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Bob Powell's Terror: The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics Volume 2 Hardcover – November 29, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 148 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing; 1st Printing edition (November 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613770677
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613770672
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
GN fans have been torn over the IDW-published, Craig Yoe-edited series of hardback books reprinting classic comics. Unlike most series of hardcover reprints, Yoe doesn't clean up the artwork with a computer for publication, he simply scans the actual pages in from old comics. Some say this is no way to treat this material, while others are glad to get this rare stuff any way they can. There are even those who say the off-register colors and muddy printing give the material an authentic feel... regardless of how one feels, Yoe has always presented the material in handsome books with great designing. Yoe's books seem mid-range, to an extent... not as good as a top flight series (I'm thinking Fantagraphics' Popeye), but better than cheap, bottom-of-the-barrel efforts by such outfits as Pure Imagination, who simply pick public domain material, wash the colors out and print them in schlocky, black and white softcover books. It should also be noted that Yoe has chosen material that possibly wouldn't get printed otherwise...

Having said all that, this book (Powell's "Terror") might well be Yoe's best outing to date... nice book design work (matching the previous volume, Dick Briefer's Frankenstein (Library of Horror Comics Master)) and a very informative intro depicting Bob Powell's career... Powell died tragically early, and, since he really didn't work on what one would call a defining character, little of his work has remained in print. These characteristics are normally found in Yoe's books, but "Terror" also has a 3-page, self-typed synopsis of Powell's career, written by Powell himself!! A great find, indeed!!

Most of the artwork is what you'd expect...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before I had read any of these YOE horror collections all I had read of pre-code horror comics was EC reprints, which I love EC, but EC stories definitely have a formula to them relying on a fairly predictable "twist" ending. Many of these stories have twist endings as well, but the premises usually start strange and end even stranger, AND the content is often more visually horrific and macabre, which is FABULOUS. I love how weird these stories are and how they often have a loose and non-streamlined feel. I have to agree with other reviewers that this collection is the best of the non-EC horror comic book stories collected so far. What I really love about these stories in conjunction with Powell's fabulous art is that they are really wacky and odd compared to the EC formula.

Powell is such an excellent artist and is more than deserving of a high quality hardback collection of his work. YOE Books does the job nicely. These are terrific editions with heavy bonded paper and quality bindings.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Powell was one of Will Eisner's assistants before being lured away by Quality comics, who wanted to cut out the middleman. While his work at Quality covered all comic book genres, this volume concentrates on his Horror work in comics such as FATE: the Man in Black and Black Cat (post superheroine) comics. One story is replicated from originals, but the quality is quite good on the old four color scans as well. Superb design and binding makes this a keeps.
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Format: Hardcover
This volume is the second in the Yoe Books Chilling Archives of Horror Comics (the first being Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein, reviewed in 2011 in Rants & Raves at RCHarvey.com) and reprints 17 Powell classics from pre-code issues of Witches Tales, Chamber of Chills, This Magazine Is Haunted, and a couple others—two entire stories from original art. Starting in 1938 with Will Eisner and Jerry Iger, Powell became one of the most prolific of the Golden Age comic book artists, operating his own shop with half-a-dozen assistants. He wrote and penciled stories and sometimes inked—everything from westerns to war stories, jungles to juveniles, romance to horror.
But in his horror stories, Powell abandoned cowboy wholesomeness for monsters both gigantic and gooey, rotting faces, treacherous women, and a catalog of terrifying spookinesses—all of which are dutifully represented in this anthology.
As the stories here amply reveal, he was a master of pictorial storytelling. His breakdowns were deft and his panel compositions dramatic and varied. His style was realistic and subtly distinctive, particularly the way he rendered faces; once you’ve read three Powell stories, you will ever after be able to pick a Powell drawing out of any array of artists of his vintage. The color reproduction in this volume is especially noteworthy: not shiny and garish as is so often the case in ambitious reprint projects, the color here is true but subdued, reproducing exactly the hues of a vilntage comic book’s newsprint palette.
As usual with Yoe Book texts, Yoe’s introduction is a capable summary of Powell’s life and career, brief but thorough, and is plentifully accompanied by illustrative material. The most unusual aspect of the inaugural pages is the reproduction of a letter Powell typed to Jerry Bails, rehearsing his career; each page of the letter is faced by a page of pictures keyed precisely to names mentioned in the letter.
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