Haunt of Horror, The

Tagged: Comics

US Digest-size weird fiction magazine. Published by Marvel Comics under their Curtis Magazines subsidiary imprint. Editor Gerard F Conway. Two bimonthly issues, June and August 1973.

1. This title was Marvel Comics's only effort at a straight prose fiction magazine during its period of publishing various black and white Comics-format Horror and sf magazines in the 1970s. It is regrettable that sales were so poor for the periodical as it featured stories by a number of leading authors including Ramsey Campbell, Arthur Byron Cover, George Alec Effinger under his pseudonym John K Diomede, Harlan Ellison, Ron Goulart, R A Lafferty and Anne McCaffrey. Effinger also served as assistant editor. Fritz Leiber's Conjure Wife (April 1943 Unknown; assembled in Witches Three, anth 1952 ed Fletcher Pratt; 1953; vt Burn, Witch, Burn! 1962) was reprinted in two parts in the publication's short existence. The Ellison story "Neon" (June 1973; rev August 1973) had two pages transposed in its initial appearance and so was republished with the error corrected. A third issue containing stories by Alan Brennert, John Jakes and George Zebrowski was advertised and reportedly bound but never published. The covers were by Gray Morrow (#1) and Frank Kelly Freas (#2).

2. Letter-size Comics-format magazine printed on newsprint. Published by Marvel Comics under their Curtis Magazines subsidiary imprint. Editors were Tony Isabella, Roy Thomas and Marv Wolfman. Five issues, April 1974 to January 1975.

Marvel, always reluctant to abandon a potentially lucrative title, revived The Haunt of Horror in comic format several months after the demise of the digest version (1 above). #1 featured a graphic adaptation of Thomas M Disch's "His Own Kind" (New Worlds of Fantasy #2, anth 1970, ed Terry Carr) plus the text story "Heartstop" by George Alec Effinger, originally intended for #3 of 1 above. However, the rest of the run was primarily centred on two characters inspired by the horror film The Exorcist (1973). The major character was Satana, "the devil's daughter", a half-human succubus (see Supernatural Creatures) who operates as either a Hero or Villain depending on the circumstances. Her co-star was Gabriel, Devil-Hunter, an exorcist-priest patterned directly on characters in the film. Assorted Monsters also appeared. This title proved one of the least successful of Marvel's black-and white horror magazines and soon folded. #1 retains some popularity among collectors, largely because of its glowing werewolf cover by artist Bob Larkin. [GSt/DRL]

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