EC Comics brand is being revived by Oni Press

EC Comics, the company behind classics like Tales from the Crypt, is being revived by Scott Pilgrim publisher Oni Press

Founded by Maxwell Gaines in 1944, the Entertaining Comics brand (a.k.a. EC Comics) initially specialized in educational comics and stories aimed at children. But after Gaines died in a boating accident in ’47, his 25-year-old son William took control of the company and changed its direction, exploring the genres of horror, sci-fi, and satire while bringing us classic titles like Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, The Haunt of Fear, Weird Science, Weird Fantasy, and Mad. Sadly, EC Comics was at its peak when parents started to worry about the negative effects reading comic books could have on their children, leading to things like a Congressional hearing that blamed comic books for juvenile delinquency – a claim that was backed up by the book Seduction of the Innocent, written by psychiatrist Fredric Wertham. So by 1956, EC Comics ceased publishing all of their titles except for Mad. Those classic EC Comics have enjoyed an enduring popularity over the decades, though, and now The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that Oni Press will be reviving the brand!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Oni Press, the publisher perhaps best known for the breakout indie hit Scott Pilgrim, has partnered with William M. Gaines Agent, Inc., the rights holders of the EC line, to launch all-new stories with A-list comics creators beginning this summer.

Oni’s publisher Hunter Gorinson told them, “EC Comics is one of the most artistically important and culturally significant publishers of all time. In ways both artful and shocking, EC confronted the darkness lurking behind the thin facade of American society — a throughline of radically confrontational storytelling that we intend to both uphold and escalate with the first new EC tales in decades. We’re challenging ourselves to evolve EC’s relentless energy and fearless sensibilities in ways never before attempted. These are intense comics for our intense times.

Corey Mifsud, executive director of William M. Gaines Agent, added: “This is not an exercise in nostalgia. These are comics meant to get people talking and to keep them up at night.

The first two titles we’ll be seeing from the new EC Comics are both anthology comics: the horror series Epitaphs from the Abyss (the first issue will reach stores shelves in July) and the sci-fi series Cruel Universe (which will make its debut in August). A Cruel Universe cover can be seen at the bottom of this article.

Oni’s editor-in-chief Sierra Hahn is overseeing the revival of EC Comics. The creative teams behind the new comics include “writers such as Jason Aaron (Thor), Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets), Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia) Christopher Cantwell (Briar), Chris Condon (That Texas Blood), Matt Kindt (BRZRKR) among others. Among the artists are Kano (Immortal Iron Fist), Peter Krause (Irredeemable), Leomacs (Rogues), Malachi Ward (Black Hammer: The End), and Dustin Weaver (Avengers). Buttressing the creative is designer Rian Hughes (The Multiversity)  and cover artists Lee Bermejo (Batman: Damned), Greg Smallwood (The Human Target), J.H. Williams III (Sandman: Overture).”

William Gaines remained the publisher of Mad until he passed away in 1992. Even though EC stopped publishing horror comics in the ’50s, stories told in the comics they did publish have been brought to the screen in films (Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror) and on TV (Tales from the Crypt), and were a source of inspiration for Creepshow.

Are you glad to hear that EC Comics is coming back? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Cruel Universe EC Comics
Source: The Hollywood Reporter

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.