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The EC Archives: Crime Suspenstories Volume 3 Hardcover – June 27, 2017
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"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
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The writing is especially effective and at a surprisingly adult level. There are a few stories where the perpetrator is totally unpunished but most have endings where societal mores prevail. All have solid plots and more than a few are really clever. Al Feldstein does most of the scripts (with some collaboration with Bill Gaines and two Ray Bradbury adaptations). Artist Johnny Craig usually writes his contributions. Memorable for me were the "quickies" in the first few issues where crimes are looked at from more than one angle with decisions, and in one case nationality, varying. There is also a nice touch in one issue where one story crosses over to another with ironic (and dark humorous) effect. Most of the issues collected in this volume have one story with a horror/crime blend hosted by horror mag hostess, the Old Witch. The Bradbury adaptations are very well done but I think "Touch and Go" was more effective than "The Screaming Woman". This last used the well worn device of a child trying to convince adults to believe her. Even the text pieces were readable and showed some real effort. If this collection has a weakness in the writing department it is probably an over reliance on cheating/murderous spouses to drive the plot.
The art is just as good as the writing. Johnny Craig does all the covers (very effectively) and one story in each issue as does Jack Kamen. Graham Engels does the Old Witch hosted stories. Sid Check, George Evans, Fred Peters, Bill Elder, Al Williamson, and Reed Crandall contribute as well.
Highly recommended. The electronic version can only be read on the Kindle and not the Comixology app which is unfortunate as I prefer the latter. This seems to be a permanent feature of the EC Archives.