>> edited and designed by Greg Sadowski >> introduction by Jonathan Lethem >> Ladies and gentlemen! Step right up and see the wonders of the ages! This is where it all began: the protoplasmic early days of the superhero comic book -- wild & heady, zany & crazy, fantastic & non-sensical, rough around the edges; all this and more. Reading these stories is like witnessing history in the making, it is being present at the birth. Sure, we've all read those original Superman and Batman stories along with other DC classics, as well as a those old Captain America, Submariner, Human Torch tales, and maybe a few other Golden Age Marvels (well, Timelys, actually), but these are usually presented in a self-promoting fashion by their corporate owners which mitigates and obscures the historical context in which these works need to be read to fully appreciate their novelty. The work here spans the years 1936 to 1941, with the bulk of it originating in 1939 and 1940. It is divided by publisher and includes the Comics Magazine Company, Chesler, Centaur, Fox, MLJ, Fiction House, Columbia, Your Guide/Rhoda and Novelty Press, Some of the earliest work by the brightest stars of the Golden Age are collected here: Jack Kirby, Will Eisner, Lou Fine, Jack Cole, Basil Wolverton, Bill Everett, Ogden Whitney, Dick Briefer, Fred Guardineer, and, yes, Fletcher Hanks. It appears that this volume has been put together employing high quality scans of the original comic books which were then digitally restored and and enhanced and then crisply printed on flat (non-glossy) bright paper stock, and the results are excellent, A minor quibble is that, for our money, we would have preferred an off-white paper that more closely matches the newsprint upon which these comics were originally printed, but this is negligible when stacked next to all that is right with the production. While it should go without saying that no self-respecting comics scholar can pass this up, we hasten to add that anyone who misses the plain old fun that we associate with the term comic book, who wants a jolt of that good ol' four-color energy from back in the day, need look no further than this fine volume.
Billed as the first volume in The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics!™, and edited by Craig Yoe, this 144 page, full color hardcover is by far the best book yet produced under the Yoe Books imprint, and is the third in our Halloween horror threesome. The ample selection of high quality scans straight from the original comic books takes readers from the 1940 debut of Briefer's Frankenstein in Prize Comics #7 through to the 1954 release of Frankenstein #31, near the end of the run. The book begins with a biographical overview of Briefer's life and career, replete with nice repros of original art, comic covers, ephemera and rarities. Great comics, sharp scans, crisp printing, engaging support material, nice package, reasonable price – it all comes together here. Let's hope Yoe can keep it up.