EC comics

Discussion in 'Comic Books and Graphic Novels' started by HordakFan, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. HordakFan

    HordakFan Banned

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    Any fans of these classic comics of horror and Sci-fi?

    I am since i was a kid in 1990 after watching/loving that awesome Tales from The Crypt show as i noticed the comic stores and malls had reprints of EC horror and Sci-fi comics as i bough them and collected them, now i have them in trade-paperbacks.

    Such fun, scary, gruesome and unique influential stories that influenced many sci-fi and horror filmmakers like John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg and many more.
     
  2. Tekkaman Blade

    Tekkaman Blade Professor of Animation

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    Yes and they were extremely popular till Wortham and his stupid books banned them. They were the mortal kombat/Doom of their day. BUt unlike when the games came up in congress in the 90's and the game industry was able to wiggle out of it, EC wasn't so lucky after the Wortham backlash.
     
  3. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Actually, it was less Wortham that did it, and more the other major comics publishers of the time. They adopted the self-censoring Comics Code preemptively, before any potential legislation could be passed. And while they were at it, the other comics publishers very carefully worded the Code to specifically target all EC books, because they saw it as an opportunity to remove a major competitor.

    As much of a scumbag as Wortham was, he doesn't really deserve most of the blame for EC biting it.
     
  4. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    The EC comics, and the entire horror comics movement of that time, was interesting in how it was separate from the superhero movement. Even more interesting is to compare how the "rules" in these comics evolved and shifted over time, in relation to the pulp industry and even after the code was introduced, and the big publishers tried to keep things going with their more toothless horror comics.
     
  5. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    If National, Atlas and all the rest hadn't pushed EC out of the business back then, we'd likely have a much more healthy comics industry today, with a lot more variety of content. The other publishers panicked that EC was taking an increasingly dominant share of the sales away from them, and reacted in a way I think ended up hurting themselves and the health of the entire industry in the long run, by completely stunting the growth of the medium.
     
  6. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    The companies didn't push EC out of the business. Distributors and vendors refusing to handle EC's product pushed them out. They had so much returned product even after Gaines started his "New Direction" it was ridiculous. Even after he join the association and started carrying the seal, they failed to sell. Gaines saw the writing on the wall, and made the wise choice to focus solely on MAD. And let's not forget that Horror wasn't the only genre that decimated by the code. The romance genre was reduced to Archie, and the Crime genre was effectively reduced to Superhero comics.

    But yes, I agree that the comic industry would have been much healthier today without the Comics scare of the 1950s.

    On Wertham, he was far from a scumbag. He was a pioneer in advocating psychiatric for the poor, for minorities, and for criminals. He did genuinely care for the children that he thought that he was protecting by targeting comics. He was misguided, but many of the immigrant European Intellectuals shared his beliefs about the effects of media on development and behavior. They were critical of American culture in general, and feared that we were on a path similar to Nazi Germany, but Wertham was perhaps the most vocal when it came to targeting one singular aspect of mass media, comics.

    Unfortunately, Wertham's ego and desire to be recognized as the best of his field led him to use unscientific methods and an unwillingness to prove his findings with actual data. Though by pandering to the emotions of an already fearful and paranoid 1950s American public, he didn't need to back up that data. It should be noted that Wertham was something of a pariah within the medical community, going as far back as 1930s. He had a of trouble assimilating into society, holding to much of his Old World snobbery.
     
  7. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    The distributors and vendors only pushed them out AFTER the Comics Code was established. And the Code was very much designed specifically to do that. For example, there were rules written into the Code stating you couldn't have certain words in the titles of comics... some of which might have almost seemed arbitrary except they all happened to be words featured in the titles of EC comics and nowhere else.



    Pandering to paranoia for the sake of furthering one's own career is enough to make someone a scumbag, imo. Add to that being an enemy to the arts, and that seals the deal.
     
  8. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    Because even though he helped form the association, Gaines wouldn't subscribe to the direction it was taking. Regardless, the code was written to target all crime, romance, and horror, so it would have been written that way regardless. Gaines was obviously a victim, but he wasn't the only one. Star comics also disappeared, and many others along with them. Even Atlas suffered as they produced far more horror comics than EC ever did.



    Fair enough, but he did do many good things. Wertham was not comic book boogeyman that we make him out to be. The horror and crime comics were their own worst enemy, just like Hollywood in the 1930s, they pushed too far too soon, and got called out for it. Hell, even Gaines and Feldstein openly admitting (later on) that they were pushing the boundaries of good taste, but that's what they wanted, something shocking. Wertham was just another cog in the medium's long history of supression attempts.
     
  9. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    Well, we comics fans do love to have villains. :wink: 
     
  10. ABH1979

    ABH1979 Anonymous Bucket Head Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    I confess I know very little about EC, but with as popular as the Tales from the Crypt series was on HBO, and with the movies, I'm surprised that at least "Tales" didn't come back to print at some point.
     
  11. smkspy

    smkspy is one nice fucking kitty

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    ha, Yeah we do. The subject is dear to my heart, wrote my masters thesis (still on the final editing process publication this fall) on Gaines and Wertham. They were both rebels, in their own ways. Both harbingers of the youth revolution of the late 50s and 1960s.

    And for the OP, if you really love the old EC stuff, I suggest tracking down "The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Doesn't want you to read!" It's loaded with great 50s horror from the entire industry.

    Amazon.com: The Horror! The Horror!: Comic Books the Government Didn't Want You to Read! (9780810955950): Jim Trombetta, Stine R.L.: Books
     

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