Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics

The blurb on the back cover says, "24 of the greatest crime comics ever," and that's close enough to the truth to let you know you gotta have the book. The names you're looking for (or at least the ones I was looking for) are all here: Mickey Spillane, Max Allan Collins, Dashiell Hammett, Alex Raymond, Will Eisner, Alex Toth, Jack Cole, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and many others. Some really classic stories, for sure, with great art, including the one must-have, Cole's "Murder, Morphine, and Me!" There's even an 87th Precinct comic.

Complaints? Well, it's too bad the reprints are in B&W. Comic books from my era should always be in color. And there's one big screw-up in my copy. The long story arc from Secret Agent X-9 (a newspaper strip and not a comic book) is made less effective by the fact that several pages are printed out of order. It's kind of jarring until you figure out what's going on. That's not enough to spoil things, though, and maybe it's not a flaw in all the copies. Anyway, I especially liked the scene in which X-9 tells the femme fatale that he won't play the sap for her. Hammett must have liked that line a lot.

Get your copy soon.

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