Blue Bolt #115 and its L.B. Cole Pre-Code Horror Cover, at Auction

"The value of black is what the viewer will read into that black space," L.B. Cole once said, one of the premiere cover artists of the Golden Age and beyond. "If it's a horror cover and you have a big black background, just put in some squibbly line and the reader will see it as a fang, or a claw, or a staring eye, and will read the most horrible aberrations into it."  Cole might have thought more about what made comic book covers sell on the newsstands than any other artist of his era, and countless of his covers are considered classics.  Among his horror covers, Blue Bolt #115 is a stand-out and highly sought-after example, and there's a Blue Bolt #115 (Star Publications, 1952) CGC VG- 3.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in the 2022 March 31 The Black Cat Collection and Pre-Code Horror Comics & Comic Art Showcase Auction #40186 at Heritage Auctions.

Blue Bolt #115 featuring L.B. Cole cover, (Star Publications, 1952).
Blue Bolt #115 featuring L.B. Cole cover, (Star Publications, 1952).

In 1949, Cole and partner Gerhard Kramer formed Star Publications and took over long-running comic book title Blue Bolt with issue #102.  He quickly transformed the series into a science fiction and then into a horror title Blue Bolt Weird Tales of Terror with #111.  The title was ultimately changed to Ghostly Weird Tales of Terror by issue #120.  But the Blue Bolt #115 cover with its black background and lurid skull is an acknowledged L.B. Cole classic based on the feature story "Cavern of Death" by Jay Disbrow, which is a tale of terror tied to the start of the Korean War. An issue that's on every L.B. Cole and Pre-Code Horror collector's list, there's a Blue Bolt #115 (Star Publications, 1952) CGC VG- 3.5 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in the 2022 March 31 The Black Cat Collection and Pre-Code Horror Comics & Comic Art Showcase Auction #40186 at Heritage Auctions.

Blue Bolt #115 featuring L.B. Cole cover, (Star Publications, 1952).
Blue Bolt #115 featuring L.B. Cole cover, (Star Publications, 1952).

Blue Bolt #115 (Star Publications, 1952) CGC VG- 3.5 Cream to off-white pages. A classic L.B. Cole skull cover that certainly lives up to the "Weird Tales" subtitle! Jay Disbrow art. Overstreet 2021 VG 4.0 value = $388. CGC census 3/22: 4 in 3.5, 41 higher.

View the certification for CGC Certification ID 1992309001 and purchase grader's notes if available.

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Mark SeifertAbout Mark Seifert

Co-founder and Creative director of Bleeding Cool parent company Avatar Press. Bleeding Cool Managing Editor, tech and data wrangler. Machine Learning hobbyist. Vintage paper addict.
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