Updated on 16 October, 2021
Tales From The Crypt is an American monthly horror comic anthology series printed by EC Comics from May to June, 1950 to August, 1953. It was written and illustrated by Richard Caselli and was one of the top selling horror comics of its time. It was the first comic to feature a vampire and the first comic book to introduce a super villain. Today, many consider it to be one of the best comic books ever written.
In the tradition of old English horror stories, wherein the monster is the key to the story, Tales From The Crypt Comic presents the tale of "Happi, the Beautiful Vampire" in a modern context. Appearing first in issue #1, it's now called simply "Happi". She appears to be the daughter of a powerful Indian Lord and his firstborn son. Because she is so beautiful, she commands blood, and the other deceased members of her household are her vampires.
The first scene immediately jump out at you in Tales From The Crypt Comic is its time period. Early 1954. Dr. Arthur Holmwood is the Director of the Research and Development division at the Psychic Research Institute. He and his team are deeply researching a deadly disease that is killing hundreds of people in Gotham City. Dr. Arthur and his associate, Dr. Morris, head out to the Indian reservation where they believe the deadly contagion might be carried by some local tribes. They are attacked by a tribe of cryptids that take refuge in the nearby caves.
After being infected with the plague-causing bacteria, Arthur and Morris must fight their way through a plethora of foul creatures, including bats, spiders, snakes, scorpions, and other ghouls. It is here that the story begins to take its thrilling twists and turns as the characters discover the truth about the terrifying "necrotic fungus". The first issue also introduces us to some of the major players in this fantastic comic book series such as artist Jackiked (airs), Mike (posing), Bill (composing), and Tom (creating).
It was this writing that would earn Jack Kelley and Bill Finger a reputation in the horror comic anthologies. Stories that would spark interest and controversy with the critics and the readers alike. This is most likely where the legendary reputation for these two men came from, since the first issue of Tales From The Crypt Comic took almost nine months to complete.
Jack Kelley and Bill Finger were teamed up after another legendary writer, Frank Kelley, died from a heart attack. Frank was responsible for creating many of the characters we know today, such as Batman, Robin, and many others. Jack Kasem, who was only a teen when he wrote this tale, became a writer renowned for his supernatural and pulp detective stories like The Necromancer, Blackout, and The Dead Zone.
Now, this tale centers on the story of an ordinary man who finds himself thrown into a world of fantasy and science fiction. It takes place in the upper levels of a man's apartment. His only possessions are a clock and a pencil. Inside this man's flat is a clock inside a wooden crate and a glass box with a metal key inside. The key fits into the small opening which leads to a world called the " Crypt". Within the crypt-keeper's world, people are made of flesh, but not a single soul lives there.
One night, this particular gentleman comes across the skull of his wife which has the head cut down. This prompts him to go on a personal odyssey and solve the mystery of the " Undead" as well as find the truth behind the death of his wife. So he starts his journey in the upper levels of his apartment where he encounters some very strange "clowns" who assist him in his quest while he also faces some challenges and puzzles along the way as well. Along the way, this novel is colorful and imaginative which makes it very entertaining. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has not read any Tales From The Crypt comic book or to anyone who wants to experience a fantasy adventure with some humor.