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Exhibition Geppi Gems

Tales from the Crypt, no. 22, February-March 1950. New York: EC Comics. Stephen A. Geppi Collection of Comics and Graphic Arts, Serial and Government Publications Division, Library of Congress (021.01.00) © EC Comics

Tales from the Crypt

One of many horror, crime, suspense, and science fiction comics that rose to popularity after World War II, Tales from the Crypt initially began as Crime Patrol, later retitled The Crypt of Terror with issue no. 17 (April–May 1950), and finally as Tales from the Crypt, beginning with issue no. 20 (October–November 1950). Known for its host character, the Crypt Keeper, the series featured horror stories of zombies, werewolves, and vampires, and covers with gruesome artwork. This series in particular became the focus of public criticism of comics amid concerns of their impact on children. In 1954 Dr. Frederick Wertham published Seduction of the Innocent, a scathing commentary on comics. The book along with hearings by the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency the same year, helped to change the comics industry with the creation of the Comics Code Authority and the virtual disappearance of most horror, crime, and other ‘undesirable’ comic series.