Rising up, there was all the time a particular transgressive thrill in studying EC Comics, particularly titles like Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, and The Hang-out of Concern. That will need to have been even more true after they had been first revealed within the nineteen-fifties than it was after they had been reprinted within the nineteen-nineties, the interval wherein I personally thrilled to their distinctive combination of grotesquerie, suggestiveness, moralism, and darkish humor. On no account above indulging in both shock or schlock worth, the publishers EC Comics additionally knew literary worth after they noticed it: within the work of Ray Bradbury, for instance, to which they paid the final word tribute by swiping.
“EC Comics writer-editor Al Feldstein mixed two science-fiction tales he’d learn right into a single story, tailored it into the comics type, and assigned it to artist Wally Wooden,” writes J. L. Bell at Oz and Ends, apparently “engaged on the idea that stealing from two tales directly wasn’t plagiarism however analysis.”
Bradbury’s response got here swiftly: “You haven’t as of but despatched on the examine for $50.00 to cowl the usage of secondary rights on my two tales THE ROCKET MAN and KALEIDOSCOPE which appeared in your WEIRD-FANTASY Might-June ’52, #13, with the cover-all title of HOME TO STAY,” he wrote to EC. “I really feel this was in all probability missed within the normal confusion of office-work, and look ahead to your fee within the close to future.”
Bradbury’s “reminder” resulted in not simply fee however a collection of professional variations thereafter. His different tales to get the EC therapy embrace “A Sound of Thunder,” “Mars Is Heaven,” and the traditional “There Will Come Delicate Rains…” All of those tales are included in Fantagraphics’ new single-volume Dwelling to Keep!: The Full Ray Bradbury EC Tales, which you’ll see reviewed in this video. The e-book contains not simply the 35 unique comic-book tales (one in every of which you’ll learn free right here), but additionally “essays by main students, EC consultants, some big-name followers,” says the reviewer, whose channel EC Fan-Addict reveals him to be no informal fanatic himself. Generations of youngsters have present in EC comics a gateway to “increased” studying materials, Bradbury and far else moreover, however those that get the style for EC’s lighthearted grimness and earnest irony by no means actually lose it.
You possibly can choose up a duplicate of Dwelling to Keep!: The Full Ray Bradbury EC Tales right here. It will likely be formally launched on October 18.
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Primarily based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and tradition. His tasks embrace the Substack publication Books on Cities, the e-book The Stateless Metropolis: a Stroll by Twenty first-Century Los Angeles and the video collection The Metropolis in Cinema. Comply with him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Fb.