After the Congressional hearings spurred by psychologist Frederic Wertham’s book, Seduction of the Innocent, and the implementation of the Comics Code, EC introduced a new line of “New Direction” titles in their comics, which unfortunately soon flopped.
Along with the Complete Piracy/Aces High/Psychoanalysis/Extra! box set, these titles comprised the remainder of the “New Direction” line that EC Comics introduced to replace their long-running and highly successful crime and horror lines when Dr. Wertham and his book Seduction of the Innocent got EC in trouble and started the accusations against them of contributing to juvenile delinquency.
Unfortunately, these new titles were not a success and were all quietly canceled after 5 issues (4 for MD).
EC then continued on with the highly successful Mad magazine, which continues to this day.
Complete Piracy/Aces High/Psychoanalysis/Extra!
In late 1954, EC Comics was in serious trouble. When Dr. Wertham went on his tirade about all of the “dangerous” material appearing in comic books affecting our children, most of the finger pointed in the direction of EC, the company that was consistently outselling a number of other publishers’ titles, and thus deemed to be the cause of juvenile delinquency.
At first, EC tried to defend their titles, but when distribution dried up, the crime and horror titles were canceled in favor of a “New Direction”. This box set compiles the complete runs of some of these titles (the Complete Valor/MD/Impact comprises the rest).
The high quality of art and writing that is expected from EC continued, but after 5 issues (7 for Piracy), publisher William M. Gaines pulled the plug.
The Long, Gory Life of EC Comics by Franklin Harris
Mark Arnold is a comic book and animation historian and a writing, art, and film/video production professional. He writes comic books and articles on comic books and animation for various publications in addition to scripts, short stories and novels. He is also skilled in sales, marketing and promotion, and has film and TV production experience with digital video, video tape, and film. He has many online websites including Fun Ideas, Mark's Rare Comics, The Harveyville Fun Times!, So Rare!, and Food Shop. He also writes an (almost) daily blog and writes and draws a weekly comic strip called Protecto, the Little Robot. For the curious, Mark can be reached online at firstname.lastname@example.org. Whew!