E.C. artist Jack Kamen — 1920-2008

Xtra.gifComics artist Jack Kamen, best known for his romance and horror work at E.C., died Aug. 5 of cancer. He was 88.

Kamen was born in Brooklyn May 29, 1920, and studied illustration and sculpture. In 1941, he began illustrating pulp magazines before being drafted into the Army in World War II. After the war, he began working for such publishers as Fiction House, where he excelled at drawing beautiful women, a skill which led to his career at E.C., where he began on that company’s romance line before the entire line shifted to horror, crime, and science fiction. One E.C. horror story, “Kamen’s Kalamity” (Tales from the Crypt #31, Sep 52), had fun with the notion of how Kamen moved from romance drawings to horror, a tale that Kamen himself dubbed, “my favorite story.”

For E.C.’s “New Direction” line, which followed the demise of the horror, crime, and science fiction books, Kamen drew Psychoanalysis, a short-lived series about people lying on a couch and telling a psychiatrist their problems.

Kamen then moved into advertising art, with some of his work having a comics look to it. In 1982, he supplied the E.C. inspired key art for Stephen King and George Romero‘s Creepshow as well as the cover for the graphic novel adaptation.

More recently, Kamen supplied the artistic renderings for his son Dean’s patent on the Segway. Dean is also the inventor of the iBOT Mobility System. He is also survived by another son, Barton, the Chief Medical Officer of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Art from “Kamen’s Kalamity” (c) 1952 E.C. Publications

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