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  1. The Vault of Horror was an American bi-monthly horror comic anthology series published by EC Comics in the early 1950s. Along with Tales from the Crypt and The Haunt of Fear, it formed a trifecta of popular EC horror anthologies.

    Issue #
    Date
    Story Title
    Story Artist
    12
    April/May 1950
    Portrait In Wax!
    Johnny Craig
    12
    April/May 1950
    The Werewolf Legend
    Wally Wood & Harry Harrison
    12
    April/May 1950
    Horror in the Night
    12
    April/May 1950
    Terror Train
    • April/May 1950 – December/January 1955
    • EC Comics
    • Origin
    • Artists and Writers
    • Influences and Adaptations
    • The Vault-Keeper
    • Demise
    • Reprints
    • Media Adaptations

    Horror comics emerged as a distinct comic book genre after World War II when young adult males lost interest in caped crimebusters and returning GIs wanted more potent themes in their reading. One-shot Eerie Comics (1947) is generally considered the first true horror comic with its cover depicting a dagger-wielding, red-eyed ghoul threatening a rope-bound, scantily clad, voluptuous young woman beneath a full moon. In 1948, Adventures Into the Unknownbecame the first regularly published horror title, enjoying a nearly two decade lifespan. In 1950, Gaines and his editor Al Feldstein discovered they shared similar tastes in horror and began experimenting with such stories in EC's crime comic War Against Crime and its companion title, Crime Patrol. With issue #12 the War Against Crime title was replaced with The Vault of Horror. The Vault-Keeper became the title's sardonic host and commentator, occasionally sharing duties with the Old Witch and the Crypt-Keeper. Due to an attempt to sav...

    Like its horror companion titles, Tales from the Crypt and The Haunt of Fear, The Vault of Horror had its own distinctive qualities and atmosphere—in this case, created by its main artist, Johnny Craig. Craig illustrated all the covers for the entire run and was responsible for the lead story of all but issues #13 and #33. He also wrote all his own stories (save two) in Vault, something rarely done at EC, and became editor with issue #35 (February, 1954). Gaines and Feldstein wrote almost every other story until late 1953/early 1954 when outside writers Carl Wessler and Jack Oleck were brought in. Other contributing artists to The Vault of Horror were Feldstein, George Evans, Jack Kamen, Wally Wood, Graham Ingels, Harvey Kurtzman, Jack Davis, Sid Check, Al Williamson, Joe Orlando, Reed Crandall, Bernard Krigstein, Harry Harrisonand Howard Larsen.

    As with the other EC comics edited by Feldstein, the stories in this comic were primarily based on Gaines reading a large number of horror stories and using them to develop "springboards" from which he and Feldstein could launch new stories. Specific story influences that have been identified include the following: 1. "Portrait in Wax" (issue 12) – Michael Curtiz's The Mystery of the Wax Museum 2. "Island of Death" (issue 13) – Richard Connell's "The Most Dangerous Game" 3. "Fitting Punishment" (issue 16) – H. P. Lovecraft's "In the Vault" 4. "Terror on the Moors" (issue 17) – Clark Ashton Smith's "The Nameless Offspring" 5. "Baby It's Cold Inside" (issue 17) – H. P. Lovecraft's "Cool Air" 6. "Voodoo Horror" (issue 17) – Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray 7. "The Jellyfish" (issue 19) – Ray Bradbury's "Skeleton" 8. "Daddy Lost His Head" (issue 19) – Robert Bloch's "Sweets to the Sweet" 9. "Grandma's Ghost" (issue 20) – Stephen Grendon's "Mr. George" 10. "The Monster in the Ice...

    The Vault-Keeper and Drusilla as rendered by Johnny CraigAlthough EC's horror stable consisted of three separate magazines, there was little beyond their titles to distinguish them. Each magazine had its titular host, but the hosting duties for any one issue were typically shared with the hosts of the other two. Thus, a single issue of The Vault of Horror would contain two stories told by the Vault-Keeper, one by the Crypt-Keeper (of Tales from the Crypt) and one by the Old Witch (of The Haunt of Fear). The professional rivalry between these three GhoulLunatics was often played for comic effect. The Vault-Keeper was the primary host of The Vault of Horror. He was introduced to the public in War against Crime #10, and he continued in that magazine through its change in title and format. He was a frightening presence in those early issues, an ancient inquisitor, hooded and robed, presiding over the empty dungeon of his bloody past. But he soon evolved into a more comedic horror host,...

    In 1954, Gaines and Feldstein intended to add a fourth book to their horror publications by reactivating an earlier title, The Crypt of Terror. They were stopped dead in their tracks, however. Horror and other violent comics had come under scrutiny by moralizing parents, schoolteachers, clergymen, psychologists, and others who viewed the material as dangerous to the well-being of children and a significant contributor to the juvenile delinquency crisis in America (although the formulaic nature of the books usually resulted in truly immoral characters receiving a well-deserved, if gruesome, comeupance.) Matters came to a head in April and June 1954 with a highly publicized Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency. Hearings targeted violent comic books—which fared poorly in the proceedings. While the committee stopped short of blaming the comics industry for juvenile delinquency, they did suggest it tone down the product. Publishers were left reeling. The industry deftly avoided ou...

    The Vault of Horror has been reprinted on numerous occasions. Ballantine Books reprinted selected Vault stories in a series of paperback EC anthologies in 1964–66. Other Vault stories were reprinted in Horror Comics of the 1950s by Nostalgia Press (1971), edited by Bhob Stewart and Ron Barlow. Publisher Russ Cochran released six issues of his EC Portfolio (1971–77). East Coast Comix reprinted issue #26 in the early 1970s. The magazine was fully collected in a series of five black-and-white hardbacks by Cochran as part of The Complete EC Library in the early 1980s. Cochran also reprinted the title in a standard comic book format (out of sequence) during the early 1990s in association with Gladstone Publishing. Cochran eventually reprinted the run in proper sequence during the later 1990s with Gemstone Publishing. This complete run was later rebound, with covers included, in a series of six softcover EC Annuals. In 2007, Cochran and Gemstone began to publish hardcover, re-colored volu...

    The Vault of Horror stories were adapted to motion pictures in Freddie Francis' Tales from the Crypt (1972) and Roy Ward Baker's The Vault of Horror(1973). Vault stories were also adapted for the Tales from the Crypt television series that aired on HBO (1989). The following stories were used in the television series: Horror in the Night (Issue #12), Doctor of Horror (#13), 99 & 44/100% Pure Horror (#23), Report from the Grave (#15), Fitting Punishment (#16), Werewolf Concerto (#16), Revenge Is the Nuts (#20), The Reluctant Vampire (#20), Dead Wait (#23), Staired in Horror (#23), Collection Completed (#25), Seance (#25), Half-Way Horrible (#26), People Who Live in Brass Hearses (#27), 'Til Death (#28), Split Personality (#30), Easel Kill Ya (#31), Whirlpool (#32), Strung Along (#33), Let The Punishment Fit The Crime (#33), A Slight Case of Murder (#33), Smoke Wrings (#34), And All Through the House (#35), Beauty Rest (#35), Surprise Party (#37), Top Billing (#39) and The Pit(#40). Th...

  2. Dec 19, 2018 · The Vault of Horror, Tales from the Crypt, and The Haunt of Fear are three bi-monthly horror comic anthology series published by EC Comics in the early 1950s. The Vault of Horror hit newsstands ...

  3. Reprints. 1990-91 Gladstone reprint series. This series can easily be confused with the original series (10c cover priced), the 1991-92 Russ Cochran reprint series, or 1992-99 RC/Gemstone reprint series. Cover art by Johnny Craig. "Modern Horror Art" article by Jim Twitchell, art by Johnny Craig, Jack Davis, and Graham Ingels.

  4. An expert listing of 9 key comics from the comic book series Vault of Horror published by EC

  5. The Complete the Vault of Horror (EC Comics, Vault of Horror #1 - 40 in 5 volumes) [William Gaines (ed)] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The Complete the Vault of Horror (EC Comics, Vault of Horror #1 - 40 in 5 volumes)

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    • William Gaines (ed)
  6. from Vault of Horror (EC, 1950 series) #22 (December 1951-January 1952) Indexer Notes . VK's column begins with his campaign against the Old Witch and Graham Ingels, and a mock letter from his local draft board, followed by the reader's popularity poll for last issue's stories. Letters from: Ellen Louise Phillips, Joe Carroll, Rand Rensvold.

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