With a number of publishers jumping on the vintage horror comics reprints “bandwagon” over the last few years, the focus for many has been the spooky output of the American Comics Group and Harvey Comics. Neither are bad choices for Pre-Code horror; ACG was the first (and longest-lived) horror publisher, and Harvey produced quite a bit of quality material in that genre during the 1950′s. Truth to tell, we’ve run our fair share of stories from both houses in COH as well. We have, however always tried to salt in only the BEST of that material, representative samplings across a wider spectrum including ALL Pre-Code horror publishers, many of whom have received far less exposure than the previously-mentioned “Big Two”. This go-around, the CRYPT OF HORROR microscope focuses in on material from several publishers NOT primarily noted as horror purveyors, but that generated some very interesting material just the same. Fawcett Comics is a name synonymous with the Marvel Family- Captain, Junior, Mary, and the rest were among THE biggest selling titles of the 1940′s, but as that decade waned and horror comics became the rage, Fawcett was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon. This volume of COH will showcase a number of stories from Fawcett’s BEWARE! TERROR TALES title, including “The Black Candle of Life”, “The Crawling Horror”, and the trully bizarre “Revolt of the Fingers”. A. A. Wynn’s Ace Publications was a pulp powerhouse dating back to the 1930′s that got in on the 1940′s comics comics boom with a line of tepid superhero comics like SUPER-MYSTERY, LIGHTNING, OUR FLAG and FOUR FAVORITES. When the “long-underwear” crowd fell out of fashion, Ace went with other genres, including horror. Their top horror title was WEB OF MYSTERY, represented in COH 20 with “Beware The Phantom Spear”, “The Night The Statues Walked” (illustrated by Lou Cameron), , “Black Fury”, and Lin Streeter’s classic “Villa Of The Vampires”. The short-lived publishing concern helmed by artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, MikeRoss Pubs turned out a number or weird little scare-tales, too- be sure to see these three here: “The Executioner”, “Killer’s Payoff” and “Death Is My Hobby”. And originally released by a plethora of 1950′s publishers; look for these twisted tales, too- “Eternal Death”, “Last Supper”, “Out of Focus”, “Terror of the Deep”, “Wall of Coahuila”, “Spectres of the Dam”, “The Witches’ Curse”, “The Phantom Fountain”, and “The Other World”; all in the big, 20th volume of CRYPT Of HORROR, coming in January, 2014!. Art by Lou Cameron, Joe Certa, Sheldon Moldoff, Robert McCarty, Lin Streeter, Paul Cooper, Jon Blummer, George Wilhelms, Edvard Moritz, and others; and a cover by Lee Elias. 140 pages of full-story reprints in black & white with color covers; standard comic book size; saddle stitched. Look for it in your November, 2013 issue of Diamond Previews; Volume 23, #3012- and reserve your copy with your local retailer then!!
– September 23, 2013