pre-code horror Archives

Haunted Thrills #4 (Farrell, 1952)
Farrell Publications published some 321 issues of 62 titles from 1951-1958, which is to say that most Farrell series were short lived.  The company put out a wide range of genres from romance to war comics, but might be best remembered for their Pre-Code Horror line and their underappreciated mid-1950s superhero line which included former[...]
Dark Mysteries #19 (Master Publications, 1954)
Heritage's auction blurb for Dark Mysteries #19 almost reads like a checklist of elements that soon brought Pre-Code Horror comic books to the attention of critics like Fredric Wertham and to the United States Senate:  "classic bondage, skull, water wheel torture cover surrounds an injury-to-eye panel and art."  It almost seems like the publisher or[...]
Mysterious Adventures #15 (Story Comics, 1953)
Mysterious Adventures from publisher Story Comics was as notorious as Pre-Code Horror gets.  Mysterious Adventures #18 was mentioned in the U.S Senate investigative report into comics and juvenile delinquency in 1954.  Mysterious Adventures #20 was used by Fredric Wertham during the Senate Subcommittee hearings themselves that year.  Story Comics owner William K Friedman was grilled[...]
Mysteries #6 (Superior Comics, 1954)
The incredibly obscure Mysteries Pre-Code Horror series is very tough to get, even by PCH standards.  Its publisher Superior Publications was a Candian company that reprinted a wide range of material from U.S publishers, but also created original material — sometimes for distribution in the U.S., but sometimes for distribution in Canada only.  Like all[...]
Marvel Tales #93 (Atlas, 1949)
Lovecraft's Shadow Over Innsmouth.  Although the Amazing Mysteries series would be short-lived, the series that did pick up where Marvel Mystery leaves off, Marvel Tales, would continue Marvel's fledgling horror line. While Eerie Comics #1 is widely considered the first horror comic book, and ACG's Adventures into the Unknown is considered the first comic book horror series,[...]
Beware #11 (Trojan, 1954) featuring Myron Fass drawing himself.
One principle of the company, William Friedman, had acted as Donenfeld's lawyer on numerous occasions, while another, Adrian Lopez, had previously co-founded a magazine publisher with Donenfeld.  Comic book titles sometimes shifted between various parts of this constellation, and the Pre-Code Horror title Beware was one of these.  With 18 issues published between Youthful Publications[...]
Adventures Into Darkness #7 (Standard, 1952)
Perhaps best known for titles such as Exciting Comics and Startling Comics, publisher Ned Pines put out 1211 comic book issues across 117 titles from 1939 to 1959, using imprints including Better, Nedor, and Standard.  As those numbers imply, many of those titles were short-lived, and like many comic book publishers, Pines was quick to[...]
Red Seal Comics featuring Paul Gattuso covers (Chesler, 1946).
Along with Gus Ricca, distinctive stylist Paul Gattuso is one of the key artists who gave Harry Chesler's comic books their distinctive look.  Gattuso worked for Chesler beginning around 1944, on titles such as Dynamic Comics, Punch Comics and Scoop Comics among others.  The character Black Dwarf who appeared in Spotlight Comics and Red Seal Comics is perhaps his best-remembered[...]
Eerie #2 (Avon, 1951)
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[...]
Ghost #2 (Fiction House, 1952)
EC Comics titles like Haunt of Fear, Shock SuspenStories, and Tales from the Crypt; Fawcett title This Magazine is Haunted; and even enduring Marvel Comics titles like Strange Tales have all transcended the politically-motivated witch hunt stigma of the 1950s to be considered well-crafted classics in the modern day.  But a few of those 65[...]
Dark Mysteries #19 (Master Publications, 1954)
Heritage's auction blurb for Dark Mysteries #19 almost reads like a checklist of elements that soon brought Pre-Code Horror comic books to the attention of critics like Fredric Wertham and to the United States Senate:  "classic bondage, skull, water wheel torture cover surrounds an injury-to-eye panel and art."  It almost seems like the publisher or[...]