Directed by Chip Selby
Starring John Carpenter, Jack Davis, Digby Diehl, Al Feldstein, William M. Gaines, George Romero, Bernie Wrightson
I grew up in the late 60’s / early 70’s, so the horror comics that I remembered reading in my youth were titles like Creepy and Eerie. The moniker Tales from The Crypt was from a movie as far as I knew. Once I started really getting into horror, I kept coming across references to these comic books from the ‘50s. Eventually, I would learn a little more about what EC comics had done a good 10 years before I was born. Then when the reprints started to come out, I was able to see and enjoy these wonderfully created images and stories that caused such a roar back in the mid 50’s.
Born Dec. 2nd, 1924 – Died Dec. 2nd, 2016
While Davis might not have worked hardly at all with the movie industry, he was an accomplished illustrator and cartoonist who’s work would inspire many horror fans and filmmakers for years to come. While he did do a lot of work for Mad Magazine, it was the art he did for the horror comics that William Gaines put out in the early ’50s that inspired future horror fans.
After being turned down by several other comic book companies, he went over to E.C. Comics, met up with owner William Gaines and company and was hired. He would work on their most famous titles, like Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, as well as the rest of the E.C. titles. His artwork was incredible and set the standards for a lot of upcoming talent. He was also one of the fastest artists, according to Gaines, completely penciling and inking 3 pages a day at times.
Davis did work on a few movie posters, most notably for horror fans was the one he did for Horror Hotel (1960), as well as designing some of the characters for Rankin/Bass’ Mad Monster Party? (1967). Davis was one of those artists who’s work inspired so many people, and not just fellow artists, but little budding horror fans that would devour his comics, even to this day.
Born: March 1st, 1922 Died: June 3rd, 1992
Gaines created Mad Magazine in 1955 and published and oversaw until his death in 1992. Why am I mentioning this magazine on a horror website? Because before Mad Magazine, there was E.C. Comics, which published titles like Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror, Haunt of Fear, and a few more interesting titles. Gaines had taken over the company that his father started when he passed away in 1947. Gaines started to delved into more serious subject matters and into scary stories. Each issue featured murder, vampires, zombies, and other strange things. But there were messages in there and those that wrong people, always got what was coming to them. Even though he lost, the fight that Gaines gave is one that all supporters of free speech should be proud of. It ended with a ratings being developed with certain restrictions, such as not being able to use certain words in your comic titles… such as Horror, or Fear, or Terror, which pretty much put an end to Gaines horror comics. Continue reading
One thing is for sure about 2016, we have lost way too many genre favorites. From actors to directors to artists to cinematographers and everyone else in between….just way too many. There were some that I consider icons, such as Herchell Gordon Lewis, who paved the way for thousands of young filmmakers. Actor Don Calfa appeared in so many sitcoms and movies but was still able to come up with so many wonderful characters. Then we have Angus Scrimm, who really only appeared in a handful of features, but it only took one role for him to forever be remembered in the hearts of us horror fans. And while actor/writer Gene Wilder was mainly known for his comedic side, along with Mel Brooks, he gave us one of the best tributes to the classic Frankenstein pictures.
Artist Jack Davis passed away on Wednesday at the age of 91, due to complications of a stroke, according to his son. If you don’t know the name of Jack Davis, you most likely know his work. You don’t even need to be a horror fan to recognize it, since it has been on everything from movie posters, TV Guide, Time Magazine, and of course, Mad Magazine.
After doing little jobs here and there early in his career, he started working for E.C. Comics near the end of 1950, with the story The Living Mummy, which appeared in the fourth issue of Haunt of Fear. E.C. owner Bill Gaines said that not only was Davis talented, but also very fast, something that really helps in the comic business. “He could turn out a seven-to-eight page story in two to three days if he really wanted to.”