Top of page
Stories about external and internal demons have long terrified the human race, and as much of the literature is text-based, readers were left to use their own imaginations. Not so in comics and motion pictures. Image-based storytelling brings into existence the creatures meant to terrify and engage. A 1954 congressional investigation into the contents of comic books led to the self-regulating introduction of the Comics Code, which left no room for horror. Creepy disentangled itself from the Code by calling itself a magazine, while using a nudge and a wink. William M. Gaines, whose EC publishing line famously terrified his readers, was eventually left with only MAD magazine to keep his company afloat after cancelling all EC Comics series due to the Code’s restrictions.