In many ways, Krigstein was too good for the industry. I say that not to make light of the art form we call comic books, but to separate the vision of comics books that Krigstein seemed to have from that of the other artists who toiled in creating sequential art.
The first time I ever saw his work was in a coverless EC comic book I happened upon while digging through the giant stacks of old comics in one of my dad's used bookstores. I recall Jim Steranko was really popular at the time, so it must have been around 1966 or 1967. Maybe as late as 1968. The story dealt with an indigenous South American Indian who took revenge on his white employer who had unknowingly killed the Indian's parents. The afflicted man took his revenge by placing a school of ravenous piranha in his master's bath--the fish eating the evil man from the waist down.
This was powerful stuff for a kid of nine or ten years old to see--from a comic that was then only fourteen or fifteen years old. If I'd known such stuff had been banned by the Comics Code Authority, I'd have cursed them. The story was brilliantly illustrated and the moral of it must have appealed in some way to Krigstein who had--I later discovered--tried to form a union for comic book artists in the very early 50s.
He ended up working mainly for EC Comics--specifically for William Gaines, because Gaines paid the very highest rates among the then many comic book publishers. And those page rates showed in the stunning quality of the work his stable of artists turned in for the various suspense, crime, horror, and science fiction titles that Gaines published.
The next time I stumbled upon a Krigstein story was his work "The Master Race", in a copy of IMPACT #1, also in my dad's vast inventory of old comics. That one impressed me even more than the piranha yarn. Here I was as a kid, seeing what is probably still likely the most brilliant visually conceived comics story I have encountered. If anyone has done anything close to it for sheer power and brilliance I have not seen it.
Krigstein's comic book career didn't seem to last very far beyond the demise of EC Comics (shut down by the Comics Code limitations). He drifted off into more traditional artistic venues and rarely seemed to look back.
At any rate, here is the photo of Mr. Krigstein who so impressed me when I was still a very little kid. It's fitting that he had such striking features. He was almost like one of the distinctive Asian characters that he lovingly illustrated from time to time.