Chris Shehan had asked an important question on Twitter – “Show me a comic page that made you see comics as one of the greatest storytelling mediums of all time.”
I had to think.
This is the page I finally settled on. I am pretty sure it’s the one that came first. I started reading all of the EC comic reprints when I was somewhere around 10 or 12 or something. I was in a newsagent with my biggest bro and saw a copy of VAULT OF HORROR #1 and pestered him to buy it for me, and he did. Thinking back, what a champion. There are loads of reasons why he did it, but what’s important is that he’s a 20-something dude, with his own income from being in the Srmy, and he insta-spends it on some comic that randomly caught my eye.
What came from this was years of hunting back issue bins to find any comic I could with the EC logo on it. I amassed an insane amount of them, and read them all voraciously, so when I read Chris’ tweet I had to think about what early comics I might have really imbibed with an eye for the flavour of comics being comics.
It could have been old Marvel stuff, but i didn’t think so. I dug that BARTMAN miniseries, but nothing stoof out to me, same as the MONSTER IN MY POCKET mini.
Then I remembered that I was an EC hound, and their stuff was dynamite, so which page would do it.
One page instantly came into my mind. It’s from the story ‘Wolf Bait’ by Jack Davis. It’s about a sled full of people going through the snow and being chased by an insane pack of wolves. They are trying to work out what to do and they realise, once all the meat they had has run out, that if one person is sacrificed then the rest will make it back. Each person had a sob story, a reason it shouldn’t be them, and then the story ends with them throwing someone off in silhouette, so we never know wh it was.
That ending stuck with me for years. I reread that story so many times, loving the ambiguity, and the pacing on those old stories was always rocket fuelled. But that silhouette panel, it’ll haunt me to my grave, and it’s that thing that showed little RKL what comics can really do.
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