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Collects #1-6, 1952-53. Our Highest Recommendation. This inexpensive new softcover collects the titanic artistic talents of Al Feldstein, Jack Kamen, Jack Davis, Joe Orlando, Graham Ingles and Wally Wood. Cross-race marriage, bigotry, black hangings and the KKK, EC used Shock to introduce readers to real life horrors, alongside sci-fi (a story in every issue), crime, and their regular tales. Always with a surprise, snap ending! Dark Horse, 2021.

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This inexpensive new softcover collects the titanic artistic talents of Al Feldstein, Jack Kamen, Jack Davis, Joe Orlando, Graham Ingles and Wally Wood. Cross-race marriage, bigotry, black hangings and the KKK, EC used Shock to introduce readers to real life horrors, alongside sci-fi (a story in every issue), crime, and their regular tales. Always with a surprise, snap ending!

Bill Gaines often said that EC was proudest of their science fiction titles. But Shock, and these issues in particular, offered readers mature, poignant, powerful storytelling — with the trademark “punch” endings. Woven into their more standard fare, they address some of the most incendiary subjects of the day, such as prejudice in particular…some of which are still with us today.

And the artwork, oh my lord, is this the good stuff. Woody pulled out all the stops on his stories. We got cool science fiction from Wood’s studio mate, Joe Orlando, who does work here very much in Woody’s own style. And the other artists are all a cross-section of EC’s finest.

Includes all the original ads, text pieces, and letters! Newly colored in a fine modern style that, for us, enhances these stories and gives them a brighter, more attractive feel than the often darker and sometimes muddy original printing of the comics. 24 wonderful stories.

“The core editorial staff, including EC publisher Bill Gaines and triple-threat artist/writers/editors Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, and Harvey Kurtzman, all shared a common passion for creating the best comics they could, rather than simply cranking out hack material. Quite unusual for the time, the EC philosophy was not to pander to their readership…with a roster that now reads like a who’s who of mid-20th-century comic artists.”

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