, in that the printing of the dialogu This is another of those 500+ page book collections of horror comic stories reprinted in black and white. The stories are mostly from publishers other than Marvel and DC and, in my opinion, many of them have more horror value than the EC stories that I have read. The book also examines these comics over time and has some historical analysis of the comics of certain years. My main criticism is not the fault of the book itself, but of a few of the stories chosen, in that the printing of the dialogues is done in a way which makes them difficult to read. There are also a couple of the stories that the artwork is too over-the-top and artsy for my tastes. It's sort of a mixed bag as far as quality goes.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Williwaw

    This is well worth the cover price. Perhaps the title is a bit unfair: the "best" would have included some of Dikto's, Wood's, Torres's and Grandenetti's work from the Warren magazines. Also, there's nothing here from the E.C. Comics, which are widely recognized for their superior artistry. That said, it's a good collection that spans quite a lot of history. Many of the selections are interesting and I would not have otherwise had a chance to read them. If you like horror comics, this is a must-ha This is well worth the cover price. Perhaps the title is a bit unfair: the "best" would have included some of Dikto's, Wood's, Torres's and Grandenetti's work from the Warren magazines. Also, there's nothing here from the E.C. Comics, which are widely recognized for their superior artistry. That said, it's a good collection that spans quite a lot of history. Many of the selections are interesting and I would not have otherwise had a chance to read them. If you like horror comics, this is a must-have. Be forewarned, however: the reproductions are black & white, not high-quality, and not full-size. Nevertheless, the book's virtues outweigh its flaws.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jason Coffman

    The concept here is great, but the execution is sadly lacking. Dock one star for some really questionable recent material (more hard-to-find classics would have been preferable) and one for three MAJOR printing errors that completely ruin one story (the last page is missing!) and mess up two others. Oh well. Still a pretty good deal if you can grab it cheap, but overall a serious disappointment.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gareth

    Superb collection of stories covering every kind of horror tale, from straightforward monster mashes to psychological terror. Tales of crooks recieving their just desserts rub shoulders with unearthly cruelty striking the innocent. Excellent artwork and a good commentary from the editor. Amazing value for money.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Turek

    A tremendous collection for an amazing price! I was very impressed at the strength of the non EC pre-code tales. I wish there were larger collections of that stuff, but I suspect it would very difficult -- I'm guessing it would largely be a case of scanning books from private collections?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Quasisonic

    An odd little collection, the editor clearly has a great love for the comics within, and horror comics in general. I found the evolution of what was considering scary and shocking to be fairly interesting.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Samantha Stockin

    Kind of got fed up with this one. I think the black and white print ruined the artwork and thus the impact of the works contained within. I will seek my horror comic thrills in full colour from now on.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Blair

    A fine time capsule of lesser known titles, if I do say so myself.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Quentin

    Weird, wonderful, and cheap!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Unreadable garbage content, poor duplication of originals, I ended up giving mine away nearly unread.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Nice collection with a few duds. Of course, only my opinion. I liked seeing comics from way back in the day and how styles have morphed through the years. Very cool.

  30. 4 out of 5

    John

    Wild stories, terrible (often unreadable) reproduction.

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