VAULT OF horror
VAULT OF HORROR
EC Comics (April-May 1950 – December-January 1955)
Vault of Horror was a bi-monthly horror comic anthology series published by EC Comics in the early 1950s. Along with Tales from the Crypt and Haunt of Fear, it formed a troika of popular EC horror anthologies. Vault of Horror hit newsstands with its April/May 1950 issue and ceased publication with its December/January 1955 issue, producing a total of 29 issues.
Due to an attempt to save money on second-class postage permits, characteristic of comics publishing of the era, the numbering did not change with the title; the first issue of Vault of Horror was thus labelled “No. 12” (formerly the title was known as War on Crime, a two-fisted detective/police series). There is, however, evidence of an intention to reset the series’ numbering with the fourth issue (#15), as was done with The Haunt of Fear (the numbering of which was reset, yet also “continued” by Two-Fisted Tales: a few copies survive of the first issue of Crime SuspenStories with a different indicia on the inside front cover. As the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide explains: “#15 (formerly The Vault of Horror)” printed and blackened out on inside front cover with “Vol.1, No.1″ printed over it. Evidently, several of No.15 were printed before a decision was made not to drop the Vault of Horror and Haunt of Fear series. The print run was stopped on No.15 and continued on No.1. All of the No.15 issues were changed as described above.”
Like its horror companion titles, Tales from the Crypt and Haunt of Fear, 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 Harrison and Howard Larsen.