Search This Site

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Horror Key Issue Comics to Invest In Part 4

Welcome to part 4 of this key issue horror comics to invest in. In Part 3, we went through some of the horror key issues that led up to EC's eventual venture into the spooktacular horror genre.

It wouldn't take long for EC Comics to be noticed in the industry and no one disputed that they were putting out perhaps the best quality comics during the era. Even legendary Stan Lee was not blind to the success they were having, and often tried to emulate EC's style to give the company some competition.

Many other publishers jumped on the bandwagon of EC Comics success and dove into the horror genre as well. Noted by historians as imitators of EC, some publishing companies did publish some worthy knockoffs. We will go through some of these as well as other Pre-Code horror comics worth noting in this part to this horror key issues series.

Missed Part 3? No worries just click this Part 3 link to go back. If you didn't miss it, enjoy this next part!

First regular numbering for title
First appearance of Crypt Keeper in HOF
First appearance of Vault Keeper in HOF

This issue would have been numbered #18 to the series, but the U.S. Post Office actually required EC to number the fourth issue #4. So here it is and this would bring forth the confusion to having two #15s, #16s, and two #17s within this titled horror series.

Haunt of Fear #4 also has the first appearance of Crypt Keeper and Vault Keeper in the title. Not so sure how that works since their origin story of how they got their EC Comics publishing contracts is revealed in the previous issue, #17 or (#3) if you want to get technical. I suppose, the Old Witch just told the reader how that came about without actually showing within the panels how that came about.

Well, Overstreet notes this issue as the first appearance of the Vault Keeper and Crypt Keeper in this title, and the values resource may mean their first appearances as fellow hosts in the title. Not entirely sure. November, 1950 was when this comic was published.

First issue to Atlas horror series

Once Timely's Joker Comics, the series got an overhaul during the New Trend and Atlas changed it into the all-horror title Adventures Into Terror starting with issue #43. Much like Haunt of Fear #17, Adventures Into Terror renumbered the titled series after issue #44 and the third issue of this comic series was numbered #3. The correct numbering would continue until its cancellation after issue #31.

This Golden Age Marvel horror key issue was published November, 1950.

eBay - Five copies in which four are raw. One is a CGC copy at a 4.0 VG. All copies so far are lower grade.

ComicConnect - Only one VG raw copy here for sale at the moment.

First issue to horror comic series
Created by Jack Kirby and Joe Simon
Highly an over-looked horror comic nowadays but still praised by Golden Age horror comic aficionados for being created by the legendary comic duo of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon, creators of Captain America, Black Magic was published by Prize Publications, same publisher of Prize Comics. Unlike EC Comics and other publishers imitating the horror comic giant, this series by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby is well-known for steering away from gory content.

Prize Publications was later bought out by DC Comics during the 60s. November, 1950 was when this comic was published.

eBay - A few copies here at the moment. Highest CGC copy is a 9.2 low NM. There's also a 6.5 FN+ slabbed copy and a 4.0 VG CGC. A few lower grade raw copies as well for the first volume of this horror key issue. Some are #1s from volume 4, so don't get confused with those.

ComicConnect - Only two copies for the volume one first issue to this titled series. Both are unlabbed raw copies and are low grade. Highest of the two is a 5.0 VG/FN.

ComicLink - Three CGC copies here. Highest is a 9.0 VF/NM followed by a 7.5 low VF.

First issue to horror title

Harvey Comics was and is most noted for their kid-friendly titles like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Hot Stuff, and Wendy the Good Little Witch, in which many remember and grew up watching the cartoons. However, they did try to enter the all-out horror genre during the New Trend boom. Witches Tales was one of the early all-horror titles Harvey Comics put out during the early Golden Age, and some of their stories were controversial.

They would even produce one Witches Tales cover that was gory. That issue will be featured in a future part to this series. Witches Tales #1 was published January, 1951.

eBay - Only three copies located here at the moment, but all of them are raw copies. Highest is advertised as VF+. 2nd highest is 7.5 low VF.

ComicConnect - Two raw copies here for issue #1 from volume one of this horror series. One is a high grade 8.5 VF+ and the other a 7.5 low VF.

First issue to horror series

Formerly titled Blondie, Chamber of Chills is another of Harvey Publications comic titles that switched during the New Trend to ride the tail of EC Comics success. Chamber of Chills started where Blondie left off at issue #20. The numbering would be reset with the fifth issue, and there are two #21s in this titled series as a result. The title would later be changed to Chamber of Clues four years later in 1955, and the comic series would ultimately be cancelled in the same year.

Chamber of Chills #21 was published June, 1951.

eBay - Looks like there's only one raw copy for issue #21 (#1) that's a first printing and not a reprint or collected works on eBay at the time of this writing.

ComicConnect - One slabbed and one raw copy. Slabbed is a CGC 4.0 VG and the raw copy is a very low FAIR. Slabbed copy goes up for auction 11/10/2014.

First issue to legendary Marvel series

Yep, before this turned into Dr Strange's comic series, it first started off as a horror anthology comic. This is one of the horror titles that Stan Lee tried to compete with EC Comics while still under the Atlas brand, and he has been honest about trying to emulate their model of horror during the time.

Although this started out in the horror genre, the titled series would flip from suspense to science fiction to superheroes. However, it is well-known that this legendary titled series was first modeled off of EC Comics gory morality tales.

Strange Tales #1 may have started off as a horror imitator, but there's no doubt that it's become a well-sought after Golden Age Marvel key issue to get. It was published June, 1951.

eBay - No luck finding this on eBay at the moment. Too many other listings given other than Strange Tales #1. If you wanna click the link and wade through eBay's search mess for Strange Tales #1 feel free.

ComicConnect - Leave it up to the folks at ComicConnect to deliver the goods on this extremely hard find. One copy goes up for auction 11/10/2014 and it's a CGC slabber. Grade is a 5.5 low FN, but still very much a great investment comic to add to your vault.

  • Classic Good Girl Art cover by Whitman

This is considered a classic cover and part of the Good Girl Art comic book art that saw attractive women who are genuinely sweet in alluring poses. Many times they were provocatively-dressed and in tight clothing or some kind of suggestive attire.

In this cover image, it's pretty clear that the tight dress hiked up near the hips shows off quite a bit of leg. This may seem mild to us, but back in the day, this was quite alluring for young males or males in general. Also the low cut dress does show a bit of cleavage as well.

Considered a classic cover and part of the Good Girl Art in comics. It is the polar opposite of Bad Girl Art of the 90s which depicted more scantily-dressed females that were edgier and more like femme fatales.

Ghost Comics #2 has the cover date of January, 1952.

First issue to titled horror series

If there is a notable and fondly remembered horror title during this era of the comic industry, The Thing series published by Charlton Comics is definitely one of them. This series definitely has quite a few valuable comic investments and features some great early work by the legend and co-creator of Spider-Man, Steve Ditko.

Not skimpy on the gore or controversial depictions of brutality, violence, or even torture within the stories, this series also produced some graphic covers and one classic one. Don't worry, those key issues will be presented in a special section to this horror key issues list. One issue was used in the Seduction of the Innocent as an example of brutality depicted in comics as well. February, 1952 is the publishing date for this bad boy, and it's no easy find for sure.

First issue to new Avon titled series

Republishing Errie Comics during this boom, Avon Publishing would pump out a few more titles to catch in on the horror craze of the time. Witchcraft #1 would just be one of them.

Only lasting six issues, Joe Kubert would produce some classic art and covers for the series, however, and this is one of the better horror comics of the era that's sought out because of the legendary comic artist. Witchcraft #1 was published March, 1952.

eBay - Five copies here and two of them are CGC graded. Both are low grades though and the highest is a 5.0 VG/FN. The other CGC copy is a 4.5 VG+ and is cheaper than the raw copy at the same supposed grade.

ComicConnect - All raw copies and all lower grade. Highest is a VG+ and the other options keep getting lower after that.

ComicLink - Two copies here. One is a CGC 4.5 VG+ and may just be the same one on eBay. The other is a VG raw copy.

We've got some more publishers and comic titles that jumped aboard the horror genre and tried to imitate EC Comics success in the upcoming Part 5. Many today still accuse these non-EC Comic books as being lesser quality with more enthusiasm than actual ability for the horror genre.

Despite that criticism, some of those that are featured in Part 5 to this horror key issues list are quite valuable and no easy finds. They are considered classics today. Just click the blue PART 5 link below to continue with this horror key issue comics to invest in list.

If you missed Part 3 just click the PREVIOUS link below.


  1. Thanks for these articles. I was interested in this aspect of comics.

    1. Awesome! Glad you enjoyed it and hope it helps ya.

  2. I enjoy looking through a post that can make people think.
    Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

  3. Appreciating the commitment you put into your website and in depth information you
    present. It's awesome to come across a blog every once
    in a while that isn't the same old rehashed information. Fantastic read!
    I've bookmarked your site and I'm including your RSS feeds to my Google