And now I present to you, dead reader, straight from the mad mind of Wallace Wood, my candidate for the best creepy illustration ever done.
The above image is from “The 10th at Noon” a tale of impending atomic age apocalypse form EC’s Weird Fantasy #11. The story is broken up between two scientists experiment with a time travel device and the reports of an ultimatum from the “Eastern Alliance” to either meet their never given demands by December the 10th at noon or face the Hydrogen bomb. The story ends with the scientists taking a picture of said date in New York, only to find the Big Apple blown to smithereens.
I first saw the image above on page 144 in the book Comic Book Nation: The Transformation of Youth Culture in America by Bradford W. Wright sometime back in high school. Obsessive s I was back then for info on the medium’s past, I never expected to see such a grisly sight. While I cannot say it’s “haunted” me since then, I’ve come to look at it as possibly the best pulp portrait for the apocalypse that, so far, humanity has done a damn good job at avoiding.