Review: Weird Fantasy Vol. 1 (EC Comics Reprint)

The EC Archives: Weird Fantasy Volume 1The EC Archives: Weird Fantasy Volume 1 by Bill Gaines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

***Dark Horse reprinting of EC Comics, so very Indy!***


This is a gorgeous collection of EC Comics from the early 1950s, published and written by one Bill Gaines…aka Mr. MAD Magazine!

Along with some great other writers, Weird Fantasy is actually a Science Fiction book. 1950s Science Ficton from before the Witch hunt against comics leading to juvenile delinquency…a golden age in many ways.

There’s a number of issues collected here (even though their numbering is off, they are chronologically the first 6 issues) with a great range of stories.

Time Travel, Space Exploration, Atomic War, Aliens, Life and Death, lots of great stuff that’s been made into movies, some of the coolest ideas that sustained SciFi for the next 65 years.

Discussions of String Theory, 4th Dimensions, Gamma, Infrared, Atomic Energy, this isn’t just dumb pulp, it’s a blast.

From the man who builds a time machine (only with the help of his younger self, and the paradox loop that leads to), to the team that flies through space to a different solar system, only to loop back on themselves, a la Planet of the Apes (but this was written long before the Damn Dirty Apes), to the fears of Atomic Nuclear War and the aftermath: mutants, robots, uninhabitable wastelands.

This is such fun. This book is the kind of thing you used to love to find, just a bit older than you were supposed to be reading, it felt like some kind of secret they let you in on, and you always wanted more, reading it under the blankets at night by flashlight. (Or at least, I did…)

The art is colourful in this reproduction, bright, enjoyable, yet the subject matter is still the kind of questions we wrestle with today…

Thank you to Dark Horse for publishing the reprints of this great company, I cannot WAIT to get my hands on more of this. Without this, we wouldn’t have the dreamers of comics like Morrison, Hickman, Ellis, others. Heck we might not even have the normal comics we do today. I love the intelligence that goes into something that was throw-away for so many, yet over half a century later, look how relevant the subject matter is. Great writing never ages.

I strongly recommend this to all the Shallows Gang, and anyone else looking for a fun read, that you could also share with kids worry free (Anne!)

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