Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics

Edited by Peter Normanton

As the title promises, this tome is mammoth and full of great comics. Other books in the Mammoth Comic series are hit and miss. Some of the stories are good while others not so good, but I enjoyed close to every story represented in this volume. That might have something to do with the fellow who edited the book, Peter Normanton. For those who don’t know Mr. Normanton, he is responsible for editing the wonderful horror fanzine “From the Tomb”.

This book’s chapters are divided by decades each representing a different period in the comic horror cycle. Each chapter begins with a small essay discussing the era and where horror comics stood within the industry at that time, and with each comic story prefaced with a short discussion of the book which the comic came from. Normanton does a terrific job of selecting which comics are on display. There is quite a variety of stories with most of the standout artist/writers represented like Mike Ploog, Frank Brunner, and even Steve Niles. Not an altogether easy task considering that any Marvel, DC, EC, or Warren Magazine stories are included in this collection.

Of particular interest to me are the chapters covering the 80s through the 90s. A rather dry time for horror comics, and the time I started collecting comics. I was always interested in horror comics but as a kid there just were not many to be found on store shelves. This book puts a perspective on that time and explains why the genre nearly dried up during that time only to explode again at the beginning of the new millennium.

This book is massive with a page count of 544; the print is all black and white on thick pulp-like stock, and retails for just $17.95 available from Amazon.

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