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

By Nick Durham

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

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