Captions and Corpses: How to read an EC Comic

Comic image of astronaut

Professor Qiana Whitted (University of South Carolina)

Wednesday 3 February, 5pm GMT



In her talk, Prof. Qiana Whitted draws from her recent book on EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest to explore the 1950s publisher’s effort to distinguish between “entertaining” and “educational” reading practices that were mindful of the public’s anxieties over how comic books could influence young readers. Her discussion will consider the ways that EC’s writers and artists arranged the verbal and visual dynamics of the comics page to steer the potential impact of notorious crime and horror titles such “The Whipping”, “The Orphan”, and “The Guilty.” Evaluating these creative choices raises important questions about the taboo combination of explicitness, incredulity, and reading pleasure that EC branded as “shock,” engaging complex social messages amid the thrills and chills.


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Oxford Comics Network, TORCH Networks