The horror! The horror!
In the late 1940s and early 1950s, gory horror comics had their day. Horror comic lines such as Weird Fantasy, Tales from the Crypt, DC’s House of Mystery and Marvel’s Strange Tales were among some of the many jaw-droppingly graphic tales of ghouls, vampires, cannibals and creeps. Some also contained more “adult” themes, as well as obligatory scantily-clad women. However, in 1953, the United States Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency was formed, and horror comics were targeted as a main contributor to increasingly bad behaviors in juveniles. This led to congressional hearings, and ultimately, censorship in the comic book world.
Well, horror is back in The Horror! The Horror!: Comic Books the Government Didn’t Want You to Read! Edited and with commentary by Jim Trombetta, the book contains full color scans of these gems from this golden age, as well as a bonus DVD of a 1955 special about the “evils” of horror comics. Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s is another new anthology to check out. Containing extensive notes, and reproductions keeping with original formats, editors Benson and Sadowski have hand-picked the best and the essential. Also included are 32 full-page classic cover reproductions. Wow! What I really like about these classic comics is that you just won't see anything quite like them anymore – they are truly a relic of their time. I love the old artwork and the stories range from the genuinely creepy to downright silly (example: killer cactus on rampage). Happy reading, and stay scared.