Grindhouse genre comics
Greg Hatcher has an incredibly fun essay up about what he calls grindhouse comics: comics that are so heavily steeped in the pulp traditions that they make your teeth ache. Think Blade before he went Hollywood, and then dial it down a bit:
And it was a pretty easy leap, talking amongst fans, to start kicking around the idea of grindhouse comics. But here we ran into a little bit of a snag. Because, really, to be fair, from their beginnings on up through the early 70’s, they’re ALL “grindhouse” comics. That’s just the way it was….
The short version — for the sake of boiling it down to something that I can use here, I’d narrow the definition of ‘grindhouse comics’ to the comics I thought of in my youth as the B list. Comics that were, y’know, just okay. These were the books that I knew I could walk in on any time, that I knew would achieve a base level of entertainment that I would enjoy.
But I would not ever worry about missing an issue of one of these titles. They’d be there waiting for me when I got around to them again and nothing would change: they’d still be fun, continuity-free, amusing ways to kill half an hour. They have that Roger Corman vibe, that cheerful sense of, yeah, this is just something dumb and completely without social merit. We know it. So let’s all stop thinking about Art and just have a good time. Floor it.
Truthfully they were what I read in between issues of the books I REALLY liked. Used to be, when your favorite book was hung up because the writer was taking too long to craft his brilliant epic or the artist was late AGAIN, we just bought something else and read that instead. I did, anyway. You get a hanker on for a comic book, you want a comic book, damn it. (Nowadays I think the alternative impulse buy’s gotten to be too expensive a proposition for most of us; we end up just taking to the internet and bitching about late books instead.)
Go take a look at the article to see what he’s talking about, and you might get a better idea as to why everybody is trying to remake those kinds of books today, from Astro City’s Dark Age to Waid & Perez’s Brave and Bold, which Hatcher points to as Exhibit A of a grindhouse book — which makes sense, as it’s a double feature and all.
Our idea of a great grindhouse comic: Revenge Of The Prowler.
Artwork copyright Price, Snyder III and Truman. All Rights Reserved.