ACG COLLECTED WORKS: ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN VOL. 3 (PS Artbooks, First Printing, 2012; Hardcover) Note: Book actually released in 2013
Collects Adventures Into The Unknown #11-15 (cover dates June/July, 1950- January, 1951)
Writers: Charles Spain Verral and other, unidentified writers
Artists: Edvard Moritz, Ken Bald, Pete Riss, Howard L. Larsen, Al Camy, Charles Sultan, Art Gates, Ogden Whitney, John Cerlardo, Lin Streeter, Leonard Starr, Emil Gershwin, Bill Ely, and Fred Guardineer
I love Pre-Code Horror comics, but a lot of them tend to blend together after a while, which is not necessarily a bad thing. They are solid, well crafted Horror comics. The closer you get to 1954 the more things get ramped up in terms of gore and violence, so we are still in the early days here. This book features stories steeped in vampires, deals with the devil, werewolves, voodoo, ghosts, and of course, zombies. Zombies were creeping into comics in a major way as the '50s wore on, and this was nearly two decades before George Romero would burn them into the minds of the masses with his movies.
#11's Realm Of The Mist Gods is one of those cautionary tales about the greed of man. The Spirit Of Frankenstein ongoing feature resumed with Issue 12. It was previously featured in #5 and 8-10. It is a lame concept and has worn thin by this point in time, and it doesn't appear again in this book. We'll have to see if it resurfaces whenever I read Volume 4.
#13's Menace From Mars is a typical Cold War metaphor. Communism and Russia was the greatest threat facing the United States at this time, and space aliens became the go to plot device in these exercises in fear and paranoia.
This was a great escapist read that helped get me in the mood for Hallowe'en. You can certainly do much worse than these comics.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 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. The scan quality seems to vary from one issue to the next.
Paper stock: Uncoated bright white stock.
Binding: Sewn binding. Lies mostly flat.
Hardback cover notes: No dustjacket. Image printed on casewrap with matte finish and spot varnish.