Lot 76 of 500:
HAUNT OF FEAR #1 * 2.0 * "ABC CHILLER" British Edition  

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Asking:
Current absentee: $225 (1 bid)

Estimate:
$250 - $350

Starting:
$225

Title:
HAUNT OF FEAR No. 1 (UK Edition—"An ABC Chiller")

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Date:

Description:

Arnold Book Company. No date listed, but published in July, 1954. Good (2.0). Wear to spine, with nicks, tears and abrasions to square binding. Nicks and fraying to edges, top corner of front cover clipped, bottom corner soft, 1" piece of tape to inside front cover, tape residue to length of back cover parallel to spine. Off-white pages. Ingels cover. Reprints Haunt of Fear #23 and Shock SuspenStories #14 for the British comics crowd. Contents in black and white. According to EC ace Thommy Burns, this is the scarcest of ABC's three EC reprint books. Uncommon in any grade.

This is the comic book that almost singlehandedly brought down the British horror comics market: "On 9 July 1954, the Arnold Book Company published its compilation, Haunt of Fear 1, a comic combining three strips from EC Comics' Shock SuspenStories 14 with two others from other publishers. This comic provided the excuse or impetus (depending on your point of view) for the final push by [anti-comics] campaigners. It was about this comic, and one strip in particular, that George Pumphrey wrote first in August to the Teacher, then to a dozen others including the Times Educational Supplement. The strip was 'The Orphan,' drawn by Jack Kamen.... This title and that strip effectively 'did in' horror comics. Pumphrey wrote about it as the embodiment of all that was wrong with horror comics.... Thus, Kamen's innocent piece became the epicenter of the British campaign." —John A. Lent, ed., Pulp Demons: International Dimensions of the Postwar Anti-Comics Campaign. 

According to Martin Barker's A Haunt of Fears: The Strange History of the British Anti-Comics Campaign, "Perhaps the final pressure that ended any hesitations [on the part of the Conservative Cabinet to present an anti-horror comic bill to Parliament] began as a letter to the Times Educational Supplement on 17 September 1954, from George Pumphrey. In it, he drew attention to a 'recent comic' issued by the Arnold Book Company. Entitled Haunt of Fear, it only ran to one edition in Britain. This comic was the one most quoted in the entire British campaign.... Pumphrey's letter generated first a ripple, then a wave of responses.... In a letter to me, George Pumphrey remarked: 'The Haunt of Fear is, I think, of real historical interest. It is not to much to say that, when I first saw it, I was delighted. I said to myself—this is it, they [the comics publishers] have gone too far, this is something the campaign can really use, and you will see from the newspaper cuttings and my own articles how we made full use of it.'" 

Fueled by the furor over ABC's Haunt of Fear #1, Parliament passed the Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act in 1955, which led to the disappearance of horror comics from British news agents' shelves. The Act was renewed in 1965, and remains in force. In terms of socio-political influence, this is the single most significant international horror comic ever published.

A limited edition of 100 softcover and 15 hardcover catalogues are available. Over 200 pages, fully illustrated. Fun reference, great keepsake. Softcovers $40, dust-jacketed hardcover with limitation plate $200. To order, contact [email protected] or visit: https://www.pbagalleries.com/content/comics/.

R. Crumb says, "I found [PBA's catalogue] so interesting that I am saving it for the texts that accompany the comics which were put up for auction. This is some of the best commentary I’ve yet seen on the quality of the content of comic books. I especially enjoyed the reviews of the post-war horror comics. Great. Priceless."

Consignments welcome for PBA's Spring 2021 Comic Book sale. Pre-Code Horror, Golden Age and Silver Age comics, original art and ephemera sought. Send inquiries to [email protected].

Lot Amendments

Condition:


 
Item number:
324109
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