Lot 107 of 340:
WEIRD MYSTERIES #5 * CGC 7.5 * Classic Baily Cover  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$19,200
$15,000 - $20,000





June, 1953


CGC certified: VF- (7.5). Off-white to white pages. Classic Bernard Baily cover; classic Basil Wolverton "Swamp Monster" story.

One of the most lurid covers of the pre-Code era, depicting a mad scientist removing the brain from a severed head. Every detail amplifies the queasy sense of horror: the gaping eye sockets; the rotted, fleshless nose; the jagged incision of the craniotomy; the way the head lolls in the vile, soupy mixture like the devil's own dumpling (one can debate whether the horror is mitigated or compounded by the fact that it appears to be a Neanderthal's head). Publisher Stanley Morse was described by Taschen Books as "the ultimate fly-by-night publisher, and creator of some of the most extreme horror comic books of the early fifties." Years later, when asked about the content of his seedy horror mags, Morse shrugged: "I don't know what the hell I published. I didn't care. I never read the things." -David Hadju, The Ten Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America [FSG: 2008].

"With their generic titles and lack of heroes, horror comics, EC's excepted, offered little to keep readers loyal. The only recurring character in most books was Satan. Publishers, unable to establish a following for a given title, had to compete for the attention of the same readers, month after month, and soon the game in this competition was shock. Horror comics were soon caught up in an upward spiral of gruesomeness. One month's issue would depict a man's neck being slashed, and the next would have a decapitation. The one to follow would show a human head used as a bowling ball or a woman roasting her husband's body parts (head, a leg, hands, feet) on a barbeque grill. 'You did what you had to do – what moved 'em off the racks,' said publisher Stanley P. Morse, who produced several acutely vile horror comics under various corporate names. One of Morse's books, Weird Mysteries, featured a cover picture of a human brain being ripped out of a skull..." - op. cit.

CGC census: 3 copies graded 7.5; only one copy graded higher (8.0). Top 4 copy. Comparable CGC sales: 7.5: $15,600 (Aug. 2019); 8.0: $20,000 (July 2016); 6.0: $11,650 (Dec. 2019). 

Consignments Accepted for PBA's Next Comic Book Auction. Golden Age, Silver Age, Pre-Code, Original Art, Interesting Ephemera Items Sought. Contact [email protected] for details.

PBA COMICS March 26th Comic Book Sale catalogues available. Supplies Limited. Softcover catalogue limited to 200 copies ($45 + $5 postage/handling). Hardcover limited to 26 lettered copies, dust jacket, special limitation plate ($150). Contact [email protected].

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