Halloween Comics

by Blaise Tassone

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Alright comic book lovers, Halloween is upon us once again. In the spirit of the year, I want to take a look at five relevant comics that evoke a ‘Halloween mood’. If you have these books in your collection they can boost your bank account, and if you don’t, many of these are sound investment candidates and may see price bumps in the future.

My selection is in part personal, based on comics I own or have enjoyed reading. All are comics with a horror/Gothic or Ghost n’ Goblins/Halloween-type feel. These are presented here in no particular order.

Tomb of Dracula #10 (July 1973) – First Blade the Vampire Slayer

Starting in the early seventies there was a renaissance of horror and monster comics among the big publishers, and in that wave came this title. What can I say about Marvel’s premiere Dracula title that hasn’t already been said? After a slow start, this book really found its feet under the creative guidance of Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan. When they gave us ‘Blade, the Vampire Slayer’, the progressively improving title reached a new high. Passionately sought by comic collectors and horror fans alike it’s not for nothing that Blade has appeared in various films and remains to this day a fan favorite. How much so, can be gauged by the prices on this book. Until four years ago you could get a certified 9.8 copy of this book for under $2, 000.00. Today good luck finding it for under 6. Returns have been practically super-natural: in 9.8 certified grade positive returns of +70.9% after 22 sales since 2009, on 9.6 graded copies positive returns of +166.7% after 63 sales since 2003.

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Werewolf by Night #32 (August 1975) – First Moon Knight

After Dracula we move to the Wolf-man, or, in the case of Bronze Age Marvel horror, the Werewolf by Night-man. Once again, this is an uneven series, it started out strong and then began to lag until the later issues. By the time Moon Knight appears, the series had hit new creative peak….only to be cancelled soon after. But we’ll always have this issue. WWbN #32. Talk about a hot comic. How can a character (Moon Knight, who appears here for the very first time) be so hot without a movie or TV show anywhere in sight? It’s a Halloween mystery and positively spooky. Almost as creepy, in fact, as the returns on this comic. If you have a 9.8 certified copy you’re currently looking at a FMV of well over $15, 000.00 for Marc Spector’s debut. But best returns, as in the case of Blade, are on 9.6 certified copies, with a +124.4% roi over 35 sales over the last 15 years. Makes me want to howl at the moon, since I don’t have this comic!

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Ghosts #1 (September 1971) – First issue of long running horror series

When it comes to Bronze Age horror Marvel had many hits, producing comics that can really garner financial windfalls today, but DC was no slouch in this department. Here’s a book that has been slowly gaining in value but might still be off the radar of some collectors. First published in 1971, this was an early entry into the horror revival of the Bronze Age and boasted the tag line ‘True Tales of the Weird and Supernatural’. Although, never a fan favorite, it did feature some great Nick Cardy art on its early issues. And it has scary returns too…a 9.6 sold for $510.00 and that was back in 2016. 9.4 certified copies have the best returns, with +45.5% and only two sales since 2012, when the last sale went for $340.00 but would probably fetch a lot more today.

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Crime Patrol #15 [EC Comics] (December 1949) – first Crypt keeper

Al Feldstein struck gold when he scripted his story “Return from the Grave!” in EC’s Crime Patrol. Illustrated by Johnny Craig, this story eventually became the inspiration, years after it was published, for a campy American TV show, but the first Crypt Keeper appearance is still a classic today. This is horror done right. These early EC titles really do hold their own, even decades after they were first published. This comic is hard to find, but worth looking for. 9.8 certified copies are scarce but fetch high dollars in auctions. In February of 2016 one sold for $10,250.00, as recorded on Comic Link.

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House of Secrets #92 (June 1971) – First Swamp Thing

With an absolutely brilliant Bernie Wrightson cover, and the first appearance of DC’s version of the Man-Thing, or is it more accurate to say that Man-Thing is Marvel’s version of this character? – in any case, here we get the very first appearance of the Swamp Thing. A new live action series is on the way for this character but until then, his early comic appearances are positively on fire. In May of 2018, a 9.8 certified copy of HOS #92 sold on Comic Link for a scary $44, 999.00. Wow! Returns are sky-high all over the board on this one. You’re in for a very Happy Halloween indeed if you can find a copy to call your own.

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