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Paul Gravett – Mammoth Best Crime Comics

Posted by demonik on June 18, 2008

Paul Gravett (ed.) The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics (Robinsons, 2008)

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Cover design by Peter Stanbury: Illustration by Jordi Bernet

Here is the first ever popular collection of crime comics – the 24 best graphic short stories in the crime genre, spanning all the colours of noir, from classic American newspaper strip serials and notorious uncensored comic books to today’s global graphic novel masterpieces.

This must-have collection is fully loaded with some of the greatest writers and artists in comics publishing, including Frank Miller, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Max Allan Collins, Johnny Craig, Alex Toth, Joe Kubert, Bernie Krigstein – plus adaptations of/collaborations by famous crime writers, such as Dashiel Hammett, Mickey Spillane, Lesley Charteris and Raymond Chandler.

Meet a gallery of hard-boiled, iconic heroes and killers inside including:Dashiell Hammett’s smooth operator Secret Agent X-9, Will Eisner’s masked mystery man The Spirit, Mickey Spillane’s heavyweight tough-guy Mike Hammer, Muñoz and Sampayo’s brooding ex-cop Alack Sinner, Abuli and Bernet’s venal hitman-for-hire Torpedo 1936, Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty’s femme fatale investigator Ms. Tree, and Charles Burns’ Mexican wrestler and defective detective El Borbah.

About the Author:

Paul Gravett is the leading light in the UK comics industry. Freelance journalist, curator, and broadcaster, he has worked in comics publishing and promotion for over 20 years. He writes for publications as diverse as the Guardian, Bookseller and Comics International; and is author of Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics and Graphic Novels; Stories to Change Your Life.

Published by Robinson 18 July 2008, paperback, £12.99

I don’t do “bedside books” because I’m always far too busy having sex, but let’s pretend for a moment that I was like you poor fellows who lead a life of solitary vice and, most likely, wear pyjamas and comfy tartan slippers; then I’d have no hesitation in snuggling up in bed with a steaming hot cup of cocoa and a copy of The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics because it’s epic!

Only intended to flick through it for the time being but I wasn’t reckoning with the irresistible pull of Jack Cole’s drug soaked Murder, Morphine And Me (True Crimes, 1948), masked wrestler El Bordah (reluctantly dragging himself away from his copy of Bongo Butt magazine to investigate a bad show at the Sperm Bank in Charles Burns’ Love In Vein, 1987) and the squelchy horrors of Johnny Craig’s suitably malodorous The Sewer (William M. Gaines’ Crime Suspense Stories, 1951).

Ruthless Mr. Big’s, ultra-violent hoods, double-dealing dames, unscrupulous PI’s, cops of all stripe, stacked broads, the occasional juvenile delinquent – they’re all present and up to no good. I’ve not spotted any blackmailer’s or fat guys called ‘Mo’ yet, but chances are they’re in here. When I get time, I’ll try and give you the full table of contents for this and the companion volume of sorts – Mammoth Horror Comics – but hopefully this taster will at least give you some idea of the sickly treats in store.

Thanks, Sam!

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