Jack Davis’ EC Stories Artist’s Edition

Jack Davis is one of the founding fathers of EC Comics; he is a master of horror, humor and nearly every other genre EC published. Aside from his work at EC, Davis is one of the most prolific and popular commercial artists of all time. His instantly recognizable style has graced covers of Time Magazine and TV Guide, as well as movie posters and stamps. Jack Davis’ EC Stories: Artist’s Edition presents a beautiful selection of some of Davis’ best and most memorable stories – such as FOUL PLAY – and an extensive cover gallery – and all at the same size as originally drawn!

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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.

Another extraordinary collection of EC stories at original art size of 15″ x 22″, this time by Jack Davis. We’re treated to stories from the full breadth of Davis’ work for EC. And what a collection it is. While the comparison of the original printed comics to the Russ Cochran archives was an impressive leap in quality, comparing to these pages is a jaw-dropping experience.

This collection is divided into four parts, each with its own table of contents: the horror stories, the war stories, other stories and the cover art gallery. Closing it all out is a one page biography of Davis.

The scans are all clear; no blurriness or softness to be found. The blacks are mostly uniform, with a very occasional gradient visible. The pages have aged very well, with off-white to slight yellowing. No margin notes of significance, just page and book references. There are some wonderful Comics Code Authority approval stamps on the Barrier story pages.

Dahlk’s design is clean and minimal, with colour only appearing on the title page. The enlargements of panel art on the tables of contents are sharp and highly effective. Here are his thoughts on the design.

The design template for these books is based on the look of the actual comic. However, one of the things I wasn’t happy with, was the proportions of the original comic. The masthead and title portion of the EC comics, took up almost half of the cover! I reduced that area down so that I could increase what I considered to be the most important element on the cover… the artwork!

Production is excellent: sewn binding of thick matte paper stock. The binding is a little tight, with quite a few pages not able to lay flat. The book comes shrinkwrapped in a cardboard case with a small black and white sticker showing cover art and UPC.