Popular Skullture: The Skull Motif in Pulps, Paperbacks, and Comics

Our culture embraces the skull: apparel and products with
skulls abound. Popular Skullture features the oddest, creepiest, and weirdest
skull covers from 1930s to mid-’50s comics, pulps, and paperbacks. Edited and
designed by Monte Beauchamp, with an introduction by Steven Heller, beautifully
presented in the Kitchen Sink tradition.
I have to admit, I would have never expected to open a
book filled with practically nothing but skulls.  That is, not one which wasn’t medical text or
artistic direction for anatomy reference of course.  Virtually everyone loves a good old skull
though, because let’s face it, they’re cool. 
Just such a fact is what Popular Skullture: The Skull Motif in Pulps,
Paperbacks, and Comics has decided to express.
Although the bulk of the book is of course the collection
of skulls being showcased, it does start off with a cool little intro about
what is likely the most iconic part of the body.  This short blurb gives us some neat insight
about the history of the skull as such a prevalent icon.  Then we get into the real meat of the
book.  Or the bones as it were.  (I’m not even sorry I did that.)
While you might think that dozens of pages of skulls
wouldn’t be very interesting, I think you’d be proven wrong.  This fantastic collection puts together a
great assortment of covers from over nearly a century of different publications.  I can personally say I’ve never laid eyes on
the majority of them, and it was really quite fascinating to see so many
variations on the use of the skull.
This may just be a book of covers with skulls to some
people, but for many of us it can be far more. 
Such a good collection of this regularly used symbol can be an excellent
artistic tool.  I can definitely see
myself referencing this in future art. 
Even for those not artistically inclined but just think skulls are cool
this is a fun book.  Either way, this is
a worthwhile book to grab and peruse at your leisure.
For more on Popular Skullture or other Dark Horse titles,
check out Dark Horse Comics.
Popular Skullture: The Skull Motif in Pulps, Paperbacks, and Comics will be available 11/5
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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