The most famous comic book horror line of all time, EC Comics horror did not start with a jump scare. Like the Pre-Code Horror genre itself, the line practically snuck up on its readership in late 1949 and early 1950. The now-infamous Crypt Keeper and Crypt of Terror first appeared in Crime Patrol #15, cover-dated Dec/Jan 1949/50, followed quickly by War Against Crime #10 with its debut of the Vault Keeper and Vault of Horror, cover-dated the same month. This quickly resulted in those two titles turning into the now-legendary Crypt of Terror and Vault of Horror titles respectively, which along with Haunt of Fear kicked EC Comics horror into overdrive. A historically important EC Comic and Pre-Code Horror issue, there's an affordable War Against Crime #10 (EC, 1949) CGC FR/GD 1.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in Monday's 2022 January 16-17 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122203 from Heritage Auctions.
"We had come on to this thing of doing horror and scary stuff," Al Feldstein would tell the fanzine Squa Tront in 1983. "Bill and I had remembered 'The Witch's Tale' and 'Lights Out' from radio — this is all old hat, I know — and we tried it out in the comics. I had written a couple for Crime Patrol and War Against Crime, and then we decided to change titles, and I think that The Vault of Horror took over from War Against Crime."
Feldstein had written and drawn the eight-page Vault of Horror story "Buried Alive" in War Against Crime #10, as well as the seven-page story "Return from the Grave" in Crime Patrol #15 which debuted the Crypt Keeper. An historically important moment in Pre-Code Horror history as well as comic book history overall, there's an affordable War Against Crime #10 (EC, 1949) CGC FR/GD 1.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in Monday's 2022 January 16-17 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122203 from Heritage Auctions.
War Against Crime #10 (EC, 1949) CGC FR/GD 1.5 Cream to off-white pages. First appearances of the Vault of Horror and the Vault Keeper. Johnny Craig story, cover, and art. Al Feldstein art. CGC notes, "Spine of cover completely split and cover detached." Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $232. CGC census 1/22: 4 in 1.5, 36 higher.