Robot 6

SDCC ’11 | Fantagraphics to publish EC Comics Library

from Corpse on the Imjin by Harvey Kurtzman

from Corpse on the Imjin by Harvey Kurtzman

On the same day that Fantagraphics announced The Complete Zap Comix, the publisher revealed it will bring yet another treasure trove of groundbreaking comics back to the stands. At its panel at Comic-Con International and in an interview with The Comics Reporter’s Tom Spurgeon, Fantagraphics announced it had acquired the rights to publish the EC Comics library from the representatives of its late publisher, William M. Gaines.

Known for pushing comics’ boundaries of formal innovation and craft as well as raw content before anti-comics hysteria and the creation of the Comics Code helped stifle the publisher in the mid-’50s, EC has generally been reprinted in formats that center on its (in)famous horror, crime, science fiction, and war anthology series, such as Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear, Crime SuspenStories, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, Two-Fisted Tales, and Frontline Combat. What sets the Fantagraphics reprint project apart is that individual creators’ work will be culled from the series in which it appeared and presented in a series of black-and-white solo spotlight volumes. The first four books announced will collect war stories written by Harvey Kurtzman (Corpse on the Imjin and Other Stories, featuring art by Kurtzman, Gene Colan, Russ Heath, and Joe Kubert), suspense stories by Wally Wood (Came the Dawn and Other Stories), horror stories by written by Al Feldstein and illustrated by Jack Davis, and science fiction stories by Al Williamson.

Click on over to The Comics Reporter for more details, including an interview with editor and co-publisher Gary Groth.



Nice! Maybe one of the highlights of the con.

Great news! Fanta will do justice to the material, as they did to Gottfredson and (I expect) Barks.

Complete Zap Comix is not too shabby, either!

Kudos to Groth & Thompson for bringing back to print the great comics of the past!

Sean T. Collins

July 24, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Don’t forget Peanuts, Popeye, Pogo, Prince Valiant, Krazy Kat, the Complete Crumb…it’s a crazy line-up over there.

Artist-centered collections are a great idea! At this point it’s hard to see how Fantagraphics’ reprint line-up could possibly get any better…

What’s behind the decision to go B&W instead of color?

Can anyone tell me what war stories were illustrated by Gene Colan, and whether they’ve been collected in the Gemstones series already? I know I can look it up but if someone knows off the top of their head, shout it out. Thanks.

My only guess as to why they would choose to go B&W instead of color is they plan to shoot from the original art (and they want to spotlight the art from a creator’s perspective ie; the same size they drew it and before color was added.

From what I understand William Gaines kept all the original art. If you’ve seen any of Russ Cochran’s hardbound EC Library volumes – those were all b&w done at the size of the original art.

Scratchie: Colan’s work appeared in Two-Fisted Tales #30 and #39, which have been reprinted multiple times.

Tom: All the original art has been sold off, but they’ll probably use the shots used for the EC library

So, I guess that’s it for the EC Archive Editions that I was collecting… Drat! Those were absolutely stunningly beautiful and so well produced.

I actually view the planned Fantagraphic releases as a step down… a BIG step down.

Just noticed on latest Preview list that there are two Ec Archives, EC ARCHIVES VAULT OF HORROR HC Vol. 2 and EC ARCHIVES HAUNT OF FEAR HC Vol. 1 to be published not by Fanta, but by a new entity formed by former Gemstone and CBM editor Ross Cochran and noted EC historian Grant Geissman, someone knows what’s happened then?

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