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Thursday, October 29, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AL FELDSTEIN! EC Comics legend and painter extraordinaire




Wildlife painter Al Feldstein, the heart and soul of EC Comics throughout their biggest successes in the 50's, celebrated his 84th birthday this past October the 24th. I know we speak for thousands of appreciative fans of Mr. Feldstein's when we here The Blog at the End of Time wish him all the best, and many more!


As Bill Gaines' right-hand man at EC, the multi-talented Al wore many hats, including editor, writer, artist, and more, as illustrated in this humorous drawing by Feldstein.



That the 50's EC comics are so highly regarded to this day is tribute and testimony to the excellence and quality of the incredibly talented pool of creative writers and artists, and the one man who possessed both of those talents (and more) kept it all running like clockwork. The amount of people whose lives have been touched by his work, those who have loved and do still love, and have been influenced by his contributions to comic book history, would be akin to the amount of Beatle fans in the world, or the number of blades of grass in Central Park...you just can't count that high because there's so many! We love you, Al!!


Above: Two of Feldstein's excellent masterpieces of comic book cover art.



The irony of Feldstein's comic book art was that he was surrounded by so many super-stellar talents, that his artistic style, as wonderful as it was, was by comparison over-shadowed by the incredible works of fan favorites like Wood, Ingels, Crandall, Davis, Craig, Kurtzman, and so on...I'll admit that my own eyes were usually drawn to the Wood covers and the Kurtzman covers over the Feldstein covers. But as the sands of time have chipped away at the scales of youthful naiveté that clouded my fiery eyes, and I have grown to appreciate Feldstein's gifts’ more and more in my maturity, as a young child grows up into an adult craving the vegetables that he once disdained.





Even more ironic is the fact that the man continues to paint and has only grown more talented with the passing years. Whatever limitations one may have thought were present in his line art, those thoughts are quickly dispelled by the mastery displayed on his canvases!  Indeed, paintings done prior to his comics work prove that he already possessed this gift then! I have included just a few of the many samples of his amazing paintings on display and for sale on his website here. Check it out and you will be blown away! And the best part is, you can own your very own beautiful Feldstein original! Wow! What a talented guy! If someone would like to buy one of those marvelous paintings and donate it to The Blog at the End of Time, it would sure spruce the place up...



To celebrate his birthday I chose the 'semi-autobiographical' account of the birth of the horror comics, as related by Bill Gaines and Al himself! Originally published in THE HAUNT OF FEAR #17 (3rd issue), 1950, and written and drawn by Feldstein, here is 'HORROR BENEATH THE STREETS!'








Here are more samples of Al's recent work. Check it out HERE!










"Happy Birthday TOOO YOOUUU...!"

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