Shock Suspense Stories
OOOH. I just bought the 3 book complete Shock Suspense Stories black and white hardcover archives from the early 80's. These goddamn comics make me want to trade in my ink nibs and pencils for a mop and broom. I look through this fantastic artwork and I think that maybe a career at McDonald's makes more sense for a guy at my skill level because the illustrations that these guys produced are a pretty unattainable goal. I'm talking, you get to see the likes of Wally Wood, Reed Crandall, Bernie Krigstein, Jack Davis and Jack Kamen at the top of their game in stark black and white. No color to dirty up these amazing drawings. Flawless work. I can't get over this stuff!
The above illustration is a creepy gift created by Reed Crandall!
This little piece was created by the late Wally Wood. This image looks like it could be the inspiration for the famous Marv scene at the end of the Sin City graphic novel. I know that Frank Miller was as much a fan of Wood as he was Kirby and Eisner.The above is a rare story-ending splash page by the master of drapery and folds-in-clothing Jack Kamen. This splash is used to such effect that it really does pack quite a punch. This is as good a use of a splash page as Alan Moore used in Watchmen when the alien is unleashed upon New York City.
These 2 pages above are an unmistakable sequence by Bernie Krigstein. This is in the last issue of Shock Suspense and I see that Krigstein was starting to experiment with cutting up the leroy lettered text to fashion it into more panels to dramatic effect. At this point he was working his way up to the very memorable and heralded story in IMPACT#1, called MASTER RACE
I consider myself a very analytical student of comics. I am endlessly amazed by the work of these EC comics artists. I can't claim that they are the best cartoonists, but they are some of the greatest illustrators to ever work in comics. Yes there is a difference between Cartoonists and illustrators. These Shock Suspense Stories have a very prized home next to some other great Ec Hardcovers.
I have Kurtzman's complete Two Fisted Tales en route to me as I write this now. I can't wait to revisit that material in beautiful black and white. Kurtzman took the raw talent of these great artists and MADE brilliant cartoonists out of them with his tyranical editorial fist. More on that later!!