Vintage and historical Halloween costumes are extremely popular. From poodle skirts to flapper dresses, medieval knights to Egyptian pharaohs, we relish the one day a year we can dress up in the attire of a different time. It is the best way to embody the feeling and attitude of those from the past.
Because this topic is so broad, I’m going to focus on a genre of comics: vintage horror comics. Many comic book readers and non-readers alike can name the big two comics creators; Marvel and DC. But there were many comic book publishers before the Comics Authority Code which explored a variety of topics and are now considered vintage classics.
I’m going to highlight a few of my favorite vintage comics, some horror, some not, which can serve as inspiration for anyone looking for last minute costume ideas.
Four Color Fear: Forgotten Horror Comics of the 1950s offers many non EC comics from the pre-code era all in one place. From Zombies to Femme Fatales, Four Color Fear will provide you countless hours of “I can’t believe they published this” and “oh my goodness” moments.
Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby’s Romance Comics, yup, Simon & Kirby, of Captain America fame, made their bread and butter writing non superhero titles. When people argue that comics are not for women and never have been, I point out the numerous romance titles geared towards women from the 40s and 50s. Look no further than Young Romance for vintage inspiration for hairdos, wardrobe, and speech patterns.
The EC Comics Library, there is no doubt that Entertaining Comics (EC) was the powerhouse of horror comics during the first half of the twentieth century. With classic titles like The Living Mummy, Grave Business, and Forty Whacks, EC published a wide range of horror titles. Plus, with the Fantagraphics reprints, many obscure titles are available once again. They often say that horror reflects the fears of the subconscious of the time they were written and EC comics is a living testament to post-war fears and anxieties.