Haunted Horror- A trip into Pre-code madness!

For all those that wonder in amazement over the horror comics they see today, do yourself a favor if you already haven’t. Go back in time (thanks to IDW and Yoe Books), before the CCA (Comics Code Authority) was instituted, and revel in the brilliant, thought-provoking, and outright envelope pushing work that was done in the era before that foolish code was created.

Kudos must be given to the creators of this incredible work, but also to Craig Yoe, for putting this all together, and reminding us all of those great times. Getting this material back in front of comic book buyers in this day through a big publisher like IDW is something to be lauded.

The stories are various in their subject matter, but the resounding theme was horror, straight up. Zombies, murderers, radioactive insects, vampires, werewolves, etc. These wild comic books were carefully hidden under the beds of kids everywhere back in the 1950’s, in hopes that mom wouldn’t find them and throw them away. Don’t let that fool you though, they’re still pretty edgy even in this era. Do yourself a favor, grab these issues before they get too expensive, because we all know how expensive the original comics are from this age!

 

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Black Magic 8, 1975 “My Dolly the Devil!”

Back in the 1950s (before the Wertham crusades), Jack Kirby and Joe Simon were still chugging along with their creative partnership, and were producing comic books in their own shop. One of the companies they produced comic books for was Prize Comics (Crestwood Publications). This was the launching pad for titles like “Young Romance” (the first ever romance comic book), “Fighting American” and “Black Magic!” Before the Comics Code Authority was established, you had the awesomeness of EC Comics, and shops like Simon and Kirby’s churning out great stuff that really set the bar for horror of the time.

The book contains four stories (5, if you count a one page prose tale), that are all pretty good! Graveyards, ghosts, sinister dolls, killer dwarves, you name it, this one has it (*note- this book is a reprint of Golden Age stories, that explains all the pre-code talk!)! Credits include- Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Jerry Grandenetti (cover), Bruno Premiani, Leonard Starr, and more! Enjoy!

 

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Monster Massacre vol. 1 (Atomeka/Titan Comics)

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The over-the-top cover is extremely misleading, to those who will dismiss it just on that quality alone. Inside however, lies an anthology of stories and artwork that are top-notch! What better example of this could you imagine, than a story from the 1950’s, by legends Joe Simon and Jack Kirby? Of course the answer is none, and that’s what you get right out of the gate from this beautiful hardcover. The glossy pages of this book, are graced with some of comic books coolest creators. Dave Elliott, Alex Horley, Andy Kuhn, Dave Wilkins, Dave Dorman, and so on.

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Each story has its own unique voice, that lends a piece to the overall tone of the book. The fantasy vibe, definitely harkens back to the days of Frank Frazetta, and Boris Vallejo. These legends have inspired countless creators since the 1970’s, and will for a very long time. In the middle of the book, we even get a good prose story (Mike Elliott), followed by a solid story that’s part color, part black and white. It was a really cool to see that abnormal twist. The Cthulu-esque tale “Deep Six”, with great action, and an explosive ending!

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There are also two incredible galleries inside, one by Alex Horley, and the second by Steve White. The first, is one that will remind you of Heavy Metal or Vampirella style books. Big monsters, beautiful girls, and the such. The second one has some really interesting images that are varying in subject matter ranging from undersea life, to wooly mammoths. Throw in a good dinosaur story, and you get more than your monies worth from Atomeka and Titan Comics! Check out the links below for more info on this great book, and look for volume two in stores in the coming months (or pre-order it now)!

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