Foul Play: The Art and Artists of the Notorious 1950s E.C. Comics! by Grant Geissman (HarperDesign, 2005)FOUL PLAY! has been nominated for a 2006 EISNER AWARD, and a 2006 BRITISH EAGLE AWARD, in the category of "Best Comics-Related Book"!
This lushly illustrated, full color volume celebrates the creators of E.C. Comics, profiling the artists and describing their careers before, at, and after. E.C. Artists profiled include Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, Graham Ingels, Will Elder, Al Williamson, Bernie Krigstein and many more!
Contains 600 full color and b&w illustrations. Also reprints key E.C. stories and includes a new, never-before-published story, "Wanted for Murder."
What others are saying!
A beautiful and long overdue art book, but more than that—a fascinating look at the artists behind the art. Refreshingly thorough and not always pretty. I loved it.
- Michael Mignola, creator of Hellboy
Here's an easy review: If you have any interest in E.C. Comics, you need a copy of Foul Play!
- Mark Evanier, author of MAD ART
A must-read for anyone interested in the American visual art of the Twentieth Century. Geissman has wrapped up the Age of McCarthyism in a clear cellophane. Concise, comic, tragic, scholarly; anything but "foul." It's outta the park.
- Van Dyke Parks, musician/composer/author
Legendary publisher Bill Gaines is perhaps best remembered as the founder of MAD Magazine, but in the opinion of many dedicated comic book fans, his greatest achievement was E.C. Comics, a line of adventure, horror, and science-fiction comics whose influence on American graphic novels is undeniable, even today. Foul Play! is the perfect book for anyone wanting to understand the special place E.C. holds in the comic fan's heart -- or who just wants to read some real good comics!
Foul Play! celebrates the fan-favorite creators of E.C. Comics, profiling their artists -- a veritable who's who of mid-20th century popular illustration -- and describing how they came to work with Bill Gaines and how their careers evolved after E.C.. Among the comics art legends profiled are Al Feldstein; Harvey Kurtzman; Johnny Craig; Jack Davis; Graham Ingels; Jack Kamen; Wallace Wood; Joe Orlando; Will Elder; John Severin; George Evans; Al Williamson; Reed Crandall; Bernie Krigstein; and more! Plus, the book includes a special bonus: a lost E.C. Comics story "Wanted for Murder!" originally intended to be published in 1956 but forgotten and unseen until now.
When originally published, E.C. Comics titles like Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, and Weird Science became best-selling titles, embraced by readers for their macabre wit and stunning illustration. Eventually, E.C. Comics ran afoul of a full Senate Subcommittee investigating (but never proving!) the link between comic books and juvenile delinquency, but not before winning a legion of fans that still treasure E.C.'s output. Foul Play! demonstrates -- in glorious, gory detail -- exactly why these are among the most beloved comics stories ever published.