“THE COMPLETE VOODOO, VOL. 2” (Comic Book Review)Book and Comic Reviews,Books/Art/Culture,News Svetlana Fedotov
There was a lot of things to be terrified of in the 1950’s: Communism, atomic bombs, fat lazy children nursed on the unholy teat that is television. With such rampaging paranoia, it’s no wonder that some of the most iconic horror movies and shows emerged from the unique era, inspired in part by one of the largest horror comic booms in the history of the printed press. Thanks to the hard work of Yoe Comics and IDW Comics, we in the far future of 2016 with our flying cars and space travel, can read what all the hubbub was all about. THE COMPLETE VOODOO VOL. 2 is the second installment of reprinted horror works originally from Farrell Publications simply titled VOODOO, and features a collection of spooky stories to keep you up at night.
Of the number of madness-inducing works that line the pages like so many ink smudges, among them are tale of curses and revenge, such as “Blood and Old Bones,” about a woman who hires a killer to ‘do in’ her husband only to face the dogs of war, or “Torture Travelogue,”that tells the tale of a man who refuses to let his lover leave him, no matter what. There are tales of madman and murderers, demons and monsters, most illustrated by the first story, “Devil Flower,” where a flower that requires meat to live that soon becomes a method of murder! There are ghosts, demons, ghouls, and poor souls that just happen to be in the wrong place in the wrong time. Oh, and yes, there is plenty of voodoo, told the only way that matters: with BLOOD!
COMPLETE VOODOO is not only old school horror, its pre-code old school horror! That’s right, fiends, the collection features all old timey blood, guts, and monsters that made horror comics so famous before that pesky comic-code came along and ruined all the fun. For fans of comic history, it’s common knowledge that the comic-code not only ruined illustrated horror and violence, but even censored words such as ‘vampires’ and ‘ghouls.’
While the new restrictions did bring an age of creativity as comic publishers attempted to make horror works while still staying within the comic-code limits, some argue that there was a loss of raw talent when the code was enforced. Luckily, the code laxed over thirty years ago and we now get to judge for ourselves if the violence was really that over-the-top or if our grandparents just got their mind blown. It’s wonderful a check mark in the history of comics and shows how far the genre has come (or not come, depending on your take).
On top of the comics, there is also a solid, if not slightly rambling, article by writer Michael H. Price about the history of horror comics in popular culture and its impact on movies. Splashed with full color pictures of movies posters, the article explores the effect of the comic-code and the authors love for Voodoo comics. Frankly, he’s right to praise the work, what with the full color reprints and lurid bloody details, IDW pulled out the stops to reprint the VOODOO comics while still maintain an original feel. The color fixing is tight enough to make the work look like it was first printed, but not so much that the whole comic was obviously re-worked. They also attempt to credit both the writer and artist of each work, but the factory like conditions of most publishers at the time mostly consisted of a stack of scripts picked off by the artist and drawn to meet a deadline. Only the artists were ever credited, which sadly leaves most of the comics’ one credit short.
THE COMPLETE VOODOO VOL. 2 is a fun, grotesque little comic that should line the shelf of any horror fans collection. If anything, it’s worth a few laughs. Out now!