Lot 53 of 340:
STRANGE FANTASY #4 * CGC 6.5 * Ajax-Farrell Horror * ZOMBIES  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$480
$400 - $600





February, 1953


CGC certified: Fine+ (6.5). Cream to off-white pages. Iger Shop art.

Cover: man trapped in mausoleum with zombies, compositionally different but thematically similar to Feldstein's cover to Tales from the Crypt #23 (April, 1951). Even as the corpse achieves freedom from his grave, the living man frantically seeks to escape. White flight metaphor? One story shows the dead piled high in mass graves, a fearful image in the postwar consciousness. Back cover ad: "Don't Stay FAT.... No Steambaths, drugs or laxatives." Between the rotting corpses and fat-shaming ads, one senses a visceral disgust for the flesh, a callback to our Puritan heritage (the anti-comics "witch hunts" being another echo of our puritanical past).

In horror comics, human justice is a feeble thing, and only the dead are capable of proper retribution, supplanting the role formerly held by superheroes during the Golden Age. "Death, in the form of an animated corpse, was presented over and over as a judgmental and leveling force, one that made a mockery of human vanity and material greed.... The stories inevitably introduced an element of personal revenge... thus encouraging the reader to identify, rather gleefully, with Death as a sympathetic protagonist." -David J. Skal, The Monster Show: A Cultural History of Horror [NY: 1993]. 

CGC census: Two copies graded 6.5. Only 2 copies graded higher. Top 4 copy. Comparable CGC sales: No sales in this grade in over 7 years. Most recent sales in any grade: 6.0 sold for $406 (March 2018); 2.5 sold for $164 (Dec. 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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All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


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Any individual comic book lot (not group lots) graded by PBA is guaranteed to match a CGC grading as follows: If the buyer wishes to have the comic CGC certified, the buyer must pay the CGC fee and PBA invoice in full within seven days of the auction. PBA will send the comic to CGC within 10 days after the sale date. If the comic returns with a CGC grade lower than the PBA grade, the lot may be returned for a full refund of the sales price (hammer + buyer's premium). The CGC fee is nonrefundable. If the buyer chooses to return the lot for a refund, this must be done within seven days of notification of the grade discrepancy.