Greg Sadowski, Gary Groth
Fantagraphics Books, 2006 - Art - 155 pages
The seventh volume in this distinguished series focuses entirely on one of comics' most esteemed and influential creators: artist, writer and editor Harvey Kurtzman, whose complete Comics Journal interviews are collected in this oversized, lavishly illustrated full-color edition.
Every stage of Kurtzman's landmark career is represented, beginning with his entry into comics via superhero stories for Ace from 1943-46 (Mr. Risk, Lash Lightning), World War II-era Army cartoons, early humor work for Timely and Toby Press (Rusty, Pig Tales, Genius, and Hey Look!), his first collaborations with John Severin and Will Elder at Prize Comics Western, and, of course, his groundbreaking period at EC as editor of Two-Fisted Tales, Frontline Combat and MAD. Kurtzman's undeservedly lesser-known post-MAD career at Trump, Humbug, and Help! is also given its due and examined in depth.
Many of the premier cartoonists of the past half-century are represented, including Robert Crumb, Jack Davis, Elder, Russ Heath, Al Jaffee, Arnold Roth, Marie Severin, and Wallace Wood. Yet what makes this volume particularly noteworthy are the obscurities unearthed from Kurtzman's solo freelance career—from Children's Digest, Pageant, U.S. Crime, Varsity and Why—most of which haven't been seen since their original publication. All of which illustrate the most informative and compelling interviews with Kurtzman ever published.
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