EC Covers Artist’s Edition

EC Covers Artist's Edition cover

Here is your chance to collect some of the most iconic comic book covers by some of the greatest artists to ever pick up a pencil!

EC Comics, under the guidance of publisher Bill Gaines, was–according to the editor of this collection–the greatest line of comics ever done. This once-in-a-lifetime Artist’s Edition collects more than 140 EC covers by their best and brightest talents. The luminaries included in this gigantic (15 x 22 inches!) tome include Wally Wood, Harvey Kurtzman, Graham Ingels, Al Williamson, Johnny Craig, Frank Frazetta, Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, and more!

To make a baseball analogy, this is a Murderers Row every bit as noteworthy as the ’27 Yankees!

Also includes an Introduction by noted EC scholar Thommy Burns.

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As with all AE format material (Artist’s Editions, Artifact Editions, Gallery Editions, Art Editions, Studio Editions, etc), this is a collection of classic comic material and I’ll be reviewing the book and not the story. For a complete list of all current and announced editions, with review links, please visit our Index. Also, see What is an Artist’s Edition and our Artist Index.

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One hundred forty-three published covers. Two unpublished covers. Five cover roughs. One commission. Fifteen artists. Let me state unequivocally that even if you own all the other EC Artist’s Editions, you will want this volume that collects and displays these covers.

The content is presented alphabetically by the artist’s last name, with no interruptions between the images. We do get a two-page introduction with a well-placed image enlargement, and a cover commission closing the book out instead of the usual biography.

Of the covers that appear here, seventy-two have appeared in other EC Artist’s Editions. Interestingly, MAD Artist’s Edition features sixteen covers but only ten of those appear here, as the other six are not traditional comic book covers.

There is one cover that is not original art, the printed cover of MAD issue 8 opposite Kurtzman’s rough for the cover. Under the image, it states “We are presenting this printed cover as a companion piece to Kurtzman’s MAD #8 rough on the previous page.” I understand it was included to provide context for the rough, but it wasn’t needed. It also appeared in MAD Artist’s Edition for the same reason, but that table of contents lists it as the printed cover.

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Almost all the scans are clear and well presented; one at the end was a little soft. The pages have aged quite well, from off-white to tan. Even though Gaines held the art for several decades, they were all sold off more than forty years ago. Blacks vary by image: some show gradients and some don’t. Paste-ups, margin notes, and correction fluid are visible throughout. As is the red marker that makes a lot of appearances: Heritage notes this was used “for greytone screen indications”.

The design makes excellent use of image enlargements, with every one of them clear and vibrant. There is a single colour running from the cover through the book and it plays well. The table of contents presents title and issue with page numbers, but the pages don’t have page numbers. I can’t put my finger on it but something about the cover image I don’t care for; perhaps it’s too much of a break from tradition, or staid.

Production is IDW exceptional: a sewn binding of thick matte paper. The pages lay flat except where the signatures are glued. The book comes shrink-wrapped in a cardboard case with a small colour sticker showing the cover image, publisher logos, and UPC. The case design is new, with rounded sides, and a finger hole to get the book out returns. The case is also slightly larger than the book so there is a vertical and horizontal gap.

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The final page is a cover commission by Johnny Craig, appearing in print here for the first time. Vault Of Horror ran to issue 40 and this is a “what if” for issue 41. Sold at Hakes in 2021. It isn’t listed in the table of contents and is bonus content.



Ec Covers Artist Edition HC

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