The Bio-Organic Horror of Beware Terror Tales #4, Up for Auction

Fawcett Publications was reportedly a reluctant entrant into the Pre-Code Horror era, and never branded issues from its horror titles as "A Fawcett Publication" as it did for the rest of its comic book output.  But when they did jump in, the line came to include a number of horror titles such as Beware! Terror Tales, Worlds of Fear, Strange Suspense Stories, and Unknown Worlds, and most famously This Magazine is Haunted.  Despite being a reluctant entrant into the horror genre for comics, Fawcett was surprisingly good at it.  The line featured some stand-out covers by Norman Saunders and others, and some uniformly excellent stories.  Beware Terror Tales #4 has a cover by Spectre co-creator Bernard Baily that practically begs you to read the story behind it to figure out wtf is going on there.  That tale certainly doesn't disappoint, and there's a Beware Terror Tales #4 (Fawcett Publications, 1952) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Off-white pages up for auction in the 2022 October 27 – 28 Halloween Pre-Code Horror and Crime Comics Showcase Auction #40207 at Heritage Auctions.

Beware Terror Tales #4 (Fawcett Publications, 1952)
Beware Terror Tales #4 (Fawcett Publications, 1952)

While The Crawling Horror of the cover featured story reminds one of vintage horror creature The Blob, this issue hit the newsstands six years before that 1958 film classic.  And instead of being an alien life form come to earth on a meteor as was the case in that film, the premise behind The Crawling Horror reminds one of a rudimentary version of Resident Evil.  Two scientists in separate disciplines work together in a remote facility; one experiments with protoplasmic life, while the other is developing a compact, advanced computer.  They eventually decide to put the computer to work on solving problems for creating a more advanced life form from the protoplasm.  The computer soon becomes artificially intelligent and finds a way to take control of the protoplasmic mass, and predictable chaos ensues.  It's a surprisingly great story with a cover to match, and there's a Beware Terror Tales #4 (Fawcett Publications, 1952) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Off-white pages up for auction in the 2022 October 27 – 28 Halloween Pre-Code Horror and Crime Comics Showcase Auction #40207 at Heritage Auctions. If you've never bid at Heritage Auctions before, you can get further information, you can check out their FAQ on the bidding process and related matters.

Beware Terror Tales #4 (Fawcett Publications, 1952)
Beware Terror Tales #4 (Fawcett Publications, 1952)

Beware Terror Tales #4 (Fawcett Publications, 1952) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Off-white pages. Blob-like "Crawling Horror" monster on the Bernard Baily cover. Overstreet 2022 FN 6.0 value = $129; VF 8.0 value = $271. CGC census 10/22: 4 in 7.0, 6 higher.

CGC Grader Notes:
wear spine breaks color
multiple crease front cover breaks color

View the certification for CGC Certification ID 2708728005.

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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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