I have always been a fan of horror comics with my true love being those by EC Comics, who created such classic titles as Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear. Though many companies over the years tried to bring back the feel of the EC titles, few were able to do it in large part to the creation of the Comics Code Authority. The CCA was formed in 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America as an alternative to government regulation as a result of widespread public concern over gory and horrific comic-book content. The CCA allowed the comic publishers to self-regulate the content of comic books in the United States, thus taming them down.
You can definitely see a difference in quality in pre-CCA horror comics and those that adhered to the guidelines. Both the storylines and artwork were much darker and though I would’ve greatly enjoyed reading them as a kid, I can now enjoy reading them as an adult thanks to Gwandanaland Comics.
“The Thing” was a horror comic that ran from 1952 until 1954 and were very similar to the EC Comics in extreme horror storytelling. This series also features some of the earliest works of well-known comic book artist Steve Ditko, who went on to work on some of the most popular titles by Marvel Comics. This release features the full original series, in color, and runs 558 pages. This book is mammoth!
This collection was a lot of fun to read and a great trip back in time. Gwandanaland has once again done a great job reprinting these issues and though some of the source material is yellowed with age, to me that is a plus as the original issues are over 64 years old and you get the feel of really very old comic books! I do miss seeing the ads in these reprints but understand that they did not reproduce very clearly so the decision was made not to include them in many of these collections. This actually makes sense as oftentimes the ads that appeared in the Marvel and DC comics of the 70’s and 80’s were hard to read in their original form.
I am so happy to have discovered Gwandanaland. What they are doing is fantastic and I look forward to all of their new releases. These releases are a great, and affordable, way to read such rare collections without paying collector’s prices. You can order your own copy of this fantastic book through Amazon by going HERE. To find out more about Gwandanaland Comics, visit their Facebook page HERE!
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