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'Tain't the Meat...It's the Humanity! and Other Stories

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Tales From the Crypt was the quintessential American horror comic book, and Jack Davis the quintessential Tales From the Crypt artist: A brilliant virtuoso whose long-limbed, cartoony-but-hyperdetailed slapstick both cut against and amplified the weird and nauseating grotesqueries that spilled from the EC Comics writers’ fevered minds, including — as seen in this volume — Tales From the Crypt was the quintessential American horror comic book, and Jack Davis the quintessential Tales From the Crypt artist: A brilliant virtuoso whose long-limbed, cartoony-but-hyperdetailed slapstick both cut against and amplified the weird and nauseating grotesqueries that spilled from the EC Comics writers’ fevered minds, including — as seen in this volume — “’Taint the Meat... It’s the Humanity,” an evil-butcher horror story that ends pretty much like you’d expect any evil-butcher horror story to end. Presenting the classic EC material in reader-friendly, artist-and-genre-centric packages for the first time, ’Taint the Meat collects every one of Davis’s 24 Crypt stories in one convenient, gore-drenched package. Mostly written by EC editor Al Feldstein, these stories run the gamut from pure supernatural horror (the werewolf story “Upon Reflection” and the vampire story “Fare Tonight, Followed by Increasing Clottyness…”) to science gone horribly wrong (“Bats in My Belfry!”), as well as the classic “disbeliever gets his comeuppance” story (“Grounds… For Horror!”) to EC’s bread and butter, the ridiculously grisly revenge-of-the-abused tale (“The Trophy!” and “Well-Cooked Hams!”)… seasoned with buckets of blood and some of the most godawful punning titles ever committed to newsprint. Tales From the Crypt was the inspiration for the no-holds-barred pop-culture horror revolution of the 1970s and later, be it Stephen King, Tobe (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) Hooper, zombiemeister George A. Romero, or the current generation of extreme-horror practitioners like Eli (Hostel) Roth. Yet try as they may, no one has been able to capture the combination of technical virtuosity, tongue-in-cheek grisliness, and sheer naughty desire to provoke and appall that these classics managed to pull off again and again. ’Taint the Meat… will also include extensive story notes by EC experts from around the world.


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Tales From the Crypt was the quintessential American horror comic book, and Jack Davis the quintessential Tales From the Crypt artist: A brilliant virtuoso whose long-limbed, cartoony-but-hyperdetailed slapstick both cut against and amplified the weird and nauseating grotesqueries that spilled from the EC Comics writers’ fevered minds, including — as seen in this volume — Tales From the Crypt was the quintessential American horror comic book, and Jack Davis the quintessential Tales From the Crypt artist: A brilliant virtuoso whose long-limbed, cartoony-but-hyperdetailed slapstick both cut against and amplified the weird and nauseating grotesqueries that spilled from the EC Comics writers’ fevered minds, including — as seen in this volume — “’Taint the Meat... It’s the Humanity,” an evil-butcher horror story that ends pretty much like you’d expect any evil-butcher horror story to end. Presenting the classic EC material in reader-friendly, artist-and-genre-centric packages for the first time, ’Taint the Meat collects every one of Davis’s 24 Crypt stories in one convenient, gore-drenched package. Mostly written by EC editor Al Feldstein, these stories run the gamut from pure supernatural horror (the werewolf story “Upon Reflection” and the vampire story “Fare Tonight, Followed by Increasing Clottyness…”) to science gone horribly wrong (“Bats in My Belfry!”), as well as the classic “disbeliever gets his comeuppance” story (“Grounds… For Horror!”) to EC’s bread and butter, the ridiculously grisly revenge-of-the-abused tale (“The Trophy!” and “Well-Cooked Hams!”)… seasoned with buckets of blood and some of the most godawful punning titles ever committed to newsprint. Tales From the Crypt was the inspiration for the no-holds-barred pop-culture horror revolution of the 1970s and later, be it Stephen King, Tobe (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) Hooper, zombiemeister George A. Romero, or the current generation of extreme-horror practitioners like Eli (Hostel) Roth. Yet try as they may, no one has been able to capture the combination of technical virtuosity, tongue-in-cheek grisliness, and sheer naughty desire to provoke and appall that these classics managed to pull off again and again. ’Taint the Meat… will also include extensive story notes by EC experts from around the world.

30 review for 'Tain't the Meat...It's the Humanity! and Other Stories

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    'Taint the Meat... It's the Humanity! collects 24 EC Comics stories, all drawn by Jack Davis. Al Feldstein, Otto Binder, and Carl Wessler conjured up a variety of tales in this volume, with subject matter ranging from wartime butcher shops, werewolves, freakshows, mad scientists, vampires, and lots of double dealing. Fortunately, Jack Davis was more than adequate for the tasks at hand. The black and white artwork really showcases Jack Davis' art. The man sure could draw a rotting corpse! The stori 'Taint the Meat... It's the Humanity! collects 24 EC Comics stories, all drawn by Jack Davis. Al Feldstein, Otto Binder, and Carl Wessler conjured up a variety of tales in this volume, with subject matter ranging from wartime butcher shops, werewolves, freakshows, mad scientists, vampires, and lots of double dealing. Fortunately, Jack Davis was more than adequate for the tasks at hand. The black and white artwork really showcases Jack Davis' art. The man sure could draw a rotting corpse! The stories are presented in publication order, making it easy to watch Jack Davis' art evolve as he became more confident, more practiced, in the EC style. By the third story in the book, The Trophy, he was already a horror master. While I've seen some of his art in Mad Magazine and its imitators, Davis was born to draw horror. Speaking of horror, there are some really dark tales in this collection. I relayed a few to my wife while I was reading and she was taken aback. While I think the Comics Code was a mistake, I might feel a little squeamish having a youngster read some of them. Still, it was blood-slicked good fun. It's amazing that the EC comics haven't been forgotten when they were around for such a short time. Then again, some of Jack Davis' art is burned into my brain. Four out of five stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MB Taylor

    This was a fun to read collection of 25 stories from EC Comics' "Tales from the Crypt". The stories were originally published in issues #23 (1951) to #46 (1955). The difference between these pre-comics code stories and the post-code monster stories of just a few years later is amazing. It's easy to imagine the post-code stories targeting 10-13 year olds; but the target audience of these post code stories would seem much older. Unfortunately, there's a fair bit of overlap between this collection a This was a fun to read collection of 25 stories from EC Comics' "Tales from the Crypt". The stories were originally published in issues #23 (1951) to #46 (1955). The difference between these pre-comics code stories and the post-code monster stories of just a few years later is amazing. It's easy to imagine the post-code stories targeting 10-13 year olds; but the target audience of these post code stories would seem much older. Unfortunately, there's a fair bit of overlap between this collection and Gemstone's recent hardbound EC reprints. The first 6 stories were reprinted in The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 2 and; and the second 6 in The EC Archives: Tales from the Crypt, Vol. 3. One interesting difference between the two reprints is that these are in black & white, while the Gemstone reprints are recolored. It'd be fun to get an original printing of one of the common stories & compare all three versions. Mostly I prefer colored comics, but Jack Davis's highly detailed line art is a pleasure to see in B/W. According to the copyright page this is Volume 4 of The Fantagraphics EC Artists' Library. I'm not planning on buying all the other volumes in the Library, but I've already ordered the Wally Wood volume and will probably order more.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Skjam!

    EC Comics was for a short time a brilliant publisher of crime, SF and especially horror comics in the early 1950s. One of the things that made them so great was having some of the best artists working in the field at the time. This book collects several stories artistically rendered by Jack Davis, particularly from the Tales From the Crypt series. Mr. Davis had a great line in rotting corpses, feral rats and ugly-natured humans. This is a black and white reprint, which allows his use of strong bl EC Comics was for a short time a brilliant publisher of crime, SF and especially horror comics in the early 1950s. One of the things that made them so great was having some of the best artists working in the field at the time. This book collects several stories artistically rendered by Jack Davis, particularly from the Tales From the Crypt series. Mr. Davis had a great line in rotting corpses, feral rats and ugly-natured humans. This is a black and white reprint, which allows his use of strong blacks to be shown to advantage. (He went on to a long, successful career in other comics areas after horror comics were gutted by the Comics Code.) EC’s horror titles were notorious for their twist endings, and horrible puns. The title story is no exception, being about a World War Two-era butcher who gets tempted by the money of the black market. Other standouts include “The Trophy!” about a hunter who only kills animals for bragging rights (two versions, one done originally for a 3-D comic!), “Gas-tly Prospects!’ about a murdered prospector that won’t stay buried, and “Lower Berth” with (at the time) the most unexpected twist of all. There’s also some biographical material about Mr. Davis, whose life was thankfully nothing like the stories he illustrated. This is classic stuff, and highly recommended for teenagers and up. (Some scenes may be a little intense for preteens.)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

    This is classic EC comics by one of the most prolific comic artists ever. I usually just write these reviews for myself to keep track of what I have read. I hate it when someone reads a book and puts in a description of the book in their review. Do people think they are part of some book review club? A description of the book is already in the details. Anyway, I'll get off my rant rant to do some of the same... Jack Davis got into commercial illustration not long after this stuff was done in the This is classic EC comics by one of the most prolific comic artists ever. I usually just write these reviews for myself to keep track of what I have read. I hate it when someone reads a book and puts in a description of the book in their review. Do people think they are part of some book review club? A description of the book is already in the details. Anyway, I'll get off my rant rant to do some of the same... Jack Davis got into commercial illustration not long after this stuff was done in the 50s and continued until maybe the past 10 years. His commercial illustrations are everywhere. What a reader will see in this book shows Davis perfecting his style. The silly writing and predictable twists in Tales From the Crypt sometimes make it hard to stomach. At least for me. But the amazing art and great character design are nice to look at. The fact that this book is published in black and white is a help, not a hindrance to Davis' art. I'm not sure I can say the same for other reprint collections that Fantagraphics will be rolling out over the next couple of years. But the publisher knows what they are doing. This book is printed at just the right size to compliment the art and the book design and quality is top notch.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    Ah, Jack Davis ... Lovely art, which you'd expect. This is a collection of some of his work for the various EC horror titles of the 1950s. The stories are arranged chronologically, and you can see Davis' signature style just isn't quite there in the earliest tales. There are also two versions of "The Trophy," which was re-done for a 3-D comic book years after it first appeared. Having the two versions to compare is an excellent lesson in storytelling as one can see what choices were made differe Ah, Jack Davis ... Lovely art, which you'd expect. This is a collection of some of his work for the various EC horror titles of the 1950s. The stories are arranged chronologically, and you can see Davis' signature style just isn't quite there in the earliest tales. There are also two versions of "The Trophy," which was re-done for a 3-D comic book years after it first appeared. Having the two versions to compare is an excellent lesson in storytelling as one can see what choices were made differently to make the second version flow better. Some of the writing isn't the best--the ending of the story about the trunk comes totally out of left field, for instance--but Davis' art is a delight throughout.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maureen

    My faves are the grave-robbing yarn Bargain in Death and Upper Berth, the crypt-keeper's origin story. My faves are the grave-robbing yarn Bargain in Death and Upper Berth, the crypt-keeper's origin story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Whitlock

    This is the most fun I've had reading all year. Jack Davis is one of my favorite TFTC artists, and there is not one bad story in this batch. I loved being able to see his growth as the comics went on. I would be eager to jump into another book in this line, but this has inspired me to save money and find The Complete Tales From the Crypt comics to read (rather than by artist). If anyone reading this has any advice on the best way or best place to find them, please send me a message. I'm a huge f This is the most fun I've had reading all year. Jack Davis is one of my favorite TFTC artists, and there is not one bad story in this batch. I loved being able to see his growth as the comics went on. I would be eager to jump into another book in this line, but this has inspired me to save money and find The Complete Tales From the Crypt comics to read (rather than by artist). If anyone reading this has any advice on the best way or best place to find them, please send me a message. I'm a huge fan of the show, but this was my first foray into the comics that inspired it. These were also all in black and white, and I'm curious on people's thoughts on that. I loved them, but have not read the comics in color, and I'm curious if they are considered even better? Anyways, this book was an absolute blast!! So much material here that later resulted in some of the best episodes of HBO's Tales From the Crypt, as well as some that I really, really wish HBO had gotten to. In fact, my favorites in the book were never turned into tv episodes, and that's too bad.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sara G

    I expected these to be predictable, naturally, good (and often bad) older horror, mystery, or thriller fiction tends to be predictable, simply because it was influential. However, this collection wasn't fun or interesting. Stories were predictable in a very tedious and flat way, and, frankly, the art style didn't really work for me either. I expected these to be predictable, naturally, good (and often bad) older horror, mystery, or thriller fiction tends to be predictable, simply because it was influential. However, this collection wasn't fun or interesting. Stories were predictable in a very tedious and flat way, and, frankly, the art style didn't really work for me either.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Kay

    Fantastic!!! These stories are like dark, twisted, Twilight Zone episodes!!! They usually have ironic twist endings, and one of the stories even taught me about a dark history I wasn't aware of (The Grand Guignol Theater in Paris). I highly recommend for horror fans, especially fans of the horror anthology format! Classic tales of terror! Fantastic!!! These stories are like dark, twisted, Twilight Zone episodes!!! They usually have ironic twist endings, and one of the stories even taught me about a dark history I wasn't aware of (The Grand Guignol Theater in Paris). I highly recommend for horror fans, especially fans of the horror anthology format! Classic tales of terror!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    A very long graphic novel with short stories in it. It took forever to read. Would be better as something I owned to come back to and read a few every now and then. not a great one to finish in a 2 week loaning period from the library. The art is OUTSTANDING! Ghoulish, scary and creepy!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andreas Acevedo Dunlop Strom

    Classic stories from Tales From The Crypt. Loved these when I was younger. Still good...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Christian

    Great EC comic tales from the legendary Jack Davis

  13. 4 out of 5

    Williwaw

    Well, I did read most of it, and someday maybe I'll "finish" it. I love these new Fantagraphics reprints of the E.C. comics. They are reproduced in black & white, which makes the artist's line work very clear. Each book is devoted to a single artist, and the presentation seems to be more or less chronological, so you can see the artist's development during the brief span of E.C.'s heyday (i.e., before the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency put William Gaines in the hot seat and all the Well, I did read most of it, and someday maybe I'll "finish" it. I love these new Fantagraphics reprints of the E.C. comics. They are reproduced in black & white, which makes the artist's line work very clear. Each book is devoted to a single artist, and the presentation seems to be more or less chronological, so you can see the artist's development during the brief span of E.C.'s heyday (i.e., before the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency put William Gaines in the hot seat and all the comic book distributors refused to touch E.C. and its competitors in the horror comics field). I have the first Fantagraphics slip-cased set, which also includes volumes dedicated to the work of Williamson, Kurtzman, and Wood. These were among the greatest comic book artists ever! My highest recommendation!

  14. 5 out of 5

    David James

    No one ever drew the laboratories of mad scientists like Jack Davis. Had he done nothing more, his standing in the pantheon of horror comics illustrators would be untouched. That he could make you wretch with the next panel when you saw what went on in those laboratories only adds to his mystique. The sickness his mind could conjure is on a level all its own. What I did not know until reading one of the essays in this book is that he wasn't enthusiastic about drawing this stuff. Apparently he wo No one ever drew the laboratories of mad scientists like Jack Davis. Had he done nothing more, his standing in the pantheon of horror comics illustrators would be untouched. That he could make you wretch with the next panel when you saw what went on in those laboratories only adds to his mystique. The sickness his mind could conjure is on a level all its own. What I did not know until reading one of the essays in this book is that he wasn't enthusiastic about drawing this stuff. Apparently he worried about the kids who would read it. This never stopped him from going nuts however. The art here is laugh out loud nauseating. Classic stuff from the golden age of EC Comics. Still unmatched more than half a century later. Enjoy, peoples.

  15. 5 out of 5

    And_it_spoke

    Classic stories from 'Tales From The Crypt' and the incredibly fun, funny and gorily detailed art of Jack Davis? Yes, please! While the stories are uneven, they always give Davis's art a fine showcase, whether being dark and brooding, or playfully sinister (which invokes fond memories of his MAD Magazine work). The artwork does as much for the storytelling and the occasionally over-stuffed word boxes do. A lot of fun for any horror fan! Classic stories from 'Tales From The Crypt' and the incredibly fun, funny and gorily detailed art of Jack Davis? Yes, please! While the stories are uneven, they always give Davis's art a fine showcase, whether being dark and brooding, or playfully sinister (which invokes fond memories of his MAD Magazine work). The artwork does as much for the storytelling and the occasionally over-stuffed word boxes do. A lot of fun for any horror fan!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Víctor Segovia

    Un excelente trabajo de recopilación de la grotesca obra del artista Jack Davis para una publicación de terror, the crypt of terror, mucho antes del mentado código de comic y la censura que trajo. Es una obra que muestra como sé hacía terror en el formato de antología en loa días finales de la era de oro del comic estadounidense

  17. 4 out of 5

    wildct2003

    Excellent collection of old horror comic stories. Many gems. Best read in small chunks or one at a time. Great visuals in glorious black and white. If you like Edgar Allan Poe type stories or watched the HBO series "Tales from the Crypt", you'll be right at home. You might event recognize some of the storylines and plot elements from the TV show. Excellent collection of old horror comic stories. Many gems. Best read in small chunks or one at a time. Great visuals in glorious black and white. If you like Edgar Allan Poe type stories or watched the HBO series "Tales from the Crypt", you'll be right at home. You might event recognize some of the storylines and plot elements from the TV show.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ramey Moore

    The stories in this collection by comics legend Jack Davis are among the most essential stories for any fan of EC comics or horror stories more generally. Some of these stories are so deeply rubbed into the psychic wounds of Americans that even first-timers will feel a nagging sense that they must have heard (or lived) this story in a past life. Highly recommended.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    My childhood debt to Gaines and Davis for countless hours of Mad enjoyment is doubled, perhaps tripled, with this collection. Absolutely outrageous scenarios, with artistically satisfying compositions throughout -- truly a high water mark in the history of skeeze!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    This book was super ridiculous. Because it was a compendium of many short features, the introductions got a little bit wearying (though I do love terrible puns). The art was pretty great, and the stories were reasonably horrifying.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    Could not put it down. Then again I learned most of my life lesson's from the old crypt keeper. Could not put it down. Then again I learned most of my life lesson's from the old crypt keeper.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Classic Tales from the Crypt. It took me a while before I realized the title was a play on "tain't the heat, it's the humidity." Maybe I'm slow. Classic Tales from the Crypt. It took me a while before I realized the title was a play on "tain't the heat, it's the humidity." Maybe I'm slow.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mike Hunchback

    Fantagraphics' artists editions are among the absolute best reproductions of EC comics out there ... essential series. Fantagraphics' artists editions are among the absolute best reproductions of EC comics out there ... essential series.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Green

    Only giving this one two stars because it disgusted me so much that I couldn't even read it while eating because it made me feel so physicially ill. Only giving this one two stars because it disgusted me so much that I couldn't even read it while eating because it made me feel so physicially ill.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    These EC books are beautiful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ben Bromage

    Not the Axe! Fantastic artwork. I was lead back to this through the Burns stuff.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amber Terry

    I loved this collection of horror comics drawn by Jack Davis from the old EC Comics titles (i.e. Tales From the Crypt). Definitely worth a read if you're at all interested in those... I loved this collection of horror comics drawn by Jack Davis from the old EC Comics titles (i.e. Tales From the Crypt). Definitely worth a read if you're at all interested in those...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Dolcy

    artwork is awesome, but I don't like scary, gory, or horror stuff artwork is awesome, but I don't like scary, gory, or horror stuff

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emilio Amaro

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