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Friday, October 17, 2014

Horror Key Issue Comics to Invest In Part 8

Alright here's the last part to this special section that details some of the classic disturbing stories or gory comic covers during the Golden Age New Trend. This won't be the last part to this horror key issue comics to invest in list though. I will take a short break after this post though. The horror genre has been in comics for a long time so this list just may be massive enough to be an on-going thing.

Anyways, if you missed Part 7, just click that blue link to go back to that. If you're ready to continue, by all means do so and enjoy!

Classic girl decapitated in story

Decapitations are pretty standard in these horror comics, so artists had to think of different and more creative ways of doing this or else it would just get boring. Enter the classic Fantastic Fears #6 published by Farrell Publications. 

In the story, Hollow Horror, a girl is not just decapitated with a knife or a boring sword, she's decapitated with a paper cutter. That's right, a paper cutter. This story and issue is considered a classic for that reason and is highly sought out. High grades will put a dent in your bank account. March, 1954 was when this comic was published.

eBay - Only one raw copy here as of this writing. Claims to be a FN/VF.

ComicConnect - Two raw copies here. Highest is a 7.0 FN/VF. Other copy is a FA or fair.

Decapitation cover

Another decapitation cover which shows a man's decapitated body lying on the ground and a character holding the poor man's head. The depiction is quite tame compared to other comic covers, and there's no dripping blood or anything graphic about the image, but the implication of the scene is a bit horrific for the times. Today's standards though, it's a bit comical.

This issue was published by Atlas March, 1954, and the cover is by comic legend Bill Everett.

eBay - Only four copies and all appear to be low grades. No CGC just yet.

ComicLink - 6.5 FN+ copy located here. It is a raw, unslabber though.

Exploding face cover

Although the last few issues of Tomb of Terror were science fiction issues, including this one, this comic cover makes this list. It is a classic and pretty graphic with a guy's face exploding. You can see the eye ball about to pop out and the chunks of skin and flesh being torn from the face.

Probably one of the more gruesome comic covers in the Harvey Comics stable of Pre-Code horror comics, and one of the more sought out and valuable investment comics in the horror genre. Lee Elias did the art for Tomb of Terror #15, and it was was published May, 1954.

eBay - One CGC 4.0 VG copy on eBay at the moment. Two other raw copies as well. Other two are in really rough shape.

Gory severed head cover

Out of the all the gory covers presented in this special section to this horror key issues series, I have to say I like this one the best. The cover art is awesome, and the head used as the ringer for the bell is pretty comical yet strangely creative.

The severed head is also gory and detailed, complete with blood and pieces of flesh dangling from the neck where the head was severed by an unknown cutting tool. The cover is by legendary Golden Age comic artist Howard Nostrand, and during the time, most publishers advised their artists to adopt similar styles to the artists over at EC Comics.

Harvey Comics was no exception and Nostrand would flawlessly adopt the style of Jack Davis during this time. June, 1954 was when this comic was published.

eBay - Four raw copies of this horror comic on eBay. All are in low grades for now. Highest claims to be a VG.

ComicLink - Finally, some CGC slabbed copies found. It is only a 5.0 VG/FN copy though.

Man hanging cover
First appearance of Drusilla

Perhaps one of Johnny Craig's best covers for EC Comics in my opinion, The Vault of Horror #37 shows a man hanging. Extremely blunt in its graphic orientation, meaning the cover is not subtle whatsoever, it's unclear whether the man was hung by another or committed suicide

This issue also holds the first appearance of Drusilla, a silent co-host for the Vault Keeper who looked like Vampirella. Actually, I should say Vampirella looks like Drusilla since Drusilla was created and published long before the character of Vampirella ever came out. EC Comics published this horror key issue in July, 1954.

eBay - Only low grade raw copies here on the mighty eBay at the moment.

NewKadia - The folks over at NewKadia have one copy of this issue at a VG+.

ComicConnect - Four raw copies all in the lower grades except one FN+ copy.

Classic face and fingers melting cover

Once again, the more gruesome, the better for these Golden Age pre-code horror comics. There are actually quite a bit of criteria when it comes to sought-out pre-code horror issues, but awesome gruesome covers do carry a lot of weight.

So this is a classic cover by Warren Kremer and depicts a man's face and hands melting. This is a recommendation by Nate H, and I do have to agree with him on this one. 

Black Cat Mystery #50 has an awesome cover for sure. Like most comics that went the horror route, Black Cat Mystery use to just be Black Cat Comics and changed their format with issue #30.

Black Cat Comics and Black Cat Mystery was published by Harvey Comics or Publications and Black Cat Mystery #50 has the cover date of July, 1954.

ComicConnect - Found one slabbed low grade copy at ComicConnect. It is a PGX 2.5 or GD+ and it is an auction. Starts at 11/13/2017. I do not get any commission for any purchases through ComicConnect links just for the record.

Heart torn out and blood draining in story

I had to give a nod to Beware as they did produce some horror issues that were noticed and mentioned in SOTI. This is not one of them, but in the story Dwellers in Darkness with art by Jay Disbrow, there is a scene of a heart being ripped out and then blood draining.

Cover is by Myron Fass, and Trojan Magazines published this horror comic in September, 1954. Beware actually has two #11s in the comic series. The first started with publisher Youthful Magazines but the title was acquired by Trojan in 1952.

eBay - Three raw copies here. Highest is a 5.0 VG/FN. Other two are really low grade copies.

Cannibalism story

People eating other people is just nasty. It's gross in horror films or in books and comics are no exception. Leave it the folks over at EC Comics to have a story about cannibalism. The story was titled Swamped in this issue.

This infamous comic was mentioned in SOTI (Seduction of the Innocent), but this issue also shows the Vault Keeper reading SOTI. Obviously, the boys over at EC Comics had a sense of humor, or it was their way of giving the middle finger to the book that would ultimately bring down EC Comic's reign over the horror genre in comic books. Graham Ingels does the cover for The Haunt of Fear #27, and it was published October, 1954. One of the great horror investment comics out there.

eBay - Less than a handful of copies and all are raw. All are also low grade copies.

mycomicshop - Only one raw copy located here and it's a raw GD.

NewKadia - Two copies here at NewKadia. Highest is a VG and lowest is a GD.

Guillotine beheading cover

Not extremely gory or graphic, but I put this in because it's a great and classic cover. While you cannot overtly see the deed happening, we can tell that the blade has just severed into the neck from the reaction of the victim on the cover.

Another unusual aspect is the that the artist chose to depict the scene from behind instead of showing the victim's face. Though not gory or anything, I like this cover and it's one of my favorites out the special section to this horror key issues list.

EC Comics published Tales from the Crypt #44 in November, 1954, and it's another great cover by Jack Davis.

eBay - Handful of raw copies only for this horror comic issue on eBay as well. All appear to be in the low VG and lower range.

Alright, gonna take a short break from this horror key issues list and from this site all together. I will definitely be returning to this series and soon, as this has been a fun aspect of the Golden Age comic industry to write about. I'll be taking up where I left off in Part 5 in the next post whenever I get back to this series.

Once again, you can click on the images to see larger versions of them. If you missed Part 7, click the PREVIOUS link below to read up on the chilling key horror comics. Other than that, Part 9 is finally ready after a year's hiatus, so click the link to continue!


  1. holy cow how the hell did a 1.0 cgc TOS 39 sell for $2247 when there is a 1.5 cgc for 1650 or best offer. don't understand that one. JW

    1. I hear ya JW, same reason why an Amazing Spider-Man #129 CGC 8.5 sold for $699.99 while ASM #129s at CGC 8.0 are selling at the same price or above it. Some people are just buying not shopping or bothering to look one grade higher to see if sellers are over bloating prices for certain grades.

      Or, that 1.5 CGC could have been listed after the TOS CGC 1.0 sold

  2. hey!!! october 1st 2015!! lets finish this beast !! love it!

    1. Yup, you got it,'s hallow weeny season, and I will pick up on this monster again real soon...will have to hold off all other key issue requests until then. Good to hear from ya, bro. Hope all is well over yonder.

    2. Mayhem… my man.. you never let me down bruda!