Tales of Terror!: The EC Companion

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 ...

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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EC creators like Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, Graham Ingels and others are all represented, including previously unpublished interviews with several.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.

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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.”
John Landis
A wonderful book! An EC lover's dream come true.
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560974024
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • 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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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2002

    a dream come true

    This will appeal not just to EC comics fans, but to all lovers of good comics, beautiful graphic illustration, and popular culture in general. It is lavishly produced and is the last word in EC scholarship. However, it is no dry tome. Easily the best book on EC, comics of the 1950's, the Comics Code hysteria, and comic books in general in years. You will never be sorry you bought this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2000

    The ultimate guide to the 1950s EC comics!

    Fans of the wonderful old EC comics of the 1950s (Tales from the Crypt, MAD, Weird Science, Two-Fisted Tales, et al) simply have to own this high quality volume! Every EC comic book cover is pictured in full color, and the book features in-depth interviews with such EC creators as Bill Gaines, Al Feldstein, Nick Meglin, and others, as well as unpublished artwork and other rare EC treats. A must!

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