Today on the site, in honor of Friday the 13th, Bob Levin brings us an account of the scariest EC artist, Graham Ingels originally written for the never-published catalog for an EC exhibition opening today. I gotta say, with Wally Wood and Johnny Craig (and everyone has their little canon), Ingels continues to astonish me. The sheer weirdness of his drawing is organic and exceptional -- really can't be approximated. It's just a few steps beyond what anyone would consciously decide to do. Here's Bob:
Gaines would call Ingels “Mr. Horror.” Stephen King saluted him in his short story “The Boogeyman,” for his ability to “draw every god-awful thing in the world – and some out of it.” The cartoonist Jim Woodring once considered Ingels’ work “the product of a diseased mind or something” And me, in retrospect, I fingered him as “The Little Richard of Comics.” I mean, when rock’n’roll came in, if you were in a car, with your parents, and the radio station you’d selected erupted with “A-wop-boppa-loo-mop. A-wop-bam-boom,” your taste – your intelligence – your entire way of being became suspect. Same with Ingels and comics. His work caught you the most evil-eyed, purse-mouthed grief.
In Ingels’ world men were weak or avaricious, imbecilic or maniacal, and women sluts or hags. They populated fetid swamps, decaying mansions, moldering dungeons. Their bodies drooped and distended; their features melted and dissolved; their muscles strained agonizingly; their limbs angled impossibly. Every part of them reflected horror. They bore bony, elongated, clawed fingers, over-sized, over-sharp teeth, lust-filled, hate-filled eyes. They were regularly buried in the rain, and, from the mud, repeatedly arose, rotting, drooling, seeking revenge.
The elements scourged Ingels’ panels. Blackness enveloped them. Their word balloons bore jagged edges or dripped. The lines which enclosed them, instead of imposing order, wavered. Hands groped beyond them; phones dangled past them; The Old Witch’s warted chin drooped over their edge. Faces spun within them: on one side in one; straight up in the next; on the opposite side in the third. Long shot alternated with close-up. Points-of-view shifted, from floor to ceiling. The viewer lost hold on the ordinary. There was no solidarity, no consistency, no principle to cling to. Everything decomposed – like those corpses seeking revenge.
Ryan Holmberg previews his upcoming Breakdown release, Katsumata Susumu’s Anti-Nuclear Manga.
Here's a kind of funny post from Drew Friedman about R. Crumb sitting in Nike's Mark Parker's place and looking at Friedman's original art for a story about Crumb. Got all that?
Oh, this is a groovy old Siegel and Shuster strip.