Variety is reporting that Animal House helmer John Landis has signed on to direct Ghoulishly Yours, William M. Gaines, a cinematic biography of the publisher of EC Comics and Mad Magazine.  Joel Eisenberg, who has been developing this project for some time, is penning the screenplay about the reluctant publisher who revolutionized the comic book business with the help of the innovative artist/writer/editor Al Feldstein. 


Gaines and Feldstein managed to attract a stable of artists the likes of which have never been matched at any one company in the history of comics, and created in EC comics hard-hitting adult entertainment with sharp writing and twist (some might say 'twisted') endings that foreshadowed such popular 1950s and 60s entertainments as Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. 


The high point of the film is likely to be the Kefauver Hearings, which took place in 1954 in the wake of the publication of Dr. Frederic Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent, and which tried like Wertham's book to blame postwar juvenile delinquency on comic books.  Gaines refused to apologize to the legislative inquisitors and paid the price in the press where he was vilified as America's most amoral publisher and in the marketplace where EC comics fell victim to the hypocritical Comics Code, which Gaines refused to follow.  Fortunately Mad survived and Gaines remained associated with the groundbreaking satirical magazine that influenced generations of artists and comedians until the day he died in 1992.