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50 Girls 50 and Other Stories
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.
'Tain't the Meat... It's the Humanity! and Other Stories
Tales from the Crypt was the quintessential American horror comic book,
and Jack Davis the quintessential Tales from the Crypt artist: A brilliant
virtuoso whose long-limbed, cartoony but hyperdetailed slapstick both cut
against and amplified the weird and nauseating grotesqueries that spilled from
the EC Comics writers' fevered minds, including — as seen in this volume —
"'Tain't the Meat... It's the Humanity," an evil-butcher horror story that ends
pretty much like you’d expect any evil-butcher horror story to end.
Presenting the classic EC material in reader-friendly, artist-and-genre-centric
packages for the first time, 'Tain't the Meat collects every one of Davis's 24
Crypt stories in one convenient, gore-drenched package.
Mostly written by EC editor Al Feldstein, these stories run the gamut from
pure supernatural horror (the werewolf story "Upon Reflection" and the vampire story "Fare Tonight, Followed by
Increasing Clottyness…") to science gone horribly wrong ("Bats in My Belfry!"), as well as the classic "disbeliever
gets his comeuppance" story ("Grounds… For Horror!") to EC's bread and butter, the ridiculously grisly revenge-of-the-abused tale ("The Trophy!" and "Well-Cooked Hams!")… seasoned with buckets of blood and some of the punningest titles ever committed to newsprint.
Tales from the Crypt was the inspiration for the no-holds-barred pop-culture horror revolution of the 1970s and
later, be it Stephen King, Tobe (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) Hooper, zombiemeister George A. Romero, or the
current generation of extreme-horror practitioners like Eli (Hostel) Roth. Yet try as they may, no one has been able to
capture the combination of technical virtuosity, tongue-in-cheek grisliness, and sheer naughty desire to provoke and
appall that these classics managed to pull off again and again. 'Tain't the Meat… also includes extensive story notes
by EC experts from around the world.
"...I have a spot in my heart for Jack Davis. I mean, that guy just makes me laugh. Even when he's drawing a gross-out, he just makes me laugh. I love his shoes, the way he draws shoes, and knuckles... there's just something about Jack Davis' stuff that blows me away." – George A. Romero