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The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics Paperback – August 12, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
With almost the entire field to choose from the quality of this volume is very high with an excellent 1934 Dashiell Hammett/Alex Raymond tale from Secret Agent X-9; two stories from Bernie Krigstein (including the very strange 'Blind Man's Bluff' which was his swansong to comics); obscure but high quality Alan Moore & Neil Gaiman tales (including Moore's epilogue to his graphic novel 'From Hell'); a great Max Collins/Terry Beatty Ms. Tree tale, a fine Johnny Craig story from EC, Jack Cole's classic 'Murder, Morphine And Me!', a fine Joe Simon/Jack Kirby bunko tale, some decent Euro crime tales making their North American debuts, Will Eisner's Spirit (although one might quibble why 'The Portier Fortune'--a good but not great Spirit tale appears, when such genuine noir greats like 'Black Alley', 'Ten Minutes' or 'Fox At Bay' were passed by), Jordi Bernet with a Torpedo tale, an Alex Toth classic, Charles Burns' El Boro and much, much more. In fact, the quality of this book is so high while the price is so low that it may well be the best comic anthology of the year for your dollar.
This Mammoth Book collection has plenty of pre-50s stuff, including the amazingly hard hitting Secret Agent X-9 newspaper strip from the 30s. There's also a cool Johnny Craig story from Crime Suspenstories-- my favorite EC title! Frank Miller talks about Craig's work a good deal in the Sin City commentary.
It's also wonderful to finally have high quality reproductions of the original inks of Jack Cole's "Murder, Morphine and Me," and Alex Toth's "The Crushed Gardenia," and Bernie Krigstein's "Lilly-White Joe"-- all real classics. I also loved Krigstein's solid adaptation of the bizarro 87th Precinct story "Blind Man's Bluff".
Even the newer stuff I've never heard of is worth reading. And it's all great reference material. I wish this was a huge coffee table hardback, but then it would've probably cost seventy-five bucks! I hope there's a part two, because I know the source material's hardly been exhausted. One example that comes to mind is the terrific Joe Lansdale/Bruce Timm team-up "Red Romance".
Compiler Paul Gravett could just as easily left it out, but since it's there let's examine an esteemed opinion of Mr. Gravett himself by no less than The Times Of London which, according to an entry at the front of the book, regards him as "the greatest historian of the comics and graphic novel form in this country ..." and goes on to describe him as a writer, lecturer and broadcaster about international comics and director of the Comics festival of London's Institute of Contemporary Arts." Good enough for me, and as Mr. Gravett says "this book is dedicated to the unknown writers and artists of these comics, who despite much research have evaded recognition, may they be remembered, and rediscovered, very soon." He then goes on to contribute a 4 page Introduction titled "Every Shade Of Noir" in which he gives an overview of the history of the crime comic and some of the main personalities of such and their creators. Fascinating stuff.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty damn tame by today's standards! It could be a great trip down memory lane though, I don't doubt.Published 14 months ago by Pen Name and That A
Title is misleading. It says best crime comics, it should say, "Public domain and very crappy Crime Comics". I got it really cheap used, so no loss.Published on July 10, 2014 by Douglas W. Leary
If you're a fan of Frank Miller's Sin City then you're going to love these assortment of stories they're really good I think you will enjoy themPublished on May 1, 2014 by boogie23
I can remember after Sin City first hit the comics scene in the mid 90s and it seemed like every indy company was putting out their rip off/homage to Sin City. Read morePublished on September 2, 2012 by Double T the legally blind referee
This obviously does not collect any of today's big crime titles such as "criminal" "Filthy Rich" or "100 bullets", but it has some great indy stuff and a lot of older crime comics. Read morePublished on January 14, 2011 by Frank 'Bowzer' Rizzo