October 14, 2012

Abrams Review: Mars Attacks

Mars Attacks
Publisher: Abrams
Intro: Len Brown
Afterword: Zina Saunders

Abrams has done it again by supplying us with another fantastic book for our collections! Right in time for Halloween, Abrams celebrates the 50th Anniversary of legendary cult Topps trading cards Mars Attacks!

Mars Attacks has a TON of cool stuff packed into this book. The most important is reprints of all 55 original 1962 Mars Attacks cards, both awesome painted artwork fronts and sci-fi pulp story telling splendor on back sides! To track down a complete collection of these cards is not only hard, but astronomically expensive (if you want the originals and not reprints), and here it’s given to us in an affordable hardcover where you have them all in one easy place! Page after page, these things are dripping with the over-the-top, sometimes violent and sometimes bizarre, art and stories that made Mars Attacks into the legend it was, eventually spawning comic book series, sequel card sets, and of course a feature film. From blowing away buildings and children’s dogs, to toppling cities using giant insects, the blood thirsty invasion of the Martians to our last ditch strike back effort to take the battle to them on Mars itself, is chronicled here in all its glory!

In addition to the original 55, there are reprints of the entire 1994 Mars Attacks Visions: New and Original trading card series, reprints of limited edition cards that were packaged with model kits and other items, behind the scenes sketches and art from the original development back in the 60s, an intro by Len Brown who co-created Mars Attacks (as well as the comic book series T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents), and an afterword by Zina Saunders (illustrator and daughter of Norm Saunders, who painted many of original Mars Attacks images). Phew, that’s a ton of stuff!

Like the previous collections from Abrams of Wacky Packages and Garbage Pail Kids, Mars Attacks is published in a nice hard cover, wrapped in a wax-jacket, just like the trading cards use to be, which is one of my favorite touches on these books. The colors look great, and for the price of $19.95, you can’t beat the content.

Mars Attacks has withstood the test of time for a good reason: it’s awesome! This book is a highly recommended pick up!

Drew McCabe



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