Barely old enough to drink when he joined the EC Comics stable, Al
Williamson may have been the new kid on the block, but a lifetime of studying
such classic adventure cartoonists as Alex Raymond (Flash Gordon) and Hal
Foster (Prince Valiant) had made him a kid to reckon with — as he proved
again and again in the stories he created for EC's legendary "New Trend"
comics, in particular Weird Science and Weird Fantasy.
As a result of Williamson's focus, it's possible to compile all of Williamson's
"New Trend" EC work into one book — which Fantagraphics is finally doing
here. Sci-fi aficionados should note that although most of the stories were
written by Al Feldstein, 50 Girls 50 features three of EC's legendary Ray Bradbury adaptations, including "I, Rocket"
and "A Sound of Thunder" — and a unique curiosity, a strip adapted from a short story submitted by a teen-aged
Williamson ran with a gang of like-minded young Turks dubbed the "Fleagle Gang," who would help one another
out on assignments. Thus this book includes three stories upon which Williamson was joined by the legendary Frank
Frazetta, and one story ("Food for Thought") where Roy Krenkel provided his exquisite alien landscapes, to make it
one of the most gorgeous EC stories ever printed. As a supplementary bonus, 50 Girls 50 includes three stories drawn
by Fleagles sans Williamson: Frazetta's Shock SuspenStories short "Squeeze Play"; Krenkel's meticulous "Time to Leave";
and Angelo Torres's "An Eye for an Eye," an EC story that famously fell prey to censorship and was not released until
the 1970s. As with other Fantagraphics EC titles, 50 Girls 50 also includes extensive story notes by EC experts.