Saturday, November 6, 2010

Book Review: HARVEY COMICS TREASURY, VOLUME 2, edited by Leslie Cabarga (Dark Horse Books, 2010)

The TREASURY series goes to the (Little) Devil in its second incarnation, a volume starring Hot Stuff. I'm less annoyed by a lack of artist credits this time around than I was with Volume One, if only because -- apart from the odd HERMAN AND KATNIP tale drawn by (I believe) Marty Taras -- this is a case of all Warren Kremer, all the time. This is a bit of a surprise in that Howard Post drew some of the best-loved Hots stories of all time, but I'm certainly not complaining, as Kremer's artwork during his amazingly prolific period of the late 1950s and early to mid-1960s is consistently outstanding, both in the Hots stories and in the devil's perpetual back-up feature, STUMBO THE GIANT. Thanks to Leslie Cabarga's decision to focus on Kremer's work from a relatively narrow period of time, this volume displays a bit less of the "aesthetic carnage" that I noticed in my lengthy review of Volume 4 of the HARVEY COMICS CLASSICS series, but only a bit. Witches, gnomes, trolls, brownies, talking animals, and other fauna of the "Enchanted Forest" variety are present in abundance, but they have to share space with human big-game hunters who wouldn't have been out of place in a RICHIE RICH story, dog-eared and dog-nosed beatnik painters, anthropomorphic ponds (!), woodworking tools (!!), and steamrollers (!!!), blue Moon-Men, and, basically, any other critter that would serve to help carry a story (all of the five-page variety here). It all makes for fun reading for young, old, and those in-between. Dark Horse only needs to provide credits and issue attributions to make the TREASURY series a worthy successor to the fine CLASSICS volumes.

1 comment:

F-Man said...

I just found your blog because I became obsessed with Hot Stuff. Besides that, I'm also obsessed with Osamu Tezuka, so your blog is absolutely wonderful!

I'm currently debating if I should pay the high price for the old Classics edition of Hot Stuff's stories, plus this newer one, or just go with one or the other. Assuming I want to have as many stories as possible, what should I go for? Are all stories from this book into the older one as well? Is the older one bigger only because it has some stories not related to Hot Stuff? Are both in full color?

Thanks for your help!