Sunday, October 14, 2012
DC's Showcase reprint program has been excellent in getting its classic Silver Age superhero series back into easily accessible print. If you're a reader of comics like I am, and care somewhat less for the bells and whistles of color and exquisite printing, these basic phone book collections are ideal entertainment packages. They almost make comics a cost-effective way to pass the time, something getting new comics cannot make an argument for at all.
But for the myriad superhero antics made cheaply available, it's often the volumes like the one featuring the first eighteen issues of Ghosts which really make me smile. These are often successful comics of their time, now forgotten in the haze of super hero lore. Comics about realistic people confronting recognizable dilemmas and facing grim and mostly deadly consequences, are the core of any good narrative and especially good ghost comics. These are by and large very good ghost comics.
Apparently the series edited by Murray Boltinoff was originally to be called "True Ghost Stories", but was shortened at the last minute. That's a great decision as the former title was very restrictive. "Ghosts" is short and to the point. No need to quibble or debate what's going on between these covers.
And the covers, mostly by Nick Cardy with the odd exception by Mike Kaluta, are simply outstanding and the detail of making the first dozen covers appear to be on ancient scrolls is exceedingly clever. It gets abandoned after the first year or so, but it makes for a decidedly distinctive look to this surprising hit for DC Comics from a time when superheroes were supposed to have ruled the day.