TOP 50 PRE-CODE HORROR COMICS: 50-21

notimelikethepast

*ORIGINALLY POSTED 9/22/16)*

First off a huge thanks to John “Copperhead” Z of CBSI fame for suggesting I form a list of the top PCH books for folks to debate, learn and hopefully have fun with.

There is no question there will be a lot of discussion about this list. What was wrong, what was missed, where books on the list should lie. That might be part of the fun of generating lists like this. Based on the little sales info I have, talking with other collectors and obviously my personal desire to own them, here is a Top 50 PRE-CODE HORROR BOOKS list.

 

Update October 2018: If you're looking for more info on these books, you need to check the awesome break down that Brian W from Simpleman's Comics put together for us:

 

 

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CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #7450 Captain America Comics #74

The first in the “horror run” of CAC before ending. Timely comics in general are hot, especially Caps. The later issues are becoming increasingly rare in the marketplace and appeal to the Timely Fans, Cap collectors and of course the PCH enthusiast.

Menace #149 Menace #1

Bill Everett art on a classic 1st issue.

Weird Mysteries #1248 Weird Mysteries #12

This entire series could make the list honestly. Fantastic art and subject matter and a tough to find book.

Strange Mysteries #1247 Strange Mysteries #12

There are a lot of great covers in this run, and like many books on this list, copies rarely come to market.

Haunt of Fear #1546 Haunt of Fear #15

1st issue from a popular EC Horror title.

STARTLING TERROR TALES #1145 Startling Terror Tales #11

L.B. Cole basically cover swiping…himself? Reminiscent of Suspense Comics #8, this comic fills the gap for a lot of collectors that simply can not afford a copy of Suspense 8.

ASTONISHING #3044 Astonishing #30

Eyes with melting power? Is that what’s going on here? Solid cover and somewhat scarce a must own.

MYSTIC #1843 Mystic #18

Greatest cover of the run. I believe this issue is also truly scarce, which, when combined with the cover subject, makes for a book that explodes every single time it comes to auction.

Tales from the Crypt #2042 Tales from the Crypt #20

The first issue of the title that would come to dominate the EC back issues market in terms of popularity. Some modest gains in price over the last 4 or 5 years though not the growth other books have seen from non EC publishers.

WEIRD TALES OF THE FUTURE #741 Weird Tales of the Future #7

Bernard Baily cover. This is a book I was introduced to a couple years back and a book that I will constantly buy given the opportunity. So much potential if this cover ever starts getting mentioned among other real classics.

VENUS #1740 Venus #17

Bill Everett art for the cover of the first(of 3) horror issues. Venus started as a romance title and was switched over to a Sci Fi title sort of like Planet, but then for the last 3 issues made an attempt at being a horror comic before being canceled.

ADVENTURES INTO TERROR #2839 Adventures into Terror #28

A skeleton operating a wrecking ball? Sign me up.

WEIRD CHILLS #138 Weird Chills #1

From what I can tell it appears this crazy scientist dude is trying to reanimate his hole in the head zombie by draining the blood from the chick on the table. BUT he clearly cares as he is using something to check her vitals? Hell, IDK, but I do know this cover weirds me out and I want it.

WEIRD HORRORS #637 Weird Horrors #6

Incredible William Ekgren cover on this comic. Not sure what style Ekgren was after, but the end result is a true classic.

Shock Suspenstories #636 Shock Suspenstories #6

A nod to Suspense Comics #3 and quite possibly one of the most intense covers in comics. Wally Wood brings his skills to the table and does an excellent homage cover.

War Against Crime #1135 War Against Crime #11

This is actually the first EC Horror Cover printed. It also happens to be pretty difficult to locate which does not help the price.

Vault of Horror #1734 Vault of Horror #17

Classic werewolf cover by Johnny Craig in the height of EC madness. Nothing too over the top of gory, but a classic none the less.

VENUS #1933 Venus #19

Final issue of the series and another killer cover!

MARVEL TALES #11632 Marvel Tales #116

The TRUE first appearance of Werewolf by Night. Considering it has no relation to the Bronze age series other than sharing a name, it’s tough to stomach the prices realized at market for this tough to find cult favorite.

Worlds of Fear #931 Worlds of Fear #9

Terrifying drowning cover!

BLACK CAT MYSTERY #4630 Black Cat Mystery #46

An affordable classic from Harvey! Severed head in a test tube cover luckily has a fair amount of surviving copies, making this a go to for newer collectors or folks on a budget.

Strange Tales #129 Strange Tales #1

Journey Into Mystery #128 Journey into Mystery #1

Tied on the top 50 these 2 early (Strange Tales is the earlier of the 2) Atlas horror books would later serve to showcase Thor and The Human Torch, Dr Strange and later many others as the titles progressed. Often lumped in with Tales to Astonish and of Suspense, these #1 issues are both excellent representations of Atlas(Marvel) going with the trends of the time.

 Worlds of Fear #1027 Worlds of Fear #10

Real creepy ass painted cover by Norman Saunders.

Beware #1026 Beware #10

No top list is complete without a cover from the master Frank Frazetta. Prices are not outrageous but this is more of a “Serious Buyers Only” kind of book.

Moon Girl #525 Moon Girl #5

The comic that started it all for EC. Before any New Trend titles were released, Gaines allowed for Craig to run a 5 page story called “Zombie Terror”. This is the first Horror story published by EC and also one of the first works by Craig.

Horrific #124 Horrific #1

I was first turned onto this book when I first started chatting with local G+ “Copper Age Champion” Jon Z while talking Horror Comics one day.

Vault of Horror #3523 Vault of Horror #35

What an incredible cover… I might be incredibly biased because of my addiction to Pre 1950 Christmas covers but there is no denying the brilliance of the concept and execution of this demented thought.

Mister Mystery #1222 Mister Mystery #12

A hot iron rod and an eyeball? Yeah ok then.

Witchcraft #221 Witchcraft #2

Part of this ranking is based on the jump this book has made in the last 3 years. Tough to find in mid or better grade, this has moved up on many collector’s lists recently.

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