Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Book Review: HARVEY COMICS TREASURY, VOLUME 1, edited by Leslie Cabarga (Dark Horse Books, 2010)

By and large, Jerry Beck and Leslie Cabarga did a fine job of repackaging old Harvey Comics material in the HARVEY COMICS CLASSICS series. They got some facts wrong -- Harvey projects, no matter who helms them, seem to attract factual goofs as readily as I attract mosquitoes on a hot summer evening -- and got some (largely undeserved) criticism for reprinting most of the material in black and white, but I gave them all due praise for bringing this enjoyable material back into circulation. Now that Dark Horse has decided to follow up the CLASSICS series with a line of less expensive, but full-color!, 200-page TREASURY volumes, one would think that I'd be ecstatic. Sorry to say, despite the generally high story quality in this first CASPER THE FRIENDLY GHOST AND FRIENDS issue, I'm less enthusiastic than expected... for in terms of granting due recognition to creators, or even simply telling us when and in what issues these stories first appeared, we've taken a big step backwards to the days of the original Harvey Digest line. Even the LITTLE LULU series gives basic info on creators and issue numbers. If you have kids, however -- or are a kid at heart -- you'll enjoy these whimsical, clever, and entertaining tales.

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