The arrival of Weird Fantasy Vol. 3 had the usual effect series collections have on me, making me wonder how close we were to finishing that series. In this case, that also means, by extension, the EC line.
I have cause to worry -- Dark Horse's track record on series collections isn't good. Currently it appears that the Tarzan, Archie and Crime Does Not Pay series have all stalled at nowhere near the end.
Anyway, I felt we were close enough to make a summary worthwhile. Here's where I think we are:
Aces High: Five issues collected in EC Archives: Aces High Vol. 1.
Extra!: Five issues collected in EC Archives: Extra! Vol. 1.
Incredible Science Fiction: Four issues collected in EC Archives: Incredible Science Fiction Vol. 1.
Panic: 12 issues collected in EC Archives: Panic Vols. 1-2.
Shock SuspenStories: 18 issues collected in EC Archives: Crime SuspenStories Vols. 1-3.
Crypt of Terror/Tales from the Crypt: 30 issues collected in EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt Vols. 1-5.
Valor: Five issues collected in EC Archives: Valor Vol. 1.
Weird Science: 22 issues collected in EC Archives: Weird Science Vols. 1-4.
SCHEDULED FOR COMPLETION
Haunt of Fear: Fifth and final volume scheduled for Oct. 23.
Vault of Horror: Fifth and final volume scheduled for Dec. 28.
Piracy: One volume, scheduled for Feb. 26, 2019
Crime SuspenStories #19-27: The first 18 issues have been collected in EC Archives: Crime SuspenStories Vols. 1-3..
Frontline Combat #7-15. The first six issues have been collected in Frontline Combat Vol. 1.
Two-Fisted Tales #36-41: Issues #18-35 have been collected in Two-Fisted Tales Vols. 1-3.
War Against Crime! #7-11: First six issues scheduled to be collected on Aug. 28 in EC Archives: War Against Crime! Vol. 1.
Weird Fantasy #19-22: The first 18 issues have been collected in EC Archives: Weird Fantasy Vols. 1-3.
Weird Science-Fantasy #25-26: Weird Science-Fantasy picked up the numbering of Weird Science with issue #23 and turned into Incredible Science Fiction with issue #30. Issues #23-24 were included in Werid Science Vol. 4, and issues #27-29 were included in Incredible Science Fiction Vol. 1. (I suspect these two issues will be collected with the last four issues of Weird Fantasy, for the standard six-issue package. But I don't know that for sure.)
I'm not including MAD, since DC Comics has that franchise now (and has reprinted all the comic book issues in MAD Archives Vols. 1-4). I'm also not including the Picto-Fiction line, which consisted of B&W magazines.
Did I miss anything? Who else is collecting these? And who's with me on wanting a few more pre-"New Trend" titles like Crime Patrol, Land of the Lost and Moon Girl?
Wikipedia has an article on EC's 3D titles here. There were two issues, and a third, unpublished one was prepared.
According to the article the stories were recycled but "completely redrawn... The artists who drew them were all EC regulars... Some of them had drawn the original versions of these stories, while others were interpreting them for the first time… The scripts were themselves at least partly rewritten."
It says the stories intended for the unpublished issue appeared in Witzend and the fanzine Squa Tront, and the Al Williamson one was recently reprinted in 50 Girls 50 and Other Stories Illustrated by Al Williamson.
EC also published reprint annuals with new covers. You might be interested in the covers.
The issues were rebound collections of four unsold issues. The contents varied between copies. Two Fisted Tales Annual's contents included issues of the namesake title and Frontline Combat.
The annuals were as follows:
Tales of Terror Annual 3 issues (This was Tales of Terror on the covers.)
Two-Fisted Tales Annual 2 issues (This was Two-Fisted Annual on the covers.)
Weird Science-Fantasy 2 issues (The annuals predate EC's non-reprint use of the title Weird Science-Fantasy.)
Max Gaines died in 1947, so William Gaines was in charge of the line for a couple of years before the New Trend started. He started replacing the original titles in 1948.
Arranged by first issue, and omitting educational titles and premiums, DC pre-New Trend output was as follows:
Tiny Tot Comics
Land of the Lost Comics(1)
Animated Comics (one issue only)(3)
Fat and Slat(4)
Blackstone (one issue only)(5)
The Happy Houlihans(6)
Moon Girl and the Prince/Moon Girl/Moon Girl Fights Crime(7)
International Crime Patrol/Crime Patrol
War Against Crime!
A Moon, a Girl...Romance(8)
(1) Licensed from a children's radio show.
(2) This was primarily an adventure feature title. Compare the name to Max Gaines's flagship title at his previous company, All-American Comics.
(3) This is where Mike's Amazing World places the issue. The GCD's indexer thinks it more likely dates from 1946.
(4) "Fat and Slat" was an Ed Wheelan feature. Max Gaines used it as a filler feature in his AA titles, and published an issue of "Fat and Slat" pages, Ed Wheelan's Joke Book, in 1944. The EC title was wholly done by Wheelan and included a couple of other things.
(5) Blackstone (Harry Blackstone Sr) was a real-world stage magician. He starred as a magician hero in comics from several publishers. My recollection is this made sense for the publishers because he gave away issues as premiums.
(6) Happy Hooligan was an early newspaper strip. This comic's title feature was unrelated.
(7) "And the Prince" was dropped from the title the second issue. The third title was adopted in 1949.
(8) This was a romance title that continued Moon Girl Fights Crime's numbering. Moon Girl helps out the narrator in the final story in the first issue (#9).
The educational titles, in alphabetical order, were
Picture Stories from American History
Picture Stories from Science
Picture Stories from the Bible
Picture Stories from World History
Gaines first published Picture Stories from the Bible before his break with DC. I don't know if any new material was done. The stories in the issues indexed at the GCD were all drawn by Don Cameron. The GCD says this was a different person to the writer.
Quite a bit of the material in Picture Stories from American History had appeared in AA titles. #3-#4 aren't yet indexed, but if I've followed the GCD correctly all but one of the AA instalments appeared in the first two issues (mixed with a little new material), and the remaining story appeared in #3. EC also reprinted some of the AA material in other places. All the indexed stories from this series were drawn by Allen Simon.
Picture Stories from World History may have been all new, as there doesn't seem to have been an AA series corresponding to it.(1) The GCD has indexed the second of its two issues, but doesn't know who pencilled its stories.
The Picture Stories from Science stories may have been new too. The GCD has only indexed the second of the two issues. It says the stories were drawn by Cameron.(2)
There was one more AA "Picture Stories" series, "Picture Stories from Mythology". There were five instalments, in Sensation Comics #44-#48. These were also drawn by Cameron.
(1) When I looked up the AA Picture Stories features a year ago six stories were listed as "Picture Stories from History" instalments. Now only one is. I think the others have been relisted as "Picture Stories from American History" instalments.
The remaining one is an account of the life of Balboa, drawn by Sheldon Moldoff. AA ran two accounts of Balboa's life. The other one was drawn by Simon and part of the "Picture Stories from American History" series.
(2) A year ago the story "Carl Akeley...He Brought Us Africa" in Comic Cavalcade #13 was listed as the sole instalment of a series "Picture Stories from Natural History". That feature name has been removed. The concept corresponds to Picture Stories from Science, but the story was drawn by Dennis Neville. The GCD says it was reprinted as "The Story of Carl Akeley" in Land of the Lost Comics #2.
That leaves EC's premiums. The GCD lists
Desert Dawn 1945
Educational premium about desert animals which depicts them anthropomorphically.
Out of the Past a Clue to the Future 1946
This seems to be a comic book version of a political pamphet. The surtitle was "What Foreign Trade Means to You!"
Reddy Kilowatt 11 issues 1946-1965
Premiums promoting electricity.
The Wonders of Wire Rope 1947
Premium promoting wire rope.
Across the Seas in a War Torn World 1948
Premium promoting Lutheran World Action.
The Church That Was Built With Bread 1948
Premium promoting Lutheran World Action.
Lucky Fights It Through 1949
Anti-VD premium. According to the GCD, this was Harvey Kurtzman's first work for EC.
I scanned lists of the pre-New Trend EC Comics (both Educational and Entertaining) before posting, and didn't see much I would be willing to pay money for. Crime Patrol, Land of the Lost and the various iterations of Moon Girl (which is somewhat famous for its format changes) are the only ones that looked interesting. (War Against Crime! is already being reprinted.)
“Who else is collecting these?”
I am. I decided to run my own “independent investigation” then compare results.
We are in agreement, but I am going to present my findings in a different way. The specific answer to your question is: 10 volumes (soon to be seven). It’s still too soon for me to start counting down, but here’s a list of how many we're short (and which ones we still need).
Weird Fantasy: one volume
Crime SuspenStories: two volumes
Two-Fisted Tales: one volume
Frontline combat: two volumes
Haunt of Fear: one volume (soon to be released)
Vault of Horror: one volume (soon to be released)
Piracy (soon to be released)
My list does not account for “pre-Trend.”)
“Dark Horse's track record on series collections isn't good. Currently it appears that the Tarzan, Archie and Crime Does Not Pay series have all stalled at nowhere near the end.”
Besides you and me, who else was buying these? I don’t imagine sales warranted these series’ continuation. The EC line is different, though; there’s much more interest in EC than those other “niche” titles.
I have some of the pre-Trend (such as Saddle Romances) and all of the “Picto-Fiction” line from Russ Cochran’s Gemestone, so I’m not real hot for that stuff.
And I have read Moon Girl #1-5; you’re not missing much.
I was particularly disappointed in the Archie Archives series ending; they had just begun Jughead, Reggie's short-run 1949 series was on deck, and Betty & Veronica (1951) was warming up. I really wanted to see the first issues (at the very least!) of those series. As it is, we didn't even get through the 1940s.
Crime Does Not Pay is pretty famous, and I was enjoying that, too. Curses!
Good to know my life isn't suffering without Moon Girl. The issue descriptions are so all over the place that it piqued my curiosity.
As to the EC Archives, not only will the upcoming trio of books takes the number of likely volumes down to seven, it will take the number of unfinished titles to six!
I also have the Picto-Fiction set from Russ Cochran, so really, I'll be happy when what we're anticipating finally arrives. Given the frequency they're dropping the books, we could be finished in 2020 or 2021.
This seems like a good place to mention this, too:
Dark Horse's archiving of Warren's Creepy and Eerie are nearing the end as well. Creepy Archives Vol. 26 is already on the way, and that leaves a likely three volumes to the end. Eerie has a likely four volumes left. (I can't be more precise, because I don't know how many reprints might be in play as the two series ground to a halt; DH skips stories that have already appeared earlier in the series.) Warren-era Vampirella, which was archived by Dynamite, is already complete.
Did you miss Archie Firsts? It's like the "zero" volume of the Archie Archives series. It reprints significant first issues and first apearances.
I'm not collecting them in a completist sense -- just picking up a volume here and there -- but I'm glad to see how many volumes are already out there, and that Shock SuspenStories, probably my favorite title, for its variety, is already completed.
I think Crime Does Not Pay got better (i.e., more infamous) as it went along. There's a "best of" tpb that would satisfy most people (not us, but most people). Silver Streak (which became Crime Does Not Pay) was not completed either. Nor was Turok.