The Vault of Horror cover by Johnny Craig
The Vault of Horror #35

Johnny Craig was one of the leading artists of EC Comics, a company he joined in 1947 after attending the Art Students League. Craig began his career around 1940, working as the assistant of Harry Lampert at M.C. Gaines' All-American Comics. When Lampert went into the Army in 1941, Craig went to work with editor Sheldon Mayer, cooperating on among others 'Scribbly'.

Crime SuspenStory by Johnny Craig
Crime SuspenStories #20

Craig was in the Army himself from 1943 and 1945, and upon his return in civil life, he applied for a job at Gaines new company Educational Comics. He did corrections and lettering, before working on his own stories when the line turned towards crime and horror comics, now called Entertaining Comics (E.C.). He did cover illustrations for 'Moon Girl', and cooperated with Al Feldstein on stories under the collective pseudonym F.C. Aljohn.

The Vault of Horror, by Johnny Craig

Jonny Craig eventually became a productive artist for the company's best-selling horror titles, 'Vault of Horror', 'Tales from the Crypt' and 'The Haunt of Fear'. Unlike other E.C. artists, Craig not only drew but also scripted his own stories for 'The Vault' and soon he was in charge of the whole comic book, introducing the title's mascot characters the Vault Keeper and Drusilla. Craig's style of artwork was clean and uncluttered, and gave the stories a spine-chilling Hitchcock-style atmosphere. Many of his covers for 'The Vault of Horror' were very controversial at the time.

The Vault of HorrorCrime SuspenStories

When E.C.'s horror titles folded due to the Comics Code, Craig briefly contributed to the successors, such as the 'Extra' title, but eventually left the comics field to work with an advertising agency in Pennsylvania. He returned to the field in the early 1960s, freelancing on ACG titles like 'Unknown Worlds'.

From Eerie, by Johnny Craig

In the 1970s, he contributed to the horror titles of Warren Publishing, using the pen name Jay Taycee, which was derived from the pronunciation of his initials J.T.C. From the late 1960s, Craig did several (mainly inking) jobs for Marvel and DC.

Johnny Craig died on 13 September 2001, at age 75.

comic by Johnny Craig

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