November 1, 2011
The story of how Fredrick Wertham’s Book “Seduction of the Innocent” ultimately led to the demise of most of the EC Comics range and 1950s “horror” comics in general has now become folklore. What has always puzzled me is why it took ten years before the realisation dawned that the obvious solution was magazine-sized “comics” aimed at “adults” and sold without any need of Comic Code approval. Warren Magazines initially sold well with adult-orientated stories similar to those that had appeared in the ECs and in the 1960s Warren were often using the same artists.(I recommend Warren’s “Blazing Combat” in particular).
Mr Gaines soon successfully moved EC’s “Mad” to a magazine-sized publication and even produced a few magazines such as “Shock Illustrated” featuring “Picto Fiction” which was basically comic strip art alongside text rather than word balloons. Fred seems to be enjoying issue one. Why didn’t Bill or any of the other companies affected immediately enlarge their horror lines from “comic” size to “magazine” size and continue business as normal whilst they still had a massive and loyal fanbase?? Beats me…..