pre-code horror Archives

The Unseen #9 (Standard, 1953) featuring La Llorona.
An issue of a memorable Pre-Code Horror title that contains a story of an extremely popular supernatural figure rarely seen in U.S comic books, there's a copy of The Unseen #9 (Standard, 1953) up for auction in the 2022 July 3-4 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122227. The Unseen #9 (Standard, 1953) featuring La[...]
Tim Holt #30 (Magazine Enterprises, 1952)
It's become something I noodle with and take a fresh look at once or twice a year.  But when I saw that there's a copy of Tim Holt #30 (Magazine Enterprises, 1952) Condition: VG in this  2023 July 13 – 14 Pre-Code Horror & Crime Comics Showcase Auction #40227 at Heritage Auctions, I couldn't resist posting[...]
Suspense Comics #7 (Continental Magazines, 1944)
Cole cover, and a tougher get as well, but there's a Suspense Comics #4 (Continental Magazines, 1944) CGC Apparent VG 4.0 Moderate (B-3) Off-white pages, plus another early Cole cover with Suspense Comics #7 (Continental Magazines, 1944) Condition: VG and other issues of the series up for auction in the  2023 July 13 – 14[...]
Tomb of Terror #16 (Harvey, 1954)
And in reality, Harvey has often been underappreciated as a publisher of some of the best horror of the Pre-Code Horror era, with uniformly good stories and some excellent covers and eyeball-blazing colors.  The Lee Elias zombie cover here is a stand-out example of that, and there's a Tomb of Terror #16 Northford Pedigree (Harvey,[...]
Punch Comics #20 (Chesler, 1947)
We've talked about the fascinating and sometimes weird comics from industry pioneer Harry Chesler several times in recent months.  Chesler titles such as Punch Comics, Red Seal Comics, and Spotlight Comics among others run the gamut from crime, superheroes, humor — and often even horror.  Although they technically preceded the era that Pre-Code Horror collectors[...]
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[...]
Astonishing #30 (Atlas, 1954)
The Marvel/Atlas title Astonishing started life with the name Marvel Boy in 1950, with the series being renamed Astonishing with the third issue.  While the series still featured the Marvel Boy character until issue #6 (although his last cover on the title was with Astonishing #5), the rebooted series took a clear and harder turn towards horror.  The Pre-Code portion of this[...]
Dark Mysteries #10,19 (Master Publications, 1953-1954)
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[...]
Captain Science #7 (Youthful Magazines, 1951)
The last time we posted about an issue of the obscure Pre-Code Horror title Captain Science, it turned out to be an absolute gem of an issue that fused science fiction and horror in a way that only 1950s-era American Cold War pop culture could achieve.  Captain Science #7 is another surprisingly great entry in[...]
The Pre-Code Horror war involved the "Unknowns" of Ace Magazines and American Comics Group.
Our recent post about the 1950 Ace Magazines release Challenge of the Unknown #6 reminded me of the unusual nature of that one-issue title.  Looking at it in the context of horror comics history, it is Ace's "proper" debut into Pre-Code Horror, after dabbling in the horror genre in Super-Mystery Comics and Four Favorites a[...]
Horrific #1 (Comic Media, 1952)
There's a Horrific #1 (Comic Media, 1952) Condition: GD/VG up for auction in the  2023 July 13 – 14 Pre-Code Horror & Crime Comics Showcase Auction #40227 at Heritage Auctions. Horrific #1 (Comic Media, 1952) Comic Media was founded by former Harvey Comics circulation manager Allen Hardy, whose primary artists Don Heck and Pete Morosi had also[...]
Terrors of the Jungle #4 (Star Publications, 1953) cover by L.B. Cole.
Cole paired with a weird Lost World-style interior story by Jay Disbrow is a match made in Pre-Code Horror heaven (or hell, as the case may be).  We've said this before about these Star Publications titles: Cole covers of this era are unfailingly a treat that pokes you right in the eyeballs Cole and Disbrow made[...]
Monster Gambles With Satan & Loses At Heritage Auctions
Monster #1, a Fiction House publication from 1953, has one of the more unique covers from this pre-code horror auction that has been going on at Heritage Maurice Whitman is responsible for the cover, which features a green monster taking hold of a damsel in distress while also bashing a man to death.  It's a[...]
Marvel Tales #116 (Atlas, 1953) featuring Werewolf by Night.
"Prototype" probably isn't quite the right name for the concept.  It's often just a name, a visual look, or a super-power that was recycled for later use — perhaps sometimes knowingly, perhaps not.  Still, prototypes do have their appeal.  It's another little hook into understanding comics history.  While Marvel Tales #116 isn't widely considered a[...]
Strange Stories from Another World #4 (Fawcett Publications, 1952)
Saunders is best remembered for his pulp magazine covers for a variety of publishers, but he also painted over 100 comic book covers, primarily for publishers Fawcett and Ziff-Davis.  Many of these are ridiculously underappreciated, but there's a noteworthy, atmospheric and foreboding Pre-Code Horror cover by Saunders on Strange Stories from Another World #4 (Fawcett[...]
True Crime Comics #3 (Magazine Village, 1948)
A key crime comic book from an important series and by a noteworthy creator, there's a copy of True Crime Comics #3 (Magazine Village, 1948) CGC VG+ 4.5 Off-white to white pages up for auction in the  2023 July 13 – 14 Pre-Code Horror & Crime Comics Showcase Auction #40227 at Heritage Auctions. True Crime Comics[...]
Tales of Horror #8 (Toby Publishing, 1953)
Tales of Horror #8 is a textbook example of the importance of the power of a good comic book cover.  This classic Pre-Code Horror cover by artist Mel Keefer based on the feature "The Big Snake" in this issue is the key factor that drives the interest in this title among Pre-Code Horror collectors, fitting[...]
Nightmare #13, Amazing Ghost Stories #14 (St. John 1954)
John, 1954) Condition: VG-, all in the 2023 July 13 – 14 Pre-Code Horror & Crime Comics Showcase Auction #40227 at Heritage Auctions. Nightmare #13, Amazing Ghost Stories #14 (St John, 1954) Amazing Ghost Stories #14, which hit newsstands in late August 1954, is a particularly striking example of the film-style approach that makes these covers stand[...]
Black Cat Mystery #37 (Harvey, 1952)
Harvey Comics regular Warren Kremer had them well-covered on this one, and that helps make this Black Cat Mystery #37 (Harvey, 1952) Condition: GD+ a Pre-Code Horror gem It's well worth your attention in the 2023 July 13 – 14 Pre-Code Horror & Crime Comics Showcase Auction #40227 at Heritage Auctions. Black Cat Mystery #37 (Harvey, 1952) Cover[...]
Pre-Code Horror Graded Goodness At Heritage Auctions
Pre-Code horror will never go out of style, as fans of gruesomeness and gore will always want what many considered too sinister at some point Case in point is Strange Mysteries #8, published by Superior Comics in 1952 This book features all kinds of gnarly stuff, including a man burned alive and a severed head,[...]
Witchcraft #5 cover by Kelly Freas (Avon, 1953)
According to GCD data, they published Kelly Freas' very first work in comics, and it's a doozy.  There's a nice copy of the Pre-Code Horror gem which features that classic Kelly Freas painted good girl cover on Witchcraft #5 (Avon, 1953) CGC FN- 5.5 Off-white pages up for auction in the 2023 July 13 – 14 Pre-Code[...]
The Beyond Awakens The Vampire At Heritage Auctions
Heritage Auctions has a raw copy taking bids right now, with it currently sitting at $56, a steal for such a cool example of pre-code horror Check it out below. Credit Heritage Auctions The Beyond Always Had Some Of The Best Covers "The Beyond #2 (Ace, 1951) Condition: VG/FN Warren Kremer vampire cover Mike Sekowsky art Water damage[...]
Adventures Into The Unknown #1 (ACG, 1948)
There's a copy of high grade example of Adventures Into the Unknown #1 (ACG, 1948) CGC FN/VF 7.0 Cream to off-white pages up for auction in the 2023 July 13 – 14 Pre-Code Horror & Crime Comics Showcase Auction #40227 at Heritage Auctions. Adventures Into The Unknown #1 (ACG, 1948) Frank Belknap Long began writing for pulps[...]
Venus #15 (Atlas, 1951)
Everett would contribute to about 200 Marvel/Atlas issues 1949-1954, including nearly 100 covers.  On the title Venus, Everett contributed to a memorable seven-issue run in Venus #13-19 for which he is credited with the covers, scripts, art, and even letters on all of the interior Venus stories.  All of these issues are highly sought-after by[...]
Menace #5 (Atlas, 1953)
Zombies were a staple part of the Pre-Code Horror era, and of course, there had been comic books that featured the living dead long before that.  The Master of Corpses in More Fun Comics #31 by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster is one early Golden Age example from 1938 Tarpé Mills Purple Zombie (Heroic Comics[...]
Shadow Comics V6#12 (Street & Smith, 1947)
France and Britain were also acquiring large quantities of monazite sand from Brazil.  According to the New York Times report, the missing uranium was not monazite sand but uranium ore that had been mined near the town of Curraes Novos. Curraes Novos would become the scene of this Shadow Comics story.  After meeting with government officials[...]