When it comes to horror comics, especially pre-comics code titles, anything by EC Comics comes to mind. I have absolutely loved reading Tales From The Crypt, The Vault Of Horror and The Haunt Of Fear, never realizing that there were actually a whole bunch of other horror titles out there during the same time period.
Ghost Comics was released by a company called Fiction House and it ran from 1951 until 1954. There were eleven issues in all and it seemed like they came out sporadically as opposed to a monthly or bi-monthly schedule. Based out of New York, Fiction House was a publisher of pulp magazines and comic books and was known for its pin-up style, good-girl art that was featured on the covers of many of their releases. This style of artwork was evident on many covers of Ghost Comics. As with EC Comics, Fiction House found itself targeted in psychiatrist Dr. Fredric Wertham’s book “Seduction of the Innocent” (1954), which in part blamed comic books for an increase in juvenile delinquency.
In March of 2016, PS Artbooks, in their Pre-Code Classics line, released “Ghost Comics Volume 2“, that featured issues eight through eleven of the Ghost Comics line as well as issues one and two of another of Fiction House’s titles, Monster. To start off, let’s talk about the quality of this book.
This hard copy edition is absolutely beautiful and PS Artbooks does two things that I absolutely love. First off, the front and back covers of each issue are printed on glossy paper, much like what you would find on an actual comic book. The pages themselves, though not printed on newsprint as was common with most comic books, is printed on a quality type of paper that has a feel completely different from the cover. This paper allows for perfect reproduction of the original issues and to be honest, this is as close as you will get to having the actual issues without paying the hundreds of dollars each that back issues now command.
The second thing I love is the inclusion of the original ads! For me growing up, the ads were just as fun at times as the stories and are a great time capsule of the time period. Though I love that so many companies are reproducing vintage comic book collections, most are not including the original ads, which is a shame. I love what PS Artbooks is doing and I hope they continue, perhaps extending into titles from the 60s and 70s.
The process for creating these books from the original issues is state of the art and when you are reading through it, you know you are holding a quality book, one that will last a very long time. The artwork in these old comic books is so detailed and stylish so reproducing them correctly is all the more important for thorough enjoyment and appreciation of the original works.
If you would like to order your own copy from this series, please go to PS Artbooks website by going HERE! I would also recommend browsing the site for all of the other fantastic titles they have available. I cannot wait to add these to my collection!
If you would like to read others in the Basement Bookshelf series, just click HERE.