In the late forties, before settling into a regular gig with EC Comics (and cementing his reputation as one of the greatest horror artists), Ingels did like many other artists were doing, freelancing. I have shown his work before during this same era with stories from EC, Fiction House, and crime comics like Exposed. In this story the artwork is not up to the usual Ghastly standards of the horror comics, but the thing about Ingels is his style, no matter the genre, is instantly recognizable.
**********I am a sucker for Sucker Bait and Other Stories Illustrated by Graham Ingels
There are 26 stories from the EC horror comics, Tales From the Crypt, Vault of Horror and Haunt of Fear. What I miss are Ingels’ covers, which are moody and nightmarish.
The stories about Ingels are that he was alcoholic, and had trouble with deadlines. He must have caused his bosses some consternation, but in Bill Mason’s introduction for Sucker Bait, he quotes publisher Bill Gaines as saying “. . . we just stuck Ingels into the horror books and it didn’t take us very long to realize what had happened — that Ingels was Mr. Horror himself.” Al Feldstein, editor and writer of all of the 26 stories in Sucker Bait, said: “Graham Ingels’ work stands out because of his technique, which was a product of his total makeup — his physical, psychological, emotional makeup.” You don’t see the word “alcohol” in there. Maybe Feldstein just wanted to avoid mentioning that problem of one of his former stars.
If it was part of his makeup, then at least we have what we do of what came out of pencil and brush, and that is shown very effectively in this book.
Drenched in black ink and mood, and yet often with a playful sense of humor...the best of Ingels is represented.
Like the others in this series, beautiful printing, tightly bound, made for permanence. Retail price is $28.99. Available from Fantagraphics or your usual book store or comic store. Highly recommended.
Not included in the book is this, “A Sucker For a Spider” is from Tales From the Crypt #29, shown in scans of the original art. Just click on the thumbnail to see it.