June of 2013 will bring yet another king-sized volume of great Pre-code horror comics reprints as AC releases CRYPT of HORROR Volume 18, and a previously-unheralded giant of 1950s’ horror funnies comes into focus!! The aptly-named Quality Comics line of the Golden Age was synonymous with the very BEST in story and art anywhere to be found on the comics racks. Publisher Everett M. Arnold hired the top artists and writers available, and paid them better rates than anyone in the business. Ranking in total sales and popularity just below DC and Fawcett (and ABOVE Timely/Marvel, really) during their run from 1939 to 1956, the company was best known for producing the super-star features PLASTC MAN, BLACKHAWK and DOLLMAN; as well as dozens of other ongoing characters of all genres. But, when horror reigned supreme in the comic market in the early 1950′s that prime creative staff was put to turning out horror stories as well. And since head honcho “Busy” Arnold wouldn’t accept anything less, the Quality horror comics were among the best of their era, as well. Although they did a number of scary books, WEB OF HORROR was their longest-running and best-known title, and will be spotlighted here in this special volume of COH, showcasing eight grisly WOH grabbers: “Hangman’s Horror”, “Return of the Dead”, “Ghost Ship”, “The Corpse That Wouldn’t Die”, “Make-Up For Death”, “The Fiend Who Lived Forever”, “Terror In Chinatown”. “The Bat And The Brain”, “The Girl Who Died Twice” and “Avenging Ghosts”. These offerings are particularly well- written and drawn, in the typical Quality manner, and have not been seen ANYWHERE since their original publication in the early 1950′s!! Big sellers in their day, they are rare gems now, as Quality has been more or less forgotten as a purveyor of horror. Didn’t think artistic luminaries like Jack Cole and Dick Dillon could do effective horror comics? Read this volume and learn otherwise!! Also, as somewhat of a secondary focus, we’ll be running several stories from ANOTHER forgotten/undiscovered source of high-gloss Pre-Code horror, the Ziff-Davis/Avon Publications title, Nightmare!! You’ll see “The Soul of Benjamin Sprague” (drawn by Bob Powell) and “Princess of the Sea”( by Dan Barry ) from that venerable tome. Plus, rarities from Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Manny Stallman, Steve Ditko and others. 140 pages in all, black and white full-story reprints inside a color cover; standard comic book size, saddle-stitched, at a retail price of $29.95 per copy. True horror comics lovers CANNOT miss this issue, as you’ll find THESE never-previously-reprinted stories nowhere else!! Be sure to put in your preorder for this great tome in the April, 2013 edition of Diamond Previews (Volume 23, #295) for products shipping in June, 2013.
– February 21, 2013