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The Big Book of Urban Legends: 200 True Stories, Too Good to be True! Paperback – January 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 223 pages
  • Publisher: Other (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563891654
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563891656
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #253,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Urban legends--those apocryphal, happened-to-a-friend-of-a-friend stories of such outlandish incidents as "the microwaved pet" and "alligators in the sewer"--are inherently fun, but they've never been as entertainingly presented as in this collection of some 200 told in comic strip format by a stunning variety of artists drawn from the comics mainstream (e.g., Howard Chaykin, Keith Giffen, Dick Giordano), underground (e.g., Tina Robbins, Justin Green, Shary Flenniken), and everywhere in between. Although the contributors' work is of uniformly high quality, some of them relate the tales in realistic, deadpan fashion, whereas others take a cartoony approach that exaggerates the already outlandish nature of the yarns. An introduction and commentary by urban folklore scholar and entrepreneur Jan Harold Brunvand (The Vanishing Hitchhiker [1981] et seq.) legitimizes the project, but as Brunvand points out, comics are just another manifestation of the same popular culture that spawned the legends in the first place. All told, the big paperback is a promising, affordable launching of DC Comics' new Paradox Press imprint. Gordon Flagg

Customer Reviews

This is one of those books you'll keep re-reading, over and over.
Miranda
This book features urban legends with illustrations in comic book format!
Amazon Customer
I thought the idea of bringing so many artists together was a great idea.
Jeffrey Plotkin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
A babysitter realizes that threatening calls have been coming from inside the house. A roomate comes home in the dark and in the morning finds her roommate dead and the words "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?" written on the wall. A girl dared to sit on a grave marks the spot with a knife, gets pinned there, and dies of fear. We've heard them all, they are a part of our culture, our history, and we swear they're true. "That happened to my cousin's best friend's neighbor's aunt, it was in the papers and everything!" Urban legends can be a lot of fun and this book captures the spirit of that! Each of the 200 stories is illustrated in comic strip style by different artists and each captures the humor (and sometimes horror) of these well-known tales. Think you've heard 'em all? Check out this excellent book and find yourself saying "oh yeah...I remember hearing that! But it really happened!" You'll also hear a few new ones along the way. A great rainy day book, coffee table addition, or means to survive a boring day. Like to read about urban legends? You'll love this book! I did!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 24, 1995
Format: Paperback
Did I ever tell you about what happened to my cousin's college roommate's best friend? No? Well ...

Who out there can honestly say he's never fallen for an urban legend, told as true by some acquaintance? The maniac in the back seat? The Mexican pet? The doped-up babysitter who microwaved the baby? The spider in the hairdo?

We've all been the victims of these stories at some point in our lives. People pass them around at cocktail parties and office water coolers, always claiming that they really happened to a friend of a friend (but never able to offer a name of the unfortunate victim). And Jan Harold Brunvand is the master collector and debunker of the stories.

Paradox Press wisely got Brunvand to write its mega-comic, "The Big Book of Urban Legends." Even for UL aficionadoes, there are a few new ones here. And the irreverent comic format is perfect for these just-plausible-enough modern tall tales. It's also a great way to introduce friends to ULs (or to disprove the stories your friends try to pass off as true).
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
This riviting and exciting book will keep you on the edge of your seat! I am 41 years old and I still get nightmares from this! The movie " Urban Legends " is a great example of what stories are in this full-with excitement book. So if you like to be scared, this is the book for you! I am also a horror screeenwriter, and I mostly get my main idea for a movie from "The Big Book of Urban Legends." For example 'the dog in the microwave' 'the killer upstairs with baby and the babysitter downstairs' and 'the killer's bloody hook in the car door.' These stories and more are what your going to find in this GREAT book!!! Hope you enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By absent_minded_prof on March 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a pretty entertaining compilation of urban folklore. Please take note, however, anyone who might be expecting a scholarly tome -- THIS IS PRESENTED IN THE FORMAT OF A COMIC BOOK. Be aware of that. Still, it's a lot of fun. Every supposedly true story you've ever been told, that "honestly" happened to your brother-in-law's mechanic's bartender's plumber's girlfriend's babysitter's cousin's baseball coach's otolaryngologist's lawyer just last week... It's all in here. If you happened to catch the movie "Urban Legend," a lot of the story elements can be found in this book. I'd like to throw in one small note -- the urban legend called "Resurrection Mary" is one of the spookier ones, and I assumed it was an urban legend like all the rest of them, but that one actually is based on a true story. The History Channel has been running a series called "History's Mysteries," and they covered the true story it came from. Apart from that exception, I'm pretty sure all of these are authentic urban legends.
Anyway, this book is a lot of fun. Worth checking out.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Plotkin on April 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
I can't say enough about this book! This was the first Big Book by Paradox Press, and I loved the series ever since! I thought the idea of bringing so many artists together was a great idea. Once I got it, I had to have 'em all. And you will too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James N Simpson on November 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have read a few similar books to this one such as the Darwin Awards trilogy and can say without doubt this is a lot better and funnier. This urban legend collection is also in a different format to the other collections in that every tale is presented as a one or two page comic book strip which adds imagery to the tale. To be honest the artist's imagery is not always as good as your imagination would have been without it though. There are two hundred stories in here, some you will have undoubtedly heard before or maybe slightly different versions of the same basic tale but there will also be a lot you will be unlikely to have come across in the past. Even the big multinational company urban myths are in here too which I thought would have been left out due to legal reasons but no they are here for you to read and laugh at. There are some myths not covered in this collection but how big would this book be if everything was in here? This is a great collection which will entertain you and probably leave you searching for similar books after. Enjoy!
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