Recommend me an EC collection

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There might well be a thread where this sort of thing was discussed, but I'm not going to risk ILC by searching for it...

I have a hankering to buy some EC books. I'm assuming Russ Cochran's Complete EC Library editions is the easiest way to pick up something to experiment with (although if there is a better way, feel free to advise).

So what do I go for? Since they can be hard to come by a couple of suggestions might be an idea, although I'm more than prepared to wait if there's a must have title.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Saturday, 2 September 2006 18:36 (fourteen years ago) link

are you interested in the horror books or the harvey kurtzman stuff? there's expensive reprints for both, but if you want the latter, all of MAD and some of the war comics (my fave EC stuff) were reprinted as cheap oversized issues back in the '90s. i found a bunch at a used bookstore, but i'm sure they're fairly easy to pick up on ebay - i'd go that route before opting for the expensive ones. oh, and if you've never read any of this stuff before, look for "the smithsonian collection of comic book comics" at a library - it's got 4 great kurtzmans and bernie krigstein's amazing "master race."

J.D. (Justyn Dillingham), Saturday, 2 September 2006 21:41 (fourteen years ago) link

I think I'm more curious about the horror books, or at least the Crime/Science/SF/Horror books, which is why I'm asking (pretty much only the expensive reprints seem to be about, as far as I can tell).

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Sunday, 3 September 2006 08:11 (fourteen years ago) link

Russ Cochrane is just about to start another EC reprint series, this time in a hardcover colour DC Archive format. It will be bluddy expensive, all in all, when what we really need is a gd selection (the 30 'best' EC strips in one volume, say). The nearest thing at the moment is a pretty rare large-size hardcover Best Of that a geezer called Woody Gelman brought out in the 70s - if you ever see it, snap it up (it includes prob. the best colour printing of 'Master Race', which J.D. is right to call amazing - ditto the Kurtzman war stories, especially 'The Big If')

The problem w/ all the EC titles is that they are VERY formulaic and VERY overwritten, so are def best read in small doses (tho' of course no comics company has ever had such a superb line-up of artists, so even when the stories start to drag there are lots of purty pics to look at.) As regard the horror comics, my personal pref wld be for the later issues of Vault of Horror (the title edited by Johnny Craig) - as well as the usual E.C. stars, you also get some of Krigstein's best work, which is to say some of the best comics ever drawn (many of these are reprinted in the Krigstein volumes that Fantagraphics brought out - I think these have been reduced to clear, search 'em out.)

Ward Fowler (Ward Fowler), Sunday, 3 September 2006 10:03 (fourteen years ago) link

I have just bought the Fantagraphics Krigstein volume, will report back.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Sunday, 3 September 2006 10:49 (fourteen years ago) link

EC best-ofs by artist or title are U&K, except MAD which is almost all worthwhile. So a two-volume collection there. maybe mix both the Kurtzman war books up for culling.

Krigstein Comics for $30 off.

kit brash (kit brash), Sunday, 3 September 2006 15:57 (fourteen years ago) link

(they have the bio too, which is excellent)

kit brash (kit brash), Monday, 4 September 2006 11:18 (fourteen years ago) link

That Krigstein was the one I had ordered, so I ordered the bio and some EC reprints from the same site. Thanks.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Monday, 4 September 2006 18:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Back in the 90s, most of the EC titles were reprinted as inexpensive colour comic books, with many of those being then collected into fat 'annuals'; presumably available through e bay, or whatever, or in back issue bins.

As to titles, Shock SuspenStories is a good place to start since most issues contained one horror story, one sf story, one crime story and a 'preachie', or social issue story.

David Simpson (David Simpson), Thursday, 7 September 2006 08:34 (fourteen years ago) link

fourteen years pass...

Heads up: if, like me, you haven't yet pulled the trigger on collecting EC stuff because Dark Horse frustratingly lets random volumes of their collections fall out of print, it looks like they're rebooting the line. Softcovers instead of hardcovers this time 'round but I'll takes what I can gets. First volumes of Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror, and Shock SuspenStories all to be released in 2021.

The Mandolinrainian (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 14:36 (four months ago) link

Nice!

peace, man, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 14:52 (four months ago) link

i think the fanta "by artist" collection is the right way to buy if you're gonna read them but not if you're a completist

That's not really my scene (I'm 41) (forksclovetofu), Wednesday, 17 February 2021 23:29 (four months ago) link

This HUGE new EC history from Taschen is meant to be amazing:

https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/graphic_design/all/01135/facts.the_history_of_ec_comics.htm

I've come round to thinking that the best way to read EC is in the Russ Cochran box sets - great size, superb repro and excellent 'liner notes' for each issue. You can sometimes find them online at surprisingly reasonable prices, too. I'm not a fan of the modern recolouring that Dark Horse have used on those collections; the individual comics reprints that Cochran also issued generally have more appropriate and pleasing colour.

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 17 February 2021 23:54 (four months ago) link

My mother had just started managing a comic book store when the hardcover reprints had pretty much all come out - spent many afternoons and evenings being babysat by EC and Doonesbury collections. Wish they'd just do one big release instead of dripping them out (and focusing mostly on horror, probably).

Joe Biden Stan Account (milo z), Friday, 19 February 2021 01:36 (four months ago) link

Dark Horse has run through all the horror reprints at this point so they've actually been releasing HCs of the non-horror stuff for a little while now.

And yes, I'm one of those sick-o completists, is why I'm excited for the rebooted Dark Horse collections.

The Mandolinrainian (Old Lunch), Friday, 19 February 2021 01:46 (four months ago) link


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