DescriptionJohnny Craig - Original Cover Art for the Crypt of Terror #17 (EC, 1950). Certainly one of the most historic pieces of art offered in this sale, this is arguably the first horror cover ever produced by EC. The last two issues of War Against Crime and Crime Patrol are decidedly EC horror books, but Gaines still hedged his bet; they remained crime comics, if only in title. However, with Crypt of Terror #17 and Vault of Horror #12, Gaines threw caution (and, some would say, good taste) to the four winds and took the plunge. He let his imagination, and the talents of his artists, run rampant, and comic book history took a dramatic turn. The result was that EC's graphically violent covers and stories sold very well. Of course, this bred myriad imitators, all trying to out-do one another in the grue-and-gore department. Ultimately, psychologists, social reformers and Senator Kefauver's Senate hearings put a stake in the heart of Bill Gaines' horror-based empire. Often imitated but never duplicated, their like has not been seen since. The cover offered here, while not as graphic as later efforts, is one of Craig's finer pieces. The detail is exquisite, particularly the alley cat foraging for its dinner. The art is in exceptional condition measuring 13.5" x 19". All of the type, including the logo, is hand drawn. Significant and masterfully executed, this piece is a must for the serious EC collector.
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