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"Corpse on the Imjin" and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library) Hardcover – November 15, 2012


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"Corpse on the Imjin" and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library) + "Came the Dawn" and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library) + "'Taint The Meat...It's The Humanity!" and Other Stories (The EC Comics Library)
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Product Details

  • Series: The EC Comics Library
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (November 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606995456
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606995457
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 0.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Before he created MAD, Harvey Kurtzman, who began as an artist with EC Comics, edited a couple of the publisher’s war comics. Compulsorily hands-on, he made editing include writing and drawing. When all those tasks overloaded him, he called in other artists but held them to fully developed pictorial layouts that he created. In separate contributions, R. C. Harvey and Jared Gardner recount very well Kurtzman’s early career and working procedures, including his research to assure that uniforms, weaponry, vehicles, settings, and slang accurately reflected the Korean War, in which most of the stories were set, and the occasional battle from another conflict. Kurtzman’s favorite hired hands became MAD stalwarts, but the others represented in this book include such established and future comic-book masters as Reed Crandall, Russ Heath, Joe Kubert, and though he didn’t truckle to Kurtzman, Alex Toth. Indeed, the two Toth aviation pieces here are artistically superior to everything else except, perhaps, the 11 Kurtzman-drawn entries, in which he practices a powerful expressionistic realism. Kurtzman’s scripts, though verbose and corny, represent war as all-but-unavoidable but brutally death-dealing, necessary but inglorious. Comics fans, connoisseurs, and historians all rave about EC’s war comics; this collection potently demonstrates that they ain’t just whistlin’ “Dixie.” --Ray Olson

About the Author

In addition to his pioneering work on the “serious” EC war comics, Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993) created the all-time greatest satirical comic (with Mad), the most widely-read adult comic strip (with “Little Annie Fanny” in Playboy), and one of the earliest graphic novels (with the 1959 The Jungle Book).

Gary Groth is the co-founder of The Comics Journal and Fantagraphics Books. He lives in Seattle.

Customer Reviews

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The reader will have to decide.
Mark
This terrific collection of Harvey Kurtzman's war stories showcases both stories he wrote for other artists, and stories he drew himself.
Alan F. Bessen
Fantagraphics usually does an excellent job on their books.
John m

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By TheEyesHaveIt on October 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice quality throughout this book! The cover is interesting, as it's a hybrid of direct printing on the cover material for spine and back, but with the front graphics printed on a wide paper band that is wrapped tightly and glued in behind the interior endpaper. Creates a nice texture difference and a slightly raised effect for the front art. All 24 of the interior stories are reproduced in crisp black & white on a quality uncoated paper stock that is off-white rather than bright white, so it's easy on the eyes. In the back, there's a four color section that reproduces 23 of Kurtzman's published covers for Two-Fisted Tales and Frontline Combat at full page size, as well as an interview with Kurtzman, some biographical info about various E.C. creators/artists, and a condensed history of E.C. itself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diamonddulius on November 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The first volume of Fantagraphics Books new EC series is going to be a tough one to beat! To my knowledge, this is the most extensive collection of Kurtzman's actual drawing/cartooning with the possible exception being the sadly out-of-print Harvey Kurtzman's Jungle Book . Kurtzman's solid composition skills and abstract style aren't adversely effected by the lack of color. He was definitely a "Cartoonist's cartoonist" whose style was carefully constructed with equal attention to storytelling and printing. It's a bit of a shame that more of Kurtzman's work isn't in print which is why this collection was such a good idea.

Like many out there, I wasn't initially interested in purchasing EC stories printed without color. I realized that there were those who preferred the EC stories without the gaudy comic-booky coloring (including an entire generation who grew up on Russ Cochran's b&w "EC Library"), ultimately the cartoonists who worked on these stories drew them for color. However, with the news that the incomplete "EC Archives" series has been put on indefinite hold (after only 2 books by new publisher Russ Cochran, ironically), Fantagraphics new series might be all there is for a while. Another drawback might be the fact that these stories have been reprinted many times before, in many formats. Cochran alone has put out b&w hardback editions, facsimile comic books, oversized tabloid editions, etc... Putting this material out again doesn't make much commercial sense if you're not going to do anything different with it.

This is where Fantagraphics rose to the occasion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark on May 13, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've read several of these stories in earlier reprints, so I knew this would be a worthwhile purchase.

Harvey Kurtzman's hard-hitting approach to the war comics genre certainly makes a tasteful collection of some of his finest EC work in hardcover seem long overdue. I'd like to thank Fantagraphics for stepping to the plate and publishing this, so many years after these stories were crafted and printed initially.

It may seem contradictory for me to say this, in spite of the praised heaped above, but I'm somewhat of two minds about Harvey Kurtzman's war comics. Part of the reason is that truth be told, I feel that yes, this are classic comics, but too often, Kurtzman's approach to this material is gratingly repetitious. The effect is akin to someone endlessly re-dotting the same "i" and crossing the same capital "T" over and over, and belaboring the same (obvious) point. Not in all of these stories, certainly, but in enough of them to arouse at least the suspicion that this artistic conceit of his begins to border on becoming annoying. Is this technique "rhythm" or "repetition?" The reader will have to decide.

Unfortunately, the interview with Mr. Kurtzman that's included may have further codified some of these vaguely disquieting reservations for me. Kurtzman, a noted perfectionist and notorious "my way" type of artistic personality, really comes across as pretty arrogant here, and dismissive of the talents of almost everyone except himself. The phrase "pompous ass" actually came to mind as I read, on more than one or two occasions.

Yes, Kurtzman has nice things to say at times about the work of some of his collaborators in this volume (but they come across, in the same breath, as compliments fielded grudgingly).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alan F. Bessen on December 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This terrific collection of Harvey Kurtzman's war stories showcases both stories he wrote for other artists, and stories he drew himself. The real treat here is having the stories he
drew collected in one book as well as the pages of the covers he did for both
Frontline Combat and Two Fisted Tales. The text pieces are a nice additional as well
and make for informative and enjoyable reading. If you never read any EC comics before this a great introduction and a must for any fan of great visual storytelling.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another great Fantagraphics book. Excellent Black and White art with great war stories. Not one of the Fantagraphics books of the '...and other stories' series have failed to impress me yet and I highly recommend all of them. All of them also have good researched biographies on back pages of the featured author and or artist. The old style vintage burlap covers are a plus too and look great on a bookshelf!
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