Mankind's long history of armed conflict has inspired some of the greatest creative work in every art form. Case in point: the inspired and justly revered war stories published by EC Comics. Some of the finest of that material came from the typewriter of Harvey Kurtzman, the pencil of John Severin, and (often) the pen and brush of Will Elder — comics legends all, and a dream team of creators if there ever was one. Bomb Run and Other Stories collects all of this work, gathered in a single volume for the first time, under the cover you see above, in glorious black and white.
The appearance of advance copies on our desks means that the book is about 2 months from hitting shelves; reserve your copy by pre-ordering today!
Joe Orlando was a mainstay at EC, especially on science fiction, and this collects 23 of his best sci-fi stories. All of them, most scripted by Al Feldstein, serve up classic O. Henry-style endings, such as “I, Robot,” and “Fallen Idol.” The title story is one of EC’s most famous, with its blunt anti-racism message. When it was printed during the era of the Comics Code, publisher Bill Gaines and Feldstein had to fight to keep the story’s final panel “reveal” (and thus its whole point) intact. It was a pyrrhic victory, however, as “Judgment Day” became the last story in the last comic book EC published. This volume also features two of Orlando’s outstanding adaptations of classic Ray Bradbury science-fiction stories: “The Long Year” and “Outcast of the Stars.” Also included are all of EC’s “Adam Link” adaptations, a series which was later adapted for The Outer Limits TV show featuring Leonard Nimoy.
Judgment Day approacheth! Our next EC Comics Library volume collects science fiction stories deftly illustrated by Joe Orlando (who went on to some renown one step up the alphabet at DC Comics) and scripted by the mighty Al Feldstein (sometimes from Ray Bradbury stories). Beyond the usual robots, spaceships, aliens, time travel, horrible death, and ironic reversals we all love so much, there are two items of particular historical note in this volume: the groundbreaking, taboo-busting title story, and EC's only serialized tales, the "Adam Link" adaptations.
Don't wait until our alien overlords return to judge us: read the former story, plus two others, and reserve your copy for delivery in May, right here.
Finally, you can stop hitting yourself in the face in bed reading these large tomes! Fantagraphics and comiXology have released The Sincerest Form of Parody available for you to read digitally! Edited by John Benson, this collection includes the best and funniest material from the bandwagon-jumping MAD imitators, with work by Jack Davis, Will Elder, Dick Ayers, Bill Everett, Jack Kirby and many more, plus expert commentary. Casual comics readers are probably familiar with the later satirical magazines that continued to be published in the '60s and '70s, such as Cracked and Sick, but the comics collected in this volume were imitations of the MAD comic book, not the magazine, and virtually unknown among all but the most die-hard collectors. For the first time digitally, Fantagraphics is collecting the best of these comics in an unprecedented collection for only $18.99.
"Some of these pieces can stand up to the best of Mad (or at least match the magazine's average), but even the stories that are clunky and unfunny are fascinating for the way they rip off Mad shamelessly, including all the asides and mini-gags that Will Elder once labeled Mad's 'chicken fat.' It's a testament to how quickly the innovative and subversive can become mainstream." - Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
With his wholesome approach, Kamen stood out amongst the grand-guignol grunge, gritty realism, or futuristic dazzle of his fellow EC cartoonists - but his brilliant editor/writer Al Feldstein found a way to exploit the surface innocence of his style with seemingly nice stories of romance gone horribly wrong, or future fantasies with an unexpectedly brutal twist. And nowhere did Kamen's clean-but-lush graphics work better than in the stories he created for EC's science-fiction comics. There are EVEN a few Ray Bradbury adaptations in this book, for only $22.99!
Along with the full Zero Hour, we're offering three complete stories: Off Day, Suprise Packageand The Trip, each available for only 99 cents on comiXology! Go ahead and test drive Jack Kamen, we promise you won't be disappointed.
A boxed set of our first four books in our acclaimed EC Comics Library, which collects the best comics of the 1950s from the greatest mass market comic book publisher in history. Featured are: Corpse on the Imjin! by Harvey Kurtzman, et al.; Came the Dawn by Wallace “Wally” Wood, Al Feldstein, et al.; 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson, Al Feldstein, et al.; and 'Tain’t the Meat... It’s the Humanity! by Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, et al. A great gift for Father’s Day or for the genre fiction fan in your life!
"EC Comics' output of crime, horror, and war comics have been reprinted and collected multiple times, but never like in Fantagraphics' new 'EC Comics Library,' which repackages some of the most influential comics ever published in writer/artist-driven volumes, printed in black and white.” – The A.V. Club
"The EC Comics Library collections display the grace of cartooning." – The Chicago Tribune
"Fantagraphics has been inventing unique ways to publish [this] treasure trove of '40s and '50s crime, horror and war comics." – The Toronto Star
John Severin produced some of the finest war comics ever drawn during his long, distinguished, and versatile career, and working in collaboration with other greats like Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder, his work in the genre for EC Comics is unmissable. Lucky for you, we've gathered all of that material together for the first time in a single volume under this handsome cover. Bomb Run and Other Stories is just off to the printer, is available for pre-order, and launches in July. Keep it tuned for more previews.
This week's comic shop shipment is slated to include the following new titles. Read on to see what comics-blog commentators and web-savvy comic shops are saying about them (more to be added as they appear), check out our previews at the links, and contact your local shop to confirm availability.
For those of you who plan on replacing your standalone copies of each book with the box set (since we're not able to offer empty boxes), might we suggest "paying it forward" by donating your duplicate books to a good cause such as your local library, or passing them along as gifts? Share the EC love!
Jack Kamen's deceptively wholesome approach to comics storytelling was never put to better use than in the science fiction shockers Al Feldstein wrote for him at EC Comics. Together, the two conspired to exploit Kamen's clean-yet-lush graphics with fantasies of the future that take a startlingly brutal twist and high tech romances that veer suddenly, awfully out of control.
The suburban Spielbergian idyll of the title tale, "Zero Hour" (one of three here adapted from stories by Ray Bradbury), is particularly well served by Kamen's slick surface innocence. Kamen performs similar magic in "A Lesson in Anatomy," with Mayberry-perfect notes that conceal an interstellar threat.
But the devil in Kamen comes out when he pours on the sex appeal. Cheating wives and jealous mistresses alike drive Kamen's hapless heroes to extremes, sometimes fatally, as in "Punishment Without Crime" (Bradbury again) and "Hot-Rod" (a fast woman and an even faster car make for a dangerous combination). Even the supercomputer in "Only Human!" falls victim to a beautiful woman's charms.
Discover for yourself why Jack Kamen, perhaps the most underrated artist during the heyday of EC Comics, is undergoing a long overdue rediscovery and earning fresh appreciation from a new generation of readers.
Zero Hour and Other Stories contains 22 classic EC yarns — plus the usual all-new biographical, historical, and critical essays that have made Fantagraphics' EC Library series the ultimate version of these classics.