Friday, January 20, 2017
Number 2000: Woody: Faced with horror
“Faced with Horror!” was written by EC Comics publisher Bill Gaines and editor Al Feldstein, and drawn by Wallace Wood. My interest in showing it to you is not because of the weak story— the surprise ending is telegraphed and obvious — but the artwork by Wood, which overwhelms its flaws.
Wood (signing himself “Woody”) was coming to the top of his form as an artist. His work here is inspired by Eisner, for whom he was also working during this time. Looking at his original art, which was sold at auction by Heritage for $11,950 (cheap!) his drawings, drenched in black india ink, give the story a noirish look, imbued with a power the story probably didn’t deserve. But that was Wood. His personal story, told in the recent Fantagraphics book, The Life and Legend of Wallace Wood, Volume 1,* makes clear that at the time Wood was an obsessive, dedicated to his craft.
Scans of the original art are from Heritage Auctions. The story first appeared in EC’s Crime SuspenStories #3 (1951).