The Flying Machine
art by Bernard Krigstein, story by Ray Bradbury & Al Feldstein
Weird Science-Fantasy #23[#1] (1954)
Krigstein has probably been the EC artist to get the most attention in recent years, with two deluxe hardcovers published by Fantagraphics looking at his career and collecting some of his stories(B. Krigstein Vol 1 and B. Krigstein Comics). He was the last of the 14 major EC artists to join the company, doing a lot of work in the final two years of publishing in the late "New Trend" and then the "New Direction" books, working with other publishers in the few years around that as well in his brief career in comics.
He's an interesting artist, that's for sure. He brought a lot of elements, a strong cimematic influence (best seen in his classic "Master Race") and elements from his fine art training. I've always been especially fond of the odd inking style, how he would often contrast high-detail with looser more impressionistic work.
This particular story is one of the last of the Ray Bradbury adaptations published by EC, and as usual for them it's a bit wordy, but has a stong basic story. In this one, a Chinese emperor in AD 400 witnesses a man who has invented a flying machine. His reaction to this is less than enthusiastic, as he's afraid of what dangers this technology could bring in the wrong hands, and he deals with it quickly and cruelly.
Note, this story will be the Krigstein sample for the upcoming FOUL PLAY book of EC artists and their work.