To anyone who stayed up past one in the days before VCRs to catch an airing of Murders in the Zoo (and can actually tell the difference between Lionel Atwell and George Zucco), who has more than a passing acquaintance with Philo Vance and the Spider or who wishes Edward Gorey were a trace less High Tea – Richard Sala is The Man.
The tales in this collection (what, no bibliography?) date from 1985-94 and have been reformatted (not always smoothly) to fit an 8×8″ paperback format. Generally speaking, Sala is at his best with an extended storyline – where he’s allowed to let his encyclopedic art-pulp mind sprout all over the gothic landscape. “Thirteen O’Clock,” a five-part series, and “Diabolical Dr. Q” are the highlights here (as the book’s back cover notes, the former is of a piece with Sala’s delightful animated MTV serial, “Invisible Hands”). Crammed full of dark ideas, dubious contrivances, text-heavy word balloons and splendid visuals, they’re ideal comics for jittery, caffeine-soaked after-midnight reading. Paranoid perfect entertainment for those who can view Bela Lugosi in all twelve chapters of The Phantom Creeps without once snickering condescendingly – and also for those who can’t. . . Powered by Sidelines