Tales From the Crypt vs. Sarah Palin

Palin in Tales from the Crypt

In a mercurial election year, we’ve already seen the worlds of politics and comic books collide on a handful of occasions: biographies of the presidential candidates, an oh-so-similar profile of a presidential hopeful, Savage Dragon’s endorsement of Barack Obama, and a social-networking site for creators and fans who support the Illinois senator.

At the risk of having the comments thread descend into Lord of the Flies-style mayhem, I’ll point out one more intersection.

Later this month Papercutz will release Tales from the Crypt #8, which features on the cover a hockey stick-wielding Gov. Sarah Palin chasing off the three narrators of EC’s horror comics, The Crypt-Keeper, The Old Witch and The Vault-Keeper.

The caricature of the Republican vice-presidental candidate asks, “Didn’t we get rid of you guys in the 50’s?” — a reference to suggestions that, as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Palin sought to ban books from the town library. (It’s contended that her inquiries were “rhetorical”; no books were actually banned during Palin’s tenure as mayor.) Of course, it’s also an obvious nod to the 1954 Senate investigation into juvenile delinquency, and the atmosphere that spawned the Comics Code Authority and effectively brought about the end of horror and crime comics.

The issue includes a “special editorial” by Cathy Gaines Mifsud, daughter of original Tales of the Crypt publisher William Gaines, who insists the comic “is not endorsing any political candidates, nor are we attacking any candidates.”

However, it’s difficult to view the cover illustration as anything less than that.

“What usually seems to be behind banning books is an attempt to repress ideas that may offer alternative political views,” Gaines Mifsud writes. “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.”

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