Spellbound, 1952 pre-Marvel Atlas


Spellbound 2, with prehaps a nod to Atlas horror editor Stan Lee on the cover

Spellbound 2, April 1952, from pre-Marvel Atlas. Indicia says “Animirth Comics, Inc”. “Stories to hold you Spellbound” proclaims the cover. The editor, likely to be based on editor Stan Lee, says “What do you mean I’m in danger because of the horror stories I write?!!” Hank Chapman was another writer/editor for Atlas. Given that Chapman wrote two stories in this issue, 

Cover by the incredible Bill Everett. The cover story, “Horror Story”, is also done by Everett inside. The fictitious horror comic publisher has the nameplate on the door of Ghastly Tales. Leo Grant is the editor. Comics on the wall include “Ghost Comics”, “Ghoul Stories”, “Terror Tales”, “Gruesome Stories”,”Suspense”, “Horror Adventures” and inside “Hideous Crimes”. Suspense was a real horror title done by Bill Everett and edited by Stan Lee. 

It wouldn’t be surprising if these titles were in the suggestion box for future series (a few of these were actually used by LB Cole and Star for their line.) Atlas produced a prodigious amount of horror comics (389 issues), nearly as much as the next four biggest producers ACG (119), Ace (97), Harvey (96), and EC (91). 

The second story by Russ Heath, “The End”, has one of the most gruesome splashes ever done by Atlas, with meat hooks, ragged tears of flesh, pools of blood, skulls and a shirtless man being tortured and whipped, his back in red tatters. This story features Edgar Allan Poe. Heath also does the art for the text story, “The Green Man!”

Chapman’ two signed stories are “What’s Wrong with Charlie Brown?” With art by Al Hartley and “The Last Tattoo” with art by Fred Kida. 

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