Wally Wood’s EC Stories Artist’s Edition

The third IDW Artist’s Edition (Following Dave Steven’s Rocketeer and Walter Simonson’s Thor) focuses on one of the all-time greatest comic book artists, and at the absolute peak of his creative powers: Wally Wood. EC Comics was quite likely the finest comics line ever produced, and Wally Wood was one of their mainstays who set an incredibly high artistic standard. This volume will contain a wonderful selection of stories in original art form by Wood, including: MY WORLD, CAME THE DAWN, MARS IS HEAVEN, HE WALKED AMONG US, and more. Additionally, there will be a fantastic cover gallery section by Wood. If you’ve never seen Wood original art, you’ve never seen Wally Wood!

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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.

IDW’s first “twice up” or 15″ x 22″ Artist’s Edition, featuring three section covering Wood’s stories and covers for EC. As such each section has its own table of contents, covering Science Fiction, Shock and War, and cover art. Closing the book out is a one page biography of Wood.

As an extra special treat in the center we have an essay by Roger Hill about a 3-D story, followed by an example of how it was done in layers and then the story itself and finally the first page’s pencil rough. A wonderful insight.

The pages are all cleanly scanned and are clear, except for two covers at the back which I found had some blur at their bottom. All have aged well, ranging from off-white to yellowed. Margin notes are limited to page numbers and book titles, either in pencil or stamped. Blacks are uniform, with few gradients; the Atom Bomb splash is mostly black and you can see it there.

Dahlk’s design is clean and very minimal, with a tan being used for the About page and chapter text headers. It’s his seamless integration into the look of Wood’s pages that sets it apart; love how Wood’s art was used throughout, especially that shocked face for the About page. Here’s what Dahlk had to say about this book.

My goal with these, was to try and stay true to the look of EC comics. The title lettering is based on how Wally would create the title lettering for stories he worked on. As a sidebar, isn’t that kind of interesting that he was responsible for doing his own title treatments. I’m not sure if that was something he wanted to do, or was part of what was expected. Anyway I think that is really cool, because it certainly identified his stories and made them feel more complete as designs. The body copy or text part is based on EC’s Leroy style of lettering word balloons.

Production is excellent: sewn binding of this matte paper stock. The binding is tight, with few pages lying flat, even after smoothing the center. The book comes shrink wrapped in a cardboard case with a small black and white sticker showing partial cover image and UPC. The cardboard case is a snug fit.