Lot 93 of 340:
TWO-FISTED TALES #26 *6.5* Kurtzman  

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Title:
TWO-FISTED TALES No. 26

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Publisher:
Entertaining Comics

Date:
March-April, 1952

Description:

Fine + (6.5). Thin sun shadow to bottom front cover, discolored spot back cover, 1/4" tear to back cover, staples discolored. Off-white pages. Kurtzman cover. Art by Davis, Wood, Severin, Severin/Elder. 1st EC with Marie Severin colors.

"Two-Fisted Tales #26 represented another period of transition. It was Kurtzman's first special theme issue ["A Document of the Action at the Chanjin Reservoir"], indicative of his increasing interest in research into the minute details of war's particular battles and accoutrements. The additional time spent on research meant that Kurtzman could no longer illustrate his own stories. Severin, working solo, replaced him in the line-up, while continuing to do a story each issue with Bill Elder." -John Benson, The Complete Two-Fisted Tales vol. 2 [Russ Cochran: 1980].

Notable also for the EC debut of colorist Marie Severin. Kurtzman admired Severin's ability to "intuitively [know what] color would enhance the storytelling" [Bill Schelly, Harvey Kurtzman: The Man Who Created MAD and Revolutionized Humor in America [Fantagraphics: 2015]. Frank Jacobs helped popularize the idea that Marie served as EC's artistic conscience, covering tasteless scenes of gore with dark blue color wash: "There was Marie Severin, Gaines's colorist, and a very moral Catholic, who made her feelings known by coloring dark blue any panel she thought was in bad taste." (Jacobs, The MAD World of William M. Gaines. Lyle Stuart: 1972). Years later, Severin disputed this: "I would never assume an editorial position. What I would do very often is, if somebody was being dismembered, I would rather color it in yellow because it's garish, and also [so] you could see what was going on. Or red, for the blood element, but not to subdue the artwork. ...I mean, the main reason these people were buying these books was to see somebody's head cut off, y'know?" (Marie Severin: The Mirthful Mistress of Comics. TwoMorrows: 2012).

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Item number:
311465
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