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.