Sunday, May 2, 2010

DC Unexpected, Issue 175

“The Haunted Mountain”

Originally Published: “Unexpected” Vol. 21, issue 175, DC Comics, Sept/Oct 1975
Written By: George Kashdan
Art By: Eufronio Reyes (“E.R.”) Cruz
Editor: Murray Boltinoff
Assistant Editor: Jack C. Harris
Cover Art to ‘Unexpected’ #175: Luis Dominguez

One of the greatest comic horror stories of all time? Probably not. But this is one I would certainly classify as a hidden gem. The beautiful and stylized inks of E.R. Cruz give the sense the we are balancing on the side of a mountain.

Normally, covers sell comics. Companies spend a lot of money on cover art with good reason. With respect to Luis Dominguez, E.R. Cruz's seven pages of interior artwork DESTROYS this cover. Check out the expression below of the 'Witch' Countess Freida Von Koerner and tell me if anyone does it better these days:

Countess Freida Von Koerner

Kashdan's story is what we expect from 'The Unexpected' as he was one of the most prolific writers of the series. It's a cautionary tale of the repercussions of fear and violence, especially when your target is a witch. Kashdan and Cruz both did some great work throughout their long careers in both comics and animation.

At any point, I think its high time I expanded my 'Unexpected' collection...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Foul Play!

Haunt of Fear 19

“Foul Play!”

Originally Published: “The Haunt of Fear” #19, EC Comics, May-June 1953
Writer: Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein
Art By: Jack Davis
Colored By: Marie Severin
Editor: Bill Gaines

If there were ever two people meant to work together in the comic business, it was Bill Gaines and Al Feldstein. While they did not 'invent' horror comics, they certainly revolutionized them. They were also able to bring in some of the greatest artists of the time, Jack Davis being one of them.

Both Gaines and Feldstein have admitted 'Foul Play!' (published in 1953) may have pushed the envelope a little far. It's fair to say that E.C. Comics was the primary reason the Comics Code Authority was created and that the Code was created to get rid of E.C. Comics. Just think of what comics would be like today without thirty years of draconian censorship...

For changing the game, 'Foul Play' must be considered one of the greatest horror comic stories of all time.