A Quick Thought on Entertaining Comics

I just read these old writings (out of order, naturally):

Chris Mautner on E.C.

Gary Groth in Response to Chris Mautner

I enjoyed reading both, but there was a glaring omission in that neither talked about the worst thing about the Feldstein E.C. stories (more than the Kurtzman, but not exclusively), the captions.  These have too frequently broken what I feel is a critical rule that captions need follow, specifically, that the words and pictures work together to provide something they can't separately.  Groth puts it better than I am able: "[...]burdened by formula and cliche, the writing prolix, overwrought, and fatuously earnest."

My least favorite thing about the captions, however, is that they were so frequently unnecessary.


This caption is a complete waste of my time.  Many of the Krigstein stories do not suffer this same indignity, as Kurtzman-as-editor-or-writer had a masterful eye for cartooning and using the whole of the page to tell the story, not relying on dry, expository captions to describe what was already so wonderfully rendered.