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I’ve been in a real vintage comics fix lately. I’ve been revisiting some overlooked gems from my library, and one can’t do much better than the books of Craig Yoe for vintage comics.
The Golden Collection of Klassic Krazy Kool Kids Komics may be guilty of alliteration crimes, but it’s a treasure trove of weird, rare kids’ comics. It makes a pretty decent companion book to Dan Nadel’s Art Out of Time and Art in Time books of obscure comics, but with a focus on children’s material.
There are a few out-of-place duds in the book. A Steve Ditko-penciled comic for Big Boy restaurants, for example, is an interesting oddity, but doesn’t seem at home among the pulpy dot-patterned works of cartooning greats like Syd Hoff, Dr. Suess, Walt Kelly, Harvey Kurtzman, John Stanley, and Carl Barks.
The book that really gets me, though, is Craig’s tribute to Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein.
I didn’t know about Briefer’s work until I read about it here on Drawn back when the monster-loving Jay Stephens wrote about him.
The book covers two different eras of Briefer’s Frankenstein stories, brilliantly reflected in the book’s cover design — a frightening, grotesque version of the famous Monster with die-cut eyes graces the cover, which opens to reveal a similarly-grotesque but more comical, goofy version of the character — the effects of censorship on horror comics in the mid 1950s.
Finally, while I don’t think 3D does much to enhance the movie-going experience, I have always had a soft spot for 3D comics since I was a kid. So I’m looking forward to Craig’s latest book, Amazing 3D Comics.