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The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics [Paperback]

Peter Normanton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Jan 2008
In over 500 pages this book collects the finest tales of terror from the past sixty years of comic book publishing. It encompasses all eras of the genre, from the ‘weird menace’ horror of the perennially popular 1950s pre-Code comics published by EC, to the dark modern gems of the 90s and 2000s. Discover the tales that drove the American youth of the 1950s into a frenzy and resulted in legislation to put an end to their gruesome content – the pre-Code comic book macabre that was Dark Mysteries, Chamber of Chills, Weird Terror and Journey into Fear. Contributors from these early years include Bernie Wrightson, master adapter of Lovecraft, Mary Shelley and Stephen King; Mike Kaluta, the man behind The Shadow, Metropolis, and The Spawn of Frankenstein; and Rudy Palais, the EC artist responsible for such twisted works as Marching Zombies. Modern contributions include Pete Von Scholly's The Graveswellers (the man behind The Shawshank Redemption, The Mask, and The Green Mile), David Hitchcock's self-published Immortal - a Vampire Tale' (creator of the Jack the Ripper comic Whitechapel Freak), Thomas Ott's G.O.D. from Greetings from Hellville (acclaimed Swiss noir artist), Legendary Canadian counter-culture cartoonist Rand Holmes' Death Rattle, and Vincent Locke's One of These Days (famed for his underground hit zombie comic Deadworld), and comic-book legend Steve Ditko’s Disaster Doom Death (co-creator of Spiderman). Bringing together the finest names in comic book terror, here is a feast of terror only a ghoul could have dreamed up.

Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Robinson (24 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845296419
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845296414
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.6 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 155,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

50 of the greatest horror comics and graphic short stories ever produced

About the Author

Peter Normanton has for seven years edited and published the horror comics zine, From The Tomb, now into its 21st issue. He is widely admired for his love of the genre and for supporting the efforts of horror artists and small pressers. He lives in Rochdale, England.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I got a little quibble. 1 Feb 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Actually, it's the same quibble I had with the same publisher's The Mammoth Book of Best New Manga and might have had if they'd called another book The Mammoth Book of Very Best War Comics.

It's the word 'Best'. For the Manga volume it could have been substituted with 'Mostly Just About Competent'. For War Comics 'Best' is okay as it was a good selection, though it omitted a number of key or iconic stories.

Like the War Comics volume, Horror omits anything published by EC, DC, Marvel, and Warren. Because, the editor says, they have their own compilations. Translated this means: we couldn't afford the reprint rights. So this just isn't the Best by a long stretch of the imagination. Any serious Best horror would have to include Warren, EC, DC, though I can live without Marvel, and something (like a Swamp Thing story) by Alan Moore.

But that isn't to say that this is a completely worthless collection, far from it. There is some good and interesting stuff along with the mediocre. Most of the 40's and 50's reprints are pretty crude and simplistic, though there is the odd exception, and they suffer from the size reduction and the lack of colour. Matters improve in the 70's section with several reprints from Skywald's 'horror-mood' magazines, and it continues with Independent reprints including a Mr Monster story. The plots become more sophisticated as does the art and the variety of styles on show.

All in all, this is an entertaining volume and worth having. Just remember, without DC, EC, Alan Moore, and Warren, it isn't the 'Best' either.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I thought this was good for fans of horror comics or just general readers, I thought it was better than The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics in that most samples were complete stories and you didnt feel like you had more to read and no place to find the material at.

The book is divided roughly into eras, from the earliest to the era of the comic code in the US which cracked down on what was perceived to be disturbing content for younger readers, then the seventies, eighties and contemporary scene. Each "chapter" or segment is introduced with a written piece setting the scene and if there are comics which dont feature, such as Eerie or Creepy (the EC comics) or titles from DC or Marvel, they get a mention which I think is fair considering the true scope of including everything would have been impossible. I say impossible because everyone will probably fondly remember a horror strip which has been ommitted in a final production like this, let alone the EC and DC titles mentioned by other reviewers there are titles such as the Eagle Comics "Eagle One Offs" which featured in the relaunch of Eagle comics in the ninties. Each comic itself has a half page introduction along with a feature cover, sometimes it corresponds directly to the featured story which will also correspond to the chapter/segment introduction. It is structured well and there's a clear bibliography.

As anthology goes I thought this was great, it is not a serious codex of comics for the obsessive researcher or cataloguer, it is accessible and will have popular appeal to the casual reader or interested party. There is a broad range of work, from the earliest plain sketching to photo journal and more recent styles, likewise the writing and plots vary too. It does not feel like there is much "filler" sampled to bulk out the book which is something I appreciated.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite the best but a good read nonetheless 4 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is quite a thick compendium of horror comic story reprints, taking a rough chronological approach covering the 40s (including a charming rendition of Poe's The Black Cat) through to 2005. Whilst for obvious reasons the book doesn't include stories from the bigger boys such as Marvel, there are plenty of grim little tales to enjoy here and very few of them I actually disliked.

As another reviewer noted, it's clearly not the absolute best of the bunch so the title is not quite accurate. Each story and era is preceded with an enthusiastically written introduction by the author, helping to put these works into context. There is one slight fault with the book in that a couple of the stories have a page duplicated for some odd reason, annoyingly omitting the final page of one of the stories, hence I've knocked off half a star (I'd probably give this book 3.5 otherwise). For the price, however, this is a really good buy and a book I'll certainly keep to read again on dark rainy nights at some point in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's pretty good! 24 Jan 2012
I read "The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics" and it was amazing. Even though this was not as good as that one, it was still pretty pleasant to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 8 Sep 2011
By Bee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is super, lovely book, would order again from you, thank you so much, i have trouble writteing 20 words on one item, it is either good or not..change it amazon!!
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