Saturday, January 30, 2010

Three Psycho's for the price of three...

If you're a reprint content reader/collector rather than a series completist, then I offer a small word of caution: Don't buy any Yaffa/Page Skywald reprints without a checklist, or at least without checking the contents between the covers, otherwise you'll find yourself with a mass of duplicated material.

Page Publications Pty Ltd published over a dozen issues of the Skywald series Psycho, but many of these issues were recycled copies of previously published issues. Generally you could assume an unnumbered issue with a $1.00 or $1.10 cover price had an earlier numbered counterpart. Yet even a high numbered issue with a $1.00 cover price was just as likely to be a reissue of an earlier 50c cover price edition (for example #'s 12 and 4 respectively).

However, even these two rules of thumb are not enough to guide the intrepid collector. Take the case of Page's Psycho #8. This is virtually a facsimile of Skywald's Psycho #14 (with some minor re-ordering of contents and omission of a text piece).

This 60c cover price issue was actually published earlier by Page as #6 in the series, with a 50c cover price under a different cover (see above). I'm not sure where this other cover was sourced from - it looks like the work of Mario Nava based on his art in this issue, so maybe it's from another Skywald issue - but it doesn't end there, for Psycho #6 was later reissued as an unnumbered edition with a $1.10 cover price. This latter edition by Yaffa Publishing Group Pty. Ltd. has bare inner covers and rear cover, but apart from this and the price and the altered indicia, is identical to Psycho #6.

In other words, the one Skywald issue was reprinted three (if not more!) times within the one nominal Yaffa/Page series.

This is sport, or fun and games for those of us curious about these Australian reprints from the 1970's/80's, but something of a minefield for the unwary seeker of cheap reading reprints.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ghoul Tales #6/NN

Page Publications' Ghoul Tales #6 was based on Stanley Publications' Ghoul Tales #3.

Page reprinted this issue as an unnumbered edition, but maintained the 50c cover price on the reissue.

I have copies of all five U.S Ghoul Tales issues in either a Page or Portman edition. I don't yet know for sure if all five issues were issued by Page, although I expect they were. It appears Portman issued all five issues, but I'd prefer to see this verified at some stage.

I also believe one of the numbered Page editions is a reprint of another issue but with a different cover, but I'll need to check that out later.

I wonder if all the Page numbered issues were reissued as unnumbered 50c and/or 60c cover price editions...

Oh, and though it's not mentioned on the cover, Ghoul Tales #6 includes a classic 4-page story titled Rat-Trap, which has been reprinted at least twice since Ghoul Tales #3 - I've spotted it in Tales Too Terrible To Tell, and also in an issue of Eclipse Comics' Seduction of the Innocent.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Stark Terror #3: From Stanley to Page to Portman...

The Stanley Publications reprints of pre-Code horror material - titles such as Stark Terror, Chilling Tales of Horror, Ghoul Tales and Shock - which were published circa 1969-71, provided material which was plundered for reprints a number of times in succeeding years. Many stories were reprinted in various titles in the U.S, the U.K and Australia (for example in series such as Tales Too Terrible To Tell and Haunted Tales). Page Publications in Australia and Portman in the U.K went a step further and reprinted complete facsimile issues in the late 1970's/early 1980's.

Page Publications' facsimile reprint of Stark Terror #3 is an interesting case, as it appears to have scored itself a homegrown photo cover instead of recycling the original Stanley cover. The original Stanley cover was used by Portman in the U.K for their Stark Terror #1.

Page later reprinted this issue with a 60c cover price and no issue number.

I should say that I assume this issue is a facsimile of the Stanley issue, but I'm not 100% certain, because both covers advertise a story titled Swamp Monster, yet such a title does not appear in the Page issue, nor in its table of contents. Neither does it appear in the GCD indexed entry for the U.K Stark Terror #1. So this may or may not be reflected in the Stanley issue, but I'm betting they are indeed facsimiles. Presumably the title refers to the famous Basil Wolverton Swamp Monster story, which has appeared in various forms over the years, including Stanley's Shock which provided the reprint in Haunted Tales #8.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fear #1: The Yaffa edition

A couple of years or so ago I wondered aloud whether there was a Yaffa/Page Fear #1, given Fear #2 reprinted the contents of the U.S Fear #1. I should have guessed - the Yaffa/Page #2 is actually a reprint of the Yaffa/Page #1!

Fear #1 is from 1978 with a 50c cover price, and Fear #2 is from 1979 with a 60c cover price, but apart from this and the indicia, and the advertisements and back page colour, the issues are identical.

In the previous blog entry I also noted I had sighted a digest edition of Fear. I can confirm there is an unnumbered digest edition with a cover based on the U.S Fear #5. This suggests there are more Yaffa/Page Fear issues, numbered or otherwise, regular or digest sized.

The other interesting thing I noticed in passing is that the cover of the U.S Fear #9 is the cover of K.G. Murray's Climax Adventure Comic #13. In the previous blog on Fear #2, I mused that some or all of the stories in that issue had previously appeared in a KGM issue... so it appears that at least some of the Marvel material which was licensed to K.G. Murray was later licensed to Yaffa/Page... or was otherwise obtained...