Two-Fisted Tales

  • Started: (United States)
  • Ended: (United States)

Two-Fisted Tales is an anthology war comic published bi-monthly by EC Comics in the early 1950s. The title originated in 1950 when Harvey Kurtzman suggested to William Gaines that they publish an adventure comic. Kurtzman became the editor of Two-Fisted Tales, and with the advent of the Korean War, he soon narrowed the focus to war stories. The title was a companion comic to Frontline Combat, and stories Kurtzman wrote for both books often displayed an anti-war attitude. It returned to adventure-themed stories in issues #36 through #39, co-edited by John Severin and Colin Dawkins, with a cover-title change to The New Two-Fisted Tales.

The bimonthly title ran 24 issues, numbered 18–41, from 1950 to 1955. In 1952, EC published Two-Fisted Annual which had no new stories but instead bound together past issues of Two-Fisted Tales with a new cover by Kurtzman. The same procedure was repeated in 1953 for an annual with a new Jack Davis cover.

Years after its demise, Two-Fisted Tales was reprinted in its entirety and was adapted to television.

As with many EC comics published at the time, Two-Fisted Tales did not start with issue number one; a renaming of The Haunt of Fear, Two-Fisted Tales began with issue #18 (cover-dated Dec. 1950) and ran 24 issues through #41 (March 1955). Wholesaler problems had caused Gaines to consider canceling The Haunt of Fear, but he changed his mind without skipping an issue. Two-Fisted Tales took over the numbering, and The Haunt of Fear then reverted to the correct numbering for the remainder of its run.

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