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EC Comics' return isn't "a nostalgia trip" for Oni Press, it's to push boundaries here in 2024

The classic renegade publisher will rise from the crypt in summer 2024 with new life and new passion

Cruel Universe
Image credit: Greg Smallwood/Oni Press

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The news that EC Comics was making a comeback almost 70 years after the legendary line folded was big news when the New York Times broke the story in mid-February — but fans familiar with the history of William Gaines’ controversial upstart comics publisher shouldn’t expect a retread of former glories in its new incarnation, according to one of the figures responsible for the revival.

EC Comics
Image credit: EC Comics/Gaines Estate

Talking at comics industry event ComicsPro, Hunter Gorinson — president and publisher of Oni Press, which will be publishing the new line of EC Comics starting this summer, and who has been working with the Gaines estate to build the new line for years — told retailers that he considered the opportunity to continue the EC legacy “a sacred responsibility,” adding, “The very last thing we want to do is make it be a nostalgia trip.”

Some of that was apparent in the first two titles announced as part of the revived EC line: while both Epitaphs from the Abyss, launching in July, and Cruel Universe, launching in August, sound like classic EC titles along the lines of The Vault of Horror, Tales from the Crypt, or Weird Science, they’re actually all-new titles continuing the strong tradition of anthologies focusing on specific genres — Epitaphs is a horror title, and Cruel Universe a sci-fi book, both being genres well-covered by EC in its heyday.

Moving forward, Gorinson teased, the third EC title will be another anthology, but one rooted in a genre the original EC never dealt with, while another future series will depart from EC tradition entirely by abandoning the anthology format altogether.

Epitaphs from the Abyss
Image credit: Lee Bermejo/Oni Press

Creators named as being involved in the new line include Jason Aaron, Christopher Cantwell, Rodney Barnes, Corinne Bechko, Cecil Castellucci, Leomacs, Malachi Ward, Dustin Weaver, Cullen Bunn, and many more. Lee Bermejo will provide covers for Epitaphs from the Abyss, while Greg Smallwood will offer covers for Cruel Universe. Rian Hughes is the designer for the line.

“I can’t tell you too much about what we’re going to do yet, but rest assured over the next four and five months, we’re going to keep our foot on the gas,” Gorinson promised retailers, adding, “we have a lot of stuff planned” for EC Comics moving forward.

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