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170-page black & white 7.25" x 10.25" hardcover • $28.99
Jack Kamen's deceptively wholesome approach to comics storytelling was never put to better use than in the science fiction shockers Al Feldstein wrote for him at EC Comics. Together, the two conspired to exploit Kamen's clean-yet-lush graphics with fantasies of the future that take a startlingly brutal twist and high tech romances that veer suddenly, awfully out of control.
The suburban Spielbergian idyll of the title tale, "Zero Hour" (one of three here adapted from stories by Ray Bradbury), is particularly well served by Kamen's slick surface innocence. Kamen performs similar magic in "A Lesson in Anatomy," with Mayberry-perfect notes that conceal an interstellar threat.
But the devil in Kamen comes out when he pours on the sex appeal. Cheating wives and jealous mistresses alike drive Kamen's hapless heroes to extremes, sometimes fatally, as in "Punishment Without Crime" (Bradbury again) and "Hot-Rod" (a fast woman and an even faster car make for a dangerous combination). Even the supercomputer in "Only Human!" falls victim to a beautiful woman's charms.
Discover for yourself why Jack Kamen, perhaps the most underrated artist during the heyday of EC Comics, is undergoing a long overdue rediscovery and earning fresh appreciation from a new generation of readers.
Zero Hour and Other Stories contains 22 classic EC yarns — plus the usual all-new biographical, historical, and critical essays that have made Fantagraphics' EC Library series the ultimate version of these classics.
© William M. Gaines Agent, Inc.