The ace artist dives into the groovy past.


We dig Yoe Books in these parts. If you’ve spent any time here you probably know that. These are books and comics — particularly those that reprint the forgotten horror and romance comics of the mid-20th century — that glory in the grotesque. Every time I pick one up, I feel like the proverbial sweaty-palmed kid sneaking a peek with a flashlight under the covers.

And let’s not forget that so many of the forgotten stories unearthed by Craig Yoe, Clizia Gussoni and their first-rate guest contributors were produced by the likes of Steve Ditko, Jack Cole, Don Heck and Bob Powell (to name a handful).

I’m not alone, of course. Yoe Books’ fans are legion. Take Kelley Jones, comics’ modern master of the macabre. He’s put together 13 REASONS YOU’LL LOVE YOE BOOKS. Check it out.

— Dan


1. Yoe Books unearths and presents great creators that unfortunately haveĀ been forgotten in beautiful collectible editions! I defy anyone NOT to be a fan of Bob Powell’s art after a quick perusal of Powell’s story, Last Man on Earth or Rat-Man, from Bob Powell’s Terror!

2. The reprints of great horror stories prove that EC wasn’t the only one making effective and memorable comics! This is stuff that really stands the test of time. Creepy and atmospheric and worthy of the treatment they receive by Yoe. The Haunted Horror volumes are filled with great stuff that makes you feel excited to have found something this good.

3. Ditko Monsters: Konga! One of the best things Steve did. Drew it while doing Spider-Man.

4. Ditko Monsters: Gorgo! One of the best things Steve did. Drew it while drawing Spider-Man.

5. Dick Briefer’s Frankenstein. I will continue with this list while you go order this, as classic as any comic ever published. Still as good as when it was published… I take that back… it’s better!

6. Tom Sutton’s art in Creepy Things, a book devoted to Tom’s work. Yoe again takes an unfairly neglected artist and gives him a spotlight that shockingly hasn’t happened before. Tom would be proud of this book, as he should be.

7. Ditko again, in Ditko’s Shorts. Steve shows off his stunning storytelling in one- and two-page masterpieces. The stuff that made Stan notice!

8. Popeye… ‘Nuff said.

9. Weird Love. (I know, love is weird anyway…) Fascinating stories, but better than that — entertaining!

10. Howard Nostrand’s Nightmares. So good it will give you nightmares — because you didn’t have it! Great art!

11. Jack Cole’s Deadly Horror. Jack Cole’s stuff is magic, and completely absorbing. Brutal stories!

12. Horror by Heck, containing the great Don Heck’s ’50s horror art just before he was hired by Stan Lee to help invent Marvel. Don had been unfairly and crassly maligned years earlier in print as a mediocre talent rather than the genius he was. Craig Yoe was bothered by this and put out a tremendous volume displaying Don’s pencils and incredible inking. A revelation to see.

13. Finally, Yoe books are fun. Craig Yoe actually invites you to have fun in these books — because his main thrust is that being a comics fan is fun. Not to mention, Yoe Books look great inside and out. Seeing the spines in a bookcase makes you warm inside because of how good they look! And fun!

Kelley Jones’ portrait of Don Heck, from Horror by Heck

Author: Dan Greenfield

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