I stumbled into BACK ISSUE! at a local gaming store this past Winter and instantly wondered why more stores weren't carrying the magazine - the quality is stunning. Issue #52 was buried in a haphazardly arranged display, but the old-school horror cover screamed 'pick me up!' And I'm glad I did.
BACK ISSUE! #52 is a must buy for horror fans.
Today's comic and bookstore shelves are filled with excellent horror: Hellboy (Mike Mignola), 30 Days of Night (Steve Niles), The Goon (Eric Powell), The Walking Dead (Robert Kirkman), American Vampire (Scott Snyder)...the list goes on - and is only expanding thanks to the reach of smaller publishers (i.e. Dark Horse) and e-comics.
CREEPY and EERIE have seen a resurgence of late thanks to hardcover collections released from Dark Horse, but much of the horror comics from the 1930's - 1970's has been lost to time (Thank you, Comics Code Authority!). BACK ISSUE! #52 steps up to the plate and gives a crash course on Bronze Age horror.
It starts off with my favorite article, Hosts of Horror, a lengthy discussion covering each host in detail from birth to demise, how radio influenced comics and how comics in-turn influenced such shows as Tales from the Crypt on HBO.
BACK ISSUE! #52 also features interviews with artists Bernie Wrightson, Sergio Aragones, Gerry Talaoc and DC Mystery writer Lore Shoberg, along with the comic history of Black Orchid and Madame Xanadu.
The horror genre in comics has traversed a rough and painful road. After reading BACK ISSUE! #52 I can state that I fully appreciate the passion and determination of past creators to push boundaries and ensure that horror has not only survived but continues to thrive today.
A print copy of BACK ISSUE #52 is under $10 (with a free electronic copy). An electronic copy is only $2.95. I highly recommend picking it up; at that price it's hard to say no.