Monday, June 11, 2007

Tales of Tales From The Crypt


One thing you could always depend on: a good bold shocking cover on each issue of the EC comicbook TALES FROM THE CRYPT and their other comic publications (which got them in trouble).

An old friend of mine Pappy sent me a DVD TALES FROM THE CRYPT, From Comic Books to Television which is essentially the story of the late publisher of TALES FROM THE CRYPT, and several other horror comic books, crime, science fiction titles, war titles, and last but not least MAD.

It is a great video with lots of interviews and a lot of great art work. There were plenty of interesting details that spilled out of the DVD. In fact, more details than my little fragment of a brain could retain. I will have to watch it many times to be able to retain it all.

I knew this from reading things already, but it was mentioned and I found it interesting. The publisher Bill Gaines and Albert Feldstein each day would sit down and have a jam discussion. Or an idea discussion. Each morning Gaines would tell Feldstein what ideas came to him the previous evening and night. That they called “springboards”. Then, they would work out the details of the story, then assign it to an artist with a style that best suited the story.

That is another thing, they encouraged artists to use their own style and sign their work. The artists were not anonymous as in other comics.

Harvey Kurtzman did the war comics and MAD. That left Gaines and Feldstein doing the horror, crime, and science fiction stories. As a matter of math, the two men had to produce a story a day to keep up publishing demands of so many titles.

To me, that is interesting – to do a story a day! And each story had an O’Henry quality to it. It seems, a story a day would have a massed produced formula. But I don’t think that was the case. I may be wrong. And, they did adapt some stories from Ray Bradbury and some classic Brother Grimm stories and so on…. But a story a day and to keep a certain quality to it…. I’m impressed.

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7 Comments:

Blogger kenju said...

But how many days did they keep that up? Impressive if it was years; not so much if it was only a few months. I can't read stuff like that.

5:14 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Judy,
I would roughly estimate between 4 and 5 years.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

I love Tales from the Crypt, Vault of Horror - all that stuff. They started reprinted them maybe 15 years ago, and I bought a few copies. Once I saw a huge book that compiled many of the stories, but I've never been able to find it again. Good reads.

11:06 AM  
Blogger ET said...

Suzanne,
The hard bounds of all "that stuff" is what I have now. "Tales From the Crypt" at six comics per hardbound took up five books. MAD took up four volumes. The War comics took up 8, and the other horrors and the science fiction took a bunch too.

12:13 PM  
Blogger Pappy said...

When I go down the steps into my basement--where I keep my old issues of Tales From The Crypt--I can hear the theme song from the television show playing in my head.

2:05 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Pappy,
I hear the squeaky door opening.

3:55 PM  
Blogger ET said...

Pappy,
Again, thanks!

3:57 PM  

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