1. Johnny Craig (1926 – 2001)

    by
    ,

    John Thomas Alexis Craig (also known pseudonymously as Jay Taycee and F. C. Aljohn) was an American comic book artist. Talented as both an illustrator and a writer he was posthumously inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2005.

    Johnny Craig was a very active part of many EC Comics’ best-selling horror titles including, Tales from the Crypt and The Haunt of Fear. Impeccably pencilled and inked, his clear and uncluttered style gave his stories the type of suspense found in a Hitchcock film.

    For those of you acquainted with comic book history, you may already recognise his work. During the whole Seduction of the Innocent debacle. At the Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency Mr. Craig’s Crime SuspenStories #22 cover was exhibited by the prosecution. The cover, which depicts an axe-wielding man holding a woman’s severed head, was presented and question whether it was “in good taste”. Which EC publisher Bill Gaines obtusely responded, “Yes, sir, I do, for the cover of a horror comic”.

    The uproar surrounding Seduction of the Innocent and outcome of hearing led to the creation of the Comic Code Authority, which subsequently resulted in EC’s horror titles folding. Bitter irony but not all bad, Mr. Craig continued to work briefly in horror comics and later went on to do several jobs for Marvel and DC.

    A good place to see more of Johnny Craig work is in the EC Archives, specifically Vault Of Horror and Tales From The Crypt.