Cutting Cards (Tales from the Crypt #32)
Cutting Cards (Tales from the Crypt #32)

Fred Peters was an American Disney animator who also worked for Bill Gaines at EC Comics, during the company's transition from the Pre-Trend line into the New Trend titles. He illustrated various crime, western, horror and suspense stories. He was later also a cartoonist for the Boston Globe.

Frederick D. Peters was born in 1923 in Oklahoma. Among his early graphic influences were Harold Foster's 'Prince Valiant', Alex Raymond's 'Flash Gordon' and Bob Kane and Bill Finger's 'Batman'. He went to art schools in Oklahoma and Minnesota and near the mid 1940s he moved to California, where he was hired as an animator at the Walt Disney Studios. He contributed to pictures as 'Bambi' (1942), where he illustrated a waterfall scene, and animated Jiminy Cricket in his second movie appearance in the anthology picture 'Fun and Fancy Free' (1946). But he was mostly preoccupied with the 'Pluto' series, for which he animated hundreds of cartoons.

Peters eventually left Disney to start his own studio in New York with a friend. When this attempt failed he became an illustrator of animated TV commercials, illustrated advertisements, color slides and comic strips. He joined EC Comics in 1949, where he made contributions to their western ('Gunfighter', 'Saddle Justice') and crime titles ('Crime Patrol', 'War Against Crime'). Peters was present in two early comic books of EC's groundbreaking "New Trend" line. He illustrated three "EC quickies" for 'Crime SuspenStories' issue 14 (December 1952), dealing with death from electrocution, hanging and decapitation. In the 32th issue of Tales From the Crypt (October-November 1952) he illustrated the story 'Cutting Cards', about two rival gamblers who try to compete with one another in terms of gruesome crimes. Three decades later this story would be adapted by director Walter Hill (famous for 'The Warriors', '48 Hours' and 'Red Heat') into the third episode of the second season of 'Tales From The Crypt' (1989-1996). Hill effectively used some panels of the original comic strip for the episode's storyboard. Some sources claim that Peters worked for Mad Magazine for a while, but no record has been found of this, unless he did this under a pseudonym. It seems likely that these sources make this erroneous claim based on the fact that he worked for EC Comics, which is the same company who publishes Mad.

Peters settled down in Boston, where he worked for the newspaper Boston Globe for 32 years, creating comics about 'Word Wizard' (with writer S.G. Backus) and 'Electric Company'. After his retirement he became a member of several art associations in Massachussets, New Hampshire and Florida, and taught watercolour painting classes in these states.

Frederick Peters passed away in 2018, at the age of 95.

Crime Suspenstories by Fred Peters
The Hangman's Noose (Crime SuspenStories #14)

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