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

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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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

Review

[Kurtzman's] best tales are often narrated by a single soldier, the protagonist s grasp limited by the danger in front of him, with his main hope being to get out alive. Not so much the blood and guts of battle here although Kurtzman had a wonderful ear for sound and the unique talent for putting it into words as the psychological state of warriors, the terrors and recurring sense of futility they experience. --Paul Buhle"
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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: 7.3 x 1 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #768,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What can possibly be said about his war stories that hasn't already been said over the past 50+ years? They hold up well to today's comic standards, and the messages in them never gets old. These (Frontline Combat, and Two Fisted Tales) are two EC books that should have survived into the New Trend and beyond!
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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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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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By zen_reader on November 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another great EC book full of the drawings and/or scripting of Harvey Kurtzman. He was a genius, in my opinion. One of my favorite MAD artists, but much more than an just artist. It's just amazing what those guys did! I love this book!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read plenty of EC comics stories; Tales From the Crypt, Weird Science, Shock Suspense Stories, all the other horror and science fiction titles, but I had never read any of their war comics because the subject matter didn't appeal to me. I wish somebody would have told me that this is arguably the best (at least in story) material EC ever produced. Kurtzman's stories are gripping and visceral, and they mostly avoid the somewhat formulaic feel of ECs horror and sci-fi titles. I was surprised at how realistic and tragic these stories are, with art not only from Kurtzman, but from half a dozen other of the greatest artists in comics including Toth, Severin, Kubert, and the immaculate Russ Heath. I have several volumes in this EC series and this volume has so far been by far the most surprising and enjoyable.
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