Strange Tales of the Unusual, Men’s Weird Adventures, and All Sorts of Marvelous Horror

Let’s kick off Halloween week right by analyzing some old horror comic book covers from the 1950s.

I love this one: the jagged posture, the bloody reds, the weird mystic guy. And what can beat a title as redundant as Strange Tales of the Unusual?

Of course, all of these titles are strange, except when they’re weird or uncanny or unusual. Or mystical. But honestly, what’s so strange about putting your head in an old guillotine? I mean, seriously, relax. Who hasn’t put their neck on the chopping block like this. Literally, that is. (I love the bottom corner panel that just says “HATE!” incidentally).

Let me be clear on this: I am a man. Further, I am a manly man. Therefore, I require–no, demand–only men’s adventures. Further, I require my adventures to be weird. And not just slightly weird. I need creepy-green-gay-zombie weird. I need mark-of-the-witch weird. Newspaper-oriented-murder weird. Chair weird!

This comic is a clear forerunner of all those eighties slasher films that warned against teenage sex. Look at all the sexual anxiety here: “THE THING THAT GREW!”? “TWO WERE ALONE!”? “GOING DOWN!”? Jeez! Or, alternately, I am a pervert who sees sex everywhere. But seriously, don’t go into caves, kids.

My grandpa always taught me that the only thing more maddeningly menacing than a werewolf is a green werewolf.

Nothing snarky to say about this one: it’s beautiful. But really, I love them all.

All images from the Timely-Atlas Cover Gallery of old horror comics covers. Great stuff.

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