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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
7
Weird Horrors & Daring Adventures (Vol. 1)  (The Joe Kubert Archives)
Format: Hardcover|Change
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on December 29, 2012
Once again, I seem to be the only person relishing in these early works by some of the most talented American comic book artists of all time that Fantagraphics is reprinting in collectible volumes (Alex Toth, Mort Meskin, Steve Ditko). And I don't know why. Am I the only person who's eagerly awaiting these reprints? If so, I don't mind... but I wish there were more people out there appreciating the great effort Fantagraphics is doing in reprinting these long-forgotten comics. And I'm not even getting paid by them for saying so, as I can get quite nasty sometimes. Oh well...

Concerning this book, which is hardbound (yeah!), it collects, contrary to what the title says, not only Weird Horrors by Joe Kubert, but just about everything else he did in the '50's (and he worked for practically every other comic book publisher out there, even EC; though his EC + DC work aren't collected here), and it features everything from Crime-does-not-pay-type stories, to westerns, adventure and even humorous stories (Miss Pepper... anyone?). Once again, the stories have been sufficiently restored to whiten-out the yellowing pages, correcting some color misalignments, but kept with the original thick halftoned color printing of the time. The art varies from early not-quite-good Kubert (he was in his early twenties), to his very good work from the mid-fifties. I actually prefer Kubert's work from around that time, which was a sort of hybrid between Frank Robbins and Milton Caniff, but with elements of what would later be the Kubert-style. In those days, Kubert inked mostly with a brush, and it's incredible how his work back then reminds me of Spanish artist Jordi Bernet (of Torpedo and now Jonah Hex fame). It seems both grew up loving the same artist: Frank Robbins. I just love those western stories Kubert drew, and I don't know why he never became famous for drawing westerns, and instead for war stories.

All in all, there's something for every one here (his humorous work is quite good, something I was totally unaware of)... and for those of you who believe since it's early Kubert it ain't very good... well, you're in for a surprise. It's really good! As I said before, some early stuff is slightly out of proportion concerning the body drawings (apparently he didn't excel in drawing superheroes back then), but for the most part it's quite good. Again, I prefer Kubert from the '50's than the rushed penwork of Kubert drawing Sgt. Rock (though my favorite Kubert remains Viking Prince).

If you like Jordi Bernet's early work in Torpedo, you'll love this book by Kubert. I can't recommend it enough (along with the other FB books collecting Ditko, Meskin and Toth work from the '50's). And if you love comic books from the '50's (and who doesn't? as those were the best ever), this one is for you!

Let's help keep this work alive and in print, folks, before they disappear forever!
18 helpful votes
19 helpful votes
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on January 21, 2013
Although Joe Kubert is often thought of as a DC artist, for much of his early career he also freelanced at other companies. This book collects a variety of his work from the forties and fifties,; it is not chronologically arranged, but you'll see a range of Kubert styles, ranging from the promising line work of a talented beginner to the lush brushwork of an early master. Some of these stories have been reproduced in black and white, some not at all, but here they are all well produced in color, faithful but improved versions of the original newsprint printing. Especially beautiful are the Son of Sinbad stories which make you understand why DC editor Bob Kanigher immediately thought of Kubert when he needed an artist for The Viking Prince. There's also a nice introduction by Kubert expert and biographer Bill Schelly, whose fine hand is otherwise visible only in the story selections, and, I suspect, the book's high production values. I hope you'll buy this book so that there will be a volume two. I'm a little concerned that the title and non-prominence of Kubert's name on the cover may lead some prospective buyers to overlook this treat.
8 helpful votes
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on November 18, 2014
Kubert took inspiration from Hal Foster, but made something dark, pulpy, and sexy out of it. Whether it was his '70s "stealth minimalism," or earlier, more labor-intensive, work like this, his art has always woven beauty with high-test virility in a way that only Frazetta could top.
1 helpful vote
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on October 12, 2014
Bill Schelly has put a corker of a book together on the earlier cartooning of Joe Kubert. What a nice and fine looking book. I'm a big fan of the early Kubert. If you were lucky enough to have met Joe in person, then you were in for a treat. He was a fine a gentleman as he was an artist. He was proud to be called a CARTOONIST! His sons have done him proud by following in the old man's footsteps. I can't wait to see the next volume of The Joe Kubert Archives.
1 helpful vote
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on March 29, 2013
I did not expect so many non horror stories in this book. He is a classic comic artist but I was really expecting more horror. The fantasy and "funny" stuff was By-passed.Just not a fan. A cool western and the classic crime held me all the way. I guess it's a matter of taste. If you are a fan of 50's horror this is "ok". A fan of the artist better than average. Nice HC presentation without the crappy glossy pages is a plus. 3.5 stars.
5 helpful votes
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When you think about the late, great Joe Kubert you naturally think of titles like Hawkman and Sgt. Rock, or the other titles he was associated with during his many years at DC Comics. But like many young artists in the 1940s and 1950s, Kubert went where the work was and worked on many other genres besides superhero and military titles. Weird Horrors and Daring Adventures takes a comprehensive look at Kubert’s work on such titles as Eerie, Black Cat, Strange Worlds, Weird Horrors, Planet Comics, and many others. These tales run the gamut of horror, crime, supernatural, and adventure tales

Kubert’s style probably was not suited for traditional, EC Comics style horror. His dynamic ability worked better on action titles, but there’s still a lot of very cool material in this book. “Bloody Yesterday” is a weird war tale about an American soldier who falls unconscious and has a vision of a previous life as a Roman soldier battling the picts. Then there is “Attack on Mars” a pure pulp fiction style Sci-Fi story. An odd inclusion since this is only part one of a story and the next chapter is not included but I suppose Fantagraphics was going for a cross-genre variety.

“The Mirror of Isis” definitely fits the category of weird horror as an ancient power reaches across time through a mirror to seek revenge. You get western themed tales, lurid, sexually charged dramas like Success or Else” from the pages of Hollywood Confessions, true crime stories, even comedies. One of my favorite stories is “The Golem” based on Jewish myth. It’s the longest story in the book and just outstanding. You can tell that Kubert, being Jewish himself, put great effort into this story.

These stories are presented in the original forms and are uncensored. There’s certainly some wartime material here that today could be considered racist as it paints typical stereotypes of the Germans and Japanese but like it or not this was the rule in the day, not the exception. Kubert had yet to refine his finer style that made him one of the best of all-time but even in these early stories you can see the ability of a future master of the medium. We just lost Kubert last year and thus we lost one of the few remaining greats who plied his trade from the Golden Age to the Modern Age of comic books. This book serves as a testimonial to his incredible skill to tell a story.
1 helpful vote
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on January 22, 2013
For fans of golden age work this is essential! Kuberts early art is worth spending time studying, the stories are solid, and the presentation by Fantagraphic is amazing. Get a spot cleared on your bookshelf because this too shelf collection will surely be deserving of it! Highly recommended.
4 helpful votes
5 helpful votes
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