The Pre-Code Horror period of 1950s comics is full of weird and underappreciated gems. While we've recently discussed how the ACG series Adventures into the Unknown is considered the first ongoing horror title, the first issue of that series is not considered the first horror comic book. That distinction belongs to Eerie #1 from publisher Avon in 1947. Like many Avon titles of the period, Eerie (not to be confused with the Eerie of Warren Publishing magazine fame) did not initially make it past issue #1, but Avon resurrected the title in 1952 with the comic book horror market booming. An iconic Pre-Code Horror comic book title, there are several issues of Avon's Eerie series up for auction in the 2022 July 3-4 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122227 from Heritage Auctions.
Eerie's publisher Avon has a strange history of its own. The publisher began life in 1878 as J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Company, a publisher of dime novel material in various formats including paperback-like Thick Books. Distributor American News Co.bought the publisher, by then partly owned by Joseph Meyers and Edna Meyers Williams, and renamed it Avon Publications. Avon published over 100 comic titles (in comic book format) from 1945 to 1956, most of them extremely short-lived. Avon Books also sporadically published paperback format collections of newspaper comics and similar material throughout that period and continued to do so through the mid-1990s. The company was acquired by Hearst in 1959 and is currently a romance imprint of HarperCollins, where it has been active through at least 2019.
The 1952 relaunch of Eerie lasted for 17 issues, and issues available here include artwork by Wally Wood, Joe Kubert, Joe Orlando, and Everett Raymond Kinstler among others. Publisher I.W. Publications, which reprinted material from countless publishers from 1958-1959 and 1963-1964, briefly resurrected the title, with issue #1 in 1958 containing reprints of 1946's Spook Comics. An important title of the Pre-Code Horror era, there are several issues of Avon's Eerie series up for auction in the 2022 July 3-4 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122227 from Heritage Auctions.
Eerie 1 (1951) (Avon, 1951) Condition: GD/VG. Reprints a story from the 1947 edition of Eerie #1. Top right corner missing from front cover. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $148; VG 4.0 value = $296.
Eerie #2 (Avon, 1951) Condition: FR/GD. Bondage/skull cover and art by Wally Wood. Cover detached and brittle. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $161.
Eerie #3 (Avon, 1951) Condition: FR. Wally Wood "good girl" cover. Joe Kubert and Joe Orlando art. Cover split and detached, tape repairs to cover and spine. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $119.
Eerie #8 (Avon, 1952) Condition: FR. A great pre-Code horror, "good girl" bondage cover by Harry Lazarus. Lazarus, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Gene Fawcette, and Vince Alascia art. The issue contains a Phantom Witch Doctor story. Cover split and detached. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $53.
Eerie #9 (Avon, 1952) Condition: GD. Sid Check "good girl" horror cover. Everett Raymond Kinstler frontispiece. Joe Kubert and Al Hollingsworth art. Spine splits. Overstreet 2021 GD 2.0 value = $58.
Eerie #1 (I.W., 1964) Condition: VG. Reprint issue, with a Wally Wood cover and story art. Piece missing from back cover. Overstreet 2021 VG 4.0 value = $8.