14 issues from Fawcett + 7 issues from Charlton

Editor of these books is a certain “V. A. Provisiero”. Reading a statement of the ownership announcement in TMIH #9 I learned that Provisiero’s first name is a lovely “Virginia”! The “girl editor” Sheldon Moldoff mentions in his interview (hope she was of full age, else it would’ve been child labor…)

By the way: almost all of the books are available to view and/or download at the Digital Comic Museum. I took care of some missing issues. So enjoy. And I’m working on completing the whole run, of course. Every issue has been freshly indexed (with the fabulous help of art spotting wizard Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr.) on the Grand Comics Database – the link will show you all available data, including cover shots and story descriptions. Just click the underlined title…

Stories posted on the internet are linked (also marked with an underline). Miniature splash pages tell you that this story has been posted on our horror websites – click to read the whole stories.



Dr. Death „welcomes“ his readers

October 1951
Cover: (Man on cemetery shocked by looking into coffin) – Sheldon Moldoff

“The Curse Of Carnoc Castle” (George Evans)
“Stand-In For Death” (Bernard Baily)
“The Coffin-Maker!” (Sheldon Moldoff)

Host “Dr. Death” is prominently featured on the cover – promising us “Hair-raising horror stories I DARE you to read!” So we did.

“The Curse Of Carnoc Castle” has a record-length story of 13 pages. Unparalleled in pre-code horror history. Only two other stories from Fawcett are credited with such length.

The Duke of Allister rises from his casket to reclaim Carnoc Castle, after being buried for two hundred years. But he’s looking dapper and dynamic, not a monster at all. The horrible price for his immortality is a touch of death: anything he touches will wither and die. As beauteous newspaperwoman Delena arrives from the city, the story begins to twist and turn…
“The Curse Of Carnoc Castle” presents a nice package of family curses, magic potions and witchcraft. Evans’ compositions look a bit stiff to me; he’ll reach mastership two years later – when joining the EC crew.

carnoc1Stand-In For Death”: I got the twist on page 4 (of 9). It’s resolved on page 6 (of 9) – what will be coming yet? I won’t spoil anything, but the story goes up in smoke. Seven pages would have been sufficient. Strange observation: all those apartment scenes look like being drawn by another artist (possibly Evans). Does anyone concur?

The two-page text story (“Doctor MacCready’s Little Men”) is charming, written by a certain Al Schutzer. I wonder if Schutzer may have been a staff writer. Because the next issue will be featuring a story about a shrunken man (“The Weirdest Corpse Of All Time!”) as well. There is a fine and wry sense of humor and a bitter taste of irony running through both tales.

Fun story of the issue is “The Coffin-Maker!”, pampering us with the portrayal of a creepy undertaker’s home and “workroom” cellar. The “radiant” Carlotta has married “old and little” Hiram (clearly the undertaker of them both, the name gives it away…) for his money. Carlotta feels more and more uneasy when she hears voices from the basement and learns about deaths before they occur.
Look it up on the “Golden Reading” blogzine for Golden Age comic stories.

Some books from Fawcett are sporting a “letterhead” above the splash of the first story. You’ll find the editorial indicia here, a list of their published comics and a seal of “Wholesome Entertainment”, guaranteed by company president Fawcett himself. This always amuses me.
Wholesome entertainment in a horror comic book. We’ll remind them of that when next we come across a gross Nazi atrocity story. And they’ll be rolling in, folks! Maybe they noticed this editorial slip-up. I found the seal only in the very first issues of THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED, not in the other horror books…


And, by the way: Fawcett tried to cover up their involvement in horror and crime. These books do not feature the logo “A Fawcett Publication” or “A Fawcett Magazine” on the title page. Western and war books do, however…
For designing this website’s headers I shamelessly used the tag “A Fawcett Publication” to make it look snappier. So call me a hypocrite like I just called them hypocrites.


December 1951
Cover: (Zombie coming after frightened man and woman) – Sheldon Moldoff

“The Green Hands Of Terror” (George Evans + ?)
“The Devil’s Due” (???)
“The Weirdest Corpse Of All Time!” (Sheldon Moldoff ? + Ed Moline ?)


The special attraction to even the lamest FAWCETT HORROR covers was a metallic „shimmer“ applied to those purple and red tones. Tilt this issue into the light and the corpse will glow slightly in the… well, not dark.

Typical Moldoff cover. It’s quite lame, to be frank. Maybe Gaines (at EC) wanted to get rid of Moldoff when he started his famous “new trend” in comic books.

Another record 13-pager is “The Green Hands Of Terror”. Jenk and Slezak, two killers on the run, hide in a house, where a chemist is experimenting with “synthetic prototplasm” – thus creating aggressive body parts which attack any intruder.
Fun story with a nice ironic twist at the end. Would make a brilliant “double feature” with Lou Cameron’s flying killer hands in “Kill, My Minions Of Death” from Ace’s BAFFLING MYSTERIES #17.

Mystery artwork in “The Devil’s Due”: not a bad artist at work here, using every trick in the book to make this work. Note the eager use of horror iconography like tilted graves, foggy nights, gnarly trees, lightning, eerie shadows, sweat on foreheads, dramatic close-ups. An inspired swiper, probably.
“The Devil’s Due” is that Nazi atrocity story foiling the nice seal of “Wholesome Entertainment” at the book’s opening. Just statin’ the facts, ma’m…

Reaching the issue’s last story, we finally disclose an art spotting dilemma. Sheldon Moldoff surely was the driving force behind Fawcett’s horror titles. But is he always contributing as much as it looks?
The Weirdest Corpse Of All Time!” looked like a clear-cut case of Moldoff – to me. But Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr. and Hames Ware (the best art spotters around) detect a distinctive touch of Ed Moline in here. And in many other “Moldoffs”.
Jim even had the opportunity to ask Sheldon himself when sitting next to him at a comic convention: “Did you know Ed Moline?” – “Who? Never heard of the man”, replied Moldoff.
So – what do we learn from this?
Was Moline never part of the Fawcett gang? Or did Moldoff sometimes not know who inked his work?
When I look at the only signed “Moline” I ever came across (Ace’s CRIME MUST PAY THE PENALTY #12, signature hidden on bottle in splash) – I admit it might be possible that Moline inked Moldoff. But Moline is such an elusive phantom artist (37 dubious credits in our databases). Let’s say if Moldoff doesn’t look 100 percent Moldoff, we may note down a “?” for inking credits (and in exceptional cases a possible inking credit for Moline, like in this instance).

In “The Weirdest Corpse Of All Time!” we meet a “little man” and his “shrewish wife”, the classic horror comic book odd couple. The reader really feels for the hapless (and even nameless!) exterminator. Hold on, he’s called “George Harris”, but in just three panels. It’s a sadistic story, told by a gleefully sadistic Dr. Death.

TMIS#2 is a fabulous issue containing three highly entertaining stories. As you might know by now, I think writing is MORE IMPORTANT than artwork. Up to now all Fawcett books are well written and keep a very original pace (those long stories), making them unique in pre-code horror history.



Typical Powell close-up of a human eye – I’ll upload the photographed book on the Digital Comic Museum in the next weeks…

February 1952
Cover: (Giant bat rising from coffin and confronting man with stake) – Sheldon Moldoff
This issue was missing! German horror comics collector “whitewolf61” let me photograph his issue, so here’s the contents:
“The Cult Of The 13 Ghosts” (Bob Powell)
“Beware The Jabberwock” (Bernard Baily)
“Quest Of The Vampire!” (Sheldon Moldoff)

Nice and groovy Powell splash with “The Cult Of The 13 Ghosts”, a strange fellowship of turbaned (!) ghosts, supposedly the meanest murderers of ancient times. They reside in a bleak basement – doing absolutely nothing. When their landlord comes visiting for the missing rent, they scare him. That’s about all of the plot, more or less. Very anaemic story of sadly no interest.

And it’s another Fawcett foray into parallel words with Baily’s “Beware The Jabberwock”: Trapped in a mirror world, two men face a flesh-eating monster. The story gives a referential nod to “Alice In Wonderland”, but isn’t inventive enough to knock anyone’s socks off.

So it boils down to “Quest Of The Vampire!” as this issue’s ‘saver’. Again – a miss. This tale about a vampire lord posing as another vampire’s servant is rather bland and run of the mill.
THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #3 (a long missing issue) proves to be disappointing.
In all stories all of the human protagonists survive their encounter with the forces of evil. This book feels like a copy of an ACG horror title (ADVENTURES INTO THE UNKNOWN, FORBIDDEN WORLDS or OUT OF THE NIGHT). Hmmmpf.

Postscript September 2013: And the whole book is now uploaded at the Digital Comic Museum. Judge for yourself!


April 1952
Cover: (Skeletal Zombie gripping blonde woman in red dress and hiding from man with rifle) – Sheldon Moldoff

“The Constant Eye” (Bernard Baily)
“Séance Of Terror” (Edd Ashe ?)
“The Blind, The Doomed – And The Dead!” (Bob Powell)

Classic Moldoff cover. All stories are hosted by Dr. Death, appearing here and there throughout the whole book.
And we see the zany rival for the wackiest story ever illustrated by Bernard Baily: “The Constant Eye” is just as mad as his “AIEEEEE! The Teeth!”.
Twelve full pages is a long stretch, but they manage to keep it fairly entertaining. Page 2 depicts a riveting murder scene, pages 3 to 5 contain fast-paced paranoia and page 6 holds an unforgettable moment: the corpse copping a smoke and explaining his plans for revenge. That to me is a highpoint in all of pre-code horror!


A corpse dying for a smoke

The following six more pages are sadly quite run-of-the-mill, but the last page compensates us with a surreal image of a gigantic moon-eye.

Mystery artwork in “Séance Of Terror”. This is the only time we’ll see this artist in all of FAWCETT HORROR. According to Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. this could be Ed(d) Ashe. Story itself is a rather weak piece about two souls battling over one body.

And it’s a Bob Powell classic to wrap up this issue. In “The Blind, The Doomed – And The Dead!” Powell goes to the carnival and lets a murderer get lost in a maze. He is then judged by a ghostly tribunal and hanged by the neck. Especially great and memorable artwork on the last four pages!

“The Constant Eye” has been published on another interesting blog (not only on Karswell’s superb and ground-breaking pre-code horror blog THE HORRORS OF IT ALL) on the internet called “Seduction of the Innocent!”. Scroll down to second story HERE. You’ll find some comics there which roused the suspicion of the “censors”, like “Teen-Age Dope Slaves” and other drug-related tales. What if the United Stated became communist tomorrow? And more very enlightening examples of comic book censorship…


June 1952
Cover: (Woman hides on window ledge from skeletal zombie searching for her) – Sheldon Moldoff

“The Slithering Horror Of Skontong Swamp!” (George Evans)
“The Ghost Of Fanciful Hawkins!” (Bob Powell)
“The Last Man” (Myron Fass ?)

That’s a nice Moldoff cover, one of his three best (they weren’t actually that good, ahem).
“The Slithering Horror Of Skontong Swamp!” is a horror classic, beautifully designed by Evans. A death row escapee encounters zombies in a swamp and is furthermore haunted by flashbacks. The end is unusually dark and drives home a fine impact of crime and punishment. Maybe THE best Evans horror story ever!

That’s probably not a Bob Powell solo job in “The Ghost Of Fanciful Hawkins!”, but it’s hard to tell, because Powell operated his own four-men studio. I think there’s Howard Nostrand involved here. The hillside country ghost story about the big-footed feller named Hawkins teeters on the brink of silliness. Ghost shoes chasing the murderous bully?!

Notice please that in this second story they are using BIG show-offy panels as well. Looks absolutely gorgeous – and a nice way to use those long ten pages very effectively.

Sloppy mystery artwork in “The Last Man”. I suspect the same “artist” who did “The Devil’s Due” in THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #2. This may be the work of Myron Fass who keeps popping up here and there in these years (at Atlas, at Toby, at Ace, at Trojan, at Story, at Gleason) – often doing horror stories! The man is a legend, really. Fass founded the infamous line of late-60s “Eerie Publications”, reprinting and rehashing pre-code horror comics. For more info see Mykal Banta’s wonderful blog THE BLOODY PULP.


August 1952
Cover: (Army of ghosts rising from their graves and flying away over cemetery gate) – ???

“The Secret Of The Walking Dead” (Ed Waldman ?)
“Showcase For Horror!” (Leonard Frank)
“The Curse Of The Crystal!” (Sheldon Moldoff)

That’s a very interesting cover, in its very own way. Probably drawn by Moldoff, it transports a unique sense of not terror, but sadness. What do you think?

We welcome a NEW ARTIST to Fawcett’s horror titles: Ed Waldman. Starts out in late summer of 1952 and will contribute up to the end. He has to count as a regular, only we didn’t know his identity. Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. first thought him to be Bud Thompson, but then we found Bud Thompson – looking different. Waldman debuts with “The Secret Of The Walking Dead”, which looks nice and gloomy.


Remember me from another book, kiddies?

The next debutant follows suit: Leonard Frank – coming over from Fawcett’s CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT and MONTY HALE WESTERN. Interesting artist, drawing some of the most peculiar eyes (and eyebrows) in comics history!
His “Showcase For Horror!” is a nutty story, but remarkable for its unusual setting (a warehouse’s window display department) and its appreciation of the grotesque. Happy to post it here (click miniature splash).

It’s a fun 2-page text story by Eando Binder (“The Unhaunted House”) about a journalist spending a night in a haunted house and finding no ghosts – or does he? Look up the issue and read it.

In “The Curse Of The Crystal!” Moldoff draws an old witch which looks like a parody of EC’s lovable Old Witch by Graham Ingels. One of the story’s characters is even named “Ingalls”.
Given Moldoff’s beef with EC he seems to enjoy doing an old witch of his own…
The witch character will appear in more Moldoff contributions (e. g. in “Death’s Beggar”, published the same month in STRANGE STORIES FROM ANOTHER WORLD #2). We posted a picture of the witch there.


October 1952
Cover: (Skull-faced homunculus rising from test tube and shocking scientist) – ???

“The Man Who Saw Too Much” (Leonard Frank)
“Toreador Of Death!” (Sheldon Moldoff)Toreador1
“The Grim Unreality” (“Jokerface”)

Cover motif is similar to last month’s STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #2: both times a lab scientist is backing off in horror from weird creatures emerging from a test tube. I like TMIH #7 better and suspect involvement by Ed Waldman (possibly inking Moldoff here)?

Again Leonard Frank delivers a solid contribution with “The Man Who Saw Too Much”, a tale about a photographer coming into possession of a camera which takes pictures of ghosts. Change a word in the title and you get “The Man Who KNEW Too Much”, the Hitchcock thriller. Interesting fact: The original “The Man Who Knew Too Much” dates from 1934 starring Peter Lorre; the Hollywood version with James Stewart and Doris Day won’t hit the cinemas until the year 1956!

Death takes a visit to Spain, disguised as a toreador, a bull fighter. There we witness a fatal corrida at the witching hour. We also witness a color separation error in the splash (see splash on the right) of that second story. If you look hard you can see the outlines for the words “Toreador Of Death!” across Dr. Death’s face and cloak. Somebody obviously forgot to color this correctly. The result stuns the reader, because the splash page seems to be missing…

Second assignment for our mystery artist “Jokerface” (following his debut in BEWARE! TERROR TALES #3; see there for more info). Too bad his cartoony “funny” style lends no horror to “The Grim Unreality” (sporting a demon attack!). Imagine this executed by Bob Powell. Or ANY artist from the Standard stable (they had too many capable artist, but too little capable writers!). Unfair.
The story is a quite interesting speculation about imaginations running wild and thoughts spawning real events.

Three routine stories in this issue. Not a baddie amongst them, but no highlight either. A bit flavorless all in all. And we have to sum up: FAWCETT HORROR lacks horror artists!


December 1952
Cover: (Frightened man cowering behind gravestone from advancing ghoul) – Sheldon Moldoff ?

“The House In The Web” (Bob McCarty)
“The Aged Curse!” (Max Elkan ?)
“The Dance Of The Dead!” (Sheldon Moldoff)

“The House In The Web” is okay, featuring not the Devil making pacts with greedy humans, but a supernatural “Mr. Avarice”. Nice for a change, but you know where this is going.

It’s December 1952 and at the gates of an Old People’s Home a bearded figure carrying a mighty scythe appears, begging for entrance. This must be the old year 1952, but in “The Aged Curse!” cruel headmaster Lowry doesn’t recognize the symbolism and sends “it” away into the cold, cold night. Poetic justice comes to visit him in the form of aging very rapidly.
Mystery artwork in “The Aged Curse!” here. Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. sees Max Elkan in here – an excellent guess. I wonder if Bud Thompson has a hand in here as well. Would be a first and only horror contribution by Elkan – who did some western comics stories for Fawcett.

And it’s Shelly’s “Swiped Again”-time with the splash of Moldoff’s “The Dance Of The Dead!”. This is clearly copied from Bob Powell’s “The Blind, The Doomed – And The Dead!”, published in Fawcett’s own THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #4. Well, at least Moldoff is swiping from their own books.


Compare this detail by Powell with the splash above by Moldoff

The story itself is a strange one about a beautiful dancer named Tanya being kidnapped into another dimension by three carcass-like ghosts. The power of dance, however, is too much for these ghouls, and Tanya dances right back into the arms of her earthly lover.
Sounds like this tale is in need of professional help… Therapists, please mail in your analyses.


February 1953
Cover: (Ghostly witch emanating from open grave and scaring a couple strolling around the cemetary) – Sheldon Moldoff ?

“The Witch Of Tarlo” (Sheldon Moldoff + ?)
“Devil’s Mask” (Bob McCarty)
“Lady Or The Tigress?” (Leonard Frank)
“The House Of Doors” (Harry Harrison ? / William Weltman ?)

This is now Fawcett’s new deal: One “long” 10-page lead story plus three more – one is 6, the other two are 7 pages long.

“The Witch Of Tarlo” sports again a parody of EC’s Old Witch – which Moldoff obviously loves to do. Fun part of the story is that it feels as if the Old Witch is romping through her own comic book tale. Else it’s a weak yarn with a happy ending for the two young lovers.

It’s an entertaining “quickie” with “Devil’s Mask” featuring nice McCarty artwork. Though predictable, we present a self-made scan in our “Stories” section.

Lady Or The Tigress?” starts out with an astonishing feat: capturing a tiger – in Kenya! Too bad artist Leonard Frank (his third assignment with FAWCETT HORROR) can’t draw tigers in a proper way. Then again, what CAN Frank draw properly?! Have a look at the story on Karswell’s fantastic blog “The Horrors Of It All”.


No, no, no – new tiger, please!

Tiger ladies by the way are a special sub-genre of pre-code horror. Every publishing company seems to have produced at least one. I’m far too lazy to round them up here. And they’re awfully dangerous, too…

Mystery artwork in “The House Of Doors”. Art spotting experts like Hames Ware and Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. suspect a cameo by Harry Harrison. I see a slight chance this could be William Weltman (again, confer UNKNOWN WORLD #1, STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #4).
Contentwise it’s a long-time-no-see: another Fawcett lost-in-limbo-tale! Variation #5 –we’ll keep count! It’s briskly told and well worth posting, please find it in our “Stories” section.


April 1953
Cover: (Frightened fisherman pulls up blood-dripping ghoul’s head out of a lake) – Sheldon Moldoff ?

“Let The Past Lie Buried!” (Sheldon Moldoff)
“The City Of The Dead!” (Bob McCarty)
“Phantom Of Disaster!” (Ed Waldman ?)
“The Fat Man!” (Leonard Frank)

That cover is one of the most drastic and shocking to ever grace a Fawcett magazine. Trash classic. Because it’s funny, too. Possibly drawn by Moldoff, though.

Moldoff kicks off this issue with “Let The Past Lie Buried!”, delivering an interesting buried-alive splash. The logic-defying story is one of the most off-beat and wacky in not only FAWCETT HORROR’S, but pre-code horror history!
When a Neanderthal man is unearthed, the whole town regresses into caveman behavior. Go read it on Karswell’s fantastic blog “The Horrors Of It All”. Click underlined title to do so.

Note: Moldoff uses AGAIN that pose he swiped from Ingels (cf. STRANGE STORIES FROM ANOTHER WORLD #3).


Moldoff swiping Moldoff swiping Ingels…

And filling up the last third of this story is a really really sweet and heartwarming ad for FAWCETT HORROR, featuring their hosts Dr. Death and The Mummy!

I wanna have a coffee mug with that.

And we have a jaunty 5-page-“quickie” with “The City Of The Dead!” – with great McCarty artwork. The scenes of vultures descending upon a living man pinned to the ground reverberates pictures from Reed Crandall’s EC shock classic “Carrion Death” (which is not yet published, let alone written!). It will be printed in June 1953. FINALLY I’ve discovered something that has had an influence on EC (and not the other way round, as usual).


Ta-daa! After years of research we found a scene which was copied by EC!

Phantom Of Disaster!” pleases me with a twist I didn’t see coming. TMIH #10 is a great pre-code horror book. Crude artwork and entertaining stories make this issue a formidable example of mid-50s comics extravaganza.

And that includes “The Fat Man!”, another twisted 5-pager about an art painter (O no!) whose paintings come to life. Great fun, though, as the “fat man” kills the foul-mouthed landlady called Mrs. Tyran (sic!). Look it up in our “Stories” section.


All your Fawcett superstar hosts with pell-mell colored horror words – cute!

June 1953
Cover: (Skeleton with noose in hand approaching frightened man) – Sheldon Moldoff ?

“Lover” (Ed Waldman ?)
“And Then What???” (Bob McCarty)
“The Bags Of Trouble” (Leonard Frank)
“Touch Of Death” (Bob Powell)

TouchOfDeath1I love “Lover”! I am just nuts about those stories in which men are constructing life-like female robots. Here we get a long and twisting tale about a vain actor, a scorned lover, Frankensteinian horror and the terrors of the flesh. It’s never revealed how the lovely “Dulcet Mort” drains her man’s life energy, but we have our theories…
This is Johnny Craig’s “Till Death” blending with Rudy Palais’ “Death Kiss”. Sadly this story is lacking a final punch and fades out at the end (that is a weak graphic finale in the last two panels!), but I still rate it as great entertainment. See it posted in our „Stories“ section.

And Then What???” proves to be a comedic horror story. Reminds me of material Atlas liked to publish. One of those ironic five-page quickies solely conceived for the twist. It’s a nice one and a new flavor to FAWCETT HORROR. See it, too, posted in our „Stories“ section.

Leonard Frank’s looking shabby in “The Bags Of Trouble”. Sloppy work. Story doesn’t even have a splash. This may have been a hastily done last-minute “filler”… sure feels like it. The highly unbelievable parable of men exchanging their “troubles” (fates) teeters on the brink of arbitrariness. What’s very special about this story is the fact that host character Dr. Death actively stars in it! He is the satanic magician fulfilling wishes – with a catch, of course.

It’s a mystery why “Touch Of Death” has not been published in reprints or posted on the internet before. A straight and simple, wonderfully told and drawn tale of an old witch cursed by her own abilities. Everyone she touches (or touches her!) will drop dead instantly.
Great tongue-in-cheek Powell job, hosted by a cheerful Dr. Death who’s very busy constantly bringing population numbers on signposts up to speed. We’re proud to present it finally…

What an issue! A most enjoyable FAWCETT HORROR book and one of the best Bob Powell stories ever. And be prepared for his next installment – this might just knock your socks off!


August 1953
Cover: (Zombie coming down flight of stairs, sweating man waiting in foreground) – ???

“The Door” (Bud Thompson)
“The Store At The Cemetery” (??? – “Facet-o’-Fawcett”)
“The Wall Of Flesh!” (Bob Powell)
“Ready—Action—Camera!” (Ed Waldman ?)

Knocks your socks off, because we encounter a last Powell (sadly), but what a blast!
To me “The Wall Of Flesh!” is THE Powell horror story… Pre-code horror wackiness at its finest! If you should NOT know it yet, go read it. Now. Go! Mach schnell!
Complete issue’s been hosted and posted on Karswell’s fantastic blog “The Horrors Of It All”. It really is a great issue with a nice mix of different art.

First we welcome a newcomer to FAWCETT HORROR – Bud Thompson joins the crew. He’s been drawing the adventures of CAPTAIN MARVEL JR. (canceled in June) for almost ten years (!) and will contribute to all books to follow (alas, only two). Thompson proves to be a perfect boost and reinforcement for the dwindling and doomed horror titles. Wish he could’ve gotten there earlier! His “The Door” rehashes the plot and twist of Warren Kremer’s “Amnesia” in Harvey’s CHAMBER OF CHILLS #17, published just three months before.

“The Store At The Cemetery” is drawn by the same mystery artist who did “The House Of Death” in BTT #6. It’s an easy to spot, very distinctive style of drawing, but a complete riddle. Showed this a second time to Jim Vadebonceur, Jr. and he was as clueless as the first time. Very strange! If YOU out there have any leads as to who this artist is, please contact us.
I christened this artist “Facet-o’-Fawcett” (see my notes on CHARLTON HORROR, why)…
Story’s nice and quirky – and a variation of the “Bleeding Platter” from Standard’s THE UNSEEN #9 (March 1953). A society dinner, the lady of the house looking for exquisite pottery, a mad potter creating life-like pieces and the lady ending up as just such one on the dinner table. It’s all there, even the female protagonist is called Martha.

Postcript November 2014: There is a THIRD variation of that story. Should you be interested to hear about it, please click HERE and follow the discussion on my website about STANDARD HORROR (scroll down to issue #9 of THE UNSEEN).


Delightful detail from „Wall of Flesh!“

Did I mention yet that “The Wall Of Flesh!” is one of my favorite horror stories ever?!
It also contains the super cheesy phrase spurned lovers spew forth: “If I cannot have you, no one else will!”. Well, here’s the synopsis: While nurse Sheila is waiting for her fiance Johnny, evil doctor Quantrell pushes her into a flesh-eating wall of pulsating meat he created.
What the f*** for, I wonder…???
A race against the clock unfolds. Can Johnny rescue Sheila from her impending doom? Read it to believe it, nuff said.
I will NOT talk about sexual symbolism here; I am just a layman having a laugh. However: If you feel inclined to deliver interpretations, please do! I’ll gladly post your theories.

This issue wraps up with “Ready—Action—Camera!” which is a science fiction story, smuggled in. Men from Mars come to earth and destroy a movie set about men from mars. Tchtchtch.


October 1953
Cover: (Headless corpse walking into room where three men uncover severed head from block of concrete) – Sheldon Moldoff ?

“The Tapestry of Tolchime” (Bob McCarty)
“The Haunted Treasure” (Anthony Cataldo ?) – one-pager
“The Man Who Lost His Head!” (Bud Thompson)
“Where Do We Go From Here?” (Max Elkan ?)
“The Mystery Of The Poltergeist” (???) – one-pager
“The Formless Shadows” (Sheldon Moldoff ? + Bud Thompson)FormlessShadows1

We don’t know where Moldoff has gone (is he doing the cover?), but this is Bud Thompson’s issue. Two stories show his style; Jim and I first thought he may be involved in a third one. But I now suspect a second job by Max Elkan, the man who (possibly) drew “The Aged Curse” in TMIH #8.
And please notice that Ed Waldman is gone! He’s been given the boot and instantly replaced by Thompson. Which is understandable.

Let’s return to this issue’s cover for a moment. Is it quite grisly (have a look at the blood on the walking headless corpse, there’s even a bit of spine sticking out!). Dr. Death’s sarcastic commentary would have gone well with the more cynical covers from the competition at Key or Gilmor. FAWCETT HORROR gets hardboiled at the last minute. They really go for more drastic images in the latter half of 1953.


Click to enlarge and zoom in on the bloody neck…

The Tapestry of Tolchime” is a clever blend of ingredients we’re used to see in horror books: An US-American heir coming to his family castle in England, an age-old curse threatening his life, a magic tapestry being the plot’s trigger and release. Makes for an entertaining story.

The Man Who Lost His Head!” is a very fun story about a vain Hollywood movie actor getting in bed with a witch to ensure his success. Go read it on my German website.

“Where Do We Go From Here?” is a bit awkward: We accompany Warren Hopkins on his journey from his deathbed to the pearly gates. In between he takes over his body once more, giving his family a scare when he rises as a zombie from the grave. And he just wanted to say “Hello!” for a last time. Or what?! Once dead, stay dead.

“The Formless Shadows” feels like an amalgam of two other stories: early EC science fiction where everybody is an alien in disguise and another story in which evil people cast NO shadows. Can’t put my finger exactly on it. But it’s a clever combination – and fun nonetheless. Posted in our “Stories” section (click miniature splash to get there).

Artwise I’m seeing traces of Moldoff in here… Could this be just inks by Thompson? The composition feels more like Moldoff; and Thompson looks more expressive in his solo effort “The Man Who Lost His Head!” – please compare. So I think we DO have Moldoff actively involved in this second-to-last issue.


December 1953
Cover: (Bat carrying male victim in front of giant flaming skull) – ???

“The Greatest Secret On Earth” (Sheldon Moldoff)GreatestSecret1
“The Legend Of Glamis Castle” (???) – one-pager
“The Wig” (Bud Thompson)
“The Devil’s Soul” (???) – one-pager
“Death Fish” (Bud Thompson)
“Gaunt Gray Cat” (Morris “Mo(e)” Marcus ? + Rocco Mastroserio)

Cover is just desperate: they pasted together different snippets of art.
And there he is again: FAWCETT HORROR “macher” (man of action) Sheldon Moldoff shows up for one of his last contributions (although he will appear a very last time in Charlton’s THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #15 + #16, by the way, looking dismal).

This last issue now carries two stories by Bud Thompson (whom I love, by the way), starting with “The Wig” – one of the great funny pre-code horror stories. Barber Louie is ridiculed by his customers for his baldness. So he makes a wig out of the fast-growing hair of a werewolf he kills in his shop. The werewolf wig however keeps growing and attacks Louie.
I reread the story for a third time now – and I still don’t believe the cheek. This is just tops!
There exist FOUR different versions of that “murderous hair” topic. I explained all that on my German website. Do I hafta do it again in English?!

O well, here goes: Two are named “The Wig” and appeared here and in Standard’s OUT OF THE SHADOWS #11, respectively. Both are about a barber killing one of his customers, cutting off his hair and being strangled by that hair in the end.
The two other murder hair tales are about a housekeeper who kills the landlady. He then cuts off her hair, makes a fine mop out of it – and gets strangled by that mop in the end. Totally over the top nonsensical stuff!
Go read them all; you find them in Standard’s ADVENTURES INTO DARKNESS #8 (“The Fatal Strands”) and in Sterling’s THE TORMENTED #2 (“The Face On The Floor”). I like pre-code horror best when it reaches far out – beyond sanity.


Killer hair!

But back to this issue, Fawcett’s last TMIH. Moldoff delivers a truly fantastic and quite riveting weird yarn in “The Greatest Secret On Earth”. All men are not masters of their destiny, but mere puppets engineered by a race of supernatural demons called Ids (the Freudian “id” at work here in a personalized form!).
Plot intrigued me, it’s nicely told and Moldoff actually does a good job with it. See it posted in our “Stories” section as one of Shelly’s best!

Death Fish” feels like a cheap EC rip-off. Gaines & Feldstein reveled in publishing poetic justice twists like this one in their earlier days. The tale about a party of “big game fishermen” hunting a giant supernatural marlin is fun, though, and a refreshing change of pace (just 5 pages) compared to the long lead story. We present it in our “Stories” section.

And it’s a wrap with a (second) surprise cameo by Marcus & Mastroserio. They brought us the zany “Conqueror Worm” in WORLDS OF FEAR #5. Here with “Gaunt Gray Cat” they explore an aunt’s soul possessing a cat and tormenting the nephew who’s responsible for her soul wandering in the first place. Sadly, no “crazy cat lady” story, but an implausible feeling tale about a grown man letting himself get terrorized by rather sweet looking kittens. Hmmmph.

Let’s conclude our findings with the usual Who-did-What and how much listing:

Sheldon Moldoff 10 (with possible assistance by Ed Moline in 2 cases)
Bob McCarty 5
Bud Thompson 5
Leonard Frank 5
Bob Powell 5
Ed Waldman 4
George Evans 3
Bernard Baily 3
Max Elkan 2

Each 1: Edd Ashe, Morris “Mo(e)” Marcus + Rocco Mastroserio, “Jokerface”.
Artwork in 4 stories remains unidentified.

Note: The highly talented and enjoyable artists Leonard Frank and Bud Thompson appear ONLY in TMIH; in no other Fawcett horror series! Same goes for Max Elkan (just two cameos, but I’m telling ya)…


The torch is now passed from Fawcett to Charlton:

THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #14 was Fawcett’s last issue in December 1953 – and Charlton continues in February 1954 with #15. When Fawcett Comics went out of business by the end of 1953, the Charlton Company picked up many titles. Amongst other TMIH, without missing a beat. Although there is a grave editorial error in this issue’s indicia, where it says “February 1953”! This is plain wrong. Next issue will list correctly “March 1954”.
Oddly, now Bud Thompson is gone – and Ed Waldman returns. This may indicate a printing of “leftover” material before Charlton artists take over completely.


TMIH#15coverTHIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #15 (continued from Fawcett)
February 1954
Cover: (Craftsman looks on in terror as skeletal zombie breaks through ceiling) – Dick Giordano, signed

“Horror In Duplicate!” (Sheldon Moldoff ? + ?)
“The Corpse In The House” (Bob McCarty)
“Monsters Of The Deep” (Ed Waldman ?)
“The Forest Of Death” (Bob McCarty)

Unfair. They are giving the magazine’s previous host “Dr. Death” the boot – and replace him with a raisin-faced cross between a witch and “The Mummy” (allegedly called “Dr. Haunt”, according to Grand Comics Database, though I cannot confirm that name, couldn’t find it in the book itself). Soundly, they’ll reinstall the dead doctor in THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #16!

It’s a Bob McCarty double feature! Unseen before. And – alas – the last of him in horror. That is, he will contribute one last horror story for the following month’s BLACK MAGIC #29 from Prize Comics.

Charlton is using Fawcett artists – on an interim basis. The art for TMIH #15 was probably already commissioned before Charlton stepped in. I suspect that they scraped together unused art and packed this and the next issue out of it…

CorpseInHouse1The cover, though, belongs to Charlton’s crime comic artist Dick Giordano, featuring in a special blurb the new witch-like host. It’s a wacky cover (corresponding to the inside story “The Corpse In The House”), by the way, go look at it following the underlined link to Grand Comics Database: the house painter being terrorized by a skeleton breaking through the freshly done ceiling! George Suarez called this “My conception of a handyman’s nightmare”.

That’s FAWCETT HORROR’s “Mummy” narrating “The Corpse In The House”, a delightful homemaker’s worst case scenario, and a clear indicator that this is a leftover story from BEWARE! TERROR TALES. It’s a banal and pimped-up variation of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart”, of course, but pre-code horror fun at its best. (And just to be a wiseguy: This story is ABOUT „footprints on the ceiling“, but not to be confused with Fawcett’s „Footprints on the Ceiling“ from UNKNOWN WORLD #1).

“Horror In Duplicate!” is a typical Fawcett dimension-travel yarn: people are being substituted by evil doubles from a parallel world.

“Monsters Of The Deep” (not to be confused with a story from STANDARD’s THE UNSEEN #14) presents an unusually high ‘body count’ even for a pre-code horror story. A captain, his sailors, a team of scientists and a pack of gangsters are cruelly executed in this action-packed, but more than foreseeable tale.

It’s a wrap with “The Forest Of Death” – one of the very very few stories about lumberjacks! But it’s not about cross-dressing like in the famous Monty Python song, it’s “straight” (haha) murder-for-money fare with a ghostly twist. Very nice and fast-paced five page yarn – see it posted on my German website.


March 1954
Cover: (Underwater terror: a sea captain is dragged to the bottom of the sea encountering dead sailors) – Steve Ditko, signed

“The Last Voyage Of The Sea Witch!” (Sheldon Moldoff ?)
“The Evil Ministers?” (???)
“The Haunt Of Allanbank Castle” (Anthony Cataldo?) – one-pager
“Pet Hate” (???) – one-pager
“Some Things Weren’t Meant To Be Written!” (Ed Waldman ?)
“Supernatural Quiz” (Anthony Cataldo?) – one-pager

Dr. Death is back on a Ditko cover (no story by him inside, though). And he narrates the first and second story. Dr. Death, not Ditko, ahem. The Mummy narrates the third story. Has anyone been missing the host of BEWARE! TERROR TALES? Could be proof that this Waldman job, too, was planned for BTT #9 (which was never published).
I’m tempted to rate TMIH #15 & 16 as Fawcett books. This issue seems to be another “leftover” package.

A sad affair, too. “The Last Voyage Of The Sea Witch!” is the last voyage for Sheldon Moldoff as a Fawcett artist. The man who brought horror to Fawcett is pushed overboard. Story looks utterly sloppy – as if Moldoff knew he’d be out of the picture. And it’s a second-to-last stretched-out Fawcett ten-pager.

Same goes for “Some Things Weren’t Meant To Be Written!”, in which Ed Waldman draws even stranger than usual. This last ten-pager revolves around a paranoid biographer and a re-enactment of the assassination of President Lincoln. Not a bad mystery story; entertaining enough to hold the suspense for ten pages.


Funny vignette in this story – a skeleton posing as doctor!

Some nearsighted fool …one credited ALL the art in this issue to Sheldon Moldoff. Had to correct that, of course. Although it IS Moldoff in the first – but who could honestly lump together the styles of Moldoff and Waldman?!

“The Evil Ministers?” is drawn by someone who could be mistaken for Moldoff, granted. I am pretty sure it is NOT Moldoff, but can’t offer another name. The old aliens-in-disguise-take-over-the-world plot makes for a nice and neat five-pager.

This issue’s text story (“The ‘Gnombi’ Graveyard”) contains unusually cruel scenes of murder and torture. Brrrr. Try it if you – dare!

And we take a short break for one of the rare one-pagers; this time it’s quiz time! Very high brow at that: Spot the literary adaptation!


May 1954
Cover: (Furry red creature reaching from behind for frightened couple in foreground) – Steve Ditko, signed

“3-D Disaster Doom Death!” (Steve Ditko, signed)
“A Simple Wish” (Maurice Gutwirth)
“Triple-Header!” (Steve Ditko)
“The Night People” (Steve Ditko)
“You Must Believe Me!” (??? – “Facet-o’-Fawcett”)
“The Will To Kill” (Bob Powell)

Obviously, Bob Powell managed to sell the Charlton brass a new horror story. This will remain his only job for CHARLTON HORROR, though. But what an issue!
Ditko and Powell together – a unique meeting of giants.

First a glance at the outsider: “A Simple Wish” (illustrated by Gutwirth, probably) is a fun story about a hapless alien creature trying to get in contact with humans. I chose to feature it on my German website.

CharltonbrutalityNow for the Ditkos: “3-D Disaster Doom Death!” is not only a wonderfully wacky title, the story starts out with heated dialogue and bold threats (“…shoot to kill…”). A breathless beginning to a violent tale of resentment, hate and murder. Ditko doesn’t refrain from depicting cut faces like bloody pulps. Note that the graphic violence here is in contrast to the friendly and harmlessly smiling devil character.


Splash from „Will To Kill“ – with only silhouetted letters

Triple-Header!” is just your run-of-the-mill head hunters lore – and only a two-page “filler”. But “The Night People” is a small gem of four pages, a story of vampiristic department store manikins coming alive after dark and feasting as “The Night People”! The horrid brutality of this exceptional tale is handled very delicately (and with no show of atrocities); and Ditko’s humans look almost as artificial as his devil manikins. One of pre-code horror’s “short” masterpieces!
“3-D Disaster Doom Death!” is posted on Steven Thompson’s gorgeous comics blog “Four-Color Shadows”. The two-page shortie “Triple-Header!” and “The Night People” are to be found on the “Steve Ditko Comics Weblog”.

The mystery artwork in “You Must Believe Me!” seems somehow familiar. Consulting my FAWCETT HORROR notes I recognize the same mystery artist who worked on “The Store At The Cemetery” (TMIH #12) and “The House Of Death” (BTT #6). Although this person employs a very peculiar style, even Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr. was clueless. So we have a third story by this unusual illustrator. We should give him a name to work by. The art strikes me a strangely flat and two-dimensional; let’s call it “Facet-o’-Fawcett”. Just as a joke between you and me.
We post ALL of his work in our “Stories” section as a triple feature (well, it IS only three stories…)

The Will To Kill” is a great-looking Powell story (about a man haunted by dreams and driven to murder by his ambitious woman, hello, Macbeth!) no one has ever published. We make up for it – in our “Stories” section, of course.


July 1954
Cover: (Man drowning in quicksand, fight scene in background) – Steve Ditko

“The Last Earl!” (Joe Shuster & John Belfi, signed)
“Bridegroom, Come Back!” (Steve Ditko, signed)
“Caretaker Of The Dead!” (Moldoff + ?) – reprinted from BEWARE! TERROR TALES #1
“Valley Of Shadow!” (Seymour Moskowitz, signed)

“The Last Earl!” marks the first appearance of Joe Shuster (here teaming up with John Belfi on inks) at CHARLTON HORROR. A very much run-of-the-mill medieval horror yarn with no surprises – but again a brutal panel:

Bridegroom, Come Back!” is Ditko’s last contribution for this series (TMIH). This story is unusual, because it’s a first-person narrative of a bride’s wedding gown. The dress is telling this tale! Which is, of course, an old EC ruse: They had graves and coffins tell their tales…

However, this is done masterfully and with compassion and even suspense.


Torture scene from „The Last Earl“

Brilliant job by the writer, brilliant artwork by Ditko. Pre-code horror classic. Go read it on the “Steve Ditko Comics Weblog”.

“Caretaker Of The Dead!” shocks us with the return of Sheldon Moldoff! But only in reprint, this story is allegedly from BEWARE! TERROR TALES #1 (can’t really confirm this, cause BTT #1 is missing on the internet). Charlton is obviously having difficulties filling this book.
Why did they choose this weak and lame and unbalanced story about a graverobber who sees the dead (the dead, however, are not to be seen, they are just whited-out spots in the panels! – Jeez!). Sad proof that Moldoff didn’t fit into CHARLTON HORROR.

Enter Seymour “Sy” Moskowitz! He’s going to be kind of a Ditko replacement. His style of drawing shows a bit of Ditko’s abstractness. And – most of all – Moskowitz will play out graphic brutality just like Ditko does!
First samples coming up in “Valley Of Shadow!”, a story about a car crash in the jungle which everybody mysteriously survives. But the passengers are caught in a realm between life and death – and their fate is yet to be decided.


August 1954
Cover: (Invisible but fully clothed man, probably Dr. Death, stepping out of the picture and addressing the reader) – Steve Ditko, signed

DoomOfCheat1“Where Do They Lurk?” (Joe Shuster & Ray Osrin, signed)
“Final Payment!” (Seymour Moskowitz, signed)
“Friendship Beyond Death” (???) – one-pager
“Doom Of The Cheat!” (Seymour Moskowitz, signed)
“The Coffin Maker!” (Sheldon Moldoff) – reprinted from THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #1
“The Ghost Of Port Palos” (???) – one-pager

Strange cover. An invisible man in elegant attire stepping out of the page (tearing the paper!). Is this supposed to be host character Dr. Death? Probably. But why is he invisibleand why do we get a vignette in the left corner SHOWING his face???
The ways and means of pre-code horror are unfathomable…

“Where Do They Lurk?” – terrible story revolving around the saying “He’s so ugly, his face could stop a clock”. And when an ugly husband is attacked by his wife’s lover and things get hot and brutal (see another Charlton brutality) a clock actually stops – causing a helping doctor to lose his sense of time (and resulting in the death of the criminal wife)!
They milked everything to get a story out of – part of why I’m attracted to pre-code horror. They pulled off things you wouldn’t believe…


Drastic domestic violence

The splash to “Final Payment!” leads off with the next excess of graphic violence, being followed by more inside the story.
And it’s Ditko replacement (I just dub him this way) Seymour Moskowitz again (compare last issue TMIH #18) reveling in gory details.

See this country death story (people get shot, staked, hung to a cross, eaten by birds and impaled in every possible way) posted in full on our German website.

Moskowitz’ second assignment in this issue is “Doom Of The Cheat!”, a nice tongue-in-cheek tale (and a bit sadistic, though) about a gangster being punished in hell with what he fears the most. Nothing more to it.

And it’s another reprint from old Fawcett horror books, and another Moldoff at that. Charlton will be reprinting one story per issue from now on (they started this operation with TMIH #18).


September 1954
Cover: (Zombie-like character gripping bearded man, rearing up in pain, flames in background) – Seymour Moskowitz, signed

“The Momument” (Dick Ayers, signed)
“The Curse Of The Odyssey!” (Steve Kirkel)
“Facts About Witches And Witchcraft” (???) – one-pager
“Stand-In For Death” (Bernard Baily) – reprinted from THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #1
“Quest Of The Beyond!” (Joe Shuster & Ray Osrin, signed)

The cover scene is a rehash of a panel out of “The Crusher” in THE THING #16.

crusherpanelThe Momument” offers great Ayers artwork and a beautiful architectural twist. Although his portrayal of a handicapped person is way over the top. This may be the ONLY architectural twist in all of pre-code horror, check it out.

Fun story. Please read it on “Golden Age Comics Blogzine”. Please scroll down there to see it…

The Curse Of The Odyssey!” is a brazen attempt to recycle the classic Greek legend into a six-page horror story. And it works quite nice! You see what’s coming (but so do the protagonists).
It’s fantasy horror with a happy ending for the loving couple among the rough and tough men. Why do these exploration parties always drag along a young woman on their perilous travels?!
They don’t go for pure mayhem here, but we are shown a pretty haunting picture of cannibalism.


Click panel to read whole story in our „Stories“ section

And there is another injury-to-the-eye when they have to (!) blind the Cyclops! Thus it is written. Won’t argue with Homer, Dr. Wertham – or willya? They hafta blind him, you… see?

Intermission: “Facts About Witches And Witchcraft”

I like this well-researched and quite informative one-pager about the daily business of witches and warlocks (recruitment by the devil, owning a pet, unholy Sabbath, party games). The “Dance of the Toads” was new to me, but you learn from these horror comics!

witchcraftAnd I just discovered yet another blog on the internet called „Scans Daily“ presenting comics scans: I’m actually too dumb to get what’s going on there (or find anything), but you might do better. And –surprise- they posted this old Baily story. This issue’s FAWCETT HORROR reprint: “Stand-In For Death”.


Always the eyes – OUCH!

Satan himself looms menacingly (and good-humored, hence his “Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!”) from the splash page of “Quest Of The Beyond!”. The “Golden Age Comics Blogzine” by Pappy rumors that Shuster may have hired a “ghost” (how fitting!) to draw this story. So maybe he’s not really present in CHARLTON HORROR. I’m too tired to look into this (one would – first step – have to compare all the signed Shuster contributions; then – second step – look at other Shuster work of this time).
And I frankly don’t give a damn. I’ll credit Shuster, but keep in mind that it’s possibly not. “Quest Of The Beyond!” is another rip-off of Greek mythology, this time they vary Orpheus’ quest for his dead wife in the underworld.
Victor Manson can retrieve his wife from Death’s realm – and trick the devil. One of the very very FEW stories in which the devil actually gets the short end of the stick. I believe I’ve read only one or two others, but can’t recall which ones…
Hold it: There’s another Charlton story picturing Satan as the loser: „Give The Devil His Due“ in THE THING #7 (see there). And – just found it here – Fawcett’s „Journey To Chaos“ in WORLDS OF FEAR #7 (see there ditto). Hmm, another number 7…
Feel free to e-mail us if you happen to come across such stories. We can make a cool listing.

And again it’s the ol’ injury-to-the-eye when Manson (that name!) confronts and vanquishes hell’s pet porter – Cerberus:

Up to now I believed Dr. Wertham was fantasizing about a personal fetish, but reading Charlton horror books makes the injury-to-the-eye motif a very feasible concept.

Really, no kidding. Go look at the entries in our „THING“ section. There’s tons of eye-related stuff to find, not only injury pictures. Chance for an extra study? Someone with a therapist background should look into that – and hard.


November 1954
Cover: (Witch doctor sticking pins in voodoo dolls) – Steve Ditko, signed

“The Hitchhiker” (Chic Stone, signed)
“Tunnel Of Terror!” (Seymour Moskowitz, signed)
“I Am The Gold!” (Steve Kirkel, signed “Kirk”)
“The Curse Of Carnoc Castle” (George Evans) – reprinted from THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #1

About the cover: Either these voodoo dolls are pretty big, or the witch doctor is a midget, Mr. Ditko!

“The Hitchhiker” is Chic Stone’s only signed horror story. Stone worked on ACE HORROR and left there in spring 1954. And it is his only work for CHARLTON HORROR. He had to draw MY LITTLE MARGIE. Yikes!
“The Hitchhiker” is a cheesy filler story of three pages (story feels familiar, it’s a rip-off from something like “Death Thumbs A Ride” – spoiler! – in STRANGE MYSTERIES #9). Too bad for Stone. He did fun stories for Ace. Go read one of them under THIS link, if you like.

And it’s a last Moskowitz with “Tunnel Of Terror!” – will he be feeding us the graphic violence we have grown so fond of? Of course he does:


Hanging scene from „Tunnel Of Terror“

Wonderful wacky incomprehensible story: Lots of people enter the “Tunnel Of Terror” and don’t come out again. Which seems to alarm absolutely no one!

Good for the nameless madman who inhabits the vast caves of said carnival attraction and robs money from the dead. Boy, that must be some tedious business. Waylaying poor folks and murdering them for their meager bucks.
Anyway, our unnoticed hold-up murderer employs as auxiliary a motionless and speechless demon by the name of Monstro. Monstro is fed the hacked-up body parts of the victims, serving as a garbage chute and waste disposal unit.
Ah, Satan’s little helpers. Where would we be without them? When some day someone does come investigating, madboy decides to hide Monstro in the “bottomless pool”, but Monstro’s head keeps sticking out (whaddabout that bottomlessness of the pool?). So Monstro’s head gets bashed in, which Monstro does not take well…

I’ve read many inept stories in my pre-code horror research, but “Tunnel Of Terror!” is again one of those zany highlights one does hardly hope to find anymore. Another CHARLTON HORROR gem. These guys really were good!
See it posted in our “Stories” section.

“I Am The Gold!” is another nice three-page filler (told by a vein of gold in the first person!). Posted also in our „Stories“ section.

Postscript September 2013: Correction concerning the remark „Chic Stone’s only work for CHARLTON HORROR. There is, of course, his involvement in „Poor Fish“ from THE THING #13, published half-a-year earlier…

And we’re done with the title…

This magazine was haunted – and this artists’ assignment count, too!!!

Steve Ditko 4
Seymour Moskowitz 4
Sheldon Moldoff 3 (1 probably inked by Vince Alascia)
Joe Shuster 3 (inked by John Belfi respectively Ray Osrin, 2)
Steve Kirkel 2
Bob McCarty 2
Ed Waldman 2

Each 1: Maurice Gutwirth, Bob Powell, Dick Ayers + Ernie Bache, Chic Stone.

1 story remains unidentified.
4 stories are reprints from FAWCETT HORROR and were not counted.

As you can see, this was Charlton’s mixed bag: Some leftover jobs by Fawcett artists make this the title with the widest range. From Moldoff to Ditko, from Waldman to Shuster, from Powell to Kirkel. They’re all here – except for Tyler + Forgione!