IN MEMORIAM: AL FELDSTEIN 1925-2014
As comics fans and historians, all of us here at Metropolis and ComicConnect were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of the last true giants of the Silver Age, Al Feldstein, whose role in shaping the look and feel of EC Comics during its brief but explosive heyday in the 1950s affected not only the comics art form, but American satire and storytelling in general.
Starting his career after WWII with classic pinup and "headlights" covers for Fox Comics, Feldstein's cartoonish yet lightly surrealistic style soon proved a perfect fit for the fledgling EC Comics imprint, first as an artist and writer, then as an editor. In his leadership position at EC, he was instrumental in gathering one of the most talented and extraordinary artists' bullpens in the history of comics, and refusing to impose a house "style", unlike other publishers, allowing his creators full rein to develop their own distinctive voices. His skills as an editor, and easy way with freelancers and publishers alike, led to his assuming the reins of Mad Magazine after the departure of its creator, Harvey Kurtzman. His tenure on the legendary humor mag lasted nearly three decades, and his wry, sarcastic, yet still warm sense of satire influenced the face of American comedy for the latter half of the 20th Century as a result, acting as an acknowledged influence on Saturday Night Live, National Lampoon, David Letterman, and others.
Metro COO Vincent Zurzolo said, "We’ve lost a great talent. Al Feldstein was not just an editor but was a driving force behind one of the greatest comic book companies in the history of the medium. As a writer and artist he created some of the most memorable stories we’ve ever read. I had the pleasure to interview him, and will always remember it as one of the most insightful talks I’ve had on the creative process. Al explained how he could lay out the dialogue and captions for an entire 7 page story in panels and have it perfectly end on the last panel. The art would then be added later. This was the exact opposite of the Marvel style but was equally as effective. The world will never forget Al Feldstein or his contributions to the comic world. He will be sorely missed."