Lot 17 of 340:
CRIME SUSPENSTORIES #24 * 3.0 * Evans, Krigstein, Crandall  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$144
$50 - $80




Entertaining Comics

September, 1953


Good/VG (3.0). Cover chips, top staple pulled, staple rust. Cream pages with tanning edges. George Evans cover. Art by Bernard Krigstein, Reed Crandall, Jack Kamen, and Joe Orlando. Scripting by Carl Wessler.

"[Evans] seems to have specialized in [the] eyes of madmen and fresh corpses, represented by the four disturbing eyes on the cover of #24. There is an undercurrent of black humor here, but it is blacker than just about any other EC humor." -Max Allan Collins, The Complete Crime SuspenStories vol. 5 (Russ Cochran: 1983). 

Creepy Evans cover of a madman about to dismember his victim. By not showing the imminent carnage, EC enables and, indeed, encourages viewers to imagine it for themselves. Which raises the question: was it responsible for comics publishers to stimulate violent imaginings in the young? Harvey Kurtzman detested EC's horror material and considered it immoral to foist it off on kids. Jack Davis admitted hating drawing some of his horror stories, but doing it for the pay and because he "was kind of afraid" to refuse assignments (see Jack Davis interview, Comics Journal #225, July 2000).

Bill Gaines expressed paradoxical views about the ability of comics to influence young readers. When he testified before the Senate Subcommittee to Investigate Juvenile Delinquency in 1954, he was asked "If it does [children] a lot of good to read these things?" He replied, "I don't think it does them a bit of good, but I don't think it does them a bit of harm, either." A bit earlier in the investigation, though, he insisted that EC stories were capable of influencing readers thoughts and actions: "We have, I think, achieved some degree of success in combating antisemitism, anti-negro feeling, and so forth." 

If not for the Comics Code crackdown, how far might comics eventually have gone in displaying offensive material? Bill Gaines' opposition to any form of censorship was shockingly absolute; when asked if he objected to anything at all being published, even child pornography, Gaines replied: "I personally have no objection to it. They might arrest the guys for what they did to the kids, but I don't have any objection to the pictures they took." -The Comics Journal Library vol. 8: The EC Artists [Fantagraphics: 2016].

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