Review | Best Of EC: Artist’s Edition, Volume Two

Another astounding collection of Entertaining Comics original art, Best Of EC: Artist’s Edition, Volume Two is another must have volume from IDW.

The Best Of EC Artist's Edition Vol 2 coverThe second volume of Best of EC Artist’s Edition is—remarkably—just as good as volume one! Includes what can arguably be called the best stories by Harvey Kurtzman (Airburst), Al Williamson (Food for Thought, Lost in Space), Bernie Krigstein (Master Race, In the Bag) and more! BONUS—a section with newly found Wally Wood stories is also included in this tome! As with all EC Comics Artist’s Editions, this book will be a massive 15 x 22 inches! The best stories and art from the best comics imprint of all time! Plus a fantastic selection of covers!

As with all original artist’s gallery editions this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index.

Best of EC Artist's Edition Volume Two interior 1

Since this is a collection of short stories from a variety of creators, here is a complete list of what is included.

Johnny Craig

  • Dearly Beloved, Vault Of Horror #39
  • Crime Suspenstories #12 cover
  • Vault Of Horror #22 cover

Jack Davis

  • The Last Of The Mohicans!, Two-Fisted Tales #40
  • Incredible Science Fiction #31 cover

George Evans

  • …My Brother’s Keeper, Shock Suspenstories #16
  • Aces High #5 cover

Jack Kamen

  • Beauty And The Beach!, Shock Suspenstories #7

Bernard Krigstein

  • In The Bag, Shock Suspenstories #18
  • Master Race, Impact #1
  • The Pit!, Vault Of Horror #40
  • You, Murderer, Shock Suspenstories #14

Harvey Kurtzman

  • Air Burst!, Frontline Combat #4
  • Contact!, Frontline Combat #2
  • Rubble!, Two-Fisted Tales #24
  • Trip Into The Unknown, Weird Fantasy #13
  • Frontline Combat #1 cover
  • Two-Fisted Tales #25 cover
  • Two-Fisted Tales #27 cover
  • Two-Fisted Tales #28 cover

Best of EC Artist's Edition Volume Two interior 3

Joe Orlando

  • Chewed Out!, Weird Science #12
  • I, Robot, Weird Science-Fantasy #27

John Severin and Bill Elder

  • Bomb Run!, Frontline Combat #4

Al Williamson

  • The Arrival, Shock Suspenstories #8
  • Fish Story, Weird Science-Fantasy #23
  • Food For Thought, Incredible Science Fiction #32
  • Lost In Space, Weird Science-Fantasy #28
  • Weird Fantasy #21 cover, Inks by Frank Frazetta

Wally Wood

  • Caesar!, Frontline Combat #8
  • The Martians!, Weird Science #15
  • War Of 1812!, Frontline Combat #6
  • Old Soldiers Never Die!, Two-Fisted Tales #23 (splash only)

Best of EC Artist's Edition Volume Two interior 5

It’s a strong and varied collection of work from the EC stables, with representation across the board. As with the Spirit, this second volume in the series is much stronger than the first. Since these pages all came from Gaines’ archives and were sold through Russ Cochran in the 1980s perhaps we’ll see many more volumes.

Best of EC Artist's Edition Volume Two interior 4

The art as shown is nothing short of breathtaking. Each chapter is a marvel of pencil and ink. There is not high enough praise for what the artists were able to capture on paper. Kurtzman and Williamson steal the show, but Krigstein and Davis hold their own. There aren’t any throwaway backgrounds, stick figures in the distance or skimping on the panels: it’s lush and detailed page after page, regardless of the artist.

Fish Story comparison

Since these stories have been reprinted several times I checked my shelves for copies and came across three versions of “Fish Story” drawn by Al Williamson, shown above. At left is this edition, top right is the Fantagraphics’ 50 Girls 50 And Other Stories and bottom right is Russ Cochran’s EC Library Weird Science-Fantasy Vol 1.

Best of EC Artist's Edition Volume Two interior 2

Production is superb. Blacks are deep and gradience can be seen. All pages are crisp and clear. For the age of the material few pages are overly yellowed. The book came packaged in a cardboard case but was not shrinkwrapped.

Design is understated with minimal colour, following the look of the first volume. With the multitude of creators a chapter contents page lists that artist’s work and uses that olive green and cream throughout. The use of original EC pages for the chapter’s background is slick and cohesive. There is a one page biography of Entertaining Comics to close things out.

The book opens with this quote from Theodor Geisel: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”. Here’s to continued smiles from this amazing stable of creators, and to IDW for giving us two volumes of it…so far.



Best Of Ec Artist Ed HC Vol. 02 – $152.00

Retail Price: $190.00
You Save: $38.00

Scott VanderPloeg Written by:

Editor-In-Chief. Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans. Joe Shuster Awards Harry Kremer coordinator.

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2 Comments

  1. May 19, 2015
    Reply

    Scott, I wish this was more private, in terms of my comments to you. I don’t want to appear to be pandering in anyway. I did want to let you know, I really appreciate your support and the positive things you’ve had to say about my design work. The Artist Edition books are a passion of mine, and I sincerely try to do the best design work I can. I really do enjoy the challenge of trying to make each book unique and fresh. Hopefully, I succeed more frequently than I fail. With great respect, thank you!

    • May 20, 2015
      Reply

      Thank you for taking the time to visit and comment. If you’d like to email me click the envelope icon in my biography above.

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