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The X-Rated Comic Book Prank That Took 36 Years To Occur

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
The X-Rated Comic Book Prank That Took 36 Years To Occur

Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.

Today, we look at a funny X-rated prank that Joe Orlando pulled that didn’t show up until 36 years later!

In 1952, towards the end of EC Comics time as a comic book company, they came out with “Tales from the Crypt” #29, with a story by Al Feldstein and Bill Gaines and art by Joe Orlando.

It is about a man who seduces a young Greek woman while he was on vacation and gets her to leave her fisherman fiancee. When they get into a car accident and she ends up disfigured, he ditches her, telling her ex-fiancee that he can marry her if he wants to. Years later, while in trouble, he ends up turning to the ex-fiancee for help getting him out of the country after he got into some trouble (which, come on, how was that ever a good idea to him? Like, seriously?) and after the man drops him off on an island, he reveals that the woman killed herself soon after the accident and he had dropped the man off on a leper colony!

Anyhow, here is the first meeting of the man and the woman he seduced…


Nothing out of the ordinary, right?

Well, in the late 1970s, Russ Cochran reprinted the EC horror comics, only he did so in black and white and on larger paper. So let’s look at that page again…


Let’s look at it even closer…


Hilarious. Obviously, Orlando knew that the coloring would cover up the art in the original comic.

Okay, so the art STILL wasn’t really discovered by anyone until the late 1980s, when someone obviously brought it to Bill Gaines’ attention. Gaines then sent a copy of the artwork to Joe Orlando, “outraged” over the joke.

Orlando, by then a major editorial bigwig at DC Comics, responded with this hilariously faux-indignant response…


(The “brother Rex” bit was a reference to an old gag Gaines used to pull – I think I’ll write about that in the future. It’s pretty funny in and of itself).

Awesome stuff, through and through. Thanks to the late, great, Bhob Stewart, for bringing this to my attention years ago!