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One of the only compilations of the crime comic genre, this volume contains 25 of the best graphic short stories, spanning all the nuances of noir, from classic American newspaper strip serials and notorious uncensored comic books to today’s global graphic novel masterpieces. This collection includes Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Max Allan Collins, and Alex Toth—pl One of the only compilations of the crime comic genre, this volume contains 25 of the best graphic short stories, spanning all the nuances of noir, from classic American newspaper strip serials and notorious uncensored comic books to today’s global graphic novel masterpieces. This collection includes Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Max Allan Collins, and Alex Toth—plus adaptations of and collaborations by famous crime writers, such as Dashiel Hammett, Mickey Spillane, Lesley Charteris, and Raymond Chandler.


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One of the only compilations of the crime comic genre, this volume contains 25 of the best graphic short stories, spanning all the nuances of noir, from classic American newspaper strip serials and notorious uncensored comic books to today’s global graphic novel masterpieces. This collection includes Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Max Allan Collins, and Alex Toth—pl One of the only compilations of the crime comic genre, this volume contains 25 of the best graphic short stories, spanning all the nuances of noir, from classic American newspaper strip serials and notorious uncensored comic books to today’s global graphic novel masterpieces. This collection includes Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Max Allan Collins, and Alex Toth—plus adaptations of and collaborations by famous crime writers, such as Dashiel Hammett, Mickey Spillane, Lesley Charteris, and Raymond Chandler.

30 review for The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    When it comes to comics, "Best of" anthologies always feel incomplete. A heap of the stories can only be found in certain anthologies, and any of the recent stuff is more a commentary on the genre than an actual contribution to it. That said, this collection--or what I read of it--has some to recommend it. There's a story from the "Torpedo 36" series by Abuli and Bernet that made me beg for more. Ed McBain appears with a kooky police procedural involving a mad/blind artist serial killer. There's When it comes to comics, "Best of" anthologies always feel incomplete. A heap of the stories can only be found in certain anthologies, and any of the recent stuff is more a commentary on the genre than an actual contribution to it. That said, this collection--or what I read of it--has some to recommend it. There's a story from the "Torpedo 36" series by Abuli and Bernet that made me beg for more. Ed McBain appears with a kooky police procedural involving a mad/blind artist serial killer. There's a "Spirit" story that makes me reconsider the series (although Eisner as an artist continues to blow me away). My favorite is from Jacques Tardi about revenge in the Vietnamese-American community. Tardi's an amazing illustrator and now I bow at his feet. Mostly at its best for more "golden age" material, have a look-see--and jot down the writers and artists you will want to check in on at a later date.

  2. 4 out of 5

    J

    If I have a genre weakness these days, it’s for gritty crime novels and mysteries. I love me a good puzzle of a story and if you mix in shady dames, two-fisted action, sick villains, existential angst, and a poetry of the streets, I’m in hog heaven. Currently mired in the second (soon to be third) volume of the long-winded sociological French salon society of Marcel Proust, I aim to give the palate the down-these-mean-streets high pressure rinse once I’ve finished remembering the lost past. Meanw If I have a genre weakness these days, it’s for gritty crime novels and mysteries. I love me a good puzzle of a story and if you mix in shady dames, two-fisted action, sick villains, existential angst, and a poetry of the streets, I’m in hog heaven. Currently mired in the second (soon to be third) volume of the long-winded sociological French salon society of Marcel Proust, I aim to give the palate the down-these-mean-streets high pressure rinse once I’ve finished remembering the lost past. Meanwhile, though, a man still needs something to read whilst taking care of other business. Thus, graphic novels and comic books, especially anthologies like The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics, are ideal bathroom books. Seeing that the publisher has also printed The Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics and The Mammoth Book of Horror Comics, I will be set for quite some time in that respect. (In the sense of disclosure engendered in this paragraph, I will also add that I’m reading a Proust graphic novel adaptation upstairs in our second bathroom. It is delightfully distilled.) Selecting from the long history of crime comics seems like a gargantuan task. Originally the genre of comics (along with horror comics) that most spurred the creation of the infamous Comics Code, hard-boiled detectives have been a staple of comics since their beginning almost. Their gritty violence and unflinching look at the cruelty of criminals are what attracted readers and the unwanted attention of so-called psychologists who found terrible links to juvenile delinquency. And the attention quickly shifted further afield to superhero comics as well. What is Batman, in the final analysis, but a straight-up tough guy gumshoe, albeit one who wears a costume and has the wealth to churn out Batarang style tools? In that same violent vein, editor Paul Gravett has included the notorious “Murder, Morphine and Me” by Jack Cole, the comic whose second page eye-stabbing imagery is now iconic due to Congressional attention. Despite the comic’s anti-drug imagery, its no-holds barred depiction of drug abuse and the gangsters who ran the rackets elevated this piece to classic status. And a great number of the pieces in this book are American classics such Dashiell Hammett’s foray into the field with Secret Agent X-9 and a somewhat cheesy story from Will Eisner’s The Spirit, while others such as Commissario Spada and Carlos Sampayo’s and Jose Muñoz’s Alack Sinner are European imports (the former, go figure, comes from a Catholic children’s weekly newspaper put out by the Vatican). The comics from the vaults are occasionally chock full of cinematic slam-bang action that was the hallmark of the genre back in the day. Gravett’s managed to avoid the worst offenders in this vein, focusing on visionary radicals like Charles Burns and Bernie Krigstein, the latter contributing two solid pieces. The first, “Blind Man’s Bluff,” the bizarre and funky tale of a blind but psychotic painter who can paint perfectly to life comes from a series based on Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct books. Krigstein’s work is more fluid in this, his last comic, than in the earlier almost woodcut thick lines of “Lily White Joe,” which tells what happens when you mix with, then cross the mob. A whole book has been devoted to the development of Krigstein’s art and it’s really worth the time checking out, his early squarish work evolving into something still heavily inked but more sinuous, his experimentation with panel size and the passage of time, his use of painterly elements and his overall different look and feel from what everyone else was putting on the page. I’m not particularly a fan of Terry Beaty’s art style in his pairing with Max Allan Collins for Ms. Tree though Collins’ female detective is a nice groundbreaker in a field dominated by macho men. Her no-prisoners style delivered the goods long before V.I. Warshawski or Stephanie Plum came on the scene, though you can clearly trace a decent familial lineage. How one manages the trick of being hard as nails while nine months pregnant is handled with an amusing grace. We’re treated to a lengthy plotline from about midpoint to the end and includes the great line “I just killed two morons and my water broke.” The crown jewel though from this collection is the Hammett newspaper strip Secret Agent X-9. Aided and abetted by Alex Raymond’s chiseled jaw pencil style and the occasionally brilliant sight gag, Hammett tells a fast-paced hunt with gusto and sophistication in a piece of nearly one hundred pages. Hampered by the newspaper comic strip format, events must move with a quickness and with frequent cliffhangers as well as the occasional summary panel for newer readers, which makes the greatness of this strip even better. The history behind Secret Agent X-9 sounds like one of those perfect instances in which bureaucratic meddling interfered with the development of something really awe inspiring. Originally planned as a detective competitor with Dick Tracy, the publishers decided that secret agents were much cooler and shoehorned in conflicting storylines of who exactly X-9 was and whom he worked for. In the beginning, there is a great similarity with Hammett’s other creation, The Continental Op, a nameless detective working for The Agency, but the ever increasing baroqueness of the publisher’s demands crippled the story and turned it into a mess. Hammett didn’t last long on the strip, though he originally believed it would be his ticket to a steady paycheck forever. By way of contrast, the biggest dud is Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer offering, “Dark City.” I’ve given Spillane his chance before, and while it’s clear the author’s having a blast, Hammer’s world is so hokey and hammy and over-the-top it’s almost a caricature of detective fiction, an ultraviolent version of the campy Batman of the 1960s. Leggy dames who aren’t to be trusted fall miraculously in love with Hammer within seconds of meeting him every single time then go on to tell him how much they love him, shortly before trying to ventilate his guts. Hammer spends hours in the books walloping people and this newspaper version is tiresomely no different. Amusingly, Hammer’s piece is preceded by “Mike Lancer and the Syndicate of Death,” which acts as a parody of a parody almost. With far less time to build up a story, Lancer almost shoots his client on the second page the moment she walks in the door. Sailing out to a boat, the moment he arrives on board he’s knocking people overboard and plugging them left and right. Let’s be fair. The crime genre is full of sock-o stuff like this, but there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way. Spillane is just about the epitome of wrong while Hammett is golden every single time. Now the great bulk of Gravett’s collection falls on the right side of the fence, but it is impossible to please everyone. Where I find Hammer appallingly low-brow (and this in a genre not known stateside for its great intellectual rewards), someone else might find him just the ticket. Considering what I’ve been reading lately, where the Baron de Guermantes’ habits of riding a train are described for no less than four solid single paragraph pages, I might just be in the mood for something two-fisted and cornball as the worst of Spillane when all’s said and done. But when you consider the price that Running Press has tacked on to this anthology ($17.95) it’s hard to see how your money would be poorly spent. All in all, it’s probably impossible to get more bang for your buck, even if you bought a Mike Hammer omnibus.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Neil

    As with all books of this type, there's some really brilliant pieces of work in here, and some mediocre ones. Unsurprisingly, both pieces by Alan Moore, especially "Old Gangsters Never Die", a masterful graphic adaptation of song lyrics, and Neil Gaiman's "The Court", a tale of a very rich man and a cult that sells beautiful men in Earl's Court, are the stand-outs, closely followed by the incomparable "The Spirit: The Portier Fortune" from Will Eisner, the always twisted and superb Charles Burns As with all books of this type, there's some really brilliant pieces of work in here, and some mediocre ones. Unsurprisingly, both pieces by Alan Moore, especially "Old Gangsters Never Die", a masterful graphic adaptation of song lyrics, and Neil Gaiman's "The Court", a tale of a very rich man and a cult that sells beautiful men in Earl's Court, are the stand-outs, closely followed by the incomparable "The Spirit: The Portier Fortune" from Will Eisner, the always twisted and superb Charles Burns' "El Borbah: Love in Vein" delicious DNA cloning and Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty's "Ms Tree: Maternity Leave", with it's pregnant private detective. The centre piece of Dashiel Hammett and Alex Raymond's "Secret Agent X-9" is a very fine piece of hard-boiled noir, as is Spillane's "Mike Hammer: Dark City", with it's controversial bondage imagery. What left me cold were some of the more twisty true crime stories, the normally sublime Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's "The Money-Making Machine Swindlers" and Fred Guardineer's "Who Dunnit?" being most average. It's a collection worth having, as many of these stories aren't available elsewhere, but not an unqualified triumph.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

    I've seen more than half of these in other collections, so it's quite possible that these are the best of the lot. If you've not read crime comics before, this is a good retrospective covering the 30's thru the 90's. There are a wide variety of artistic styles represented, all in shades of black, from American and European artists. Includes writing by Dashiell Hammett and Mickey Spillane, who's Mike Hammer character is as violent and immoral as they come. I've seen more than half of these in other collections, so it's quite possible that these are the best of the lot. If you've not read crime comics before, this is a good retrospective covering the 30's thru the 90's. There are a wide variety of artistic styles represented, all in shades of black, from American and European artists. Includes writing by Dashiell Hammett and Mickey Spillane, who's Mike Hammer character is as violent and immoral as they come.

  5. 5 out of 5

    David James

    For me, nothing works better in graphic form than crime stories. It’s long been a popular genre in comic books, and it was what originally prompted congressional investigations in the fifties (horror got swept in as well, but it was crime comics that were too close to reality for comfort). Comics bridged the gap between crime novels and crime noir cinema. The best stuff in this book comes from the forties and early fifties, and even Mickey Spillane and Dashiell Hammett are found here (like later For me, nothing works better in graphic form than crime stories. It’s long been a popular genre in comic books, and it was what originally prompted congressional investigations in the fifties (horror got swept in as well, but it was crime comics that were too close to reality for comfort). Comics bridged the gap between crime novels and crime noir cinema. The best stuff in this book comes from the forties and early fifties, and even Mickey Spillane and Dashiell Hammett are found here (like later writers, they saw the value of the medium). Also present are works by two of the greatest creators of the era, Will Eisner and Jack Cole. It’s dark and gritty and sucks you in. The more recent material is less consistent (am I the only one who considers Alan Moore the most overrated and pretentious writer to ever enter the field of comics?). Even the Neil Gaiman piece is subpar. But the bulk of the collection is from the glory days when crime ruled the comic industry, and those stories live up to the title.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nihal Vrana

    I'm disappointed in this book, from the list on its back, you expect much more than this. Some of it is related to the selections; I didn't like some stuff even from some of my favorite authors (like Moore). That McBain rip-off story was a disaster, whoever wrote it didn't understand the 87th precinct concept. I'm most disappointed by the Hammett's story, that was a drag to read. I haven't read him before, but all his fame you expect better than this. It was good for getting a taste of crime com I'm disappointed in this book, from the list on its back, you expect much more than this. Some of it is related to the selections; I didn't like some stuff even from some of my favorite authors (like Moore). That McBain rip-off story was a disaster, whoever wrote it didn't understand the 87th precinct concept. I'm most disappointed by the Hammett's story, that was a drag to read. I haven't read him before, but all his fame you expect better than this. It was good for getting a taste of crime comic styles in different eras and there were few great ones here and there, but overall it was not really enjoyable to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rog Harrison

    I bought this book about eight years ago and I imagine that I must have read it then but if I did, I did not make a note that I had read it. This is a collection of black and white comic strips mostly by well known creators. It's not that well presented though and it seemed to me that Secret Agent X-9, which was a daily newspaper strip originally published in 1934, had some of the installments printed in the wrong order. Indeed I wondered if some installments were missing as the story did not qui I bought this book about eight years ago and I imagine that I must have read it then but if I did, I did not make a note that I had read it. This is a collection of black and white comic strips mostly by well known creators. It's not that well presented though and it seemed to me that Secret Agent X-9, which was a daily newspaper strip originally published in 1934, had some of the installments printed in the wrong order. Indeed I wondered if some installments were missing as the story did not quite make sense. There is some nice stuff in here but I would hesitate to recommend the whole book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

    This is not a great collection, only because the quality of the book does not do most of the work any favors. It's printed too small and the print quality is not very good. On the other hand, it's a great collection if you are looking to explore some crime comics. I have a lot of work by some of these artists in much nicer versions. But if you want to know what comics by Johnny Craig or Jacques Tardi or you never read anything by Jack Cole or Will Eisner then this is a nice book to buy. This is not a great collection, only because the quality of the book does not do most of the work any favors. It's printed too small and the print quality is not very good. On the other hand, it's a great collection if you are looking to explore some crime comics. I have a lot of work by some of these artists in much nicer versions. But if you want to know what comics by Johnny Craig or Jacques Tardi or you never read anything by Jack Cole or Will Eisner then this is a nice book to buy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jared

    There are a lot of good comics in this collection. I’ve been reading comics since the 1970s and I hadn’t read almost all of these. The Golden Age stuff was some of the best I’ve read. Kirby, Biro, Kriegstein, and Munoz are some of the artists in this collection. There are a couple of nice comic strips in here too. Thoroughly enjoyable.

  10. 5 out of 5

    John

    Maybe 4.5 stars? I saw a review of another graphic novel story collection recently where they wisely reviewed it by story and I think I'll do that when I have some more free time. Overall, though, great representation of this type of fiction/comics and the majority of these comics I quite liked. Maybe 4.5 stars? I saw a review of another graphic novel story collection recently where they wisely reviewed it by story and I think I'll do that when I have some more free time. Overall, though, great representation of this type of fiction/comics and the majority of these comics I quite liked.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    It's a strong and entertaining collection. My one nitpick: all the PIs are White men; there's not a single one that isn't. I understand that a lot of these were from the 40's and 50's, so that's expected, but there were some more recent ones, too. So, that was disappointing. It's a strong and entertaining collection. My one nitpick: all the PIs are White men; there's not a single one that isn't. I understand that a lot of these were from the 40's and 50's, so that's expected, but there were some more recent ones, too. So, that was disappointing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    AJ

    just like with short story collections some were better than others but it was nice to see all the different styles.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    I really liked most of it (skipping Kirby and Ms Tree), plenty of artists and writers to follow up on. The Hammett / Ray strip was the biggest surprise.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    Initially I wasn't sure if I should buy this, but I figured a comic book collection that featured Alan Moore AND Dashiell Hammett was something that I really couldn't pass up! There were something like 24 comics, of varying length and from the 30s all the way up to the 90s as well as from USA, Britain, France, Italy and Mexico. It was interesting to see the way comics changed over time. The 50s all seemed to be full of text bursting out of their speech bubbles. The Hammett was by far my favourit Initially I wasn't sure if I should buy this, but I figured a comic book collection that featured Alan Moore AND Dashiell Hammett was something that I really couldn't pass up! There were something like 24 comics, of varying length and from the 30s all the way up to the 90s as well as from USA, Britain, France, Italy and Mexico. It was interesting to see the way comics changed over time. The 50s all seemed to be full of text bursting out of their speech bubbles. The Hammett was by far my favourite. The story was pure vintage Hammett, great story, tough dames and detective that doesn't care. It didn't have as much characterisation as the novels but the dialogue was great. The art work was also perfectly beautiful! Particularly the women characters, and the choices for illustration were just amazing. It was by far my favourite in the collection. There were two Moore stories. One was a brilliant short piece about gangsters that was a lovely introduction, and was part of a collarboration he'd done with David J. The other was a short bit about bars and strippers in Whitechapel which was cool, but didn't really fit. The other stories were of varying qualities. There was a Neil Gaiman story about sexual perversion but I didn't much care for it. There was a great one from the 40s about a girl who got hooked up with a morphine mob. There was another about a beautiful woman who turned out not to be as villanous as everyone thought that was very 40s pulp. Mostly it was the more modern ones that I cared less for. I just love the old film noir era and these just didn't capture that. The exception to this was the comic Ms. Tree, which had the protagonist as a hard as nails woman detective, nine months pregnant, "I just killed two guys and now my water broke". She had a hair style like Xena and was just all kinds of awesome. Her and the Hammett are the only two I think I'd like to track down more of. But it was very pleasant to sit down and read this all in one go. I'm very glad I bought it. While it was clearly intended for people who'd just read Sin City and didn't have a background in pulp stories, film noir or anything else it was still a good collection for people who did.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stven

    A collection of a couple dozen crime stories from comics from the 1940s on up. While the term "best" is an exaggeration, the stories anthologized here are mostly interesting and provide appropriate glimpses of crime and retribution as romanticized by the respective eras represented. Gravett has gone out of his way to get some big names in the crime fiction genre into the book: Ed McBain, Mickey Spillane, and Dashiell Hammett are all here. I've browsed my way through the book in a couple of weeks A collection of a couple dozen crime stories from comics from the 1940s on up. While the term "best" is an exaggeration, the stories anthologized here are mostly interesting and provide appropriate glimpses of crime and retribution as romanticized by the respective eras represented. Gravett has gone out of his way to get some big names in the crime fiction genre into the book: Ed McBain, Mickey Spillane, and Dashiell Hammett are all here. I've browsed my way through the book in a couple of weeks of sporadic reading and enjoyed most of it. If you like comic books, then you probably like crime stories, in which case you'd find this entertaining enough to pass the time. P.S. One important piece of information is that the reproduction here is all black and white. No color. It's suitable to the mood, but still I'd prefer to see the stories in color that were originally published in color. Another point I'd like to make is that the Mickey Spillane story is a Sunday comic strip adaptation of I, THE JURY, and *not* the original, first telling of that story as one reviewer here (if I understand her correctly) believed.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Supratik Nandy

    This is a treasure trove of short graphic crime stories. The sheer variety will leave one purring in satisfaction.Some stories will remain with the readers for ever."Torpedo 1936:the switch' by Sanchez Abuli & Jodi Bernet & 'The murder of Hung' by Dominique Grange & Jacques Tardi are excellent European productions. Retro stuff like 1934 Dashiell Hammett/Alex Raymond tale from Secret Agent X-9.Stories by Simon & Kirby,Jack cole & Johnny Craig.'The button' by Bill Everett,Kane-The rat in the house This is a treasure trove of short graphic crime stories. The sheer variety will leave one purring in satisfaction.Some stories will remain with the readers for ever."Torpedo 1936:the switch' by Sanchez Abuli & Jodi Bernet & 'The murder of Hung' by Dominique Grange & Jacques Tardi are excellent European productions. Retro stuff like 1934 Dashiell Hammett/Alex Raymond tale from Secret Agent X-9.Stories by Simon & Kirby,Jack cole & Johnny Craig.'The button' by Bill Everett,Kane-The rat in the house' by Paul Grist,'Lily white Joe' by Bernie Krigstein,'Strada aka Street' by Gonano & Luca,'The crushed Gardenia' by Alex Toth,Mike Hammer:- Dark City - Mickey Spillane & Ed Robbins, The Sewer - Johnny Craig I Keep Coming Back - Alan Moore & Oscar Zarate(which is almost an epilogue to "From Hell"),Alack Sinner:- Talkin' With Joe - Carlos Sampayo & José Muñoz,The Count-Neil Gaiman & Warren Pierce. This is an excellent anthology of American & European crime stories of more than 450 pages at an affordable price. Each story is preceded by brief notes on the writer /artists & the stories. Recommended.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Abby

    Read this compilation of crime comics from the 1940s to the 2000s primarily because it includes 4 comics that are listed in 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die. Also, I don't read many mystery/crime comics so it was a good opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and sample the genre broadly. I guess there's a reason why I don't read many of these comics -- a lot of this collection didn't do much for me, especially the old school hard-boiled gumshoe detective stories. . .like the Dashiel Read this compilation of crime comics from the 1940s to the 2000s primarily because it includes 4 comics that are listed in 1001 Comics You Must Read Before You Die. Also, I don't read many mystery/crime comics so it was a good opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and sample the genre broadly. I guess there's a reason why I don't read many of these comics -- a lot of this collection didn't do much for me, especially the old school hard-boiled gumshoe detective stories. . .like the Dashiell Hammett & Mickey Spillane stuff. However I enjoyed the Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore & Jacques Tardi stories and I thought that "Kane" by Paul Grist was a real standout -- I would definitely read more of that series. If you're a big crime comics reader, you've probably already read most of those. Worth checking out if you want to find out a little bit more about the genre but aren't sure where to begin.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    Long before Frank Miller created Sin City , crime stories infiltrated the graphic form. In this massive (479 pp) collection of 25 stories, The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics re-introduces contemporary readers to the extraordinary talents of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Dashiell Hammett, Jack Cole, Alex Raymond, and Jordi Bernet. Editor Paul Gravett has compiled one of the greatest anthologies of graphic stories ever produced, regardless of genre or subject. At $17.95 ($19.50 C Long before Frank Miller created Sin City , crime stories infiltrated the graphic form. In this massive (479 pp) collection of 25 stories, The Mammoth Book of Best Crime Comics re-introduces contemporary readers to the extraordinary talents of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Will Eisner, Dashiell Hammett, Jack Cole, Alex Raymond, and Jordi Bernet. Editor Paul Gravett has compiled one of the greatest anthologies of graphic stories ever produced, regardless of genre or subject. At $17.95 ($19.50 Can), the doorstop beauty is an incredible bargain as well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    This is a book of selected stories from comics and other sources, each story dealing with something about crime. A few of the stories are from sources outside the United States. Each story has an introduction. Some of them are done by very recognizable names like Dashiell Hammet, Alex Raymond, Will Eisner and Mickey Spillane. Most of the stories I thought were quite good; there were only a couple that I didn't care for very much. There are stories featuring a lot of interesting artwork, also. The This is a book of selected stories from comics and other sources, each story dealing with something about crime. A few of the stories are from sources outside the United States. Each story has an introduction. Some of them are done by very recognizable names like Dashiell Hammet, Alex Raymond, Will Eisner and Mickey Spillane. Most of the stories I thought were quite good; there were only a couple that I didn't care for very much. There are stories featuring a lot of interesting artwork, also. The book is 480 pages long.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    This was a really fantastic anthology of crime comics, most of which I had not read before. The older comics, including one written by Dashiell Hammett and another which was the basis for the Mike Hammer films, were especially awesome to see and I doubt I would have come across them any other place. For such a giant comic book, I was really disappointed when it ended. I am definitely going to be on the lookout to read more of this stuff in the future.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    this book is the shit. If you like film noir and pulp crime you will love these comic artifacts from the golden age of...well...western civilization! The only reason this isn’t a 5 star review is the compilation is polluted by modern day hacks like neil gaimen and the overrated alan moore. Keep to the classics and leave these lame brits to the dogs.

  22. 4 out of 5

    John

    Extremely interesting book. Contains lots of really, really obscure work. Most stories look super sharp, although a few suffer reproduction problems. Some of the European stories aren't translated into English very well, but still stand up. Not necessarily the "best crime comics ever," but it doesn't claim to be. Extremely interesting book. Contains lots of really, really obscure work. Most stories look super sharp, although a few suffer reproduction problems. Some of the European stories aren't translated into English very well, but still stand up. Not necessarily the "best crime comics ever," but it doesn't claim to be.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Gord

    Its one of those collections where I dont think any individual story would get 4+ rating but together as one mother mammoth of a book it works. So much history and variety that this book is essential reading for any crime comic enthusiast. The value is there , its $14 for 500 pages worth of crime comics.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    The stories in here cover a wide range of years and styles. The most interesting for me was the infamous "Murder, Morphine, and Me!" This is one of the stories that really pushed the comics code forward. Unfortunately the actual story is just ok. There are stories by a lot of famous writers and artists in here. Most of them didn't really grab me though. The stories in here cover a wide range of years and styles. The most interesting for me was the infamous "Murder, Morphine, and Me!" This is one of the stories that really pushed the comics code forward. Unfortunately the actual story is just ok. There are stories by a lot of famous writers and artists in here. Most of them didn't really grab me though.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Frank McGirk

    Perhaps the best thing about it was finally getting to read the oft cited "Murder, Morphine, and Me" comic whose morphine needle into the eye panel was used to spearhead the institution of the "comics code." Some other good stuff too by Charles Burns and Alan Moore. Perhaps the best thing about it was finally getting to read the oft cited "Murder, Morphine, and Me" comic whose morphine needle into the eye panel was used to spearhead the institution of the "comics code." Some other good stuff too by Charles Burns and Alan Moore.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Acclectic while always dark, this collection offers a look into the history of crime comics that is both interesting as historical works and a gripping set of stories. The information about the comics the editor provides also gives nice insight.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Suhan Gurer

    I would rather enjoy series more than collections, but this has been a refreshing one giving glimpses from different eras of crime comics and giving further ideas to which should be read in the future. It was much better than my expectations in the first place.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hillingdon Libraries

    Find this book at Hillingdon Libraries Find this book at Hillingdon Libraries

  29. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    A hit and miss anthology.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Valissa

    fascinating to see the art, talented and comic-strip like, and interesting to read the stories. Always blown away by how women were perceived (and still are I guess).

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