Oni Press will launch a new line of comics bearing the EC (Entertaining Comics) brand, the first new comics under the imprint since 1956, in cooperation with William M. Gaines Agent, Inc.  The line will launch in July 2024, and beginning in August, will consist of at least two monthly series in the classic EC genres:  horror, science fiction, fantasy, and others.

The line will be edited by Oni Editor-in-Chief Sierra Hah, and overseen by Hahn, Oni President and Publisher Hunter Gorinson, and Cathy Gaines Mifsud and Corey Mifsud, the daughter and grandson of EC Publisher William M. Gaines and administrators of Willam M. Gaines Agent, Inc.

Cover Art by
Lee Bermejo
The first two titles in the new line, both anthologies in the EC mold, will be horror title Epitaphs from the Abyss, launching in July, and science fiction title Cruel Universe, launching in August.

Specific talent on the comics in those issues was not revealed, but Oni did lay out a roster of creators that will be contributing to the line, including writers Jason Aaron, Brian Azzarello, Rodney Barnes, Corinna Bechko, Cullen Bunn, Christopher Cantwell, Cecil Castellucci, Chris Condon, Joshua Hale Fialkov, J. Holtham, Jeff Jensen, Matt Kindt, Sean Lewis, Stephanie Phillips, Jay Stephens, Zac Thompson, Ben H. Winters; artists Kano, Peter Krause, Leomacs, Malachi Ward, Dustin Weaver; designer Rian Hughes; with covers from Lee Bermejo, Greg Smallwood, J.H. Williams III, and more to be revealed in the weeks and months ahead.

The talent on the line has a high bar; the original line of EC Comics overseen by William M. Gaines from 1947 to 1956, featured a murderers’ row of some of the most skilled creators of the early days of comics, including Johnny Craig, Reed Crandall, Jack Davis, Will Elder, Al Feldstein, Frank Frazetta, Bernard Krigstein, Harvey Kurtzman, Joe Orlando, John Severin, Marie Severin, Al Williamson, and Wally Wood, among others.  The line, which was pushed off the racks in the wake of the Kefauver hearings on comics content and the implementation of the Comics Code, is considered by some to be among the finest work ever produced in the medium.  EC titles dominated the newsstand, selling over 10 million copies a year.  Mad, which was reformatted to escape the Code, was the only title to escape the 50s.

Cover Art by
Greg Smallwood
"Seventy years ago, EC Comics redefined what comics could be with shocking, confrontational and brilliantly crafted stories that challenged the existential issues at the center of American life – censorship, racism, sexism, nuclear proliferation, and more," Hahn said in a statement accompanying the announcement.  "Today, those battles continue in alarming and pernicious new ways,” said Oni Press Editor-in-Chief, Sierra Hahn.  "What better time to resurrect the undying spirit of EC Comics – one of the most entertaining, subversive, and influential publishers of all time – with an all-star cast of storytellers to examine today’s society through the lens that William Gaines and his legendary collaborators have left us."

Oni President Hunter Gorinson added his thoughts.  "It’s both a huge honor and immense responsibility to be entrusted to work alongside the Gaines family in inhabiting EC’s indomitable spirit for a new generation," he said.  "At a moment when we find ourselves confronting the same reactionary forces – injustice, inequality, and of course, censorship – that EC challenged head-on, we intend to write a new and powerful chapter that honors and expands one of the most important legacies the comic book medium has ever produced."

Oni plans to take EC in some new directions, promising "…more series in genres and formats that will expand the scope and scale of the EC publishing line in ways never before attempted."