Comic Review: The EC Archives PANIC Vol 2 (Dark Horse)

If you are a fan of 1950’s MAD comics, this Dark Horse EC Archives PANIC Volume 2 will be just the thing. It is a jam-packed collection, consisting of the […]

If you are a fan of 1950’s MAD comics, this Dark Horse EC Archives PANIC Volume 2 will be just the thing.

It is a jam-packed collection, consisting of the recolored and restored contents of PANIC comics issues 7-12.

For those unfamiliar with PANIC, here’s the quick scoop: Back in the 1950’s WIlliam Gaines published EC comics, known for their jaw-dropping artwork by comic illustrators like Frank Frazetta, Wally Wood, Jack Davis, Reed Crandall, Al Feldstein, and many MANY more. As these horror comics became less publicly acceptable, Gaines ceased their publication, and switched his sights to MAD comics, centred on wacky parodies of comic strips, comic books, and movies. This later became MAD magazine, still in print today.

Along with MAD, came PANIC, a sister publication. Consider it to be the more adult, more caffeinated version of MAD. Same madcap humor, and mile-a-minute wackiness.

This volume, the second in the series, is from 1955. features artwork by Joe Orlando, Wally Wood, Will Elder, Jack Davis, and others. The drawings are impeccable: wild, wooly, and wonderful. Each and every panel of this big volume is really positively crammed with detail: silly things going on in the background, “photo bombs” by other characters, constant interruptions during stories, notes from the editor, and so on. This is a comic title with serious Attention Deficit Disorder!! It’s like an old time radio show where the sponsor was Red Bull!!! Yeeeee hawww

The six issues are made up mostly of parodies of comic strips and movies of the day. Some have aged well since the 50’s, some might be unfamiliar to anyone under 50 years of age. No matter, you can get the jist of the narrative by just reading along. Parodies include: Gone With the Widow, A Star is Corn, Foreign Movies, Mary Worthless, and How To Safely Buy A Used Car.

There is a foreword by MAD (and Groo) artist Sergio Aragones.

Dark Horse, EC Archives PANIC Volume 2, Hard Cover $49.99 for 200 pages, full color

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!