Tuesday, February 14, 2017


ACG COLLECTED WORKS: ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN VOL. 6 (PS Artbooks, First Printing, 2014; Hardcover)

Collects Adventures Into The Unknown #26-30 (cover dates December, 1951- April, 1952)

Writers: Richard Hughes and other unidentified writers.

Artists: Ken Bald, Ogden Whitney, Edvard Moritz, Dan Gordon, Milt Knopf, Leo Morey, George Wilhelms, King Ward, Al Williamson, Roy Krenkel, Charles Sultan, Al Camy,
Lin Streeter, Pete Riss, Mac Elkan, R.S. Pious, Lou Cameron, Rocke Mastroserio, Art Gates, and other unidentified artists.

This series seems to get better with each successive issue, as ACG tried to match EC in terms of quality writing and artwork. While they didn't quite succeed, they certainly get a solid B+ for their efforts. The artwork is better than the writing, which is at times silly. I say this reading this material with 2017 eyes, but when you compare it to other early 1950s Horror comics it falls pretty much in line with them. I enjoy Pre-Code Horror in moderate doses, as it can get repetitive if you do a marathon of reading it.

I can't rave enough about the work of Ogden Whitney and Edvard Moritz. Solid craftsmanship, interesting panel composition, and effective story flow from one panel to the next. A quick look at the list of artists above reveals a who's who of comic book journeymen of the day. Some, like Al Williamson, remain fan favorites to this day, while most of them are all but forgotten. That is why books like this are important. They help preserve the history of the artform in a relatively affordable format.

I'm surprised that some modern day writer doesn't use this idea for their "IP" and make a series about vampires harvesting "organically grown" humans. 

#28's Double Vision! is the most EC-esque of the bunch, coming off as one of those Jack Kamen-style riffs about love gone wrong and the twists of fate, using a man's last mile to the electric chair for framing. #30s Werewolf Valley seems like a precursor of sorts to Avatar Press' Ferals, or even the movie The Howling. That same issue's The Thing Without A Face is another favorite of mine.

This was another enjoyable batch of dated but fun Horror goodness. It's not high art but that is what makes it so much fun to read.
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. The scans are of better quality than the ones found in Volume 5 of this series, with the exception of #28, which has the same problems with the top of some of the pages.

This is barely legible; it looks better here than in person. This is scanning amateur hour. Some of these PS Artbooks have abysmal scanning. 

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. 

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