EC Comics is Back With a Vengeance – and A–new Publishing Line – at Oni Press

The Infamous and Influential Comics Imprint That Redefined Pop Culture Returns with Staggering New Titles and Superstar Creators – Beginning Summer 2024

EC Comics is Back With a Vengeance – and A–new Publishing Line – at Oni Press

Seventy years after the creation of the Comics Code Authority irrevocably changed the course of comics history, the most infamous, notorious, and controversial comic publisher of all time is set to return from the grave in the summer of 2024.

Oni Press – the multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning publisher of groundbreaking comics and graphic fiction for more than 25 years – is proud to announce a brand-new publishing partnership with William M. Gaines Agent, Inc. that will see the full-fledged return of EC Comics to comic shop and bookstore shelves worldwide with a slate of all-new series beginning in the summer of 2024.

Beginning with EPITAPHS FROM THE ABYSS #1 in July and CRUEL UNIVERSE #1 in August – the first official EC Comics series produced in nearly seven decades – Oni’s ambitious EC Comics publishing program will be overseen by Oni Press President & Publisher Hunter Gorinson and Editor-in-Chief Sierra Hahn in partnership with Cathy Gaines Mifsud and Corey Mifsud, the daughter and grandson of legendary EC Publisher William M. Gaines and administrators of William M. Gaines Agent, Inc.

“As my father said, ‘Only in the bounds of good taste!’ and I’m so excited to exhibit EC’s good taste with Oni Press, who have distinguished themselves with both an award-winning library of comics and graphic novels and a passionate understanding of EC’s singular role in shaping comics history,” said Cathy Gaines Mifsud, President of William M. Gaines Agent, Inc.

“EC Comics is no stranger to a good comeback story! We’re thrilled to make this return with Oni Press and usher the classic EC sensibilities into the modern world,” said Corey Mifsud, Executive Director of William M. Gaines Agent, Inc. “It’s always been our dream to one day bring the fearless creative spirit of EC to a new generation. Working hand-in-hand with Oni’s award-winning team and a sensational cast of creators, it’s a pleasure to – at long last – shepherd EC into the 21st century with all-new series and stories.”

photo output 149 scaled - EC Comics is Back With a Vengeance – and A–new Publishing Line – at Oni Press

Edited by Hahn, Oni’s curated line of EC titles – which will include at least two series on a monthly basis from July 2024 onward in the genres of horror, science fiction, fantasy, and more – will feature contributions from a rotating cast of high-profile comics talents that includes writers Jason Aaron (Thor, Southern Bastards), Brian Azzarello (Batman: Damned, 100 Bullets), Rodney Barnes (Killadelphia), Corinna Bechko (Invisible Republic), Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun), Christopher Cantwell (Briar), Cecil Castellucci (Shade the Changing Girl), Chris Condon (That Texas Blood), Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Bunker), J. Holtham (AMC’s The Handmaid’s Tale), Jeff Jensen (HBO’s Watchmen, Green River Killer), Matt Kindt (BRZRKR, Mind MGMT), Sean Lewis (King Spawn), Stephanie Phillips (Grim), Jay Stephens (Dwellings), Zac Thompson (Cemetery Kids Don’t Die), Ben H. Winters (CBS’ Tracker), and more; artists Kano (Gotham Central, Immortal Iron Fist), Peter Krause (Irredeemable), Leomacs (Rogues), Malachi Ward (Black Hammer: The End), Dustin Weaver (Avengers, Paklis), and more; designer Rian Hughes (The Multiversity); alongside covers from Lee Bermejo (A Vicious Circle, Batman: Damned), Greg Smallwood (The Human Target), J.H. Williams III (Sandman: Overture, Promethea), and more to be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.

“Seventy years ago, EC Comics redefined what comics could be with shocking, confrontational, and brilliantly crafted stories that challenged the existential issues at the center of American life – censorship, racism, sexism, nuclear proliferation, and more. Today, those battles continue in alarming and pernicious new ways,” said Oni Press Editor-in-Chief Sierra Hahn. “What better time to resurrect the undying spirit of EC Comics – one of the most entertaining, subversive, and influential publishers of all time – with an all-star cast of storytellers to examine today’s society through the lens that William Gaines and his legendary collaborators have left us.”

Founded by M.C. “Max” Gaines – often cited as one of the original creators of the comic book format – as “Educational Comics” in 1944, EC spearheaded a watershed evolution in the craft, quality, and power of the comics medium under Max’s son, William M. Gaines, following the elder Gaines’ sudden death in 1947. Rechristening his father’s creation as “Entertaining Comics,” publisher, editor, and writer William M. Gaines recruited one of the most legendary creative stables in the history of the comics medium – including future Eisner Hall of Fame inductees Johnny Craig, Reed Crandall, Jack Davis, Al Feldstein, Frank Frazetta, Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Orlando, John Severin, Marie Severin, Al Williamson, Wally Wood, and many more – to oversee the creation of a revolutionary slate of new series that would soon grow to include TALES FROM THE CRYPT, MAD MAGAZINE, WEIRD SCIENCE, TWO-FISTED TALES, and more.

photo output 150 scaled - EC Comics is Back With a Vengeance – and A–new Publishing Line – at Oni Press

They were widely celebrated for fearlessly confrontational stories that were as creatively innovative as they were culturally subversive – confronting racial and gender inequality, militarism, and environmental degradation in ways that would anticipate both the burgeoning counterculture and Civil Rights movements – EC’s urge to probe the darkness lurking beyond the edges of post-war America through tales of horror, science fiction, humor, and war earned the company millions of readers … and established a new high watermark for one of the first definitively American artforms: the comic book.

However, EC’s reign at the forefront of the American comic book industry – a period during which it eclipsed Marvel, DC, and Archie with sales of 10 million comics per year – would come crashing down in 1954 as an anti-comics moral panic swept America, inspiring book burnings, police surveillance, and a Congressional investigation that would see William M. Gaines’ testimony broadcast live in households across the country.

This pro-censorship movement soon culminated in creating the Comics Code Authority, a sanitizing regulatory group whose guidelines were specifically tailored to remove EC’s comics from newsstands. EC’s final comics – until now – were published in 1956, and the hugely popular MAD was re-formatted as a magazine to escape Code scrutiny. Even so, the untimely death of EC could not erase the company’s far-reaching impact, having already inspired a young generation of readers – including John Carpenter, Guillermo del Toro, Matt Groening, James Gunn, George Lucas, Stephen King, George R.R. Martin, The Ramones, George Romero, Steven Spielberg, and hundreds more – who have cited EC’s unorthodox brand of storytelling as a profound and primordial influence.

“There are few things more sacred to the canon of comic book history – and global pop culture – than EC Comics. The company’s audaciously inspired sensibilities have continuously echoed through nearly all facets of entertainment – like pieces of shrapnel embedded in the American imagination,” said Oni Press President & Publisher Hunter Gorinson. “It’s both a huge honor and immense responsibility to be entrusted to work alongside the Gaines family in inhabiting EC’s indomitable spirit for a new generation. At a moment when we find ourselves confronting the same reactionary forces – injustice, inequality, and, of course, censorship – that EC challenged head-on, we intend to write a new and powerful chapter that honors and expands one of the most important legacies the comic book medium has ever produced.”

Oni Press’ first two new EC titles – EPITAPHS FROM THE ABYSS and CRUEL UNIVERSE, a pair of horror and science anthologies in the classic EC mold – will debut in July and August 2024, respectively, before the publisher introduces more series in genres and formats that will expand the scope and scale of the EC publishing line in ways never before attempted.

About Oni Press

Founded in 1997, Oni Press has a 25-year history as one of the industry’s most respected and acclaimed publishers of award-winning comic books and graphic novels with titles including Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim, K. O’Neill’s Tea Dragon Society, Cullen Bunn & Brian Hurtt’s The Sixth Gun, Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer, Ezra Claytan Daniels’ Upgrade Soul, Brenna Thummler’s Sheets trilogy, and many hundreds more. In 2019, Oni Press merged with Lion Forge Comics – the Eisner Award-winning independent comic book publisher founded by Academy Award-winning producer and entrepreneur David Steward II – to create one of the largest independent libraries of comics content anywhere in media. The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group is now a publishing subsidiary of Steward’s diversified global media company, Polarity.

The Oni-Lion Forge Publishing Group publishes more than 60 original and licensed graphic novels annually, in addition to an extensive list of periodical comics.

photo output 148 - EC Comics is Back With a Vengeance – and A–new Publishing Line – at Oni Press

About EC Comics

As the birthplace of TALES FROM THE CRYPT, MAD MAGAZINE, WEIRD SCIENCE, and more of the most influential and celebrated comic series ever published, EC Comics has cemented itself as one of the central nerves of American pop culture with a legacy that spans more than seven decades. From 1944 to 1956, EC – established as “Educational Comics” by founder M.C. Gaines and later rebranded “Entertaining Comics” under the leadership of Publisher & Editor William M. Gaines – led a creative renaissance for the comics industry that, for the first time, elevated the once-derided comics medium into the echelons of English literature and high art.

Heralded as “one of the great explosions of vox-pop literature” by Time Magazine and “fiercely honest, politically adversarial, [and] visually masterful” by The Comics Journal, EC’s line of comics books – which collectively sold more than 10 million copies annually at their peak – entertained and informed in equal measure, using brilliantly crafted tales of horror, science fiction, satire, and battlefield conflict to critique and subvert America’s dark impulses toward violence, racism, inequity, environmental destruction, and war.

Forcibly shuttered by the Comics Code Authority – a pro-censorship group tasked explicitly with eradicating EC’s illuminating influence from the American comic book industry – in 1956, EC’s unique brand of subversive storytelling lived on through the continued success of MAD Magazine, which would fuel American counterculture through the death of Publisher William M. Gaines in 1992. EC’s titles and stories have been adapted in several media – including the long-running HBO’s TALES FROM THE CRYPT franchise of television series and feature films – and continue to be celebrated by multiple generations of comic creators, filmmakers, comedians, and musicians as a seminal influence.

Today, EC Comics’ canon of classic stories can be found in print through new editions at Dark Horse Comics, TASCHEN, Fantagraphics, and IDW Publishing. In 2024, EC announced a new partnership with multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning publishers, Oni Press, to produce the first all-new EC Comics titles in nearly 70 years.

This post was created with our nice and easy submission form. Create your post!


Do you like it?

Avatar of Elsa Finlay Participant

Written by Elsa Finlay

Hello, I'm a Toons Mag contributor passionate about exaggerating life's details.

Leave a Reply

The Folio Society To Publish DC: Batman

The Folio Society To Publish DC: Batman

Nasif Ahmed Introduces Political Satire Comic “Ameen for Claymen”

Nasif Ahmed Introduces Political Satire Comic “Ameen for Claymen”