Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Reviews: Dick Briefer's Frankenstein; Megadeth- Th1rt3en

Collects selections from Prize Comics Nos. 7-9 and Frankenstein Nos. 1, 8, 15, 20, 24, 28, 31 (cover dates December, 1940- June/July, 1952)
Writer/ Artist: Dick Briefer
This is essentially a sampler of the three different eras of Briefer's take on the Frankenstein monster. The first was a crude Horror take. The second version was a comedic take on ol' Frank. The emphasis was still on the macabre.
The third, and final incarnation of Briefer's Frankenstein was an intense, Horror-laden take. 
This was my favorite of the three, although I would love to see a comprehensive collection of all eras of the character. I had read all of this era before in Idea Men Production's 2006 black and white trade paperback. While it collects this era in its entirety, it is dark and muddy, whereas this book is incomplete but in full color. I reviewed the 2006 TPB way back when in my blog.
I would recommend this book to serious comic book historians and fans of vintage comic books alike.
The OCD zone- The paper used in this book is thick, uncoated stock with an off-white, creamy color similar to pulp paper prior to aging. The restoration is high resolution scans of the original comic books, with no additional work done. You can see every imperfection in the original printing process, for better or for worse. The book has sewn binding, but the paper is so thick and tight in the spine that it doesn't lay flat until the middle of the book. I can't really call foul at the book's price point of MSRP $21.99, though. This book is a bargain.
EDIT- I can't believe that I forgot to mention the die-cut cover. Frankenstein's eyes are cut out, and when you open the book there is a second-phase, comedic Frankenstein picture. A nice, and completely unnecessary, touch. Also worth mentioning is that there is no dustjacket and that the images are screen printed on the cover itself. There is no wax coating on the cover and it is fairly easy to scuff. I'm not sure if I like this recent trend in hardcovers. 

Megadeth/ Th1rt3en (Roadrunner, 2011)
This album is okay but nothing spectacular. The problem lies with the rushed feeling this album has in terms of the songwriting. Megadeth has long since outgrown their Thrash Metal tag and have existed as a “mainstream” Metal band for nearly 20 years now. I can deal with that. What I can't deal with is the general mid-tempo nature of these songs. There are not very many Thrash-y songs on here. Their last few albums have at least made an attempt to channel their Thrash side. Th1rt3en plays like a beefier Countdown To Extinction riff-wise, but with slicker production. The album treads Mustaine's pet themes lyrically: politics (We The People), evil women (Wrecker; think of it as a middle-aged version of She-Wolf) and driving fast cars (Fast Lane). My favorite song on the album is Whose Life (Is It Anyways?), as it is one of the few that features a razor sharp hook in the chorus riff. Mustaine used to shit riffs like this, but not so much these days. I'm really not trying to knock this album by any means. It's just no Rust In Peace. Think of this as a commuting album, fun to crank while driving to and from work, but without songs that stick in your skull all day long.

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