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The EC Archives: Two-Fisted Tales Volume 1 Hardcover – Mar 22 2007

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 212 pages
  • Publisher: William M. Gaines Agent, INC. (March 22 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888472561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888472561
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 21.3 x 28.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #405,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gut wrenching, perspiring, tosterone filled war tales. Love this stuff. Liked it when I was a kid, and I like it now.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6079ae0) out of 5 stars 8 reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa9044540) out of 5 stars THE LESSER KNOWN EC COMICS ARE STILL GREAT! April 28 2007
By Tim Janson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
When you think about EC Comics you normally think about those wonderfully ghoulish titles such as Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror, and Haunt of Fear. However, EC Publisher William Gaines and editor/writer Harvey Kurtzman were nothing if not resourceful and pragmatic. While EC's horror titles get the most notoriety, the company produced a multitude of different types of comics including thrillers, science fiction and fantasy comics, medical dramas, adventures, and much more. On the surface, Two-Fisted Tales appears to be nothing more than the average war comic...but in truth, nothing was average about EC Comics. These stories were produced in the early 1950's, just a handful of years after World War II. America was settling in and enjoying a decade of prosperity and relative peace.

The Korean Conflict had broken out and EC was there to produce war comics just as so many others were. Yet Kurtzman went in a completely different direction than most of his contemporaries. While most war comics were gung-ho, rah-rah, all aboard the patriot train rides, Kurtzman and EC were the first to truly look at the serious side of war. As Kurtzman states, he felt an obligation to the youth of the nation not to glamorize war but to rather show the reality of war as opposed to the comical stereotypes that we'd seen in comics since the early 1940's.

This kind of groundbreaking realism is exemplified in a tale simply called "War Story" written by Kurtzman with art by John Severin. This is a Korean War yarn about a soldier who hurls racial slurs, as well as bullets, at the enemy and is only too happy to kill the them, even after they've surrendered. This sadistic view of the American soldier had to shock many readers in 1950 whose idea of military men were formed primarily by pro-American war films of the 1940's.

But before you think that Two-Fisted Tales is only about war, think again...These stories are brimming with adventure, from mutiny on the high seas to intrigue in the Far East, to diamond smugglers in the Amazon to shootouts in the Wild West. As usual, the roll-call of artists whose work is included in the book features some of the all-time greats including Wally Wood, Al Feldstein, Johnny Craig, Jack Davis, Alex Toth, and Kurtzman himself, who also wrote all of the stories.

As a long time fan of the mercurial Wally Wood, I loved all of his work in Two-Fisted Tales. "Brutal Captain Bull" finds a young English gentleman pressed into service aboard a British naval ship in the early 1800's, serving under the sadistic Captain Bull. Later, Wood's story "Devils in Baggy Pants" features his brilliant art in a tale about the legendary paratroopers of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.

Two-Fisted Tales Vol. 1 features the first six issues of the series in a hardcover format that includes several side articles by Publisher Russ Cochran. It's a gorgeous book with re-mastered colors making them look as bold as the day they were printed.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa9044594) out of 5 stars Color EC Archives Two-Fisted Tales Volume 1 May 12 2007
By Dennis Johns - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent reproduction of the anti-war comics that were published by Entertaining Comics (EC) in the early 1950's. The archive collection is in color (as compared to an earlier collection printed in black and white format). The stories cover the Korean War, World War II, World War I, and many other wars dating back throughout history. The artists were the best in the field at that time and the stories by Harvey Kurtzman are considered comics classics. This volume contained the first six comics in the Two-Fisted Comics series. Three more future volumes will provide the complete run of this highly collectible title.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa90449cc) out of 5 stars Harvey Kurtzman Goes To War! Feb. 16 2008
By Philip S. Wolf - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Before he created Mad Magazine, Harvey Kurtzman worked on EC Comic Titles: "Frontline Combat" and "Two-Fisted Tales" in the Early 1950's.
Well, Right here in this Fantastic Volume, are the first Six Issues of: "Two-Fisted Tales" in Glorious...COLOR !!!

With Art by Jack Davis, Will Elder, Alex Toth, John Severin, Wally Wood, Johnny Craig and Harvey himself, this is Stunning Stuff. All of these Tales were scribed and edited by Harvey, and with Themes that vary from Pirates, Cowboys, Jungle Tales, World War II and Korea, these Gritty Stories are Dark, Funny and Smart.

This isn't your Father's, Sgt. Rock or Nick Fury...These are "Two-Fisted Tales" and if you enjoy Top-Notch Comics, you are gonna have a great time reading this Book. If you want to find out just what the fuss is all about concerning the EC Comic Books, give this Volume a try...These are Excellent Stories with some of the Greatest Art, ever seen in the Comics Genre.
Four Stars !!!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa90449b4) out of 5 stars An Eye opener in my youth July 1 2013
By Veedo 182 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a child who grew up watching the World at War series with my dad on tv, and loving tales from teachers, family , and friends about their time in the military, I grew up loving these movies. Movie portrayals mostly painted the US military as invincible and with few mistakes against a faceless enemy out to undo our way of life, then I read Frontline Combat and Two Fisted Tales, and all of the sudden war wasn't as glamorous, not that I was that naive, war was never real on film until the late 60's on. These were just comics, but stories that hit home. Kurtzman and company showed more of a human element to war than Hollywood ever did. This is something I'm impressed the most of all about these books.
With that being said and out of the way, the artwork is what has always separated EC from all other comics. The faces, the emotions, and the horror in the details is what brought out a visceral response to their stories by (grown-ups) of their day. Plus it did represent well a picture of what was going on at the time. The artwork is and will always be some of the finest ever and the story telling is a lot of times right on the mark.
HASH(0xa9044d80) out of 5 stars Two-Fisted Tales - beautiful old school comic book brilliance March 18 2011
By B. Illes - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of William Gaines, Mad Magazine and his EC comics from the early 50's - before congress censored them. They are beautiful drawn, and, even more significant, extremely well written stories. "Two Fisted Tales" are generally war stories, but with more than just explosions and other violence. So glad Russ Cochran re-published these great, fun works in stunning volumes.