Tales From the Crypt Goes Political

Tales From the Crypt #8, due out later this month, is jumping on the political comic bandwagon with an alternate cover, shown here. (Click for larger version.)

Tales From the Crypt #8 cover

It features Sarah Palin swinging a hockey stick at the traditional comic hosts — the Crypt-Keeper, the Old Witch, and the Vault-Keeper — while asking, “Didn’t we get rid of you guys in the 50’s?” The cover will appear in a 50/50 ratio with the regular cover. All the issues, regardless of cover, also contain “A Special Editorial” by Cathy Gaines Mifsud, daughter of Bill Gaines, the legendary publisher of MAD magazine and the original Tales From the Crypt.

I admit, I find the message of the press release somewhat contradictory. They say they aren’t taking a stand on “whether or not vice-presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin explored the possibilities of banning books back when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska,” but if she didn’t, there’s no point in using her on the cover, is there? They go on to say:

Tales from the Crypt is not endorsing any political candidates … nor are we attacking any candidates,” Gaines Mifsud says — but, she adds, Tales does care about freedom and censorship. As Gaines Mifsud points out, the forces of censorship pushed her father to stop publishing Tales and other horror comics. “What usually seems to be behind banning books is an attempt to repress ideas that may offer alternative political views. This is not only un-American — blatantly violating the very concept of free speech — but it is assuming that people are unable to come to their own informed conclusions.”

5 Responses to “Tales From the Crypt Goes Political”

  1. Ed Sizemore Says:

    I find that cover as politically neutral as Ross’ Obama T-Shirt. Also, I find it hard to accept Bill Gaines as a martyr of free speech. He was his own worst enemy. It’s harder to tell what did more damage to EC, Wertham’s book or Gaines own testimony before the Senate.

  2. Johanna Says:

    Yeah, I think they just should have been open about taking a position. It would seem less like a flip-flop.

  3. Dave Says:

    Leaving aside the question of did she or didn’t she: If a Librarian chooses to remove a book from circulation – or never shelve it in the first place – is the librarian then guilty of “Censorship?” Or does censorship only occur when a civilian expresses disapproval over certain books or media being made available for whom the content may be considered inappropriate? Just a thought.


  4. Johanna Says:

    Censorship occurs when a government official prevents other people from reading something because that official doesn’t agree with it. Librarians have to make shelving decisions all the time, and most are done based on serving the needs of their patrons, not on political or ideological grounds.

    I agree that this particular case doesn’t extend to being censorship, but only because no action was taken by Palin to follow up her inquiries. It is very disturbing that the head librarian, who disagreed with Palin’s plan, was fired, even temporarily, as the link you posted shows.

  5. grlpatriot Says:

    Censorship and charges of censorship are serious indeed. No one should take these lightly. However, I’m fascinated that the comics world has joined in to take a swing at Palin based on the book banning farce. The internet rumor that circulated with a banned book list contained a few books that hadn’t even been published when the conversation between Palin and the librarian took place. The lengths that people will go to promote an untruth and to shape opinion (or to sell a product) never ceases to amaze me. It does make for a good cover though. I’m sure it will appeal to the anti-Palin crowd. I would like to see Palin take that hockey stick to Wall St and to all the Congresscritters that facilitated the need for the Wall St bailout.




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