SEDUCTION Of The INNOCENT Pre-Code HORROR Comic Book Series from Eclipse Comics 1985.
Watch the original companion video here.
In the mid-1980’s, Eclipse Comics began publishing a series of pre-code horror comic book reprints called Seduction of the Innocent. The title was taken from the infamous book by Dr. Frederick Wertham, a sad old man who led the charge against comic books in the 1950s. The stories in the Eclipse series were taken from standard comics pre-code titles that included Adventures into Darkness, Out of the Shadows, The Unseen, and Fantastic Worlds.
I don’t believe that any of these Standard comics titles were used in the congressional hearings that helped usher in the dreaded 1955 Comics Code Authority but it is an absolute fact that Standard had some top-notch artists of the day.
Six issues of seduction of the innocent are gorgeous full-color reproductions of great stories from the classic pre-code comic books. Two issues are 3-D reproductions wherein original non-3d stories were given the 3d treatment with mixed results.
Jim Vadeboncouer Introductions
In each issue there is a segment called The Horror, the History by Jim Vadeboncouer, a well-known authority in the realm of pre-code comics who sadly left this mortal coil in 2023. His book on the life of Everett Raymond Kinsler who drew comics for avon in the pre-code era is highly recommended.
Seduction of the Innocent Comic Book Covers
The covers of the non-3d issues is a mixed bag. Issue number one with cover art by Reed Crandall taken from the interior story is great. Issue number two with the cover taken from fantastic worlds number five art by Murphy Anderson is very tame for a Seduction of the Innocent cover. Issue number three has a cool panel from the story Werewolf by Mort Meskin and George Roussos from Out of the Shadows number 14. Issue number four has an interesting Alex Toth cover and issue number five cover by Alex Toth is a fine classic crime cover. Issue number six rounds out the whole affair with you guessed it, another Alex Toth cover, perhaps my favorite of the bunch called “Look into the Eyes of Death.”
3-D Comic Book Covers
The 3D issues are kind of a toss-up. Eclipse had the excellent idea of getting two stellar artists to do the covers. The spicy Dave “Rocketeer” Stevens cover for number one is fantastic and I wish that was in 3d! Issue two features a great Bernie “Swamp Thing” Wrightson cover. I highly recommend these issues for the covers alone because in reality the covers are better than the 3-D attempts inside. The problem is they took ordinary pre-code horror stories and processed them for 3D using modern 3-d processing techniques. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t.
Joe Kubert 3-D House of Terror
They may have drawn their inspiration from the fantastic 3d pre-code horror comic book titled “3D House of Terror” published by Saint John in 1953 featuring a surprisingly tame cover by Joe Kubert.
The 3d stories inside more than make up for the lack of cover “wow.” interior art by kubert and enrico bagnoli the first story drawn by Kubert called “Picture of Evil” has an intense splash page that is amazingly three-dimensional. According to comics.org this is the only story that was done for the issue or should i say not previously published elsewhere.
1950’s 3-D Comics Vs. Modern 3-D Comics
The other stories were originally published in Saint John’s Weird Horrors and Strange Terrors comic books, however, they are still better looking 3D than the Eclipse 3d series. It is possible that the kind of 3d printing technique used in the 1950s was superior after all 3d was very popular during that period in both comics and movies so it is likely that the folks doing it were on top of their game that being said i still recommend the 3d seduction of the innocent comics from Eclipse and I consider the one through six non-3d reprints essential for the pre-code horror fans. Trust me, you’ll be oggling that Dave Stevens cover for more than a few minutes.
This concludes part four of this series. Watch the original Eclipse Seduction of the Innocent video. Thanks for reading and watching!