1955's "Master Race" from the debut issue of EC's "New direction" comic book Impact was Bernard Krigstein's memorable and groundbreaking masterpiece of sequential storytelling. The psychologically suspenseful narrative, written by Al Feldstein but expanded and graphically designed by Krigstein, took place in a New York Subway station with flashbacks to the nazi Germany death camps and was the first mainstream comic story to deal directly with the still painful memory of the (then) decade old Holocaust.
Bernard Krigstein would illustrate 47 stories for EC, including several pieces for MAD working with it's brilliant editor Harvey Kurtzman, before becoming a full time painter and teacher, and what he created was innovative and startling, especially in the 1950's world of comic books.
|Master Race opening page|
|From MAD # 12, opening page|
|Closing page. Krigstein was equally deft at at caricature & humor|
|Lifelong New Yorker Bernard Krigstein, waiting for the subway. The latest in my |
series of portraits of "legends of comic books"
|For more on B. Krigstein's life & work:|