Happy Halloween! Have you been partying at Halloween Parties all weekend? Are you ready for trick-or-treaters tomorrow? And what do you hand out to the kids? Candy? Comics? Anything’s fine by me, as long as you’re not one of those dentists that gives out dental floss. What a bummer that is.
There’s something about that quaint, retro-spookiness of Halloween that makes it all so much fun. I especially applaud the hard-working entrepreneurs of Retro-Go-Go and all their wonderful Halloween merchandise. There’s such a charm in that idealized notion of Halloween that their creative seasonal merchandise evokes.
Oh how I miss those days of scurrying from house to house while inhaling the sweet, seductive smell of vacu-form plastic from my Halloween Flash mask!
Ghosts from before the comics codes
With all that in mind, I wanted to also applaud the work of Steve Banes and his creepy co-conspirators, Craig Yoe and Clizia Gussoni. Their latest treasure is Ghosts, another top-notch reprint book from IDW and YOE Books. It’s all part of their ongoing Classic Monsters of Pre-Code Horror Comics series.
These stories are plucked from the pages of comics with creepy names like Adventures into Darkness, Fantastic Fears, the Hand of Fate, This Magazine is Haunted and, of course, Amazing Ghost Stories.
These tales are, on one hand, innocent. On the other hand, they are one step short of grisly. And why wouldn’t they be? Featured artists include a “murderer’s row” of beloved artists like Russ Heath, Alex Toth, Matt Baker and Ken Bald. One delight for Silver Age fans : the long-lived artistic team of Ross Andru and Mike Esposito have a story included. Additionally, this volume includes the artwork of lesser-known artists for many fans to discover.
Steve “Mr. Karswell” Banes supplied something a little different this time too. His Outro (the opposite of the “Intro” or Introduction) is a sweet and personal look at Ghosts with a generous dose of fatherhood mixed in. It’s a wonderful read.
I hope all the little monsters in your life allow you to find a little time for some spooky reading.
GHOSTS: Classic Monsters of Pre-Code Horror Comics
By Steve Banes
Paperback: 128 pp
7 x 10 inches