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EC Archives The Haunt of Fear Vol. 2′ TP (review)

Written by Bill Gaines, Al Feldstein,
Jerry De Fuccio, Johnny Craig

Art by Jack Davis, Jack Kamen, Graham Ingles,
George Roussos, Joe Orlando, Ed Smalle

Cover by Graham Ingles 
Foreword by Tim Sullivan
Published by Dark Horse Comics


Dark Horse has been doing a great job in introducing the classic and controversial EC Comics to a whole new generation via these newly colored editions that also attract the rabid EC collectors.

At hand we have the second archival volume of The Haunt of Fear, collecting issues seven through twelve.  Not quite the absolute classics yet (in my opinion) but you can definitely see where the company was headed from here, with Feldstein’s stories (mostly Feldstein’s, anyway) presenting a good mix of increasingly gory stories with more macabre humor all over the place.

As with most things EC, of course, the art remains at the forefront of interest and this volume is a great example of that.

Each of the EC horror hosts and their individual titles are associated with a certain artist. Jack Davis is tied to the Crypt Keeper, Johnny Craig to the Vault Keeper, and “Ghastly” Graham Ingels to the Old Witch here in The Haunt of Fear.

Although never my personal favorite, Ingels is often said to have been the greatest horror comics artist of them all and his strengths are really on display here. The Old Witch has gone from Feldstein’s original cover drawing of an actual old woman to an only vaguely human-looking hooded crone with crazy eyes and hair. Story after story, one can see Ingels really getting into the creepier aspects of it all with his sometimes insanely detailed fine line artwork.

Craig and Jack Kamen—always the cleanest of the EC artists—are on display as well, and Craig even has a rare collaboration with Davis. Joe Orlando has a couple of good ones as he quickly began to move away from his strict Wallace Wood influences. Finally, Ed Smalle and George Roussos, not normally associated with EC contribute a little. “Inky” Roussos even does a passable job of imitating Craig, with a touch of Davis thrown in.

If I have a complaint, it’s the digital color. Well, not so much the color itself, which we are told up front is based on Marie Severin’s original colors for these stories. Someone, however, decided to add digital “shadows” to just about everything and to my eye they just look wrong and distract—if not downright detract—from the stories.

Still, it’s EC stories and art, lovingly presented anew, arguably the best, worst, and certainly most influential comic books of their day. Far be it from me to let a few shadows in a horror comic book stop me from enjoying this.

Booksteve recommends.


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