Monday, May 7, 2012


VAMPIRELLA ARCHIVES VOL. 1 (Dynamite, 2010; Hardcover)

Collects Vampirella Nos. 1-7 (cover dates September, 1969- September, 1970)

Writers: Don Glut, Gardner Fox, Doug Moench, and others

Artists: Tom Sutton, Billy Graham, Frank Frazetta (covers), Reed Crandall, Neal Adams, Mike Royer, Jack Sparling, John Fantocchio, Frank Bolle, and others

Vampirella is a beloved baby boomer icon. I love Horror comic books, especially EC Comics and their illegitimate children, the Warren Magazines Creepy and Eerie. Vampirella was added to the stable after those two titles took off. I figured that this would be a can't miss, fun filled black and white Horror romp. After all, they didn't make bad comic books until the '90s, right? Wrong.

While there is the occasional decent story or decent artist, most of this book is just plain dull and uninspired. I had no sense of urgency to read this other than to the clear the docket for something that I might actually enjoy. The worst part of all of this is the fact that I already acquired Volumes 2 and 3 before I started this book. That is why I always read volume ones before I buy subsequent volumes nowadays. 

Don't get me wrong, this didn't suck. I just wasn't feeling it. I read a lot of Horror comics and can appreciate black humor and cheesecake, but this was a big yawn for me. If I were an adolescent during this era and had no Internet or access to pornography, then I can see how this could be titillating for a teenager. I get why it was popular back then and a beloved icon. It just doesn't do anything for me here in 2012. 

The OCD zone- The paper in this book is a coated stock with a dull matte finish. I enjoy it more than the paper that Dark Horse is using in their Warren hardcovers, Creepy and Eerie. Those books have superior binding to this one, though. Those books lay flat. This book also has sewn binding, but the book block is glued to the squared spine, and is difficult to read for the first and last 80 pages. This is a 392 page monster, so you get 100 or so more pages than those two books at the same price point. There are trade offs for sure, but I'd rather have 2 less issues and better binding. Your mileage may vary.

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DC has made strides in fixing the problem of their books not laying flat. Join the cause page if you want make sure that DC keeps up the recent good work on their hardcovers. Don't do it for me, do it for the children. Won't somebody please think of the children??

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