Date(s) - Tue. Oct. 1, 2013
12:00 am GMT

Microcinema [ ÊTRE]

Dru Jeffries


In the post-WWII comics industry, superheroes were on the decline and horror stories, particularly those published by William Gaines’ EC Comics, were on the rise. These graphic morality tales — including such familiar titles as Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror and The Haunt of Fear – inspired a rabid readership, but they also attracted the attention of social interest groups that accused these books of corrupting young minds. Psychiatrist Fredric Wertham, who led the public crusade against comics, argued not just that horror comics had a negative influence on their readers, but that comics as a medium was fundamentally degenerative. This lecture will historicize the rise and fall of the horror genre in post-war comics and interrogate, using specific examples from the comics, the arguments made against the medium. When possible, we will look specifically at comics that would later be adapted cinematically and/or televisually in order to compare and contrast different modes of representation. Screenings may include clips from Tales from the Crypt (dir. Freddie Francis, 1972), The Vault of Horror (dir. Roy Ward Baker, 1973), Creepshow (dir. George Romero, 1982), and Tales from the Crypt (HBO, 1989-1996).