Saturday, December 20, 2014

Reviews- POPULAR SKULLTURE and HAUNT OF HORROR


POPULAR SKULLTURE (Kitchen Sink Books/ Dark Horse, 2014; Hardcover)

Not so much a collected edition or a graphic novel but rather an artbook of classic pulp and comic book covers of the 1930s through the mid-1950s, Popular Skullture is a joy to behold. I love those classic pulp covers with their sensationalist painted artwork. There are collections of the complete runs of covers but they are super limited and super pricey. There are also full blown replicas of these pulps available, ads and all, but they are around 35 bucks each...and there are hundreds of them. I am not man enough to go down that collecting rabbit hole. Popular Skullture may just whet your whistle enough for your to do so, though.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 4 out of 5.

The OCD zone- This is one of those GN-TPB size books, industry jargon for a book that is smaller than a standard collected edition.
Linework and Color restoration: These are high resolution scans. The quality of the source material varies, so you can get some fairly worn cover scans here.
Paper stock: Thick glossy coated stock.
Binding: While this book has sewn binding it is very tight, requiring both hands to keep it open. It is a small book so this is not an issue for me.
Hardback cover notes: Thick paperboard casewrap which feels like a vintage book. I like it.


HAUNT OF HORROR (Marvel, 2009; Softcover)

Collects Haunt of Horror: Edgar Allan Poe # 1-3 and Haunt of Horror: Lovecraft #1-3 (cover dates July, 2006- October, 2008)
Writers: Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Rich Margopoulos, and Richard Corben
Artist: Richard Corben

It would be hard to screw up material by Lovecraft and Poe, especially when you have Richard Corben handling the artwork. Good stuff that is unfortunately now out of print.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The OCD zone-
Paper stock: Thin coated stock.
Binding: Perfect bound trade paperback.
Cardstock cover notes: Thick waxlike lamination. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review- 2000 AD PRESENTS SCI-FI THRILLERS


2000 AD PRESENTS SCI-FI THRILLERS (2000 AD, 2013; Softcover)

Collects selections from 2000 A.D. #47-61, 245, 296, 302, 368, 369, 408, 409, 479, 491, 537-540, 542, 543, 585-588, 2000 AD Winter Special 1995, and Judge Dredd Megazine #201-207, 209-241 (cover dates January 14, 1978- February 7, 2006)

Writers: Pat Mills, Jim Watson, Alan Grant, Alan Hebden, Grant Morrison, Alan McKenzie, Peter Milligan, Dave Stone, Rob Williams, Paul Cornell, and John Wagner
Artists: Carlos Trigo, Montero, Jim Watson, Massimo Belardinelli, Jesus Redondo, Ian Gibson, Mike Dorey, Steve Dillon, John Ridgway, Will Simpson, Tony Wright, Henry Flint, Simon Fraser, D'Israeli, and Mick McMahon

Curse those Free Comic Book Day offerings! The first part of the Visible Man (#47-52) was reprinted in the 2000 AD Free Comic Book Day edition this year and I loved it. Then they advertised this book in the back. Damn it! Another book that I was suckered into buying. Colony Earth (#52-61) is also worth the price of admission. Grant Morrison's Candy And The Catchman (#491) comes off like something from one of DC's Bronze Age mystery titles. Tribal Memories and Xtnct are both pure crap, and I am dumber for having read them. This was a mostly enjoyable read that has just enough good stuff in it to justify it's existence in my collection and avoid the eBay sell pile.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3.25 out of 5.

The OCD zone- These Rebellion/ 2000 AD books are wider than standard US trades.
Paper stock: Glossy coated stock. The paper feels dusty, a common occurrence in these offshore produced books. It's probably lead particles or whatever.
Binding: Sewn binding in a softcover.
Cardstock cover notes: Dull matte coating, easily scuffed. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Review- Soundgarden/ Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path


Soundgarden/ Echo Of Miles: Scattered Tracks Across The Path (A & M, 2014)

At last! The long promised, often threatened Soundgarden box set is here. Comprised of three discs (Covers, Originals, and Oddities), every single non-LP song has been compiled under one roof. I wish that every band would do this. No endless bullshit repackaging of all of your albums, no 10 disc box sets padded with songs that you already own because you own every album, this is the real deal. 


Not everything here is a winner, but I am glad that has all been comprehensively collected in one place. Disc One, Originals, is a mishmash of leftovers compiled from B-sides, international and vinyl bonus tracks, soundtracks, and other various '90s compilation cash grabs so prevalent in the pre-Napster world. Disc Two- Covers, varies in quality. Disc Three- Oddities is exactly what it says on the tin. Instrumentals, works in progress, and alternate remix versions. Some of them are interesting. Black Days III is pretty cool, a way heavier version of Fell On Black Days


The remixes are pure crap. So many '90s bands did these. Rock was considered stupid, and if you liked Rock then that meant that you must also be stupid. So by having crappy techno/dub-tinged remixes, bands showed how hip and now they were. Maybe it was because the Internet was new and everybody wanted to show how “tech savvy” they were and were afraid to say that these sucked. I said it then and I say it now: It sucked. 


So this box set is an uneven listen. I am thrilled that all of these odds and ends were compiled in this collection even if many of them are leftovers for a reason. I will play the first two discs again, and maybe one or two things off of the third disc. Remixes blow. I still love Soundgarden but will stick to the core albums when listening for pleasure.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 3 out of 5.


The OCD zone- A clear plastic box with song titles stamped on it, the CDs are housed in mini-LP-style cardsleeves. There are three plastic inserts on top of the first disc when you pull them out of the case, a sort of Rorschach test sort of imagery. There is also a booklet with tons of liner notes. It is a nice package but seems pricey at $59.99 for three CDs. I am guessing that the high price is due to the packaging. Oh, wait...it went down NINE BUCKS since it came out.