Sunday, November 30, 2014

Review- MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE: COMIC BOOK STORIES BY B. KRIGSTEIN


MESSAGES IN A BOTTLE: COMIC BOOK STORIES BY B. KRIGSTEIN
(Fantagraphics, 2013; Softcover)

Collects selections from Prize Comics #34, Treasure Comics #5, Justice Traps The Guilty #10, Wanted #21, 24, The Westerner #22, 23, 26, Love Diary #2, Real Clue Crime Stories Vol. 5 #6, Crime Detective Vol. 2 #4, All True Crime #44, Dead-Eye Western Vol. 2 #4, Airboy Vol. 8 #4, Western Fighters Vol. 4 #2, Marvel Tales #107, 159, Astonishing #13, 47, War Action #12, Battle #23, Our Army At War #14, Strange Tales #22, Bible Tales For Young Folk #2, Daring Adventures #6, Weird Science-Fantasy #23, Vault Of Horror #36, 38, Crime SuspenStories #25, Impact #1, Tales From The Crypt #45, Shock SuspenStories #18, Valor #2, Battleground #9, Mystery Tales #39, Uncanny Tales #42, 56, Mystic #58, Navy Tales #3, and World Of Fantasy #9 (cover dates September, 1943- December, 1957)

Writers: Paul S. Newman, Ray Bradbury, Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, Carl Wessler, Jack Oleck, Stan Lee, and other unidentified writers.
Artist: Bernie Krigstein

Bernie Krigstein did some groundbreaking work toward the latter part of his comic book career, challenging panel layouts and the length of comic book stories. Some of his later work had nineteen panels per page. Nineteen! He became frustrated with the industry's lack of reverence for it's own material as well as low page rates and went on to other fields. More's the pity for comic fans. Not surprisingly his best work was done for EC. This collection is not a complete overview of his work but does provide a healthy glimpse into the depth and breadth of his output. Recommended reading.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- Some of the material has been recolored for this edition by Marie Severin in watercolor from photostats. I would have preferred the original color palette be used.
Linework and Color restoration: A combination of scans of old comics and of photostats, all done very well.
Paper stock: Thick uncoated stock.
Binding: Sewn binding.
Hardback Cardstock cover notes: That chalky feeling matte coating that all of the kids seem to love. 

2 comments:

  1. I'm always amazed how we seem to buy the same stuff.....I have this in my pile. I hope to actually read it before I croak.

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    1. Dan, you and I are among my guesstimated "300" hardcore collected editions buyers. The poorest performing books on iCv2 sell 300 or so, and we are 2 of the 300. Any book that sells below 500 copies seems appealing to me. There is no cure for it, so just enjoy the addiction train as it circles the drain...

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