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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

EC - Custer's Last Stand (Wood)

Custer's Last Stand
art by Wallace Wood, story by Harvey Kurtzman
Two-Fisted Tales #27[#10] (1952)

Kurtzman and Wood present a story from the battle of Little Bighorn in 1876, popularly known by the title of the story. The tale is told from the perspective of one of Custer's men, and except for some narration and a word balloon on both the first and last pages it's entirely told in thought balloons presenting the soldier's view of what's happening and why as the story progresses.

Kurtzman does a great job of capturing the frustration of the common soldier swept up in what he knows is a lost cause for sake of the glory of others, doing a great job with the words. Wood meanwhile really seemed to get into the subject matter, and does some of the most lush and detailed illustrations of his early career. When the soldier has to look down at an attack from "all the Indians in North America", that's near to what Wood actually drew. This kind of makes me wish that New Trend era EC had a dedicated western title, instead of scattered stories like this, just so we'd have seen a lot more tales of this kind.

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