Being a boundary pusher is often underrated and sometimes doesn’t give the world wide appeal that other entities in the field might receive but the history and legacy that it leaves behind is undeniable. The upcoming TASCHEN book “The History of EC Comics” dives deep into the full backstory of the company alongside over 1,000 illustrations from EC’s archives. This includes over 100 images from the archives of EC’s founders which have never before been in print.
In the eyes of the masses, EC Comics was never as famous as Marvel or DC Comics but their subject matter tackling topics including racism, police corruption, and anti-Semitism during it’s run from 1933-1956 was unlike any other publishing company. During the 1950s, EC used the format of comic books to explore new genres: horror, crime, true-to-life war stories and science fiction were frequently featured. Its comics became known for their highly gory and morbid storytelling, and for their unflinching approach to discussing contemporary issues including racism, drug addiction, anti-Semitism, and police corruption. As the horror novelist Joe Hill has remarked, “they were to me what Grimms’ fairy tales were to children in the 19th century.”
As with anything that goes against the grain, it’s usually met with opposition and in this case of the publishing world, their progressive approach attracted the attention of the morality watchdogs of the period, leading to a Congressional hearing on “juvenile delinquency” and an inquiry into the deleterious effects horror and crime comics. Shortly after that, the publisher was closed for good.
Regardless, those moments are now captured in one dynamic book which will be essential for any collector.