CGC Comics Registry Featured Set: EC Comic Book Emporium

Posted on 10/2/2023

Some of the most infamous horror and crime comics can be found in a spine-tingling collection from 4GEMWORKS.

It’s officially spooky season, and this month’s featured set includes some of comic book history’s most infamous horror comics. CGC Comics Registry member 4GEMWORKS has more than 300 issues from publisher EC Comics in their collection, EC Comic Book Emporium.

Click images to enlarge.

The rise of EC Comics and horror comics in the early 1950s marked a significant cultural phenomenon in the comic book industry. EC Comics, led by publisher William Gaines, gained prominence for its edgy and innovative storytelling, particularly in genres such as horror, crime and science fiction. Titles such as "Tales from the Crypt" and "The Vault of Horror" captivated readers with their gruesome and suspenseful tales, pushing the boundaries of what was considered acceptable in comic books at the time.

These comics attracted a dedicated fanbase but also faced growing public concern about their content.

Dr. Fredric Wertham played a pivotal role in fueling the controversy surrounding EC Comics and the comic book industry as a whole with his book "Seduction of the Innocent," published in 1954. In his book, Wertham argued that comic books, particularly horror and crime comics, were corrupting the minds of young readers and contributing to juvenile delinquency. His assertions led to widespread fears among parents and educators, prompting calls for government intervention. These concerns culminated in the Senate hearings on comic books in 1954, which investigated the alleged negative impact of comic books on young people.

The hearings led to the creation of the Comics Code Authority (CCA). This self-regulatory body imposed strict guidelines on comic book content, effectively curbing the graphic and provocative storytelling that EC Comics had been known for.

EC Comics ceased its publication of horror and crime titles and shifted its focus to other genres. The company struggled to thrive in this new climate, however, and closed in 1956.

Some of the classic EC Comics found in this collection include:

  • The Vault of Horror #12 (#1) graded CGC 8.0
  • Tales from the Crypt #20 (#1) graded CGC 9.0
  • Shock SuspenStories #1 graded CGC 9.2
  • Terror Illustrated #2 graded CGC 9.6
  • Haunt of Fear #15 (#1) graded CGC 9.0

“I have a complete collection of the three main EC horror titles with many Gaines File copies. (Tales From the Crypt, Vault of Horror and Haunt of Fear),” 4GEMWORKS wrote on their profile. “To date I have managed to obtain close to 810 graded copies and another 200 or so acceptable non graded copies. With 300 issues still to go I need more comics than the average person will collect for nearly any other complete collection.”

About the CGC Comics Registry

The CGC Comics Registry is a place where comic book collectors come together to share their collections and knowledge with one another. It's a valuable resource for new collectors and experienced fans alike, with a wide range of collections on display. To participate, all you need is a free CGC Collectors account. The group is an online community developed to increase the choices, convenience and education available to collectors.

The CGC Registry has grown to over 100,000 registered sets in the last year! There are now more than 625,000 books registered and it is thrilling to see the steady, continued growth of the CGC Registry. To learn more about how to navigate the CGC Registry, click here.

About CGC

Since revolutionizing comic book grading in 2000, CGC has grown to include certification services for many other types of pop culture collectibles. These divisions include CGC CardsCGC Video Games and CGC Home Video. CGC Cards provides expert card grading for TCGs, sports cards and non-sports cards. CGC Video Games is dedicated to video game grading for the most popular consoles, including Nintendo, Sega, Atari, PlayStation and more. The newest division of CGC, CGC Home Video, provides expert VHS grading in addition to other types of videocassettes.

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