Comic Books #30: Terror Illustrated (1955)

After Dr. Wertham delivered a near fatal roundhouse kick to the jugular of EC comics in 1953, comic book publishers were on high alert to not piss off the Grand Inquisitors at the Comics Code Authority.  I'm guessing this is why EC specified this comic was an "adult tale" of terror; not for those impressionable kids corrupted by Tales from the Crypt in the past.  I'm also assuming this is why the comic is essentially black and white (a loophole in the guidelines that would be wonderfully exploited in the 60s and 70s by Warren and Skywald).

All that aside, what came out of this mess is a damn fine comic book..... er, um, excuse me - "picto-fiction". According to EC picto-fiction is the combination of the art of writing and the art of illustration.  In other words, it reads like a short story but looks like a comic book - and I think the results are outstanding.

But don't take my word for it.  Have a look yourself, and see what to me is a high water mark in comic book history.


  1. What? No comments on this? I think these are great, Gilligan. I first heard about them in the EC Archives book and couldn't help but be fascinated by their approach. Love that they kept the garish colors too. Thanks for the download!

    And dig that groovy cover. Almost qualifies as Peepto-Fiction.

  2. EC is one of my favorite comic book publishers. I consider it a highwater mark for the comic industry, and I think those who disagree may be more than a little daft.