Tales of Terror!: The EC Companion

Tales of Terror!: The EC Companion

by Grant Geissman, Fred Von Bernewitz
     
 

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The definitive story of EC Comics, the most notorious and well-regarded mass-market publisher in comics history. The EC line (MAD, Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, etc.) was a high point in terms of craft and presentation. From the humanistic, well-paced writing of editor Harvey Kurtzman to the artwork of lauded masters like Wally Wood and Bernie Krigstein,

Overview

The definitive story of EC Comics, the most notorious and well-regarded mass-market publisher in comics history. The EC line (MAD, Tales from the Crypt, Weird Science, etc.) was a high point in terms of craft and presentation. From the humanistic, well-paced writing of editor Harvey Kurtzman to the artwork of lauded masters like Wally Wood and Bernie Krigstein, what truly sets EC apart in comics history is its wider influence on American pop culture. Horror, crime and sci-fi stories "in the EC tradition" are a staple of movies and television almost 50 years after their original heyday, and the original stories themselves were many readers' first exposure to these now-ubiquitous cultural trends. MAD magazine has been a rite of passage for three generations of American comedians, while Kurtzman's war comics Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat were not only amongst the very first comic books ever to successfully express human drama but were also perhaps the first popular entertainment in any medium to look at America's involvement in the Korean War and other conflicts with anything less than a strictly nationalistic and patriotic eye. Every EC title is included in this comprehensive volume that uncovers the amazing history behind the comics, up to the US Senate driving EC out of business for allegedly corrupting America's youth (EC publisher Bill Gaines' testimony to a U.S. Senate Subcommittee one of the most capricious political witch hunts this side of Joseph McCarthy is included). Legendary EC creators like Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels and others are all represented, including previously unpublished interviews with several. Best of all, every EC cover is reproduced in full color. Co-published with Gemstone Comics, the official licensor of the EC line, and fully authorized by the estate of EC's Bill Gaines. Hundreds of lavish full-color pages.

Editorial Reviews

Ken Tucker - Entertainment Weekly
“[B]eautifully designed...insightful...[Grade:] A.”
John Landis
“A wonderful book! An EC lover's dream come true.”
Adam Bresnick - Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A marvelous scrapbook that provides a comprehensive checklist [and] a variety of interviews with and insiders' accounts....”
Gordon Flagg - Booklist
“[...] Most of the previous books about EC were designed for a relatively mainstream audience. This one aims at the hardcore fan-addicts—and should hit that target dead center.”
Ken Tucker
[B]eautifully designed...insightful...[Grade:] A.
Library Journal
This beautifully packaged volume is primarily an indexing of the entire output of the infamous EC comic book line, and, to that end, it is exhaustive. Additionally, it contains many in-depth interviews with key EC creators, including Bernewitz, Sheldon Moldoff, Al Feldstein, Adele Kurtzman, and Bill Gaines, as well as the Senate Subcommittee To Investigate Juvenile Delinquency testimony of William Gaines and cover art galore. But that is all. The story titles are listed under each issue heading, but none of the gloriously offbeat yarns are included. The decision to exclude them is a shame, since a sense of how much fun these comics were fails to come across. Of interest to only the most rabid of EC fans, this publication is not recommended for most libraries.--Chris Ryan, New Milford, NJ Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560974024
Publisher:
Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
04/01/2002
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 12.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Grant Geissman,

(b. 1953,
Berkeley, CA), is the author of several Mad magazine retrospectives, some of which have been Eisner-nominated. He's also an accomplished musician and composer, having recorded with artists including Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, and Keiko Matsui. He lives in Los Angeles.

Fred Von Bernewitz has edited several books concerning EC and MAD magazine and is also involved in an experimental film group called ReBirth Cinema, based in his hometown of New York.

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