4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2009
Gemstones EC Archive collection is stunning. This is the gold standard for quality "Archive Collections". Volume 2 of EC comics "Shock Suspense Stories" continues on from volume one with more great art and more "Jolting Tales Of Suspense". As some might be aware, EC comics were the highest quality comics of their time. Best writing, best art, best quality, and the most eye catching covers. Unfortunately for EC, the covers and the interiors happened to catch the eye of a certain Dr. Wertham. Wertham published a book called "Seduction of the Innocent" in which he cited EC comics repeatedly as a contributing factor to the moral decay of 1950s youth.
Indeed, in Volume 2 of "Shock Suspense" we see covers portraying a terrified woman with a knife held to her throat as a man hold's her by the hair. We see a man handcuffed to a corpse while vultures eat at the decaying body. And perhaps even more disturbing, a drug addict lying in his bed, screaming, tears running down his face, his drug "paraphernalia" on the table next to him. Strong stuff.
Most stories often started innocuously enough, but quickly descended into violent, gory tales with ironic, surprising and "Shocking" endings. Some were tales of racism. Some tales were adaptations of Ray Bradbury stories. In this volume, there are two Bradbury stories. The art on the covers and the interiors is stunning and lush. With talent like Al Feldstein, Jack Kamen, Al Williamson, Wally Wood, Joe Orlando, Reed Crandall, its no wonder EC was the company to beat in quality.
This volume reprints Shock Suspense Stories issues 7 through 12 complete, cover to cover. This includes all the "text" stories, the readers' letter section and advertisements. It also has a foreword by Dean Kamen, son of EC artist Jack Kamen. I am slowly trying to purchase all of the EC archives. However, I started with the Shock Suspense collection first as these are my personal favorites of the EC titles. But I highly recommend not just this particular volume, but all of the EC archives. They aren't just gory, decadent fun, they are comic book history.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2008
Shock SuspenStories, The EC Archives, Volume 2 contains full color glossy reprints of issues 7-12 of Shock SuspenStories. Now that Gemstone is publishing these stories, one can see why "The Code" was created, EC was censored, and went out of business. The only thing missing from these reprints are the advertisements. I wanna send away from my X-Ray specs!
Issue 7's last story, "The Small Assassin," is an adaptation of a Ray Bradbury story. Issue 9's first story, "The October Game" is also an adaptation of a Ray Bradbury tale.
The story "In Gratitude..." deals with racism and the small town mindset. It is stories like these that offer a glimpse into how life was back years ago. Taking into account the final message of this story, the moral lesson, one can see how it conflicted with an agenda of racism. I will not give you the particulars and details because the story presents the realities of war, two heroes' homecomings, and how different they were. For children and teenagers to read comic books with such social commentary rebuking the establishment, EC branded themselves.
Great stories and a great glimpse into the history of comics!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2011
Shock SuspenStories were among comic books from the 50's that were part of the Senate crusade to censor comics and "protect our youth". But here they are, in a beautiful collection. The artwork is magnificent - by many of the same "usual gang of idiots" who created Mad Magazine, and even more significantly, the writing is very compelling - some by the great Ray Bradbury among others. I am so glad Russ Cochran and crew reproduced these great entertainments. Big, big wonderful fun. Highly recommended.
0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2007
Where it all began. Amazing art, great stories, beautiful new color on heavy glossy paper. These E.C. Archives are well worth buying. I intend to get them all.