"Ghastly" Graham Ingels (1915 – 1991)
Graham Ingels, the undisputed grand master of horror illustration, began carving his unique style as an independent artist in 1942 with numerous Golden Age comic book publications. He came on board with EC in the late 40's, eventually finding his forte with the New Trend of comics, where his disturbing, atmospheric masterpieces of terror for Tales from the Crypt, The Haunt of Fear, and The Vault of Horror defined the genre and he adopted the nickname "Ghastly". The Ghastly Awards, started in 2011, recognize outstanding achievements in Horror Comics over a range of 15 different categories and pays tribute Ingels by naming this prestigious, annual award after him. Ghastly Graham Ingels is, of course, the first Hall of Fame inductee. (2011 Inductee)
Al Feldstein and his employer William M. Gaines are truly the fathers of the horror comic.
Al Feldstein (b. 1925) hitched up with Gaines and EC comics as a writer/ artist in the late 40s and they hit it off right away, sharing similar ideas and interests. No longer content to follow industry trends, EC started introducing something new; balls to the wall Horror Comics. The genre had previously been touched upon, but in Gaines and Feldstein’s hands, horror became powerful and terrifying, as well as a bona-fide moneymaker.
Feldstein edited all three of EC’s terror titles for a time (as well as many of their other titles) and his brush created iconic horror images, his typewriter created hundreds of stories that still resonate 60 years later, he helped to create what are inarguably the best horror comics of all time, and he later edited Mad magazine for 30 of its most important years. If that’s not enough, he even created the Crypt-Keeper and his GhouLunatic cohorts! (2012 Inductee)
William M. Gaines (1922- 1992) took over the family business in 1947 after the death of his father, comic industry innovator Maxwell Gaines. That business was EC Comics. Hiring Al Feldstein was a stroke of genius and together they inaugurated the first line of real horror comics. Gaines would stay up all night reading pulp horror stories and write down “springboards”, ideas that Feldstein could flesh out into full stories. During the 1954 Senate Subcommittee hearings on Juvenile Delinquency, Gaines alone stood up for the rights of people to enjoy horror comics. Despite his best efforts, the dreaded Comic Code came into existence.
Gaines definitely marched to the beat of his own drummer. He was fiercely loyal to his workers (Graham Ingels, who was inconsistent with his romance and western art, was kept on board and allowed to blossom into the definitive horror artist), a generous boss and had the satiric wit that suited him well as the publisher of Mad magazine, a post he kept until his death. (2012 Inductee)
His work at DC in the early 70s, followed by his incredible stint at Warren cemented him as a horror fan's dream come true. The story "Swamp Thing" in DC's House of Secrets #92 (July, 1971, by Wrightson and Len Wein) made him a superstar, as well as the story's main character, who became an industry icon that is still in demand 40 years later. Wrightson's adaptation of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein in 1983 brought horror artwork to new heights, with drama and detail never before seen in the genre. He is still going strong, still inking rings around everybody else and still showing that horror can be both beautiful and terrifying. Berni Wrightson is a true living legend. (2012 Inductee)
Archie Goodwin (1937-1998),
Archie Goodwin has won a number of awards for his work in comics and has deserved every one of them. He was a prolific writer for Marvel and DC, finding success writing superhero, war and many other genres of comics. But it is his work in the horror field with Warren Publishing that makes him a shoe-in for inclusion into the Ghastly Hall of Fame.
His writing appeared in the very first issue of warren's Creepy and within 2 issues he was that title's editor. He also handled the editing chores for its sister title Eerie from the beginning. He was responsible for the look and content of the Warren horror mags during their heyday, influencing many imitators but also influencing generations of horror fans and creators. Goodwin's horror writing echoed his favorite childhood comics, the EC line. He left the company in 1967 to work for the big boys but he still found the time to contribute stories to Warren. One of his more horrific forays into the post-Warren comic world was with the editorship of Epic Illustrated, Marvel's answer to Heavy Metal, which featured some pretty good terror tales at times.
Goodwin, who passed away in 1998, was well-liked by his peers and left behind a body of work in all genres for fans to discover and rediscover forever. But that Warren horror stuff... damn, that's some kick-ass horror! (2013 Inductee)
Gene Colan (1926 - 2011)
Gene "The Dean" Colan was born in 1926, in the Bronx, New York. He was heavily influenced by the comic strips in newspapers in his youth, and that lead him to go to art school at the Art Students League of New York. His early work was for Fiction House, in the mid 1940's. He then enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and headed off to the Philippines, where he drew for a local newspaper. Upon returning to New York, he went to work for Timely Comics (a precursor to Marvel). At first, he drew war and crime comics, but then got a break on Captain America (and later Daredevil), but his true calling was realized when he penciled some stories for Strange Tales. These macabre stories really brought out the best in Gene's work, but he also had credits in Tower of Shadows, Weird Thrillers, World of Mystery, Web of Mystery, Spellbound, and others. It wouldn't be until 1972 though, that he would be recognized as a horror comic master. In that year, he began working on Tomb of Dracula, on went on to pencil every single issue in the seventy issue run. His work really jumped off the page when he collaborated with Marv Wolfman, starting on issue number seven. He continued to work in comics until he passed away in June, 2011. He's an Eisner Award winner (2010) and a two time Eagle Award winner (1977,1979), and his presence will be felt for a long time in this industry. Godspeed, Gentleman Gene! (2013 Inductee)(Bio provided by William Dunleavy)