Saturday, December 31, 2016

Mystery Comics Digest #23 - Gold Key

Behind a typically gorgeous cover, this edition of Mystery Comics Digest (May 1975) features eighteen "spine-tinglers in the Karloff tradition!"

  • "Lo! The Mighty Hunter"
  • "The Man Who Thought He Had Wings"
  • "The Phone to the Past"
  • "The Room That Never Grew Old"
  • "Benefactors From Worlds Beyond"
  • "The Face in the Jewel"
  • "The Gypsy Curse"
  • "The Room of Madness"
  • "Pictures at an Execution"
  • "The Dragon Tattoo"
  • "The Death Bell"
  • "Disaster in 3D"
  • "The Scavengers"
  • "The Plague of Gornau"
  • "The Metamorphs"
  • "One For The Herd"
  • "When Children Speak"
  • "Monster Mountain"

I have to admit, I didn't find a single one of these stories even remotely scary. Dell/Gold Key prided itself on being family entertainment (they never submitted their comics to the CCA, objecting to the very suggestion that their publications even needed such review), so you can imagine it'd be kind of hard to do horror comics in that context. But, of course, these books weren't meant for me, reading them in 2016. I'm sure these comics were read on many a family vacation by kids eager to pass the time. I mean, over 125 pages of comics for a measly 69c is quite a deal.

The artwork (entirely uncredited) is pretty serviceable to the point of being bland, except for one story, "The Face in the Jewel", which stands out thanks to the visuals. Still, the book is a nice little package and seeing it makes me wish DC, Marvel, or maybe even Warren had tried such a thing with their horror comics!

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