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The EC Archives: Frontline Combat Hardcover – October 15, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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  • The EC Archives: Frontline Combat
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  • The EC Archives: Two-Fisted Tales Volume 3
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  • The EC Archives: Two-Fisted Tales Volume 2 (Two-Fisted Tales: War and Fighting Men) (v. 2)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The comics found in EC Archives: Frontline Combat v.1 offer valuable and meaningful insight into humanity and our predilection toward violent means to pursue dubious ends. It remains, fifty-nine years after its initial publication, important and truly timeless art." - Newsarama.com

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Product Details

  • Series: EC Archives
  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: William M. Gaines Agent, INC. (October 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603600140
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603600149
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,148,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
This is the 13th EC Archive. They all follow the same pattern. The book is a laminated hardcover with a dust jacket so the book can be shelved with or without the jacket. There are 6 issues in each book. Everything in each issue is reproduced except for 3 pages of 3rd party advertisements. All house ads, editorials, text pages, letters, etc are reproduced. Each issue is supplemented by commentary from the volume editor. With the 8 pages of introductory material each archive has 212 pages.

The reproduction of all the EC archives is absolutely first rate. This is in no small measure due to the preservation of the original film over the years. The modern coloring is by all accounts very faithful to Marie Severin's original.

The present volume is Frontline Combat Volume 1 reproducing issues Frontline Combat 1 - 6. All stories were written by and occasionally drawn by editor Harvey Kurtzman. They are meticulously well researched, well written, and well drawn. The ones pencilled by John Severin and Wally Wood really stand out in my opinion but the ones drawn by Jack Davis and Kurtzman are also excellent. The stories just exude authenticity. At no point did I ever think to myself "Well that's far fetched!" All stories are written on a strictly adult level and all periods are covered although the contemporary Korean War dominates.

The stories have been described as anti-war stories but I'm not sure that's really accurate. They are very realistic, showing all the horror, all the soul destroying terror of men constantly facing death but there is really no suggestion that the US shouldn't be in Korea, or fighting the Nazis or Japanese or whatever. They certainly are effective in deglamorizing and deglorifying war.

In short, this is comics at its finest.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's about time!!!
The release date for this volume has been pushed and pulled for quite a while, but I assure you that is in fact, in print!!

This book does not suffer any printing 'issues' that a few of the later releases have had. Like the cover misprint in WS3, or the over cut deckle edge on VOH1.

The book itself is beautiful, and contains some of Kurtzman's finest work ever. Flontline Combat alway had more of a relevant feel to than Two Fisted Tales.

The last that I heard from Russ was that their license seems to of expired and other publishers seem to want to continue printing the EC archives. I hope Russ keeps the contract and keeps up the excellent work of printing these. I would LOVE to have all 50 volumes on my shelf. Then I would never have to leave the house again!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Frontline Combat followed in the footsteps of Two Fisted Tale, as an explicitly 'War' comic, in contrast to the rather broader initial remit of TFT as an 'adventure and action' compendium. We see the work of the EC artists developing and growing, particularly the team of Severin and Elder, whose showcase this was (there is still plenty of powerful stuff from Kurtzman, Wood and Davies et al.)But, as glorious as the artwork is, it is the stories that really hit home. Can you imagine a relatively succesful 'mainstream' outfit today, say DC or Marvel, putting out an anti-war comic that deals explicitly with the hell, senseless slaughter, fearfullnes and dehumanising effect of brutal military combat ? No, neither can I. Considering these stories were written not long after WW2 and while the U.S. was under the impact of the Korean War, the content is even more remarkable. But some of these artists and writers had seen military service in conflict, or their friends, cousins, uncles had. There is nothing defeatist about these stories, but they do show the true horror of war, they express the fear of the lowly footsoldier, as well as true grit and courage in adversity and in the face of overwhelming odds. They can extoll a great victory, but they never stop reminding us of the cost, in human terms. The artwork is as good as anything todays fanboy favourites can produce. While we are now a nation at war (though the media and politicians seem reluctant to admit what this actually means, or behave as if we are a nation at war) these stories have an immediate relevance and need to be read.
Gemstone , the publisher of EC Archives, seems to have gone bust, less than halfway through the project. These volumes may not be around for too long.
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