Ray Bradbury: 1950s comics' illustrated man

The renowned author had his roots in the world of pulp publishing


Michael Dooley
June 21, 2012 4:00AM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on Imprint.

ImprintIn 1951, EC Comics started stealing Ray Bradbury's work. After three swipes, Bradbury sent a letter to editor Bill Gaines. Not a cease-and-desist order, though. Instead, he wrote, "Just a note to remind you of an oversight. You have not as yet sent on the check for $50.00 to cover the use of secondary rights on my two stories 'The Rocket Man' and 'Kaleidoscope. ... I feel this was probably overlooked in the general confusion of office work, and look forward to your payment in the near future."

Payment was quickly made, followed by two dozen more stories—officially authorized and duly credited.

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To genre fans who prefer more challenging speculative fiction, Bradbury was known as the SF writer for people who don't like SF. However, his adaptations, which also included his horror tales, worked just fine for the EC line, which appealed to smarter-than-average kids.

In memory of Bradbury, who died earlier this month, here are the splash pages for most of these tales. The one for "Mars Is Heaven" can be found here. Other recent Imprint features about EC Comics appear here and here. And thanks to Bhob Stewart for his research.

[caption id="attachment_350611" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Unauthorized, uncredited adaptation of "The Handler." Art: Graham Ingels"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350621" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Unauthorized composite of "Kaleidoscope" and "The Rocket Man." Art: Wally Wood"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350631" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Johnny Craig"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350641" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Jack Davis"][/caption]

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[caption id="attachment_350651" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Graham Ingels"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350661" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Graham Ingels"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350671" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Joe Orlando"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350681" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Joe Orlando"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350691" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Al Williamson"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350701" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Jack Kamen"][/caption]

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[caption id="attachment_350711" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Wally Wood"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350721" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Jack Kamen"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350731" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: John Severin and Will Elder"][/caption]

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[caption id="attachment_350741" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Al Williamson"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350751" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: John Severin and Will Elder"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350761" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Jack Kamen"][/caption]

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[caption id="attachment_350771" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Joe Orlando"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350781" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Reed Crandall"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350791" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Bernard Krigstein"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_350801" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Al Williamson"][/caption]

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[caption id="attachment_350901" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Art: Al Feldstein"][/caption]

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For a decade-by-decade look at comic books, check out 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, available at MyDesignShop.com.


Michael Dooley

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