Reed Crandall's mastery of fine line detail and expertly nuanced pen-and-ink texture is a perfect fit for EC Comics. This collection of 21 Crandall favorites, delineated in his classically illustrative style, includes "The Silent Towns," a Ray Bradbury story about the last man and woman on Mars, and "Carrion Death," a stark horror story about a man struggling through the desert with a corpse handcuffed to his wrist.
And there's "Sweetie-Pie," the grisly story of a ghoul who sets up a roadside hazard to procure, um, fresh meat; "The Kidnapper," about a man who decides to kidnap a baby to replace the baby that had been stolen from him and his wife; "Space Suitors," a science fiction love triangle that leads to jealousy, betrayal, and murder, and "The High Cost of Dying," the title story, in which a man must make an awful choice between burying his wife and feeding his children ...
Reed Crandall (1917-1982) is best known for his art for EC--and later Warren's--horror, crime, war, and adventure; he also contributed to Flash Gordon comics in the 1960s. Some of his more family-friendly work was featured in the Classics Illustrated and Treasure Chest series. His work on the Canaveral Press Edgar Rice Burroughs hardcovers is legendary, and so are the specialty pieces he did for the fabled ERB-dom fan magazine.
Reed served in the Air Force during WWII, which served him well as primary artist for the aviator-team Blackhawk. He also drew Firebrand and The Dollman, among many other features, for Quality Comics Group in the 1940s. As superheroes waned, he cut his teeth on crime, sci-fi and horror, first for Quality (Police Comics, T-Man, Web of Evil), then EC and then for Stan Lee's Atlas line.
Bill Mason's introduction, "The Art of Reed Crandall," offers a 7-page illustrated history of this master artist.