ACG COLLECTED WORKS: OUT OF THE NIGHT VOL. 1 (PS Artbooks, First Printing, 2012; Hardcover)
Collects Out Of The Night #1-6 (cover dates February/March, 1952- December, 1952/January, 1953)
Writers: Richard E. Hughes and Norman Fruman
Artists: Ken Bald (covers), Charles Sultan, Al Williamson, Harold LeDoux, Paul Gattuso, King Ward, Milt Knoff, George Klein, George Wilhelms, Edvard Moritz, Al Camy, Pete Riss, Bill Molno, Lou Cameron, Frank Frazetta, Nicholas Alascia (creative team surname for Charles Nicholas and Vince Alascia), Frank Simienski, Harry Lazarus, Art Gates, Dick Beck, and Jon L. Blummer
As far as non-EC Pre-Code Horror goes, Out Of The Night is near the top of the pile. The emphasis is on the supernatural, with things like vampires, werewolves, zombies, and ghosts being recurring topics. There is a lot of faux occult type stuff here. I honestly enjoy all of the faux-Black Magic, zodiac sign, and witchcraft nonsense to “real” stuff. It's all good, silly fun.
While the writing is inferior to EC, the stable of artists that the American Comics Group (or ACG) used are no slouches. Al Williamson does some brilliant work on #1's The Return Of The Werewolf. His work on #2's Drums Of Doom is equally great, and that one boasts a superior story than the aforementioned one.
I found issue 6's The Wolf-Children Of Bengal to be the best in the book, one of those “twist ending” type of stories that aren't so much a twist to use “sophisticated” 21st century readers. I enjoy the execution of these stories even if a lot of them are fairly predictable by modern standards.
This was some great reading during the week of Hallowe'en. It blows my mind how many great comic books were on the stands during the early 1950s. Thanks to these PS Artbooks I am slowly but surely reading them. My wallet hates them but my heart sings. Kidding aside, there is no way that I could afford to buy all of these vintage comic books. Collected editions have brought once obscure and scarce material and given the world another chance to see it in a deluxe format.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4.25 out of 5.
The OCD zone- I enjoy huffing these Chinese made books. PS Artbooks smell the best. Whenever I crack one open I sit there and snort it...Oh yeah, that's the stuff.
Linework and Color restoration: Raw scans with minimal tinkering. They remove all color from the word balloons, leaving them as bright white as the paper stock. The original printed comics had shoddy printing, and that is presented here warts and all. Off register printing and line bleed are all present, just like they were back then.
Paper stock: Uncoated bright white stock.
Binding: Smyth sewn binding. Lays mostly flat.
Hardback cover notes: No dustjacket. Image printed on casewrap with matte finish and spot varnish.