Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Very Macabre Christmas To You All!

And one to me as well. This year I received my traditional Jack Kirby gift, volume three of DC's wonderful Jack Kirby's Fourth World Omnibus series, completing the set. I also got Drawing Words & Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden; it's "a definitive course from concept to comic in 15 lessons." I hope to put that one to use.

But the strangest aspect of my Christmas this year was getting two big-ass horror tomes! My mom gave me Bernie Wrightson's illustrated edition of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. What a heavy book! It must weigh at least a pound and a half. A pound of that is Wrightson's artistic brilliance; you really need to see his full-page illustrations. My sister-in-law gave me Eerie volume one, the Dark Horse archival reprinting of the first five issues of Eerie magazine. A full two-fifths of my Christmas gifts relate to horror this year. My brother and I decided my ideal holiday is somewhat along the lines of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas. I haven't been this amused with what Christmas gifts say about my family and me since the year he and I both gave each other The Godfather on VHS.

By the way, Eerie volume one is gorgeous. Check out the listed staff artists from Eerie #3's masthead:

Eugene "Gene" Colan, Reed Crandall, Steve Ditko, Frank Frazetta, Rocco Mastroserio, Gray Morrow, Joe Orlando, John Severin, Jay Taycee, Angelo Torres, Alex Toth and Al Williamson.

That's some incredible line-up of comic book art mastery. Has there ever been such an assemblage of talent in any discipline? I can only make analogies to the first USA Basketball "Dream Team" from 1992 or any given Major League All-Star team from any year from the 1930s to about 1960. Of course you don't get every artist in each issue, but you almost always get a Frazetta cover and if you don't, you have to settle for Gray Morrow.

Who doesn't like axe murders and rotted corpses staggering forth from the swamps seeking vengeance against those who robbed them of life? Especially at Christmas time!

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