Which GA titles had the most readable stories?
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52 posts in this topic

6 hours ago, ft88 said:

  As pure stories go, I find GA unreadable other than a few of the Barks ducks stories. 

A bold statement on a GA forum.  But, it's the same way I feel about everything published since the end of the 1980s (and I know I'm probably on shaky ground founded mainly on ignorance in holding that opinion).  We tend to like what we're familiar with.

Still, I don't know how anyone can find Kurtzman's "Corpse on the Imjun" and "Big If" or Feldstein & Krigstein's "Master Race" or Toth's romance output for Standard or so many other highly influential works of the late 1940s and early/mid 1950s, all of which predate my lifetime (I'm GenX) as "unreadable."  That was a very high point for the industry.

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Are there any EC collected editions that collect what are generally accepted as their best stories, regardless of title, or are all the collections simply a handful of each title in numerical order? 

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Readable

Agreed that Barks is a must read but even there there are highlights like the Four Color Stories from 178 on-wards and his run of Uncle Scrooge for the first fifteen issues of so.

Kelly who was also mentioned; created some really interesting stories that are not always thought of like Our Gang. Additionally his Fairy Tale Parade work while targeting the very young is really beautiful.

John Stanley's work is really fun; Little Lulu is amazing and incredibly charming.

I only have one issue of Shadow comics but it really impressed me and I will look for more.

Wonder Woman is absolutely fascinating when written by Charles Marsten.

Late Golden Age DC obscure comics like Phantom Stranger are good fun.

Scribbly wasn't mentioned and that is a very readable entertaining title; as are the romps Sheldon Meyer wrote like the Three Mousketeers in Funny Stuff.

Dell strip reprints are very enjoyable; Tracy, Popeye, Annie etc.

Classic Comics - some of these can be fun and of course should be readable based on the source material.

Turok - boy these are great and really fun to read.

 

Unreadable - just a couple notable terrible reads

Pre S&K Star Spangled Comics - awful!

All Flash 64 page Gardner Fox rambles - terrible, he had to have been on Dexedrine to have managed to stay awake as he wrote it.

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Well in speaking of funny animal comics, I find the writer/artist duo of Joe Barbera and Harvey Eisenberg a great transition from the Tom and Jerry animated shorts to their Foxy Fagan comics for Dearfield from 1946-1948. If I had to name a Carl Barks-equivalent for the MGM-styled comics, that would probably be it.

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Edited by Electricmastro
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50 minutes ago, Electricmastro said:

Well in speaking of funny animal comics, I find the writer/artist duo of Joe Barbera and Harvey Eisenberg a great transition from the Tom and Jerry animated shorts to their Foxy Fagan comics for Dearfield from 1946-1948. If I had to name a Carl Barks-equivalent for the MGM comics, that would probably be it.

w4oKVVr.jpg

Joe Barbera of Hanna / Barbera fame?

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MAD 1-23 hands down the greatest comic book run in history, yes I liked the magazine but that run is the my favorite. I like early Jack Kirby Caps especially 1-10 with those double page spreads check out the Captain America  Omnibus Vol #1 with Cap 1-12. I then would put the early Batmans w/o Robin as well as Action 1-10. There are great stories you just have to find them.  But here are a few GA favorites  EC's 1-"My World" and "the Loathsome" are amazing, as well as Action #1 and Whiz#2.

Edited by Mmehdy
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4 hours ago, 50YrsCollctngCmcs said:

Readable

Agreed that Barks is a must read but even there there are highlights like the Four Color Stories from 178 on-wards and his run of Uncle Scrooge for the first fifteen issues of so.

Kelly who was also mentioned; created some really interesting stories that are not always thought of like Our Gang. Additionally his Fairy Tale Parade work while targeting the very young is really beautiful.

John Stanley's work is really fun; Little Lulu is amazing and incredibly charming.

I only have one issue of Shadow comics but it really impressed me and I will look for more.

Wonder Woman is absolutely fascinating when written by Charles Marsten.

Late Golden Age DC obscure comics like Phantom Stranger are good fun.

Scribbly wasn't mentioned and that is a very readable entertaining title; as are the romps Sheldon Meyer wrote like the Three Mousketeers in Funny Stuff.

Dell strip reprints are very enjoyable; Tracy, Popeye, Annie etc.

Classic Comics - some of these can be fun and of course should be readable based on the source material.

Turok - boy these are great and really fun to read.

 

Unreadable - just a couple notable terrible reads

Pre S&K Star Spangled Comics - awful!

All Flash 64 page Gardner Fox rambles - terrible, he had to have been on Dexedrine to have managed to stay awake as he wrote it.

Fascinating is the exact right word for Marston's Wonder Woman.

Scribbly is brilliant and underrated; but my fondness Mayer is made pretty clear by my profile pic!

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I collected the full run of Wanted Comics because I enjoy the reads.  Crime Does Not Pay would be right behind them in that genre.  Always enjoy "Mr. Crime"s sarcasm in each.

AFA EC's, Crime SuspenStories and Shock SuspenStories generally offer intriguing fare, although I agree the descriptions above each panel can be word heavy, and I'll often either skip or skim them.  Many stories were "formula", but at the time of publication once a month, they got away with it.

The worst would be Atlas horror titles -all of them- late in their pre-code runs.  Both stories and artwork were often in the pits.  Good cover illustrations, but that was as far as it generally went.  The same for Stanley Morse (Weird Mysteries, Weird Chills, Weird Tales of the Future), although any artwork by Basil Wolverton could somewhat compensate.

 

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7 hours ago, Ryan. said:

Are there any EC collected editions that collect what are generally accepted as their best stories, regardless of title, or are all the collections simply a handful of each title in numerical order? 

Current Projects:

The EC Archives (Dark Horse) reprints all EC's by title as they were published in full color oversized HC format.

The EC Artists Library (Fantagraphics) reprints EC stories in undersized b&w HC format with all stories in a given volume by the same artist.

EC fans argue about which they prefer of the above.

Past Projects:

The EC Library (Cochran) reprints all EC's by title in b&w oversized HC format.

The EC Annuals (Cochran) reprints all EC's by title in color comic sized SC format.

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8 hours ago, Ryan. said:

Are there any EC collected editions that collect what are generally accepted as their best stories, regardless of title, or are all the collections simply a handful of each title in numerical order? 

I'm not aware of any general purpose "best of EC" collections more recent than the early 70's, although they may exist.  The idea that they're all good enough that you can pick up pretty much any New Trend issue other than perhaps PANIC and it will be better than 99% of all comics ever has been fairly widely accepted for several decades, and even if you disagree with that enough people seem to agree that wholesale collections or individual issue reprints have been the release method since the East Coast Comix reprints in the 70's.

Edited by OtherEric
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I’m actually not as familiar with EC’s horror comics, but the general writing from these horror comics caught my attention:

Adventures into the Unknown (1948, American Comics Group)

The Beyond (1950, Ace Comics)

Baffling Mysteries (1951, Ace Comics)

Dark Mysteries (1951, Master Comics)

Eerie (1951, Avon)

Ghost Comics (1951, Fiction House)

The Hand of Fate (1951, Ace Comics)

Web of Mystery (1951, Ace Comics)

Weird Thrillers (1951, Ziff-Davis)

Adventures into Darkness (1952, Nedor Comics)

Beware! Terror Tales (1952, Fawcett Comics)

Haunted Thrills (1952, Farrell)

Nightmare (1952, Ziff-Davis)

Out of the Night (1952, American Comics Group)

Strange Suspense Stories (1952, Fawcett Comics)

Tales of Horror (1952, Toby Press)

The Thing (1952, Charlton Comics)

Beware (1953, Trojan Magazines)

Fantastic Fears (1953, Farrell)

Monster (1953, Fiction House)

Amazing Ghost Stories (1954, St. John)

Horror from the Tomb (1954, Premier Magazines)

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6 hours ago, OtherEric said:

I'm not aware of any general purpose "best of EC" collections more recent than the early 70's, although they may exist.  The idea that they're all good enough that you can pick up pretty much any New Trend issue other than perhaps PANIC and it will be better than 99% of all comics ever has been fairly widely accepted for several decades, and even if you disagree with that enough people seem to agree that wholesale collections or individual issue reprints have been the release method since the East Coast Comix reprints in the 70's.

Looks like something was printed by Dark Horse late last year that may be what I'm looking for. Not sure if anyone has picked this up and has any thoughts:

51RR5i0jilL._AC_SY400_.jpg

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Fawcetts for sure!  The earlier Captain Marvel stuff (generally with the large triangle 10c price on the cover) is across the board a pretty good read.

Oh!!  And the original E. c. Segar Popeye and Sappo strips are way beyond brilliant.  Ahead of its time and some of my favorite reading ever.

Edited by davidpg
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1 hour ago, davidpg said:

 

Oh!!  And the original E. c. Segar Popeye and Sappo strips are way beyond brilliant.  Ahead of its time and some of my favorite reading ever.

IF you're talking strips, you got a host of other great titles, starting with Prince Valiant and Terry and the Pirates.

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3 hours ago, davidpg said:

Fawcetts for sure!  The earlier Captain Marvel stuff (generally with the large triangle 10c price on the cover) is across the board a pretty good read.

Oh!!  And the original E. c. Segar Popeye and Sappo strips are way beyond brilliant.  Ahead of its time and some of my favorite reading ever.

I have to agree that some of the early Fawcett work is pretty good; nice stylistic artwork and cogent story telling. I think much of the characteristics of any book is really a direct extension of the publishers. Street and Smith as an example were clearly a well established Pulp publisher and likely making some good money and able to pay their writers and artists pretty well. Timely and National were pretty dicey publishers and their success allowed them to develop a more cohesive house style (particularly DC/National) that led to better work. Dell / Western were well established and their licensing deals led to some high quality work.

I don't think anyone has mentioned Quality comics; they had some nice obscure books and more established runs. KId Eternity comes to mind and of course wonderful work by Jack Cole in Plastic Man and Will Eisner on the Spirit.

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12 minutes ago, Robot Man said:

For great story telling and art as well, hard to beat anything by Eisner especially the Spirit. And, for some silly reason, other than a few of the comics, these are still real affordable. And there are a lot of reprints available.

comspiritsectionswastica.jpg

comspiritsectionthanksgiving.jpg

comspirit22a.jpg

 

That cover is awesome, and makes me think of:  431586-120625-ent-emmastone-hmed.fit-200

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10 minutes ago, Robot Man said:

For great story telling and art as well, hard to beat anything by Eisner especially the Spirit. And, for some silly reason, other than a few of the comics, these are still real affordable. And there are a lot of reprints available.

 

I suspect part of the reason Spirit Sections are so cheap is they're so hard to find, particularly the post-war issues.  I've gotten very few over the years, they just never show up.  And the no copies for sale means the prices don't go up much.  The war-time, non Eisner issues, are what I see most often... and, while they do have people like Fine and Cole working on them, they're not nearly as good.  So the ones that do show sales are lower value, and the market looks weird.

(My copy, but the image is heavily cropped because it was meant for the DCM.  The nature of how they were published means copies are often rough around the edges... the top of my copy literally has a line saying cut here:

01-Spirit_Section_1948-11-7.jpg

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