Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krigstein

Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krigstein

by B. (Bernard) Krigstein
     
 

This compilation of “cartoonist’s cartoonist” Bernard Krigstein’s comics for EC and many other publishers spans many genres.
Bernard Krigstein began his career as an unremarkable journeyman cartoonist during the 1940s and finished it as a respected fine artist and illustrator — but comics historians know him for his explosively

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Overview

This compilation of “cartoonist’s cartoonist” Bernard Krigstein’s comics for EC and many other publishers spans many genres.
Bernard Krigstein began his career as an unremarkable journeyman cartoonist during the 1940s and finished it as a respected fine artist and illustrator — but comics historians know him for his explosively creative 1950s, during which he applied all the craft, intelligence and ambition of a burgeoning “serious” artist to his comics work, with results that remain stunning to this day. Krigstein’s legend rests mostly on the 30 or so stories he created for the EC Comics, but dozens of stories drawn for other, lesser publishers such as Rae Herman, Hillman, and Atlas (which would become Marvel) showcase his skills and radical reinterpretation of the comics page, in particular his groundbreaking slicing and dicing of time lapses through a series of narrow, nearly animated panels. Greg Sadowski, who has previously written and designed a Harvey Award-winning biography of Krigstein, has assembled the very best of Krigstein’s comics work, starting with his earliest creative rumblings, through his glory days at EC, to his final, even more brilliantly radical stories for Atlas Comics — running through every genre popular at the time, be it horror, science fiction, war, western, or romance (but no super-heroes). Legendary EC colorist Marie Severin, in her last major assignment before her retirement, has recolored 15 stories for this edition. The remainder has been taken from printed comics, digitally restored with subtlety and restraint. This edition reprints the out-of-print 2004 hardcover B. Krigstein Comics, with a number of stories re-tooled and improved in terms of reproduction, and several new stories added. It also contains an extensive set of historical and editorial notes by editor Greg Sadowski. Page stats from Krigstein’s personal archives and a comic book checklist of the artist’s entire body of work round out this substantial volume.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Best known for his work with EC, Krigstein’s stories are sometimes epic and sprawling, sometimes compressed and confined. The consistent intensity and thrill of his work comes from his many innovations in composition and panel arrangement, as well as the varied, occasionally ghoulish, line work with which he crafted some of the finest minimelodramas ever committed to newsprint. This volume, compiled by Sadowski (Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s, Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952–1954), provides a judicious overview of Krigstein’s output. Although it includes many of the EC stories for which he is best known (including the legendary Holocaust-themed “Master Race”), Sadowski also culls material from Atlas Comics and other freelance work from Krigstein’s heyday in the 1950s. Twenty of the 41 stories included in the collection have been recolored by their original colorist, EC’s Marie Severin. Her crisp new watercolors are a minor revelation, not only as an attraction in themselves, but because they allow for clearer reading of Krigstein’s lines. His mastery of chiaroscuro, and his dramatic composition and layout, applied across a very wide range of subject matter, are what make this gorgeous collection so essential. (Feb.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781606995808
Publisher:
Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
03/20/2013
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.60(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Greg Sadowski is a writer, editor and designer (B. Krigstein, Supermen!, Four Color Fear, Setting the Standard: Alex Toth; Action! Mystery! Thrills!) living in Washington State.

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