Tentacle Tuesday: EC’s Weird Tentacles

Today’s Tentacle Tuesday delves into William Gaines’ EC and the glorious 50s (well, glorious for *some* things, at any rate). “Weird”, you say? Why, weird simply must include tentacles!

It’s a mixed bag: those of you who dislike Al Feldstein (and I know my co-admin RG would raise his hand readily) may be terribly annoyed by this post, but patience, my friends! there’s a lot of Wally Wood (a Tentacle Tuesday master, by the way!) in here, too, and who in their right mind would admit to detesting Wally Wood?

(As for myself, in case somebody is wondering, I like Feldstein’s artwork just fine.)

WeirdScience#6
Weird Science no. 6 (March-April 1951). Cover by Al Feldstein.

« EC’s flaws are pretty obvious: even when the artists were striving for greater seriousness than the ironic gore of the horror stories or the outrageous early sci-fi plots or even the clever but predictable crime and suspense stories, the writing was often overwrought, prolix, and ham-fisted, and the artists were straightjacketed by EC’s rigid visual grid. They were Entertaining Comics first and foremost, but they also seemed compelled to break out of their commercial formulas, however finely realized, and publish stories that were fiercely honest, politically adversarial, visually masterful, and occasionally formally innovative…» (source: Gary Groth’s Entertaining Comics)

WeirdScience#10
Weird Science no. 10 (November-December 1951), art by Wally Wood.
WeirdFantasy#15
Weird Fantasy no. 15 (Sept-Oct 1952). Cover by Al Feldstein. The best cover that Feldstein has ever drawn? Quizás, quizás, quizás! The monster is doing a traditional Slavic dance, I think.

« While [Feldstein was] freer than most writers of his era to indulge his fantasies, he was also more punitive toward the characters who acted them out. John Updike tormented adulterers with depression and guilt. Feldstein lopped off their heads or burnt them alive. If they received a scarlet letter, it was branded on their flesh. In real life, sexual misbehavior might have cost one alimony. Feldstein made Shahira law seem like Thomas Jefferson had drafted it. Feldstein reflected a society which, while fascinated by sex, was terrified or ashamed of this fascination. » (source: Bob Levin in Let Us Now Praise Al Feldstein)

WeirdScienceFantasyAnnual#1
Weird Science-Fantasy Annual no. 1 (1952), art by Al Feldstein.
Weird Fantasy #21
Weird Fantasy no. 21 (Sept-Oct 1953). Cover by Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta.

Weird Fantasy #21-detail

WeirdScience#22
Weird Science no. 22 (November-December 1953), cover by Wally Wood.
WeirdScience22detail
Detail from the title story, “My World”, scripted by Al Feldstein and drawn by Wally Wood. You can read the story over at Mars Will Send No More.
WeirdScienceFantasy#27
Weird Science-Fantasy no. 27 (January-February 1955), art by Wally Wood.

~ ds

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2 thoughts on “Tentacle Tuesday: EC’s Weird Tentacles

    • redscraper February 6, 2019 / 01:28

      Thanks, always appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

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