The seventh volume in the TCJ Library focuses entirely on one of comics' most esteemed and influential creators: artist, writer, and editor Harvey Kurtzman, whose complete Comics Journal interviews are collected in this oversized, lavishly illustrated full-color edition. Every stage of Kurtzman's landmark career is represented, beginning with his entry into comics via superhero stories for Ace from 1943-46 (Mr. Risk, Lash Lightning), World War II-era Army cartoons, early humor work for Timely and Toby Press (Rusty, Pig Tales, Genius, and Hey Look!), his first collaborations with John Severin and Will Elder at Prize Comics Western, and, of course, his groundbreaking period at EC as editor of Two-Fisted Tales, Frontline Combat, and Mad. Kurtzman's undeservedly lesser known post-Mad career at Trump, Humbug, and Help! is also given its due and examined in depth.
What makes this volume particularly noteworthy is the obscurities unearthed from Kurtzman's solo freelance career — from Children's Digest, Pageant, U.S. Crime, Varsity, and Why — most of which haven't been seen since their original publication. All of which illustrate the most informative and compelling interviews with Kurtzman ever published.
"Fantagraphics released a Comics Journal Library volume that features lengthy interviews with Kurtzman from varying sources, as well as loads of work that places it as a wonderful companion piece to the Abrams release [The Art of Harvey Kurtzman: The Mad Genius of Comics]. It's filled with more great examples of his work, as well as scores of actual words from the man that can function as a manifesto of sorts — or at least the centerpiece to a college class on his work." — John Mitchell, North Adams Transcript