EC Comics, Vilified in the 1950s, Thrive 60 Years Later

tags: comic books, moral panics




This is a chilling and improbable tale of the living dead: Even though they were savaged by the politeness police and left lifeless some 60 years ago, EC comic books, which spawned notorious titles like Tales From the Crypt, Shock SuspenStories and Mad, have become the comics that refused to die.

Just last month, Fantagraphics released two more albums in its EC Comics Library, started last year, and will soon publish its first volume of illustrator interviews in “The EC Artists.” Dark Horse Comics has revived the EC Archives, and will continue the series with “Tales From the Crypt: Volume 4,” next month. IDW Publishing is producing stunning, portfolio-size Artist’s Editions, with work by EC all-stars like Wally Wood, Jack Davis and Harvey Kurtzman (who created Mad magazine) and others. IDW also put out biographies this year of Wood and EC’s indispensable editor-writer-artist, Al Feldstein....

EC’s glory (and gory) years were 1950-1955, when it mutated from Educational Comics to Entertaining Comics, stopped printing tame titles like Saddle Romances and Tiny Tot and shifted to Two-Fisted Tales and The Vault of Horror. In this new, skewed world, axes were rarely used to chop wood, and meat grinders weren’t for shredding beef. Buxom bombshells lounged on distant planets, cannibalism was a hobby, and the dead just didn’t know how to stay dead....



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