Thursday, May 15, 2008
(Image taken from here)
RIP WILL ELDER, one of the great EC artist/writers. Go here for his official website.
I'm not well-versed in all things EC; believe it or not, I wasn't alive when those legendary pamphlets were being published. But you have to try really hard to be a hardcore comics fan and not be aware of the legacy all these exemplary creators left, and I've had plenty of opportunities to read a great deal of that imprint's output. For my EC experience, read my review of Grant Geissman's Foul Play.
Elder was an integral part of Gaines' humor books such as Panic and Mad, and I loved his contributions in both. To see his pages, crammed full of puns and visual sight gags, is amazing- and amazingly funny- his was a lively imagination. When he left EC to work with Harvey Kurtzman on a number of projects, he maintained his high standard of work- I also used to enjoy reading his "Little Annie Fanny" features in Playboy, when I could sneak a copy as a teen or when I subscribed back in the 80's. It didn't have the anything-goes panache of his Mad/Panic style work, as I found out later, but it was great nonetheless. When all is said and done, I think I like his nutball take on "The Night Before Christmas" the best, but you really can't go wrong with just about anything he did.
Apparently he was in a nursing home and in ill health; his passing is no surprise but no less sad when one reflects on yet another titan who will entertain us no more.