Lot 34 of 340:
HAUNTED THRILLS #7 * CGC 4.5 * Ajax-Farrell Horror  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$360
$300 - $500





March, 1953


CGC certified. VG+ (4.5). Cream to off-white pages. Iger Shop art.

The cover seems to depict a witches' bacchanal, but actually your guess is as good as ours! The garbled cover design is a fine correlative for Ajax-Farrell's editorial content, as the stories often veer off in random directions, giving them the disjointed quality of alcoholic nightmares or the art of the insane. Indeed, Comic Book Marketplace questioned the sanity and sobriety of the Iger Shop hacks whose work graces these pages: "What poor souls were creating such tremendously strange horror stories? Were they burnt-out, frustrated artists on the skids? Mentally-addled hacks? War vets trying to exorcize their demons? Or maybe they were serious creators stuck in a medium they felt was demeaning, forced to work in an assembly line method that might as well have been piecing together vacuum cleaners!" (Christopher Nelson, "An Introduction to Superior Comics." CBM #73, Nov., 1999).

Vacuum cleaner analogy to the contrary, these stories may be loud and disruptive but they certainly don't suck. Where else will you find such a hodgepodge of horror: a brain in a jar nevertheless manages to rack up an impressive kill count; a goldbricking soldier plays dead, gets buried alive by his own squad; a woman is somehow flogged by the Gestapo years after the end of WWII; Hitler walks the streets with impunity, ready to ressurect the Third Reich. The prevalence of war motifs lends credence to Nelson's speculation that Iger Shop vets were purging their PTSD onto newsprint. As historian Tom Englehardt writes: "Within a decade of its birth... the comic book had become a site for the display of atrocities. Something had crept inside the most recent and childish of American story forms, making it almost unrecognizable. Opened to any page, the comic book now displayed scenes that might have come from Hiroshima or Auschwitz." The End of Victory Culture: Cold War America and the Disillusioning of a Generation [Basic: 1995]. 

CGC census: Only copy in this grade. Comparable CGC sales: Closest recent sale: 5.0 copy sold for $440 (Sept. 2018).

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

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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