Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review- Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery Archives Vol. 4


Collects Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery Nos. 17-22, 24 (originally published by Gold Key Comics; cover dates March, 1967- December, 1968)

Artists: Joe Certa, James Winslow Mortimer (pen name: Win Mortimer), Mel Crawford, Joe Orlando, Luis Dominguez and others

These are lightweight, fun reads. They tend to be formulaic and predictable, but I enjoy them nonetheless. The artwork is serviceable but seldom exceeds what I would consider 'good'. Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery is basically a second-rate Twilight Zone, done in a very safe, palatable manner. One thing that I do give this series props for is the variety of locations and eras that the stories are set in. 

This series was not published under the jurisdiction of the Comics Code Authority, yet was tamer and more watered down than the stuff DC was putting out in their mystery/Horror titles of the day which were under the CCA. 

The OCD zone- Okay, now this is stranger than anything in this title: The first three volumes in this series were done from cleaned up high resolution scans. This volume, and volumes 5 and 6 (in queue) have full blown ground-up reconstruction and recoloring by Michael Kelleher (and company). Why would Dark Horse change the presentation this far into the series? No one that I know was complaining about it on the Masterworks Message Board's Crisis on Infinite Comics Forum, and we nitpick about everything over there. The paper used in this book is thick, coated glossy stock. 

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  1. Hard to say. It might depend on the materials available, or the first few volumes made enough money that warranted additional care on later volumes? If it's THAT important, I could probably find out for ya.

    When I was in charge of the Russ Manning Tarzan reprints, we got decent photostats from Western Publishing. But even those required some cleanup - I went in and filled some blacks by hand on a lot of pages myself! Now, if only I wasn't up against a Peanuts book for the Eisners that year... :(

  2. Well, I didn't lay awake at night wondering about it, but if you could find out, that wouldn't suck, either. It's more of a curiosity thing.

    Yeah, you can't win against Peanuts...