Friday, October 15, 2010

BORIS KARLOFF TALES OF MYSTERY: A Gimmick That Turned Out Better Than Planned!

BORIS KARLOFF TALES OF MYSTERY, published by Gold Key Comics, was a spinoff of the TV series THRILLER, hosted by Boris Karloff (NBC 1960-1962).

Indeed, the first two issues were even titled BORIS KARLOFF THRILLER. Once the series was off network, it became the more familiar BORIS KARLOFF TALES OF MYSTERY.

This was what I call a “gimmick comic”. Meaning the “gimmick” is what makes the comic special.

The title contained the type of mystery/ horror/ weird sci-fi comic book tales that might have been found at DC, Marvel, or just about anywhere in the Gold and Silver Ages of comic books.
By the “feel” of the stories, “Karloff’s Tales” were most likely written by the usual suspects like Arnold Drake, Gaylord DuBois, and Paul S. Newman.

The gimmick was that, just as with the television show, Boris Karloff would appear in the lower right of the TV screen / splash panel and introduce the story with the expected ominous comments.

So, why did this gimmick turn out better than planned?

Boris Karloff, the actor, died on February 02, 1969.

BORIS KARLOFF TALES OF MYSTERY, the comic book, ran until a cover date of February, 1980! This would put its final issue near the end of 1979.

So, for over TEN YEARS, “Boris Karloff” introduced his “Tales of Mystery”… FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE!!! (Shudder!)

Somehow, I suspect Old Boris would have been proud of that!

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