As the result of a new publishing partnership between Oni Press and the family of the late comics publisher William M. Gaines, the pioneering EC Comics will relaunch in summer 2024.

The often edgy comics publisher, best known for its Tales from the Crypt series and for launching Mad magazine, focused on crime fiction, dark fantasy, horror military fiction, satire, and science fiction. Outside of Mad, its business was effectively forced to close between 1954-1956 following a censorship conflict with the Comics Code Authority. Oni president and publisher Hunter Gorinson and editor-in-chief Sierra Hahn will oversee the program, in partnership with Gaines's daughter, Cathy Gaines Mifsud, and grandson, Corey Mifsud, who are the administrators of William M. Gaines Agent, Inc.

"EC Comics were progressive. They were shocking. They were ahead of the zeitgeist. And then the launch of the Comics Code Authority in 1954 led to the shuttering of EC Comics long before its time was up,” Gaines Mifsud said. “If we were going to make new comics, it was not a decision we were going to rush into lightly. We had to partner with a publisher we trust, one who makes quality, thoughtful, provocative, and independent-minded comics. We had to work with a publisher who isn’t afraid to scare people.”

The new EC Comics program will launch two new comics series, Epitaphs from the Abyss and Cruel Universe, in July and August, respectively, with at least two new series planned on a monthly basis in the following months, the publisher said. Creators tapped for future lines include veteran comics writers Jason Aaron, Brian Azzarello, and Matt Kindt, and artists Kano, Peter Krause, and Dustin Weaver, among many others.

While these lines are the first official new series from EC since the late 1950s, its properties have remained influential. A number of its classic stories have been republished in new editions over the years at houses including Dark Horse, Fantagraphics, IDW, and Taschen, and in 2007, the comics publisher Papercutz began publishing new entries in the Tales from the Crypt series, including a Diary of a Wimpy Kid parody, after licensing the rights.

“An incredible line up of fan-favorite writers and artists are coming together for the return of EC Comics,” Hahn said, noting that the program’s two lead titles will “continue EC’s tradition of showcasing subversive and pertinent storytelling” with “horror stories that explore the uncanny with a modern sensibility” and “science fiction stories that delve into the unknown corners of this technological age.” She added: “This is just the beginning.”