Revisiting “Classics Illustrated” Part I

These comics were around from the 1940s to about 1969. They were part of many North American boys’ lives from about ages 8 to 14. I experienced them personally from about 1958 to 1964 when I had a modest collection. Later, I revisited my youth and collected a copy of each of the 169 issues; in some cases, I also collected early alternate eds. if the early line-drawing issues were memorable (in the mid-’50s thereabouts, painted covers were used).

Reviewing my collection this weekend, a number of the old line-drawn issues struck me with their gruesomeness, excessive violence, and sensationalism. It’s hard to believe that these lurid issues were available to relatively young, unsuspecting kids, but eventually they went out of print. So a number of these covers would have been rated 14A minimally these days.

(the latter, a painted cover–obviously, CI’s more lurid covers changed after that)

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