ZOMBIES (Yoe Books/ IDW, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects selections from Adventures Into The Unknown Nos. 27, 50, Baffling Mysteries No. 17, The Beyond Nos. 17, 24, Black Cat Nos. 35, 41, Chamber of Chills Magazine No. 22, City of the Living Dead No. 1, Dark Mysteries No. 13, Eerie No. 16, Ken Shannon No. 3, Monster No. 2, The Purple Claw No. 3, Thrills of Tomorrow No. 18, Web of Evil No. 2, and Web of Mystery No. 27 (cover dates November, 1951- December, 1954)
Writer: Joe Millard and other, unidentified writers
Artists: Lin Streeter, Jack Cole, Lou Cameron, A.C. Hollingsworth, Gene Colan, Al Eadeh, Dick Beck, Sy Grudko, Bob Powell, Reed Crandall, Bill Benulis, Jack Abel, Vic Donahue, Wally Wood, Rudy Palais, Al Hartley, and others.
Another book in Craig Yoe's value priced The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics line, Zombies is a sort of hodgepodge collection of all things undead. I wouldn't call this the best of zombie comics from the Golden Age by a long shot, but more of a well rounded offering that shows the undead in all of their glorious, gory permutations.
There are two stories which are shot from the original artwork, presented here in their uncolored and unaltered glory. In the Corpse That Wouldn't Sleep! from Ken Shannon No. 3, we are introduced to Ken Shannon, a loveable sexist crime/noir cliche in a story that was my personal favorite in the book. According to The Grand Comic Database there were ten issues of that title published by Avon. There is a lot of great Reed Crandall artwork to be found in this series, and I implore Craig Yoe or Pete Crowther over at PS Publishing to compile this series in a hardcover collection. If the rest of the series is of the same quality as this 10 page story then fandom needs to rediscover this long lost gem.
You could do a lot worse than Zombies, and it's pretty inexpensive for such high production values, so what have you got to lose?
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.75 out of 5.
The OCD zone- The book has no dustjacket, with the images being screen printed on the hardback itself. The portions of the cover without the images on it (the blacks) has no coating on it and can be easily scuffed, even when handled gingerly.
Linework restoration rating: 4 out of 5. These are scanned from the original comics books at a high resolution, with some stories turning out better than others. This is the result of source material more so than restoration practices.
Color restoration rating: 4 out of 5. As I stated above, these are scans of actual comic books, not full blown restorations. The coloring imperfections found in the highly overrated four color printing process are numerous and abundant. Line bleed and off register printing abound. Some people call this the “charm of old comic books”, but to me it is about as charming as pops, crackles, and surface noise found on well-used vinyl albums. Your mileage may vary. I adore the artform, not the artifacts.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. Really nice, thick, uncoated stock with zero sheen. It can be read under any type of light.
Binding rating: 3 out of 5. This book has sewn binding, but the casing is glued square to the spine, making it far too tight to lay flat. While the book's construction is solid and should provide a lifetime of reading enjoyment, it will never, ever lay flat.
Hardcover coating rating: 2 out of 5.
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