Most pre-code horror and sci-fi comic books are in the public domain so it is no surprise that there are many reprints starting with Eerie publications in the 1960’s and continuing on today with stellar publishers like Yoe Books and PS Artbooks. There are a few things that constitute a decent pre-code horror comics reprint depending on what you’re looking for.
This article is taken from the original Video on Pre-code HORROR and SCI-FI Comic Book Reprints.
The better the original source material and care taken to reproduce the most accurate image possible. The higher quality reprint you will have. Color reprints are much trickier thus you have fewer publishing in full color with the majority being simple black and white reprints.
I first discovered reprints of pre-code comics when i was a kid and I happened to find some magazines from Eerie publications in a store one day. At the time I didn’t realize magazines like Weird, Horror tales (pictured), and Tales of Voodoo were simply reprints or redos of all of those pre-code comics from the 1950s.
PUBLISHER MYRON FASS
Myron Fass ran eerie publications and he himself drew comics and did covers for 1950s publishing houses like Toby contributing to titles such as Tales of horror and covers of issues like Beware (pictured) drawn by Fass depicting himself being attacked by monsters. So the fact that Myron Fass figured out a way to milk those pre-code tales for many more years is not surprising. It was many years later that i realized that what Eerie publications had done so I ended up collecting more to get those reprints.
The redrawn pre-code stories in Eerie publications were often quite good as foss employed many talented south american artists to churn out the pages. Overall, one might think of Eerie publications as a kind of click bait operation. The incredibly gory covers of vampires attacking a scantily clad woman while being skewed through the heart by a crazy looking werewolf never showed up as stories in the magazines themselves but if you want to up your gore game I highly recommend getting at least a few magazines from Eerie publications for the decent black and white reprints and the insanely over-the-top violent monster covers. Ebay and a few other sellers have them running anywhere from 10 bucks to perhaps a few hundred dollars for the rarest issues in great shape.
JAMES WARREN VS. MYRON FASS
And now a tasty little anecdote in 1965. Myron Fass (pictured) ended up calling his horror comics publishing company Eerie publications after James Warren publishing beat him to the name.
His original idea was to call his first magazine “Eerie” but Warren struck at the midnight hour and released an ash-can version of Eerie magazine beating Fass to the punch and securing the name Eerie for his own title. The ash can version of Eerie number one which is simply a black and white staple-bound quick print can be found on ebay or other collector’s sites and seem to range between 800 and 1500 dollars. This is why the first full-fledged issue of Eerie to hit the stands was issue number two. The good news is that you can get a photocopy of erie number one on Ebay for around 10 to 15 dollars.
It is interesting to note that around this time, early to late 1960’s, a UK publisher called Super Comics also published pre-code reprints in comic book form. For example, they published Eerie tales number 12 which was a reprint of Avon periodicals Erie number one from 1951.
One of the more famous or perhaps infamous pre-code players back in the day with titles like Mister Mystery and Weird Tales of the Future, was Stanley Morse.
Morse jumped into the pre-code reprint game in the late 60s with SHOCK and Chilling Tales of Horror magazine (pictured) in 1968. Stanley publications had other pre-code reprint titles like Ghoul Tales and Stark Terror. In the case of Stanley morris, he literally reprinted the original stories including some of the original covers.
For example, Shock number one has the cover of Weird Chills number one which was originally done by the great Bernard Bailey although many of their covers were done by modern artists. A lot of these are available online, particularly on ebay and are not very expensive, running between 10 to 50 dollars depending on condition.
In the next part of this series, we dive into latter day reprints from the 1990s and on.
Watch this Pre-code HORROR and SCI-FI Comic Book Reprints video on Horror Mike’s Channel.