TALES Too TERRIBLE To TELL! Pre-code Horror Comic Book Reprints, stories and history from New England Comics.
You can watch the original Tales Too Terrible To Tell video here.
The 1980s and 90s saw a resurgence of pre-code horror comic book reprints from a variety of small publishers. Today we look at NEC: New England Comics and Tales too Terrible to Tell. These are some of my favorite reprints for a variety of reasons.
Pre-code Reprint Quality
Tales too terrible to tell published all interior reprints in black and white which can be a turn off for some pre-code comics fans, however, the reprints in the issues i have are clean and sharp making the reading very enjoyable. More importantly, the crew of tales too terrible to tell led by editor George Suarez, art director Bob Polio, assistant editor Larry Boyd and research assistant Billy Devine made this publication much more than just a collection of pre-code horror comic book stories reprinted and thrown into a magazine.
A History of Pre-code Horror Comics
Inside each issue is a wealth of information about the comics artists writers and publishers making Tales too terrible to tell a must have for any pre-code horror comics enthusiast. Beside the reprinted comic book stories each issue has a section called Terrorology that dives into the nuts and bolts of pre-code publishers titles and artists. Suarez also published a companion magazine called Terrorology specifically designed to be an informative guide to pre-code comics. You can get many of these on ebay.
Horror Comic Book Covers
Additionally. Tales to terrible to tell features a gallery of classic horror covers in each issue showing the cover and talking about the artist with cool details about the particular issue. There is also a letters to the tombs section in the back of each issue with correspondence from fans which can be very entertaining.
Pre-code Horror Meets SWAMP THING
I have issues one through eight and while most of the issues of Tales too terrible to tell have color reprints of great pre-code covers on their respective covers, issue number one and three have exclusive covers by the great Steve “swamp thing” Bissette. issue number one with the gloriously ghoulish zombie flesh rip-a-rama cover by Bissette was a specially numbered limited edition you can still get on ebay for around 20 bucks or so. Just make sure it’s the limited edition. A few years later they re-released issue number one without the Bissette cover and in its place the Jack Katz shrunken head cover originally published in issue number eight of Out of the Shadows in 1953.
Ben Edlund’s THE TICK
As a kind of strange extra, many of the issues feature early stories from ben edlund’s the Tick. NEC comics carried the Tick for a while so i imagine it was a kind of cross-promotional idea and apparently Mr. Edlund was a fan and supporter of the Tales too terrible to tell project. In summary if you are a true fan of pre-code horror comics you should get your claws on a set of tales too terrible to tell immediately. Highly recommended.
Watch this original video on the Horror Mike Channel.
This concludes part 3 of the series. As always, please like and subscribe. Thank you.