A massive collection of never-before-collected pre-Comics Code horror comics of the 1950s. Of the myriad genres comic books ventured into during its golden age, none was as controversial as or came at a greater cost than horror; the public outrage it incited almost destroyed the entire industry. Yet before the watchdog groups and Congress could intercede, horror books were flying off the newsstands. During its peak period (1951–54) over fifty titles appeared each month. Apparently there was something perversely irresistible about these graphic excursions into our dark side, and Four Color Fear collects the finest of these into a single robust volume.
Horror comics were among the first comic books published—ghastly tales that soon developed an avid young readership, along with a bad reputation. Parent groups, psychologists, even the United States government joined in a crusade to wipe out the horror comics industry—and they almost succeeded. Yet the genre survived and flourished, from the 1950s to today. This history covers the tribulations endured by horror comics creators and the broader impact on the comics industry. The genre’s ultimate success helped launch the careers of many of the biggest names in comics. Their stories and the stories of other key players are included, along with a few surprises.
Five years in the making and meticulously edited by John Benson, Squa Tront returns with a profusion of rare and interesting features from the EC era: the story behind Basil Wolverton's first EC art; Howard Nostrand's last interview; art from the unpublished third issue of Flip; Jack Davis's WWII cartoons; plus EC era art by Wallace Wood, John and Marie Severin, Harvey Kurtzman, and Roy Krenkel. The longest running EC historical magazine and a perfect companion to Fantagraphics' series of EC reprints.
In 1954, the comic book industry instituted the Comics Code, a set of self-regulatory guidelines imposed to placate public concern over gory and horrific comic book content, effectively banning genuine horror comics. Because the Code applied only to color comics, many artists and writers turned to black and white to circumvent the Code's narrow confines. With the 1964 publication of Creepy #1 by Warren Publishing, black-and-white horror comics experienced a revival that continued into the early 21st century, marking an important step in the maturation of the horror genre within comics and the comics field as a whole. This generously illustrated work offers a comprehensive history and retrospective of the black-and-white horror comics that flourished on the newsstands from 1964 to 2004. With a catalog of original magazines, complete credits and insightful analysis, it highlights an important but overlooked period in the history of comics.
This volume continues Sadowski’s biography of the famed Mad cartoonist. It includes scores of letters between Wolverton and his editors and publishers and excerpts from his personal diaries, providing documentary insight not only into Wolverton’s day-to-day life and career, but also the inner workings of the early comic book industry. It is also chock full of Wolverton’s comics stories from this period, including 17 science-fiction and horror tales fully restored and never before collected in a single volume.
The Life and Comics of Basil Wolverton Vol. 1 1909–1941
Author: Basil Wolverton
Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
Category: Comics & Graphic Novels
This is the first in a two-volume retrospective―collecting full comics stories, unpublished art, ads, etc.―and biography of the famous Mad cartoonist. This is the first of two volumes reprinting copious amounts of comics stories and recounting the career of cartoonist Basil Wolverton. Based on his correspondence and journals, the biographical portion of the books follow Wolverton from childhood to adult day-to-day life as freelance cartoonist, itinerant handyman, persistent contest enterer, and local pastor of the Radio Church of God. Wolverton lived and worked in the Pacific Northwest, unique among the first generation of comic book pioneers. In the precious period before the industry calcified into a commercial institution, Wolverton was free to work under the radar to explore in detail his weird tales of the future. The book collects all of Wolverton’s non-humorous comic stories and a substantial selection of his humorous comics, alongside dozens of pages of unpublished artwork, unsold features, and never-before-seen correspondence, including rejection letters!
A full-colour collection of thirty six complete stories, this volume represents the very best work throughout the career of the most innovative comic book artist of his generation. Companion volume to the art retrospective published last year.
Tales of love, sex, and relationships as only “one of the great . . . American short story writers” can tell them (The Washington Post Book World). A one-night stand begins a tragic journey that consumes a man’s soul in “Neither Your Jenny Nor Mine.” Afraid to interact with men who would condemn her as ugly, a young woman imagines herself living the love lives of every woman she sees until one daydream becomes a nightmare in “Mona at Her Windows.” On “A Path Through the Darkness,” a man struggles to understand his attraction to a cruel, morbid woman. Multi-award-winning author Harlan Ellison shatters the rose-colored glasses view of romance in these and other stories, coming to understand the elusive power of love about in terms of the primal passions and emotional onslaughts human beings engage. Insightful and devastating, these are realistic depictions of men and women desperate to connect and communicate, only to discover that love doesn’t conquer all. Includes: “The Resurgence of Miss Ankle-Strap Wedgie,” “The Universe of Robert Blake,” “G.B.K.—A Many Flavored Bird,” “Neither Your Jenny Nor Mine,” “Riding the Dark,” “Train Out,” “Moonlighting,” “What I Did on My Vacation this Summer by Little Bobby,” “Hirschhorn, Age 27,” “Mona at Her Windows,” “Blind Bird, Blind Bird, Go Away from Me!,” “Passport,” “I Curse the Lesson and Bless the Knowledge,” “Battle Without Banners,” “A Path,” “Through the Darkness,” “A Prayer for No One’s Enemy,” “Punky & the Yale Men”
Toth’s influence on the art of comic books is incalculable. As his generation was the first to grow up with the new 10-cent full-color pamphlets, he came to the medium with a fresh eye, and enough talent and discipline to graphically strip it down its to its bare essentials. His efforts reached fruition at Standard Comics, creating an entire school of imitators and establishing Toth as the “comic book artist’s artist.” Setting the Standard collects this highly influential body of work in one substantial volume. Toth began his professional career at fifteen in 1945 for Heroic Comics, but quickly advanced to superhero work for DC. Responding to the endless criticism of editor Sheldon Mayer and production chief Sol Harrison, the young artist strove toward a technique free of “showoff surface tricks, clutter, and distracting picture elements.” Simply put, he learned “how to tell a story, to the exclusion of all else.” After falling out with DC in 1952, Toth moved west. He freelanced almost exclusively for Standard over the next two years, contributing classic work for its crime, horror, science fiction, and war titles. But perhaps most revelatory to the reader will be the romance collaborations with writer Kim Ammodt, Toth’s personal favorites. “I came to prefer them for the quieter, more credible, natural human equations they dealt with ― emotions, subtleties of gesture, expression, attitude.”