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.

krigsteincaption

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.