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Sunday, December 04, 2005

EC - Beauty and the Beach (Kamen)

Beauty And The Beach!
art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein
Shock SuspenStories #7 (1953)

This was a bit of an unusual EC story in some ways. It begins with a split narrative, as we follow the stories of two women on a beach. One has a husband jealous of other men looking at her, the other has a husband who hates the sun (and kind of looks like how Robert Crumb draws himself). Usually when you get that kind of split narrative the storylines eventually intersect, but not in this case. These are effectively two similar but separate stories, as both women get job offers based on their beauty (beauty pageants and modeling), making their husbands increasingly frustrated as their careers take off, and plot grotesquely appropriate murders. That's also kind of unusual as the EC formula was normally based on some sort of turnaround where the final victim deserved what they got in some way, while here it just seems a bit cruel.

Of course the main point of the story seems to be to have as many opportunities as possible for Jack Kamen to draw women in sexy swimwear, and in that respect it's quite a success.

It also delivers one of the endings where "Good Lord" and "Choke" are both uttered as final exclamations.

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