Awesome / EC Comics

  • Judge Charles F. Murphy—then the acting head of the Comics Code Authority and widely considered a perfect example of arbitrary Executive Meddling—told Al Feldstein that the CCA wanted EC Comics to change the reveal in the story "Judgment Day"note  before Incredible Science Fiction #33 ran. Feldstein said changing the astronaut's ethnicity ruined the entire point of the story, then pointed out how EC had run the same story before with no objections. When the CCA refused to budge despite having no authority to make such a request (nothing about the comic or its ending broke any rule listed in the Code), Feldstein went back to William Gaines and told him about the meeting.
    A furious Gaines called Murphy, who confirmed the request to alter the comic. Gaines subsequently brought up the idea of holding a press conference to tell the world about the Comics Code Authority refusing to allow the equal depiction of black characters. (While people could still get away with that in 1955, it could've put Murphy and the CCA in the crosshairs of political enemies they neither wanted nor needed.) Murphy asked Gaines and Feldstein for a minor "concession": remove the perspiration from the ambassador's brow.note  Gaines responded to the request with two well-chosen words—"Fuck you!"—at which point Murphy hung up. In another account of the incident, Gaines and Feldstein glanced at each other incredulously, then dropped the F-bomb at him as one before Murphy hung up.
    EC Comics eventually published Incredible Science Fiction #33—with the CCA stamp on the cover—and included "Judgment Day" in its original, unedited form. That issue would be the final comic book EC ever published.
  • Even under the restrictions of the Comics Code at the height of its power, EC Comics proved it could still make a great story with Impact #1's "Master Race". Given that it was providing a dramatized (if educational) account of the Holocaust, the group also got away with publishing some surprisingly dark subject matter.
  • In "The Thing from the Grave", protagonist Jim comes back from the dead to save his lover Laura from his murderer, all on the whim of a promise he had made to her. He then gives the murderer a fitting punishment: Jim re-buries himself and makes sure the murderer is buried next to him.