Dark Horse Takes Over Publication Of Classic EC Horror Reprints
The last of Gemstone Publishing’s hardcover EC Archives collections came out in 2009, and it seemed for a while that efforts to collect the company’s classic horror comics had come to a sad end. That’s why today’s news that Dark Horse Comics is picking up the mantle and bringing back the EC Archives with two new volumes: Tales from the Crypt Volume 4 and Vault of Horror Volume 3, coming this October and next January, respectively, is so welcome.
The new volumes will be digitally recolored, using original colorist Marie Severin’s colors as a guide. The new Tales from the Crypt collection will include issues 35 through 40 of the series, which have stories from artists Jack Davis, Joe Orlando, Jack Kamen, Graham Ingels, George Evans, Reed Crandall, Bill Elder, and Bernie Krigstein.
Russ Cochran, the publisher who oversaw Gemstone’s EC Archives volumes, is working with Dark Horse on these collections as well.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story, EC was one of the biggest casualties of the formation of the Comics Code Authority in the 1950s. The publisher’s horror comics, which were some of the most popular comics of their day, raised a huge amount of scrutiny over their violent content. Publisher William Gaines was famously called to testify before the U.S. Senate.
Many of the original Comics Code rules seemed to explicitly forbid EC from publishing its horror comics. For example, words including “crime,” “horror” and “terror,” staples of the EC line, were banned from titles. EC’s only surviving publication was Mad, which Gaines reformatted as a magazine. Horror comics moved to magazines such as Creepy and Eerie, whose archives are published by Dark Horse as well. Unlike these two magazines, DH’s deal won’t extend to all-new Tales from the Crypt material as Papercutz currently holds the license.
Tales from the Crypt Volume 4 is set to release the day before Halloween and retail for $49.99.