Friday, March 08, 2013

LOL Messager

Friday Comic Book Day.

At one time I collected all the stories Bernie Krigstein did for Stan Lee at Timely Atlas. He worked for them in two periods, first in the early fifties, when he contributed many moody, heavely inkted stories to the early war and horror books with some other genres thrown in. afte a couple of years he left for EC, where did grew into one of the most artistic comic book artists that ever were. After they folded, he returned to Stan Lee and continued to do excellent work. In this period, he is best known for futher experimenting with increasing the number of panels in his stories. At some point, he cut down pieces of dialogue that another artist would have used in one panel, into four, five, eight pieces if necessary. But he also did a couple stories that were more 'normal' although the design brillinace of his EC work always shone through. I scanned almost all these stories myself (this was before the practice of scanning whole books exploded on the internet) and ended up with enough for more than one CD.

When Fantagrahics published Greg Sadowsky's book of Krigstein stories, I hoped to see many of these in gloriously restored colors. Unfortunately, this book mostly consisted of the work Krigstein did even earlier - his first comic book work for companies such as Crestwood and Prize. I did have some of those in my own collection as well, but not all of them. And I say unfortuntely, but with a talent such as Krigstein one should take that in context. The work Krigstein did for Crestwood especially is absolutely gorgeous and the way it was represented in Sadowsky's book was as good as comic book reprinting gets. This was an art book I was glad to have, along with Sadowsky's earlier biography of the artist. But most of the early work Krigstein did was inked by others and I was dying to see the later work in this format. Fortunately, the book was subtitles Volume One and some of Krigstein's earier Timely stories were included (despite any possible copyright issues).

Sadly, the second volume never was published, but now we have a new reworked version of the first book with a bit of the biography thrown in and some new stories added in a great sofcover package under a much more commercial cover. I can highly recommend it to anyone who wants to have a good selection of Krigstein's work. It even includes some of his best EC stories and indeed some of those later multi panel shorts.

And if there is anyone who wants to see more... I am rethinking my plans to sell my set as one or two cd's on ebay.

I might even include some rare odditis I found the last few years, such as this three pager from Lev Gleason's Boy Meets Girl, which according to J.Vandeboncoeur was penciled by Pierce Rice and inkted by Krigstein. The second part, I can clearly see.

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