Jack Kamen Facts

Start | Jack Kamen  | Before ECBrenda Starr  | EC | After EC | Sources | Art

Jack Kamen in the early fiftiesI am a great fan of Jack Kamen's comic art and have been trying to build tribute pages to Jack and his art. At the beginning of 1998 I published  Jack Kamen's EC Cover Art page and now this page adds some new information. This isn't much, but it's better than nothing. If I have made some mistakes or if you have something to add, please mail me or use Feedback Form.

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Kamen’s speciality in EC Comics

  • In Kamen´s stories violence and bloodshed were almoust invariably implied rather than overt. With his use of unusual Kamen by Kamen - from Crypt #31angles and dramatic contrasts of light and shadow, however, Kamen invited readers to imagine the worst. (Diehl)
  • Kamen was EC expert in stories dealing with infidelity or the battle of sexes, Gaines called them Buster stories. (Diehl)
  • We gave Kamen those stories where All-American girl and guy are married and then chop each other to pieces. (Feldstein)
  • Jack Kamen invented picto-fiction, new magazine size story books and drew all art for the first issue of Shock Illustrated.

Birth date and place
29th May 1920, Brooklyn
Nowadays Jack Kamen lives in New Hampshire

Education
Art Students League
Grand Central Art School
Instruction in sculpture with Agop Agopoff, also pupil of Harvey Dunn

Goals in Jack's own words
"My goal has always been reaching the upper level of commercial art, both for economic and professional reasons."
"Comics was an important training ground for many major artists and illustrators in the US today"

Positions held
penciller and inker

Worked in comic book genres
good girl art
jungle
romance
crime
horror
science fiction

Favourite works by Jack's own words
"My favourite work in comics was the concept of 'picto-fiction', the last work, and because I created it. My great love for the medium was that, and it was my last psychoanalysis."

Start | Jack Kamen  | Before ECBrenda Starr  | EC | After EC | Sources | Art

Works before EC

Pulp illustrations for detective and cowboy magazines

Comic art for several comic organisations.

Avon
Saint #1 (1947), cover and art

Fiction House
Cowgirl Romances #1 (1950), art
Fight Comics #48-71,76-79 (1947-49) art; (Capt. Fight pirate stories in Fight comics.)
Jumbo Comics #90-162 (1946-1951), art (drawing ZX-5 and Ghost Gallery in Jumbo)

Fox
All-Great #13 (1947), cover
Blue Beetle #47-54 (1946-47) cover, #47,50-51,53,55-57 (1946-48) art
Jo-Jo Congo King #7-29 (1947-9), art in many issues
My Secret Love #24 (1949), art
Rulah Jungle Goddess #17-19, 21-22, (1948) cover

Superior
Brenda Starr #2,4,14 (1948)

Cover by Jack Kamen
Brenda Starr #14, March 1948. See the tat-tat-tat of the Morse code

Start | Jack Kamen  | Before ECBrenda Starr  | EC | After EC | Sources | Art

Works for EC

(all but 3 picto-fiction titles reprinted by Russ Cochran)

Pre-Trend
Modern Love #7-8 (1950), art

New Trend
Crime SuspenStories #2, 4-18, 20-27 (1951-55), art; #25-27, cover
Haunt of Fear #2(16), 4, 6-7, 9-11, 13-19, 21-28 (1950-54), art
Panic #1 (1954), art
Shock SuspenStories #1-18 (1952-55), art in all; #10, 13, 15, cover
Tales from the Crypt #20, 22, 25, 27-30, 33-36, 39, 41-45 (1950-54), art
Vault of Horror #15-22, 25, 29, 35 (1951-54), art
Weird Fantasy #1(13)-16,18-22 (1950-1953), art
Weird Science #1(12)-13, 15-18, 20-21 (1950-53), art
Weird Science-Fantasy #27-28 (1955), art

New Direction and Picto-Fiction
Confessions Illustrated #1-2 (1956), art (not reprinted)
Impact #3 (1955), art
Mad #29 (1956), art
Psychoanalysis #1-4 (1955), all art
Shock Illustrated #1 (1955), all art (not reprinted)

Start | Jack Kamen  | Before ECBrenda Starr  | EC | After EC | Sources | Art

Works after EC

Left comics 1954, became illustrator doing advertising illustration for the largest and most prodigious corporations in the USA, did paintings rather than black and white drawings. Clients included Mack Trucks, Smith Corona typewriters, Pan American Airlines, Playtex, Sylvania lighting and television, Esquire Shoe Polish, RCA radio and television.

Worked with his son Dean Kamen in the medical supply and helicopter business.

Temporary art works
Creepshow, 1982, cover
Tomb Tales #2, 1997, cover
Rain of Terror, lithograph, advertised on the back cover of Tom Tales #4-5, (1997-98)

Reprints besides EC reprints
Jungle Girls #5, 15-16. AC Comics 1992-3

Published in Finnish
Kamenin kauhistus in Jättikauhukirja. Williams 1973 (Kamens Kalamity from the Tales from the Crypt #31), art
Creepshow (King - Wrightson), Book Studio 1992, cover

Start | Jack Kamen  | Before ECBrenda Starr  | EC | After EC | Sources | Art

Sources and more information

Letter from Jack Kamen, April 1998
EC Biography from Weird Science #11 and Haunt of Fear #11 (1952)
Benton, Mike: Comic Book in America. Taylor 1989
Benton, Mike: Horror Comics. Taylor 1991
Bernewitz, Fred  - Geissman, Grant: Tales of Terror. Gemstone & Fantagraphics 2000
Complete EC Library. Russ Cochran and Gemstone 1979-97
Diehl, Digby: Tales from the Crypt. Official Archives. St. Martins Press 1996
Duin , Steve & Richardson, Mike: Comics Between the Panels.  Dark Horse 1998
Gerber, Ernst & Mary: Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books 1-2, Gerber 1990
Goulard, Ron: Encyclopedia of American Comics. Facts on File 1990
Haunt of Fear #11 (1952) Artist of the issue: Jack Kamen
Jungle Girls #5, 15-16. AC Comics 1992-3 (including Jack Kamen reprints)
Jättikauhukirja. Williams 1973
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide. Published annually
Overstreet Comic Book Price Update. Golden Age Titles. Gemstone 1995
Ringgenberg, S. C:  From the Casse File of Jack Kamen. In Comic Book Marketplace. Gemstone #80/2000
Slings and Arrows Comic Guide. Critical Assessment of over 2,500 Titles. Aurum 1997

Start | Jack Kamen  | Before ECBrenda Starr  | EC | After EC | Sources | Art

Special thanks to Jack and his son Bart Kamen!

EC titles | Art | Artists | Reprints | Other | KamenArt | KamenFacts | Search | Links | Trade | Eng-to-Fin | Fin-to-Eng | Contact | Feedback | Start | Home


www.sci.fi/~karielk/kamefact.htm ---31.10.2000 --- © Kari Elkelä 1998-2000 --- karielk@sci.fi --- EC HOMEPAGE