As a full moon looms and distant Halloween howls chill the air, what better way to celebrate the creepiest time of the year than Fantagraphics' latest haunting endeavor: reprints of Marvel Comics' 1950s genre titles under a new Atlas collection. The initial offering in this series gathers the first eight issues of the pre-Code horror series, Adventures Into Terror, into a gorgeous hardbound volume.
Atlas holds a special place among aficionados of the genre, producing more horror titles and issues by far, than anyone in the industry. While the quality of EC's six horror/sci-fi titles was unsurpassed with their elite cadre of talent, Atlas was the equivalent of the B-movies studio, churning out anywhere from 8 to 12 different horror titles a month, giving a wider array of artists, including some of the best craftsmen of the era, a chance to show off their talents: in addition to those already mentioned, future volumes will include Bill Everett, John Romita, Bernie Krigstein, Jerry Robinson, Harry Anderson, and Matt Fox. Stories from Marvel's Atlas line have barely been reprinted.
The Fantagraphics Atlas Comics Library is the first attempt to publish a carefully curated line of Atlas titles. Our first volume, Adventures Into Terror, includes a treasure trove of stories drawn by many of the most stylistically accomplished artists of the Golden Age including George Tuska, Carl Burgos, Mike Sekowsky, Joe Maneely, and Joe Sinnott. Highlights include Russ Heath's two-part story "The Brain" from issue #4 and "Return of the Brain" from issue #6; Basil Wolverton's classic "Where Monsters Dwell" from issue #7; Gene Colan's moody "House of Horror" in issue #3; and Don Rico's wild layouts are on display from #4's "The Torture Room." The stories are written firmly in the tradition of the pulpy, perverse, borderline deranged style that brought Fredric Wertham, the United States Senate Sub-Committee, and public opinion down like a sledgehammer on comics in the early '50s.
Fantagraphics was kind enough to provide Boing Boing with a complete excerpt from the book, Gene Colan's "House of Horror."