Tales from the Crypt

For just five years a half-century ago, William M. Gaines and his friends used “horror” comics to tell the sort of morality tales about avarice, lust and other forms of covetousness that young folks need to really understand the consequences of the deadly sins. Then came the comic-book crackdown, and EC Comics ceased offering Tales from the Crypt, concentrating instead on MAD Magazine. But they’re baa-aack—or should we say “undead”—in this rejuvenation of the comic by Papercutz. The art has all the variation we expect from modern graphic novels, but the stories—“Body of Work” and “For Serious Collectors Only”—still have the moral center that made the ghoulish turns worthwhile. And the cover’s visual ode to Alfred E. Neuman—“What, me dead?!”—is a touch of genius.