SHOCK SUSPENSTORIES #6 Dec 1952/Jan 1953
Wallace Wood original artist
It was a very noble--and brave--thing for EC Comics (the "EC" stood for " Entertaining Comics"--and were they ever!) to take on the topic of racial prejudice and the hate groups spawned by that destructive attitude back in the white-bread era of the early fifties. Of course, inasmuch as they were nevertheless peddling comic books and not social treatises, EC still had to sell their well intentioned parables to the little boys who frequented the nation's spinner-racks, and that's where Wally Wood a came in.
Publisher Bill Gaines had enough business savvy to employ the legendary illustrator to provide his "Preachy"--as he and writer/editor Al Feldstein came to call their message tales--with a stunning cover image that would appeal to little boys of ALL ages!?! From looking at this cover, you might think this lovely lasses' greatest sin was wearing an overly frilly nightgown, but things turn downright grim inside when she meets her demise at the end of that hooded hate monger's lash, her only crime being the vaguely defined "consorting with ones not her kind." Hardly something you stumbled across often in funnybooks issued during the Eisenhower Administration, I assure you. Happily, however, you would find a plethora of Woodwork sprawled across the comics landscape in various tomes released as the Fabulous Fifties progressed, though none more memorable or more lovingly crafted than his EC work. SHOCK SUSPENSTORIES #6--and we're working from a reprint here, as these publications were even before my time--was a prime example. Although, in one sense, I found it an exhausting illustration to mimic, still I took a certain amount of delight in attempting to duplicate the massive amount of intricate detail Woody infused his drawing with. And when it came time to replicate the ill-fated young lady at the center of the composition? Well, no one ever drew beautiful women as well--or seemingly as effortlessly--as the great Wally Wood did but at least for ONE afternoon, I got to try...