When I was a kid, I would spend lazy rainy days watching baseball and reading every copy of MAD Magazine I had cover to cover. On one trip to the store to get the new issue of MAD, I happened to find a reprinted copy of Tales from the Crypt and was spellbound. Like an addict, I looked and looked for more on each subsequent trip, and never found any.
I didn’t know the backstory to the publication, and information on it was scarce back then. But for anyone else who might not know, here it is. The 50s would have been an awful time for me, I think. Glad I didn’t have to suffer through it.
In the late 1940s and early 1950s comic books came under attack from parents, clergymen, schoolteachers and others who believed the books contributed to illiteracy and juvenile delinquency. In April and June 1954, highly publicized Congressional subcommittee hearings on the effects of comic books upon children left the industry shaken. With the subsequent imposition of a highly restrictive Comics Code, EC Comics publisher Bill Gaines canceled Tales from the Crypt and its two companion horror titles, along with the company’s remaining crime and science fiction series in September 1954. All EC titles have been reprinted at various times since their demise, and stories from the horror series have been adapted for television and film.