Creeps from the Crypt: When A Bunch of Horror Comics Shocked America
Fabrizio Foni (University of Malta)
From 1950, for less than five years, the enraptured look of many American kids could not break away from the gruesome and chilling illustrations which “The Vault of Horror”, “The Haunt of Fear” and “Tales from the Crypt” were amazingly brimming with. Ruthless villains, magic and violence had already been lavishly exploited by comic strips, however no comic-book series, till then, had been entirely devoted to horror, the Gothic, and the supernatural in general. What is more, a good number of such stories, in a humorous way, was openly siding with evil characters. Youngsters were thrilled, but several adults – including psychiatrists and politicians – thought that the boundaries of decency had definitely been overstepped, and took action. It did not end really well for comics, yet a seed had been irreversibly planted.