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.
Before Halloween and Freddy Krueger and Night of the Living Dead, there were EC horror Comics. And before John Carpenter and Wes Craven and George Romero, there was Graham Ingels.
"Ghastly" Ingels's fine-line depictions of the corruption of flesh and nature made him the premier artist for stories involving gruesome dismemberments, maniacal homicides, and oozing terrors. And if it took place in a fetid, gurgling swamp, so much the better!
In fact, EC fans voted "Horror We? How's Bayou?" as the company's "best horror artwork."
More than just disturbing images, though, there is a fascinating poetry to Ingels's drawing, perhaps best exemplified by "There Was an Old Woman," one of two Ray Bradbury adaptations you'll find in this collection.
And if you think romance can't blossom in a horror story, just take a look at "A Little Stranger," a sweet story of marital bliss — between a dead vampire and a dead werewolf!
Even today's masters of movie splatterfests and undead horrors could take a shock lesson or two from the undisputed master of horror comics. Brace yourself, look inside, and you'll see why.
SPECIAL OFFER: Add Prince Valiant Vol. 9 (coming Spring 2014) or Vols. 9 & 10 (coming Fall 2014) to your order for just $27.99 each, a savings of 20% off the cover price! Use the option menu on the product details page to subscribe.
This eighth sumptuous volume of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant concludes "The Missionaries," the epic adventure that follows Val and several of his fellow knights to Rome on a quest for teachers who could bring Christianity to Thule. In the rousing climax of the story, Prince Geoffrey faces a dramatic, life-changing experience. After a brief stay in Camelot (where the irrepressible Val and his friend Gawain indulge in some not-very-knightly hijinks that end up costing them dearly), the two, accompanied by Arf, are summoned back to Thule, where Aleta presents Val with new twin daughters!
From tears to soda fountains, from mobsters to pretty ingénues in freshly pressed dresses, the stories of love and betrayal herein will prompt you to grab a tissue box or swoon in delight. Joe Simon and Jack Kirby's sensational romance comics continue in this sequel to 2012's acclaimed Young Romance. This volume covers 1947 through 1949 and includes stories about women from all walks of life — from French widows to released prisoners. Simon and Kirby invented the romance comics genre and explored all the flirtations, dalliances, and passions of the young men and women who populated their stories. Get swept away by the sheer delirium that these pages induced so long ago. These comics have been meticulously restored in order to produce one of the most striking and faithful reproductions of 1940s comics ever published. Edited by acclaimed animator and cartoonist Michel Gagné.
"Simon found he had a knack for tangled melodrama set in very specific milieus, while Kirby drew ordinary men and women with the same sweaty fervor that he lent to monsters and costumed do-gooders....All of which means that the Michel Gagné-edited collection Young Romance... isn’t just a book of some minor historical interest; it’s a genuinely entertaining and artful set of comics, and in some ways more readable than Simon and Kirby's adventure stories." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
"Simon and Kirby tried to bring as much excitement to primarily psychological and interpersonal goings-on as to punching and flying.” – Paste
"...[T]hese comics are among the best in their genre without a doubt." – Eddie Campbell, The Comics Journal
"...[Young Romance] is a real treat, an inexpensive way to read a nice sampling of some Kirby comics that any Kirby fanatic has to be curious about. Michel Gagné did a great job assembling a fun cross-section of stories... Rating: ★★★★★" – Jason Sacks, Comics Bulletin
"Young Romance underscores Simon and Kirby’s keen storytelling skills. Adhering to a mostly six-panel grid, the duo manage to produce work that is visually arresting and dramatic... For Kirby fans and those who just love to explore comics from generations past, it’s a rather essential read." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6
"Inio Asano is one of the best new manga creators, hands down." – Shaenon Garrity, About.com
"Inio Asano is one of the great emerging voices in manga… [Nijigahara Holograph] is guaranteed to be one of the books of the year, and should help cement Asano's reputation." – ComicsAlliance
"Asano is so young, and [his] ability to talk about human nature, and the distress of becoming an adult is equally painful and beautiful. [He] is in my opinion one of the best and more moving storytellers working nowadays." – Emma Rios (Pretty Deadly)
Even as butterflies ominously proliferate in town, the rumor of a mysterious creature lurking in the tunnel behind the school spreads among the children. When the body of Arié Kimura's mother is found by this tunnel's entrance, next to apparently human traces, the legend seems to be confirmed. Is the end of the world coming? In order to appease the wrath of the beast, the children decide to offer it a sacrifice: The unfortunate Arié, whom they believe to be the cause of the curse, is shoved into a well that leads to the Nijigahara tunnel — an act that in turns pushes Komatsuzaki, the budding thug who has carried a torch for Arié for a while already, entirely over the edge.
But this is only the beginning of the complex, challenging, obliquely told Nijigahara Holograph, which takes place in two separate timelines and involves the suicidal Suzuki; Higure, his stalkerish would-be girlfriend; their teacher Miss Sakaki, whose heavily bandaged face remains a mystery; and many more — brothers, sisters, parents, co-workers, teachers, aggressors and victims who are all inextricably linked to one another and all will eventually — ten years later — have to live with what they’ve done or suffered through.
Asano, whose Solanin was nominated for the 2009 Eisner and Harvey comics awards (and which was made into a feature film in 2010), delves into disturbing territory with this Lynchian horror story, told in his unnervingly crisp and detailed panels.
Tony Millionaire's Sock Monkey is one of the great all-ages comics properties of the new millennium, spawning plush dolls, TV appearances, lunch boxes, Zippo lighters and more. Now, for the first time, all twelve of multiple Eisner Award-winner Tony Millionaire's acclaimed Sock Monkey all-ages comic books (1998-2007, originally published by Dark Horse Comics) are collected under one cover, as well as the full-color graphic novella "Uncle Gabby" (2004) and the full-color illustrated storybook, "The Glass Doorknob" (2002), ready to be devoured by a new generation of young readers.
The precocious sock monkey Uncle Gabby and his innocent pal Mr. Crow are the heroes of this funny, unsettling and endearing collection. Follow them as they try to find a home for a shrunken head, play matchmakers between the bat in the doll's house and the mouse in the basement, unlock the mysteries of a glass doorknob, hunt salamanders, try to get to heaven, and much more.
The book also includes the only full-length Sock Monkey graphic novel, "The Inches Incident." Inches the doll was the cutest in the whole house and loved by everyone. Then one day... Inches turned EVIL! What will Mr. Crow and Uncle Gabby do? Beloved by adults and children, Sock Monkey harkens back to a time when comics actually were for kids.
"First of all, the veil of anonymity is being pulled away and John Liney is finally getting some recognition. And best of all, you are about to have the opportunity to enjoy some of the fine work of this overlooked comic book creator." – Kim Deitch, from his foreword
"We hope you enjoy our efforts to bring this long-unseen material to the public and that the name of John Liney will finally find its rightful place among the great names in the business, alongside Barks, Stanley, Kelly, Carlson, Wolverton, and others." – editor David Tosh, from his introduction