Picks of the Week – October 24, 2012

Halloween 2006

Halloween 2006 (Photo credit: Terry.Tyson)

Since baseball is keeping me at work pretty late, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a special edition of the Picks of the Week.

And since Halloween is just about a week away, what could be better than checking out a few horror themes classic comics available in trades.

1) Essential… (Marvel)

I have talked about the Essential series from Marvel before.  The series is composed of reprints of older Marvel titles in black and white format on cheaper newsprint quality paper.  The key to why these trades are so good is that they provide a lot of read for your buck.  We’re talking roughly 20 issues of a title for prices between ten to fifteen dollars.

I include the Essential series on the list because in addition to the expected superhero titles (Spider-Man, X-Men, Captain America, etc.), Marvel has released a number of their classic horror titles in this format.  It is possible to pick up volumes of Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf By Night, Man-Thing, even Tales of the Zombie, allowing you to read complete series of these horror titles for a low price.

2) Showcase Presents (DC Comics)

The Showcase Presents series is DC Comics answer to Marvel’s Essential series.  Just like their competitor, the trades include a number of issues collected and printed in black and white on cheap newspaper.  And, just like Marvel, DC has collected a number of their horror titles in this series.  Stand outs include the anthology titles House of Mystery and House of Secrets (three volumes of both).  If you like your horror with a bit of superheroics, DC has also Showcase trades of the Phantom Stranger and the Spectre.  Or, if you want a combination of genres, there is also Weird War Tales and Unexpected.

3) Saga of the Swamp Thing (DC Comics)

Swamp Thing has become one of the stand out titles of the New 52, so it seems fitting that collections of his previous series should appear on this list.  The Saga of the Swamp Thing trades (out in hardcover and trades) collects this title starting with Alan Moore run on the title.  The first volume includes the award willing story “Anatomy Lesson,” which completely upends the character and sets the mood for the darker stories to follow.

4) The Walking Dead (Image Comics)

As I have mentioned before, I am not a fan of the whole zombie sub-genre, mostly because the stories tend to lose track of what is important.  Not so with The Walking Dead.  Robert Kirkman manages to remember that the humans forced to deal with the nightmare of a zombie overrun world are most important, and not the zombies themselves.  Even after 100 issues, the series is still going strong.  There are trades and compendiums available for sale, which I would definitely recommend to anyone who is a fan of the AMC series.

5) Creepy Archives/Eerie Archives/Vampirella Archives (Dark Horse Comics/Dynamite Entertainment)

Dark Horse Comics and Dynamite Entertainment has been publishing collections of these Warren Publishing titles which originally were printed in black and white magazine format.  Eerie and Creepy (archives by Dark Horse Comics) were anthology titles with a definite horror slant to the theme.  And the sexy Vampirella (archives by Dynamite Entertainment) has become a star in her own right, still starring in new comics even today.

The Archives format for these titles is a bit pricey as the hardcovers can run you close to fifty dollars.  But, the stories within, many drawn by some of the biggest names in comics and fantasy art, do make them worth while.  But, if you are a bit more budget conscious, Dark Horse Comics has been releasing Eerie and Creepy collections by artist (Bernie Wrightson, Richard Corben) and story runs (Eerie Presents: Hunter) which are a bit more affordable.


All of these titles are available for purchase at your local comic shop (either in store or special order), or at your local bookstores and Amazon.com.



About chyrondave

Avid comic reader, amateur writer, music fan, and someone with opinions, lots of opinions.

Posted on October 25, 2012, in Comics, Lists, Media, Personal, The Fives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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