GRAPHIC NOVELS

The EC Archives: The Vault of Horror

Vol. 1. Dark Horse. Feb. 2018. 213p. ISBN 9781616559946. $49.99. HORROR
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The Vault-Keeper, with an able graveyard assist from the Old Witch, fills the dark nights of the dead with pulse pounders from beyond. Multiple werewolf tales commingle with crawling crypt creatures spewing forth across humanity like shambling zombies, vicious vampires, illicit wax figurines, gourmet ghouls, and the occasional ravenous swamp blob. Even the most hideous progeny inhabiting the entire universe is spotlighted creating chaos and chewing chattel—the wretched villainy of the human being! Many of the greatest names in comics have early work here, such as Harvey Kurtzman (the brain behind MAD magazine), sf guru Wally Wood, "Ghastly" Graham Ingels, Johnny Craig, Jack Kamen, and Al Feldstein, with these tales showcasing seminal artistic developments in their careers. This collection from the legendary EC (Entertaining Comics) line collects issues 12–17 of The Vault of Horror, originally published from 1950 to 1951.
VERDICT Laying the bedrock for the creative fecundity and artistic integrity the publisher was famous for before being targeted by misguided anticomics crusaders, these golden oldies remain imaginative tales of midnight noir and slimy retribution from beyond the grave that still render chills to make the night darker and sleep impossible.

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