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Fear Itself
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Four Color FearFantagraphics Bookstore 20 Dec 2010 12:37 PM

Four Color Fear

As the year draws to an end, allow me the indulgence of fawning over Fantagraphics.

FOUR COLOR FEAR is a phenomenal book. The wonderful pre-code horror comics inside provide colorful context to a wider understanding of mid-century America. I'm a child of the fifties and these amazing comic books still speak to me in a meaningful way. Our country was caught in the grip of a Cold War with perceived enemies that threatened the end of civilization. As impressionable kids, there were daily reminders of this terrifying reality — and we all felt totally helpless. Maybe in some subconscious way these horror stories were manifestations of this pervasive sense of fear. I vaguely recall the irony of indignant politicians and preachers railing against comic books when our very existence was at stake. As a result of this hysteria, I wasn't allowed to read comic books of any sort, which naturally increased their allure. I was seduced. My innocence lost.

FOUR COLOR FEAR is not only a fun read, it's essential to an appreciation of American popular culture in the last half of the 20th century. Truly remarkable. Must buy now.