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.

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