A fond look at the gruesome zombie comic books of yore

This beautiful Frank Frazetta cover from Beware #10, July 1954 is featured in Zombies: The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics, a terrific collection of vintage zombie comics, edited by Craig Yoe and Steve Banes. As you'll see in the cover gallery below, the Walking Dead is no match for the work of those chain-smoking comic book draftsmen of the 40s and 50s, hunched over angled drawing tables in a midtown sweatshop, hoping to get their page quota completed in time to make it to the track or meet up with the dame who takes calls at the reception desk, even though she's dating the fat cheapskate publisher who's too goddamn coldhearted to advance a guy a sawbuck during the holidays.

Zombies: The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics | Bob Powell's Terror: The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics



  1. Just so we’re clear on the risk here — these women should never have worn RED! There’s blondes, brunettes, and redheads, but clearly the zombies go for the dames in crimson!

    1. There’s a guy who has a booth at Modernism Week in Palm Springs most years who sells original art work for pulp paperbacks as well as concept drawings for flying cars and that sort of thing. I’m not sure if he has a physical address or an online presence.

  2. Love this old horror comics art… Such an awesome niche of comics that manages to worm it’s way into lots of other media. 

    If I don’t get this for Xmas, it’s getting ordered the next day. 

  3. LOVE that Diary of Horror cover. That blonde woman intrigues me- is she drugged? Is skull face guy holding her up? Is she a captive, or there by choice? Her eyes really get me- dazed resignation? I wanna read that story, though I know it CAN’T be as good as that cover.

  4. Weird Tales of the Future 3- one of the best covers ever. Fantagraphics will release a book by Greg Sadowski (Four Color Fear) gathering all Wolverton’s “serious” horror and SF stories- “Brain bats of Venus”, etc., sometime next year. It’s about time for Basil to shine, too. He was so much more than just the funny stuff.

  5. Wolverton’s been pointed out. What about that Ogden Whitney cover right after the Frazetta? Whitney was my earliest art crush for his beautiful, deadpan work on HERBIE. The Lee Elias cover’s pretty cool too, though I can’t associate the name with anything but more horror comics in 60s DC, and maybe 70s.


    ed: I just saw the name on the stone on that “Beware the Clutching Hand” cover — cover artist and EC ace Roy G. Krenkel! I never would have recognized him from the drawing, which had me thinking more of Feldstein or Jaffee.

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