The Horror! The Horror! is a (little bit hackily-named) book of 1950s horror comics. When I bought in on sale a few months ago, I thought it was more of a collection of comics and covers than a commentary and history on the golden age of horror, but actually the fact that it turns out to be more of the latter and less of the former didn't really disappoint me since Jim Trombetta's commentary is so engaging and fascinating. He digs into all the recurring symbolism and imagery that is threaded throughout all of these pre-Code horror and crime comics without ever getting overly serious or losing sight of the spirit of the original work.
The book is divided into sections, each one corresponding to a different point of impact in horror comics (skeletons, man-eaters, "Death and the Maiden," etc.), but it also provides a chronological overview of the genre and its death at the hands of overzealous public grandstanders. I like the anti-censorship focus here, and the way it goes beyond a simple "censorship is bad" narrative and actually reaches into the true purposes and hypocrisies of censor on the part of an establishment that has plenty of skeletons of its own in its closet (I wonder if anyone else has ever used that pun that way).
Then there's the curation. Even though the amount of full comic stories here is pretty low, it's a wealth of covers, panels, and sometimes out-of-narrative-context pages of material, and the reader really gets a sense of why the 1950s are considered to be a golden age of horror comics. The art ranges from old-school (but very effective) gothic crypts and ghouls, to proto-hallucinogenic psychedelia, and what few stories there are cut to the heart of what the comics were really about to the point where subtext almost becomes text. But not quite.