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This review is from: Bob Powell's Terror: The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics Volume 2 (Hardcover)
I purchased this volume without knowing anything about Bob Powell except for what's available in "Four Color Fear" by Fantagraphics and I found it to be a mixed bag. I've long been a fan of the wonderful EC comics that were done during the same period of time and negative references were often made about "the competition" in the EC letters pages. I've always wanted to read some of this "other" work so I could make up my own mind and Bob Powell was squarely in the field of other work. There are a few wonderful things to say about this volume "Bob Powell's Terror" but make no mistakes the stories presented here are in no way comparable to the EC classics and the poor quality reproductions can make this book a bit of a challenge to read.
First and foremost there's a great introduction and history to Bob Powell's life and art. It's informative and well worth reading. There are samples in black and white that allow Powell's talent to really shine. In particular I'm thinking of a page from a story "Dig That Grave" that was shelved by Harvey when the Comics Code Authority destroyed the entire genre. There are also two complete stories in black and white that really stand out from all the others because they are printed directly from the original art. The rest of the tales are pale and somewhat flat, scanned from the original aged comic pages, yet with that said, there are some truly bizarre stories well worth reading. 'The Wall of Flesh" is one of the strangest. It's about a Mad Doctor who has a flesh bank, a room with walls of flesh that need to be fed. "Rotting Demons" is another. It's about a couple of modern day treasure hunters who find themselves lost in a swamp where they encounter a band of rotting pirates from yesteryear. Unfortunately most of the stories are short (some are only four pages) and there's little depth of character...but the stories are so unsophisticated and so strange that they're entertaining. Almost everything in this book is from the Harvey publishing company...either Black Cat, Tomb of Terror, Witches Tales or Chamber of Chills and all of these titles are being reprinted with a really top notch reproduction quality by PS Artbooks. If you want to get the full experience of what this era was like outside of the EC classics check out [...] You'll be glad you did.