“Reflection of Death,” from  Tales from the Crypt  #23 (April/May 1951), written and drawn by   Al Feldstein. Images are property of William M Gaines Agent, Inc. © 2019.

“Reflection of Death,” from Tales from the Crypt #23 (April/May 1951), written and drawn by Al Feldstein. Images are property of William M Gaines Agent, Inc. © 2019.

Pre-Code Horror: Scary Stories and Ghastly Graphics from EC Comics

October 12, 2019 – March 1, 2020

Opening reception

Saturday, October 26, 2019, 6:30pm to 8:30pm

The Cartoon Art Museum presents an exhibition of original comic book art from the heyday of storied publisher EC Comics, Pre-Code Horror: Scary Stories and Ghastly Graphics from EC Comics, on display from October 12, 2019 through March 1, 2020.

From 1950 to 1954, EC Comics dominated newsstands with best-selling titles including Tales from The Crypt, The Vault of Horror, and The Haunt of Fear. Under the guidance of publisher William Gaines and editor Al Feldstein, an array of talented artists including Jack Davis and “Ghastly” Graham Ingels shocked and thrilled readers with tales of terror and suspense, and created some of the most indelible, unforgettable comic book stories ever published.

In 1954, due to growing societal concerns about comic books contributing to juvenile delinquency, publishers established The Comics Code Authority, a committee that would establish its own code of conduct for American comic book publishing. Comic books that met with the CCA’s guidelines would receive its seal of approval, while those that failed to meet the CCA’s standards were deemed unfit for publication and national newsstand distribution. The implementation of the Comics Code led to the cancellation of nearly all of the EC publishing line, and the Golden Age of comic book horror came to an abrupt end, although their impact can still be seen today in comics, film, and prose created by a legion of “EC Fan-Addicts” including Stephen King, Steven Spielberg, and George Romero.

The infamous “Foul Play,” from  Haunt of Fear  #19 (May/June 1953), written by Al Feldstein, and drawn by Jack Davis. Images are property of William M Gaines Agent, Inc. © 2019.

The infamous “Foul Play,” from Haunt of Fear #19 (May/June 1953), written by Al Feldstein, and drawn by Jack Davis. Images are property of William M Gaines Agent, Inc. © 2019.

Pre-Code Horror: Scary Stories and Ghastly Graphics from EC Comics celebrates the artistry of the Golden Age of EC Comics with a showcase of several acclaimed short stories from Tales from The Crypt, The Vault of Horror, and The Haunt of Fear published in 1952 and 1953, at the peak of EC’s popularity.   

This exhibition features a series of EC Comics-inspired masks created by Trick or Treat Studios, a California-based studio that produces high quality costumes, props, and masks. Pre-Code Horror includes the classic EC Horror Hosts The Old Witch, The Vault Keeper, and The Crypt Keeper, as well as zombies inspired by the artwork of “Ghastly” Graham Ingels.

The Crypt Keeper, Old Witch and Vault Keeper, sculpted by Trick or Treat Studios. Images are property of William M Gaines Agent, Inc. © 2019.

The Crypt Keeper, Old Witch and Vault Keeper, sculpted by Trick or Treat Studios. Images are property of William M Gaines Agent, Inc. © 2019.

About Trick or Treat Studios

Trick or Treat Studios offers high quality Halloween Masks, Costumes, Props, Weapons, Make-up, Appliances, and Accessories for Retailers, Distributors, Collectors and Haunts. With original characters, monsters, and major licenses from comics, gaming, music, television, and film, Trick or Treat Studios is the go-to company for the best in the Costuming Industry.

Incorporated in 2009, Trick or Treat Studios is dedicated to bringing back the retro / classic look and feel from the Golden Age of costume making; an era when high quality and classic designs ruled the industry.