The first comprehensive retrospective of one of the greatest artists of the 20th Century, who began his career as one of the most innovative comic book creators of his generation. A gigantic retrospective/biography/critical assessment of one of the most important cartoonists in the history of comics, who went on to become a renowned fine artist and teacher in New York. The author had full access to Bernard Krigstein’s archives and files and has written a compelling biography of the artist from his childhood in New York to his days as a comics artist from the late ’40s to the early ’60s, and through his post-comics career as a fine artist, commercial illustrator, and teacher. Krigstein is renowned as one of the great innovators working within the commercial comics industry: his story about a Nazi commandant, “Master Race,” published by the legendary EC Comics, is studied in college courses and considered one of the most fascinating formal experiments in comics. This book reproduces many of Krigstein’s comics stories as well as many of his commercial assignments (such as the line of paperback covers he did for the reissues of Joyce Cary’s novels) as well as his fine art paintings. Most of this work has never been seen outside its original publication. Most of the comics stories are obscure and have not been reprinted since their initial publication (mostly from the ’50s) and his fine art has only appeared in galleries and exhibitions. Krigstein (1919-1990), classically trained in Fine Art, was a Brooklyn-born painter who was one of the first practitioners who approached comics with the respect, integrity, and psychological depth of a serious artist. After an innovative and contentious decade, he was forced to abandon the field due to its narrow-minded and formulaic tendencies, which continue to this day. This first of two volumes traces Krigstein’s groundbreaking comic-book work at Hillman, Atlas, DC, and EC, as well as his parallel development as an illustrator and painter.