The Horror! The Horror!: Comic Books the Government Didn't Want You to Read!

Overview

The Horror! The Horror! uncovers a rare treasury of some of the most important and neglected stories in American literature?the pre-Code horror comics of the 1950s. These outrageous comic book images, censored by Congress in an infamous televised U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating juvenile delinquency in 1954, have rarely been seen since they were first published?and are revealed once again in all of their eye-popping glory. Jim Trombetta, in his commentary and informative text, provides a detailed history ...

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Overview

The Horror! The Horror! uncovers a rare treasury of some of the most important and neglected stories in American literature—the pre-Code horror comics of the 1950s. These outrageous comic book images, censored by Congress in an infamous televised U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating juvenile delinquency in 1954, have rarely been seen since they were first published—and are revealed once again in all of their eye-popping glory. Jim Trombetta, in his commentary and informative text, provides a detailed history and context for these stories and their creators, spinning a tale of horror and government censorship as scary as the stories themselves.

Bonus DVD--Confidential File, a rare 25-minute TV show that first aired on October 9, 1955, about the "evils" of comic books and their effect on juvenile delinquency is included with the book. 

Please note that the enclosed DVD begins with a 58-second test pattern, followed by the tv show. 

Praise for The Horror! The Horror!:

"In addition to offering a generous helping of controversial comics . . . Trombetta's book provides insightful history." 
-New York Times Book Review

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  • The Horror! The Horror!
    The Horror! The Horror!  

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
David Hadju's The Ten-Cent Plague got an enormous amount of press for rehashing a story that older comics fans or anyone vaguely interested in the medium's history already knows well; Trombetta is not a notable comics critic but similarly rides the wave of renewed interest in a period when comics were the subject of overheated Senate hearings, demagoguery, and censorship. Fortunately, Trombetta, who has written for television and worked as a magazine editor, grew up reading EC horror comics and has a genuine affinity for them that prevents the sparse text from being merely perfunctory. He does a fine job of detailing the basis of the horror tropes of the 1940s and 1950s, including World War II atrocities and subsequent Cold War paranoia. The real draw of such a book, however, is the rich collection of public domain horror comics art from some of the most eccentric, talented, and possibly chemically imbalanced artists of the time. There are old EC stalwarts Johnny Craig, Graham "Ghastly" Ingels, Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, and even Wally Wood. Readers are also treated to quirky early work from Steve Ditko (prior to his cocreating Spider-Man with Stan Lee), offerings from legends like Alex Toth and L.B. Cole, and an all-too-brief glimpse of the wonderfully bizarre stylings of Basil Wolverton.Verdict A great deal for comics historians and fans of early horror comics from the EC era and beyond; the original comics collected here would set any collector back many thousands of dollars, but they are viewable in these pages for under $30. While much of what passed for horror often looks dated and amusing by today's standards, there is still enough genuinely ghoulish and disturbing imagery to keep this out of the reach of children.—R. Young, The Comics Interpreter, Charleston, SC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810955950
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2010
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 672,343
  • Product dimensions: 7.90 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Trombetta has been a Shakespearean scholar, a reporter and editor for Crawdaddy, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications, and a writer of numerous TV shows, including Miami Vice, The Flash, and Star Trek. He lives in Los Angeles.

R. L. Stine is the bestselling author of hundreds of horror novels, including the Goosebumps and Fear Street series.

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