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COMIC REVIEW: Taint the Meat…It’s the Humanity!

COMIC REVIEW: Taint the Meat…It’s the Humanity!

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taint the meat

Once upon a time, horror comics were kind of shat upon. Actually, comic books in general were kind of shat upon. Hell, there were congressional meetings back in the day to discuss the negative effects that comic books were having on the youth of the day, and spoiler alert: they ended up leading to the end of mankind. I remember it like it was yesterday: the sky rained blood, cheeseburgers ate people, and a bunch of toasters gained sentience and embarked on a PG-13 rated remake of Cannibal Holocaust, which became the highest grossing movie of all time.

Wait, where the fuck was I again?

Oh yeah, horror comics. Horror comics have a legacy practically as long as the superhero genre believe it or not, the most iconic of which is the work to come from EC Comics. EC Comics, namely Tales from the Crypt, were what would inspire hordes of future horror filmmakers and artists in the years to come, and featured the work of Jack Davis. Davis is renowned in comic history for good reason: his illustrations managed to mix a stark style with ghoulish depictions that could either be gleefully over the top, or surprisingly subdued. For its time, that in itself is something special. Taint the Meat...It's the Humanity offers up a big collection of Davis' work, including the title story that has its rightful place in horror comic history, and is probably the best one featured in this collection.

Twenty five of Davis' stories are collected here in total, with some retouched pencil work here and there, but nothing too jarringly different. The stories themselves range in terms of overall quality, but it is interesting to see the progression of Davis' Cryptkeeper design over time. Some of the dialogue can be a true chore to get through, and for a decent amount of these stories it's hard to imagine any of these being considered anything remotely scary, which makes all the hubbub these things caused back in the day seem more ridiculous now than it did back then. The book itself features a very nice hardcover wraparound, and it looks just plain cool sitting on your shelf as well.

Despite the shifts in quality from story to story, it's easy to see why Davis' work remains as iconic as it does. The work contained in this collection set the standard for what would come down the line later on in terms of horror comics, and the inspiration that this would give to future horror icons down the road is perhaps what we should all be thankful for the most. If there's any drawbacks to this book, it's that some of the material hasn't held up all that well over the years. Still though, it has its place in history, and in that regard alone, Taint the Meat...It's the Humanity is worth your time.

Rating: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
BOOK REVIEW: VHS Video Cover Art

BOOK REVIEW: VHS Video Cover Art

By Nick Durham

vhs
Do you remember when you were young, and you'd make those trips to the local video store? Remember that wonderful little feeling of magic that popped up inside you whenever you walked down the various store aisles and saw those beautiful VHS tape boxes displayed? Remember how you'd pick up those boxes, look at the glorious covers, and read through what was on the back to determine if it was worth your time or not? Remember the first time you found the porn section?

Wait, forget about that last sentence (for now).

Anyway, I have fond memories of my treks through my local video store, which was a mom & pop establishment that often had a lot of stuff (particularly horror) that the chain stores like Blockbuster didn't carry. What attracted me to the horror section in particular were the beautiful box covers that grabbed my attention...and the rest is history. Sadly though, with the end of VHS as a form of physical media, and the rise of DVD, Blu-ray, and digital downloading/VOD, cover art has become something of a sadly forgotten form of art.

Thomas Hodge (aka The Dude Designs, who is responsible for some VHS-artwork style representations of modern films) knows this, and we should all be thankful to him for compiling everything contained in this beautiful hardcover book that is a true labor of love and passion. I haven't seen a compilation of VHS art in print form like this...ever. No seriously, this is truly something unique and just plain awesome...and in all honesty, more awesome than my words here can really do it justice. In other words, you need to stop what you're doing, and pick up VHS Video Cover Art right the fuck right now.

Now granted, this book doesn't exclusively cover horror VHS box art. Every genre is represented here: from science fiction, to action, to comedy, to even kids fare. (Like seriously, did you know there was a fucking Rambo cartoon? The 80s were a weird time.) Horror, however, takes precedent here, with quite a large portion of the book devoted to our beloved genre of film. The 1980s to about the early 90s are covered here. Some of the films featured within this book you'll recognize, and some are quite obscure of course, but that's part of the fun right? That's the whole idea after all: discovery. That was that wonderful feeling I mentioned earlier when strolling down the aisle at the video store and you gazed upon those VHS boxes with little to no idea what you were getting into...but you wanted to check it out regardless. In the immortal words of Freddie fucking Mercury, it' just a kind of magic.

To close things out, VHS Video Cover Art is an absolute must own. You will more than likely not find a better book detailing this kind of thing (nor as handsome as this wonderful hardcover collection ends up being), which makes it all the more of an essential addition to your bookshelf. Now seriously, stop reading this fucking thing and go pick it up.

Rating: 5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in BOOKS, COMICS, AND PUBLICATION REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments