Chilling and Thrilling Pre-Code Comics during Heritage’s Pre-Code Event

by Lauren Sisselman

100622D-1024x536 Chilling and Thrilling Pre-Code Comics during Heritage's Pre-Code EventIt’s finally my favorite of the year — Halloween time! Time to celebrate all things spooky — movies, toys, and comic books. Heritage is kicking off the season with a Pre-Code Horror and Crime Comics auction! Bidding opened on September 29, but the auction will run until October 27-28. Pre-code horror and crime comics are best known for their sometimes grotesque covers, which include severed, bloody heads, crime scenes, and even dripping zombies. Comics from this era are highly collectible and can go for high dollar amounts in auctions. Some covers have even influenced pop culture as a whole, long after their publication date.

We’re taking a look at some horror books that truly stand out in this auction. There are both raw and graded books available, catering to all kinds of pre-code collectors!

Adventure Into Darkness #11

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Adventure Into Darkness #11 came out right before the Comics Code Authority was set in place. With a striking cover by  George Roussos — who was one of Jack Kirby’s inkers during the Silver Age — this comic is a great addition or introduction for pre-code collectors.

The cover draws the viewer’s eyes right to the burned corpse, which is now nothing more than a pile of bones and the victim’s skull placed neatly on top. This cover is still rather gruesome to look at, but it is one of the more beautiful ones. With a black background and almost neon, popping colors, this book should be on everyone’s want list.

Heritage notes this raw book as being in VG (4.0) condition. The one-year average on similar books is $600, with a most recent auction ending at $630 for a CGC blue label copy.

Spook #27

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White comic book covers aren’t unusual, yet there’s something sinister about them during the pre-code era.

This copy of Spook #27 features a white background with deep, vivid colors portraying ghoulish bodies dripping with fear. L.B. Cole used color and shape to portray water on this cover, giving it a truly unique and defining look. What else can I say, this book is beautiful.

Cole was known for creating eye-popping covers using primary colors to pop out against black backgrounds, but every one of his comic covers is something to celebrate. Heritage notes this book as being in VG (4.0) condition. While there haven’t been any recent sales of this book, a CGC blue label 6.5 sold for $740 in December 2019. This is a book that doesn’t pop up often!

Chamber of Chills #23

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This is one of the most iconic covers of the pre-code era and for good reason. Artist Lee Elias, who had worked on Black Cat, World’s Finest Comics, and Power Man, was a master at creating realistic depictions of people — especially his close-ups.

This cover features a damsel in distress as she’s being attacked by a ghoulish zombie. Viewers can feel the fear in her eyes! This CGC blue label 5.5 has off-white to white pages and presents well.

This comic always demands top dollar when it’s up for sale, and is considered one of the pre-code horror grails. A similar 5.5 last sold at auction for $2640, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this hit closer to $3K.

Want more Auction coverage?

Do you collect pre-code horror comics? Tell us about your collection in the comments below!

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*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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