THE 1970S horror COMIC boom – part 1

It’s the month for frights as well as scares!  In honor of our fantastic national obsession with things that go bump in the night, let’s take a look at the comics that were such an prominent part of the horror comic boom of the 1970s, as well as exactly how those exact same comics are now such a huge part of the bronze age collecting explosion.

Changing Code

In 1971 the Comics Code Authority revised their stringent rules as follows:  “Vampires, ghouls, as well as werewolves shall be permitted to be utilized when handled in the traditional custom such as Frankenstein, Dracula, as well as other high caliber literary works written by Edgar Allen Poe, Saki, Conan Doyle as well as other respected authors whose works are checked out in institutions around the world.”  However, zombies, or more particularly, “the walking dead,” as well as “torture,” were still no longer allowed.

The floodgates were opened, as well as this led to a boom in horror comics that would last most of the decade.  DC had continued publishing horror titles by replacing words such as, “horror,” with words like “mystery”.  marvel hadn’t published any type of horror comics for decades.  They stayed close to the letter of the new code with their huge three titles – tomb of Dracula, Werewolf By Night, as well as Frankenstein.

Tomb of Dracula

No comic much better exemplifies the marvel 70s horror boom much better than tomb of Dracula.  The series began in 1972 as well as lasted 70 issues. The final problem came out at the end of the decade in 1979, as horror sales flagged.  With the consistent innovative team of writer Marv Wolfman, who began on the series with tomb of Dracula #7, as well as gene Colan, the penciller for all 70 issues, the series was thought about one of the very best of the 1970s.

For collectors, the sale of a 9.8 tomb of Dracula #1 in a Heritage auction on September 12 for $16,800 set a high point over 400% more than a previous 9.8 sale in February for $3,305.55.  This sale sets marvel 1970s horror comics as truly worthwhile investments.  If that problem alone were the whole story, it would still be a quite huge tale for collectors.

However, Wolfman as well as Colan produced a character in tomb of Dracula #10 who would go on to be much bigger than the Lord of Vampires himself – Blade.  in that exact same September 12 Heritage Auction a 9.8 #10 offered for an incredible $48,000.  That’s a 67% boost over a 9.8 sale just three months earlier.  With these sales, we begin to see a pattern – a authentic boom in 70s horror comics.

Werewolf By Night

Jack Russell, Marvel’s Werewolf, made his debut in marvel spotlight #2, a book that predates tomb of Dracula #1 by two months.  The character proved prominent sufficient after three problems of marvel spotlight to make his own series with Werewolf By night #1.  While neither problem has reached the height of either of the problems of tomb of Dracula, both might see big gains if 9.8 copies ever go up for sale.

However, that may not occur any type of time soon, as the CGC census shows only one 9.8 copy of marvel spotlight #2 as well as only four of Werewolf By night #1.  just like tomb of Dracula, a character would debut in Werewolf By night who would go on to dwarf the title character in the eyes of collectors as well as investors – Moon Knight.  While no sales of a 9.8 Werewolf By night #32 have taken location in 2021, sales of 9.6 copies have shown a value boost of 149% as well as 9.4 copies have seen a 242% increase, driving the 9.8 FMV to $92,000.  Don’t be surprised if the next sale of a 9.8 crosses the six-digit threshold.


Debuting a year after Dracula as well as Werewolf, Marvel’s version of Frankenstein would, sadly, not reach the heights of its fellow monsters.  lasting only 18 issues, the series never fell into a consistent groove that appealed to readers.  The title of the book altered mid-series, starting as The Monster of Frankenstein before shifting to The Frankenstein Monster, as well as the time period of the stories leapt mid-stride from the Mary Shelley age of the original book to the then present-day 1970s.

For collectors, the key problem is Frankenstein #1.  The last 9.8 sale in may 2020 for $1,250 was more than double a sale just five months prior.  Still a worthwhile investment, if extremely much lacking when compared to its peers.

Join us for part Two

Hope you enjoyed this very first look at the 1970s horror comic boom.  next week we’ll take a look at some more books that were part of this boom as well as part of the present explosion in bronze age horror comic values.

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The 1970s horror Comics boom – part 2Last week, we took a look at the modinull

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