Saturday, June 15, 2013
THE DAY THE MONSTERS DIED
History shows that it was the best of times and the worst of times in 1950's America. Lest we not forget, that in the middle of this decade, monsters as we knew them in the comic books were summarily hunted down like the villagers of Vasaria and destroyed by an angry mob of sanctimonious, fearful boobs.
Several books have been published in recent years that have described the "seduction of the innocent" (i.e. our youth) into juvenile delinquency and sexual perversion by these "funny books" and have provided us with many examples of what the hub-bub was all about. Although the images pale by comparison with those say, from THE WALKING DEAD comic book of today, the sinister glee that seemed to emanate from such titles as EC's TALES FROM THE CRYPT were enough to send the moral majority of the time running for their torches and pitchforks.
Of all places, HUSTLER magazine covered this topic in their November 2011 issue with a review by Kristian Williams of Jim Trombretta's The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Didn't Want You To Read (Abrams ComicArts, 2011).
Below is a cry for help by the editors of EC comics in the Dec 1954 - Jan 1955 issue of THE VAULT OF HORROR for kids to write to the US Senate and save their favorite titles from the figurative bonfires of what passed for political correctness in those days. Their pleas went unheeded by the magistrates of morality and horror comics summarily came to an end.
It wasn't until 10 years later that a young entrepreneur by the name of James Warren threw a knuckle curve around the publishing constraints of monster comics and gave us magazine-size monsters with titles like CREEPY and EERIE, in the middle of what has now become known as the Monster Craze of the 1960's. Talk about your backlashes!
BONUS: I've included in the MONSTER COMICS page under the main MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD blog title a story from the Vol. 1 No. 40 issue of THE VAULT OF HORROR, so we can all be reminded of the "filth" that passed for entertainment in times past.