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Sunday, April 08, 2007

EC - Outpost (Severin/Elder)

art by John Severin & Will Elder, story by Jerry De Fuccio
Two-Fisted Tales #33[#16] (1953)

De Fuccio just wrote a handful of comic stories for EC back in the comic book days, though he did also write a lot of the text pages, and later became one of the mainstays of MAD MAGAZINE. What I've read of his stories are entertaining, although sometimes, as in this story, he tends to go overboard trying to get accents down on paper. This story is set with the British army on the Afghan border in the late 19th century, and the Sergeant in the story has lines like "Kape out av this lad's way... or git me fist betune the eyes". Kind of hard to read with a straight face sometimes.

Anyway, this story has the tough-as-nails Sergeant being asked to keep an eye on a young private, the son of the friend of his commander, who tries hard but just doesn't seem to have the makings of a soldier thanks to his Oxford eduction. The Sergeant gives him some words of advice on standing his ground, so that when the boy is attacked while on lookout he manages to defeat his opponents.

The story's a bit... gung-ho, I guess might be the word, a marked contrast to Kurtzman's more introspective and humanist approach to war stories that the EC books featured most often, but has some good bits in the script when you get past the accents, and some great artwork.

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