PRE-CODE CLASSICS SPOOK VOL. 1 (PS Artbooks, First Printing, 2018; Hardcover)
Collects Spook #22-26 (cover dates January- October, 1953, originally published by Star Comics)
Writers: Mickey Spillane and other unknown writers
Artists: L.B. Cole (covers), Ken Battlefield, George Peltz, Wally Wood, Rudy Palais, John Jordan, Vern Henkel, Jay Disbrow, Howard Larsen, and other unidentified artists
Weird. This series started out as Spook Detective Cases (#22) and was re-titled Spook Suspense And Mystery (#23-on). The series consisted of reprints from other titles until #26. There is a disjointed, decidedly tame bent to the first few issues in this book. Indeed, this series' claim to fame, as far as I can tell, are the brilliant covers by L.B. Cole.
In the first story in this book (Headless Horror!) we see the namesake of the series, Sergeant Spook. Spook is some sort of ghost cop who helps a kid solve a crime. Sergeant Spook was a recurring character in Blue Bolt comics of the 1940s, and two of those stories are reprinted in this book with more appearing in the next volume of the series. Spook is like Casper The Friendly Ghost...if he were an adult...and a cop. Other oddball stories are from true crime type comics of the 1940s and we even get one of those good girl/jungle girl type of tales in #25.
I have to say that this particular book was something of a letdown. Not so much because of the more pedestrian nature of the material for the era, but because I had myself so hyped up when it came out. The book seemed to sell out immediately and required a bit of a hunt for it. Once I obtained it I immediately bumped it to the very front of the reading pile. If it sold out so quickly it can only mean that it must be the greatest of all PS Artbooks, you know?
No. Sometimes Diamond is just shorted shipments at the time and then the book appears later. Copies of the slipcase edition can still be obtained as of this writing. To quote those kids on the Internet: “It's aight.”
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.
The OCD zone- This is the part where I go into tactile sensations and materials used in physical media. Those with heart conditions, high blood pressure, or women who are pregnant should exit my blog at their earliest convenience, as their safety cannot be guaranteed beyond this point.
|All original advertisements are included in these PS Artbooks. Some, like this one, are downright bizarre.|
Linework and Color restoration: Like any PS Artbook, the scanning quality varies issue by issue. This looks decent for a scan and print collection although it could have been better in spots. Issue 23 looks blurry, possibly sourced from one of the many public domain comic book sites. Many of those have lower resolution scans, as they were posted before 1200 dpi scanners became the norm.
Paper stock: I love the paper that PS Artbooks switched to a while back. It's a thick coated stock with a very slight sheen to it. Conventional wisdom is that this sort of paper doesn't work with 'scan and print' collections, but I disagree. There is something oddly pleasing about the contrast.
Binding: Sewn binding.
Hardback cover notes: Image printed on the casewrap. Casewrap has a matte coating which will resist shelfwear.