Re: RARA-AVIS: A Crime SuspenStory

From: Gerald W Page (
Date: 02 Jul 2008

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    I remember an interview, probably with Al Feldstein, where he said that the EC stories he wrote were all worked out by him and publisher William Gaines. Gaines was a big reader, so he would read stuff in the evening and come in the next day and work out his version; Feldstein would then write it up. They probably couldn't get away with that today, although maybe they could, too.

    The most famous result of this is that they used a Ray Bradbury story, and Bradbury happened to read the comic book. Instead of threatening to sue them, he wrote them a letter asking for payment and suggesting they work out an arrangement that would allow them to use Bradbury stories in the future. That's why EC comics ended up publishing so many Bradbury tales. Years later Ballentyne Books reprinted a bunch of them in paperback and Bradbury's intro is (I think) where I got the information about his part.

    I remember that they also used one of HP Lovecraft's stories once, I think it was "The Terrible Old Man." Derleth was a comic fan, but I don't know that he ever complained about it.

    Feldstein edited most of the EC Comics but Harvey Kurtzman and Johnny Craig (who were better writers than Feldstein) usually had a book of their own going. If Johnny Craig was listed as the editor, he probably prepared the stories, either in script form or thumbnails.


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Jeff Vorzimmer
      Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2008 2:38 PM
      Subject: RARA-AVIS: A Crime SuspenStory

      After reading David Hajdu's The Ten-Cent plague, I started (re)reading some issues of EC's Crime SuspenStories comic books and was surprised to find that the very first story in the first issue was the same story as the very first episode of Alfred Hitichock Presents with very minor differences. In the EC version, entitled "Murder May Boomerang" the crime victim was an older man, rather than the young female in AHP's "Revenge". Somebody on the list was just asking recently about this story, so it was kind of a coincidence. Could these stories have come from the same source? The EC book doesn't credit anybody but the artist, Johnny Craig,



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