EC Comics – Judgement Day

Posted: November 24, 2008 in EC Comics
Tags: , , ,

This tale based on a Ray Bradbury story, is quite an infamous EC Comics story from 1953. Actually most stories from EC Comics were infamous in one way or another. This particular story was written not long after the Kefauver hearings into comic books and juvenile delinquency, when pretty much everything that was being  published by EC was very heavily scrutinised by the censors. This one story initially was not approved by the Comics Code Authority due to the final panel, which really says more about the people who deemed what could be published and what could not, than about EC themselves. This is not a very articulate explanation that I have done so I have linked to Wikipedia who explains the controversy much better than I ever could. I have also selected a relevant extract below to help support my explanation.

“Judgment Day”

Gaines waged a number of battles with the Comics Code Authority in an attempt to keep his magazines free from censorship. In one particular example noted by comics historian Digby Diehl, Gaines threatened Judge Charles Murphy, the Comics Code Administrator, with a lawsuit when Murphy ordered EC to alter the science-fiction story “Judgment Day.”[14] The story depicted a human astronaut visiting a planet inhabited by robots as a representative of the Galactic Republic. He finds the robots divided into functionally identical orange and blue races, one of which has fewer rights and privileges than the other. The astronaut decides that due to the robots’ bigotry, the Galactic Republic should not admit the planet. In the final panel, he removes his helmet, revealing himself to be a black man. Murphy demanded, without any authority in the Code, that the black astronaut had to be removed. As Diehl recounted in Tales from the Crypt: The Official Archives:

This really made ‘em go bananas in the Code czar’s office. ‘Judge Murphy was off his nut. He was really out to get us’, recalls [EC editor] Feldstein. ‘I went in there with this story and Murphy says, “It can’t be a Black man”. But … but that’s the whole point of the story!’ Feldstein sputtered. When Murphy continued to insist that the Black man had to go, Feldstein put it on the line. ‘Listen’, he told Murphy, ‘you’ve been riding us and making it impossible to put out anything at all because you guys just want us out of business’. [Feldstein] reported the results of his audience with the czar to Gaines, who was furious [and] immediately picked up the phone and called Murphy. ‘This is ridiculous!’ he bellowed. ‘I’m going to call a press conference on this. You have no grounds, no basis, to do this. I’ll sue you’. Murphy made what he surely thought was a gracious concession. ‘All right. Just take off the beads of sweat’. At that, Gaines and Feldstein both went ballistic. ‘Fuck you!’ they shouted into the telephone in unison. Murphy hung up on them, but the story ran in its original form.[15]








For more about this story visit this site.

About these ads
Comments
  1. [...] of sweat.” (See a recounting of this incident, along with the original Judgment Day story here.)  In 1955, issue #24, MAD was changed to a magazine format in order to escape the CCA’s [...]

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mathew Mills, Mathew Mills. Mathew Mills said: EC Comics Judgement Day http://wp.me/pn9cH-i7 [...]

  3. [...] Judgement Day (EC comics, the inventors and kings of horror and sci-fi comic bookery) [...]

  4. [...] of those fabled comic stories that one reads a lot about but rarely ever sees, like EC Comic’s Judgement Day or the infamous Foul Play. This Jack Cole story, Murder Morphine and Me is notorious because one [...]

  5. [...] of those fabled comic stories that one reads a lot about but rarely ever sees, like EC Comic’s Judgement Day or the infamous Foul Play. This Jack Cole story, Murder Morphine and Me is notorious because one [...]

  6. [...] an EC title. EC owner William Gaines wanted to reprint a "pre-Code" story called "Judgment Day" about an astronaut who travels to a planet inhabited by two "races" of robots, one [...]

  7. [...] an EC title. EC owner William Gaines wanted to reprint a “pre-Code” story called “Judgment Day” about an astronaut who travels to a planet inhabited by two “races” of robots, [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s