Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Trade Marks: Essential Tales of the Zombie

4 or 5 years ago, whenever someone would ask "What TPBs are you waiting for?", Tales of the Zombie was always in my top 10. It was a fun series back in the 70s, and I managed to pick up most of the mags over the years. Ever since I was a kid, I was simultaneously intrigued/repelled by Pablo Marcos' Simon Garth. I felt a good deal of empathy for him, but he was also very creepy. The Essential format is absolutely perfect for this kind of collection, as the Bang:Buck ratio is very strong and the black and white art still looks great. Steve Gerber reminds us why we miss him so much, and Marcos has never looked better. The stories get a bit repetitive - so it might best be enjoyed in small doses. The modern back-ups are rarely as strong as the lead story, but the selection of 50s horror is quite good. What I really love about this volume, is that someone made the brilliant editorial decision to reprint all of the feature pieces on movies and zombie lore. These articles were half the charm of the old Marvel mags. Trade Mark: A-

5 comments:

M W Gallaher said...

This really is a great collection! It was this series that made me a fan of Marcos; his style worked here in a way it just *didn't* in more conventional fare.
And while the backups may indeed be "rarely" as strong, there's one story here that's haunted me as one of the most disturbing things I've ever read: "Herbie the Liar Said it Wouldn't Hurt"...uggh...

craig/benday-dot said...

This is one of my favourite Essentials, though I don't have too many (way more Showcases in my collection). I especially love the Bill Everett, Russ Heath and Dick Ayers Atlas era reprints. I wonder if the editors just decided it would be more work than it was worth to edit out those monster movie articles you mention (a real surprise.) Whatever, the reason I too love the fact of their inclusion. The 70's Marvel B&W magazine ghetto really did contain some wonderful bits of now pretty much forgotten comic book creativity.

pete doree said...

Easily one of the best Essentials, and the only one that really gives you the feel of reading a '70's Marvel b&w. And The Zombie is up there with the best of Gerber's work.
And Herbie The Liar IS great!

Scott M said...

Herbie is indeed quite disturbing. A real horror gem. I guess we all have our own definition of 'misery'.

I'm glad you guys also appreciate the full 'b&w mag' experience. What would DHOKF be without those 6 pages Don McGregor 'reviews' of Lee Van Cleef movies no one will ever see?

Dan said...

Picked up a cheap used copy of this one recently even though I have the majority of the individual issues. Even new, of course, it would still be cheaper than the 3 I lack -- #s 1, 5 & 10.