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Holy Sh*t!: The World's Weirdest Comic Books Hardcover – October 28, 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul Gravett & Peter Stanbury are the authors of Manga: Sixty Years of Japanese Comics, and Graphic Novels: Stories to Change Your Life.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312533950
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312533953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,342,617 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
HOLY SH*T is a short examination and collection of around 60 comics that the authors find to be the weirdest comics ever produced. The book has a short introduction by the authors. Each comic examined in the book includes a full page copy of the comics front cover and another page with one panel taken from the comic and a description about the comic including such information as where it came from, why it was published, and other information about the comic. Most of the comics were published in the United States, but there's one that's from Russia (Octobriana) , one from Mexico (Los Novios) and one from Italy (La Donna Ragna). There are some in color and a few in black and white. There are also comics from just about every genre possible: political, crime, horror, and 'erotic' comics are all here. I think some of the most unusual titles include "Tales From the Leather Nun", "Mod Love", "Neraka", "Longshot Comics", "La Donna Ragna", "Amputee Love", and "Herbie".

I found HOLY SH*T interesting to read through because the collection of comics is so bizarre. However, I really didn't gain any insight or new knowledge from the book beyond knowing the names of some very off-the-wall comic books. I had never heard of most of these and there's a good reason for that.

HOLY SH*T is a book that will appeal to serious comic collectors, those with an interest in how propaganda has been used in history and its place in culture, and people who have a bizarre sense of humor. Other than the actual content of titles, some of which are adult in nature, the appeal and audience for the book is limited.
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Format: Hardcover
I note some reviewers have commented on the small size of this book, so let's begin with the basics. Standing at just 7 and ¾ inches tall, and only 5 and ¾ inches wide, yes, it is a rather small book. Inside you'll find a succinct two page introduction, followed by exactly 61 entries, each of which is dedicated to a single "weird" comic book.

Each entry in turn consists of a double page spread. In every case, the right hand page consists of a cover (or more usually, _the_ cover, since most of these comic books were weird enough to go no further than a single issue). The left hand page consists of a single representative panel from the comic, together with a short blurb telling us something about it.

Obviously this format does not allow for anything to be covered in any depth. I recommend that you just think of this book as a kind of catalogue. It's up to you to decide which entries merit further exploration. This title, which Amazon sells but won't allow me to name, has already sent me on an intriguing journey through the internet without me even having to bother reading it!

Many of the comics are "alternative" or "underground comix" in a straightforward sense. Some of the more fun titles in this vein include "Amputee Love" and "Tales From The Leather Nun", both of which can be seen on the cover. There are also darker, more thoughtful brands of weird, such as "My Friend Dahmer", apparently written by a guy who actually knew serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in junior high. Plus there are a handful of comics with a message to push, such as "Chaplains at War", "The Gospel Blimp", and "Neraka": a kind of Malay Islamic version of Jack T.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm not a comic book buyer or collector, but I do like graphic storytelling in the longer format, and was curious to see what oddities might have emerged over theyears in the short form. This small gem of a book collects some sixty examples of the wildest and weirdest, ranging from a Tijuana Bible from the late 1930s satirizing Hitler called "You Nazi Man" to 2004's "Trucker Fags in Denial." Each title gets a two-page spread, with a full cover or near full-cover bleeding across the right page, and a synopsis of the book and sample panel on the left hand page, along with credits and publication information. The selections generally fall into the categories I expected:

Pornish comics -- "Tales From the Leather Nun" is pretty much described by the title, "Sweeter Gwen" is classic bondage, "Amputee Love" is also pretty well described by its title, "Genus" features lesbian unicorns, etc.

Weird superheros -- 1967's "Super Green Beret" battles the Viet Cong with his super strength, 1987's "Super Shamou" is an Inuit superhero fighting the scourge of glue sniffing, 1963's "Brain Boy" tackles communism, etc.

Industry promotional comics -- the American Cancer Society's cautionary teen tale "Where There's Smoke," professional service careers like being a barber or school psychologist are touted by Popeye, Wall's Ice Cream put out "Chill" with various flavors incarnated as superheros and villains, the California Prune Growers Association attempted to crank up the excitement about prunes by publishing the horribly titled "A Fortune in Two Old Trunks" in 1955, Greyhound did the same a few years later with "Driving Like a Pro", and the Savings and Loan Association wanted kids in 1968 to know that "Saving Can Be Fun!", etc.
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