Four Color Fear: delightful horror comics from the pre-Code era


9 Responses to “Four Color Fear: delightful horror comics from the pre-Code era”

  1. Anonymous says:

    JUST became available to ship from Amazon again for only $20…

  2. sean says:

    This is the best compilation of 1950′s non-EC horror stories yet done. Most of the stories are well-chosen, both for art and story. The restoration work (fixing off-register color, correcting drop-outs, etc.) is superb, especially considering these were mostly the cheesiest companies printing the cheapest way possible.”THTH” is a worthy tome, too- it does have many more covers, but the author’s psycho-babble makes it almost unreadable. Hope there’s a FCF Volume 2 some day, focusing on the REALLY gory/outre stuff. Not enough decapitation for my tastes…

  3. sean says:

    Actually MAD had several run-ins with the censors: Issue 5 was “banned in Boston” and received low distribution due to its violent cover, their parody of “A Night Before Christmas” was targeted, and MAD (not the horror books) was targeted and investigated by the FBI (the file was released and is out there on the internet somewhere)There are other instances I can’t recall off the top of my head. Part of the reason it became a mag was Kurtzman’s desire to get out of the comic book slums and be a accepted as a *serious* humorist.

  4. devophill says:

    If the third and fourth images do not depict Basil Wolverton art, I’ll eat my hat! (Hmm. Not the third one actually, but it is Wolvertonian. The fourth one for sure. Also I’m not wearing a hat.)

  5. Layne says:

    This stuff is awesome – might have to pick this up and just revel in the ick.

  6. 3lbFlax says:

    The last year has been solid gold for horror comic collections. I think Four-Color Fear might be the one with my favourite strip in, where some couple’s friend convinces them they’ve killed him and he’s returned from the grave, so they feel obliged to let him live in their house, where he’s brilliantly obnoxious – basically a Rodney Dangerfield character in a corpse suit. Of course he ends up being ‘exorcised’ (the solution paralyses him) and buried alive, ha ha! But it’s the scenes where he just basically jerks them around that make it so great – grossing them out by cooking them horrible dinners, smoking cigars and so on.

    Anyway, the whole book is brilliant whether this story is in it or not. If not it might be in The Horror! The Horror!, which I believe has also been featured on BB and is just as great.

    • mrclamo says:

      It’s in there. It’s called “The Corpse that Came to Dinner.” Also not to be missed: 10 Cent Plague–a prose overview of horror comics and The Horror, The Horror– a collection similar to Four Color Fear. THTH is better designed and has more covers, but FCF has more actual stories.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I can’t find this book anywhere at cover price or less…is it now out of print?

  8. jeligula says:

    Mad magazine dumped their comic format mostly to avoid the comics code out of principle more than anything else. The sophomoric humor presented by Mad wouldn’t really set off the censors, they just didn’t want to take a chance. The magazine format became quite vital after that, culminating in the 80′s with Eerie, Epic Illustrated and (I hate to say it) to a lesser extent, Heavy Metal. Epic wasn’t supposed to be sold to minors, but we could still buy cigarettes back then, so clerks never really paid attention one way or the other. Ah, for the days when the government didn’t feel the need to interfere in a person choosing his or her own path to hell.

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