Anthologies of Serial Exposure

by John Tamarri

28 December 2016

 

Comic book anthologies never went away. They just became harder to spot since the ‘60s. One reason is because Dr. Fredric Wertham’s Seduction of the Innocent prompted the creation of the Comics Code Authority in 1954. The CCA’s censoring made it hard for EC Comics to continue publishing its anthologies, which printed the work of Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Orlando, and many other legends in the field.

Another reason is that many anthologies turned into single character books. Dark Horse Presents, Papercutters, Negative Burn, Kramers Ergot, 2000 AD, and dozens of others kept anthologies alive while single-story comics and graphic novels grew to become the big draw to comics readers. They come and go, get canceled without notice, sometimes only get released once a year, and move to digital. This is the way of the serial anthology. Now that the juggernaut of serial anthologies, Heavy Metal (published since 1977), has Grant Morrison as Editor-In-Chief, it joins Amazing Forest and Islands to make up three serial anthologies on stands today that are offering some of the best variety between two covers.

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