Friday, December 2, 2011

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HORROR IN BRONZE?

TWOMORROWS PUBLISHING has been in the business of chronicling comic book history as well as acting as a custodian in the conservation of comic art in general for a number of years now. A favorite regular read is Roy Thomas’ ALTER EGO magazine that has run past 100 issues now. Another in the line is BACK ISSUE. Both will feature horror comics once in while, and you can usually count on one or two around Halloween.

This year’s Fall BACK ISSUE (#52) is a gem. It showcases the Bronze Age (roughly the period between 1970 and 1985) mystery comics, with a focus on DC and Charlton titles.


The first article, written by Dewey Cassell is entitled Horror Hosts. Cassell explains the beginnings of the hosts on radio who introduced the week’s story and how they evolved into use by comics publishers to frame their anthology-style books with the intent of making them more accessible to readers who were used to “book-length” comic stories.

Another interesting read is a lengthy article that covers the inception and chronology of GHOSTS, one of a number of DC mystery comics titles, this one unique because it purportedly claimed to only publish stories that were true! There are interviews with Berni Wrightson and Sergio Aragones (I had forgotten that PLOP! was really a mystery title with humor, rather than the other way around). Even the oftentimes maligned Charlton line is covered, this time with a justifiable discussion of its often good and occasionally brilliant content, usually as a result of great artists like Steve Ditko and Tom Sutton. There are even a couple of articles featuring the "myserious" ladies: one about the history of Black Orchid and the other covers the career of Madame Xanadu.

I highly recommend TWOMORROWS books and periodicals. They are crammed to the brim with fascinating and informative material that you’d be hard-pressed to find from other sources. After all, we can’t forget that they were the brains behind the legendary special issue of COMIC BOOK ARTIST covering the Warren comics publications that later was expanded into THE WARREN COMPANION (both long out of print), of which -- insert shameless plug here -- yours truly was a contributor!

I offer here a few sample pages from BACK ISSUE #52. Please note that these are not scanned – they are from the samples available directly from the TWOMORROWS website. I suggest you click on over and check out the huge sale going on right now.





















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