Yes, in case you haven't guessed by now, I'm a comic book fan, with my interest lying firmly in the Gold, Silver and Bronze eras. I've been to a few comic conventions in my day (including a couple of San Diego ComicCon's back in the 70's when super-fan Shel Dorf was running it) and I even hawked some of my own at a local mall during their Sunday collectible shows when it was super cheap to rent a table. However, in recent years I just couldn't get behind having to buy multiple titles just to follow the seemingly endless crossover stories. Frankly, I thought it was a rip off. Then some of my favorite childhood heroes switched sexes along with a multitude of other changes that left me scratching my head until I realized that they were being re-booted to appeal to a more diverse readership. As a result, I haven't bought a new comic book off the stands for about 5 years.
Imagine my surprise when I caught wind of another re-boot. This sounded a little more appealing to me. Call me anachronistic or worse, but when I heard that Gold Key Comics was being resurrected I was more than mildly interested,
The first in what appears to be a new series of relaunches is an old favorite, BORIS KARLOFF TALES OF MYSTERY, now titled, BORIS KARLOFF GOLD KEY MYSTERIES and is being published with the cooperation of Boris Karloff's daughter, Sara. Judging from the cover shown below, it looks like the new publisher has got at least one foot in the tradition of a comic that was popular enough to run for 95 issues, from 1963-1980. They've got a Kickstarter campaign to get the presses rolling (see link and more info below). I have high hopes and this could get me into a comics shop again to see what I might be missing . . .
Blast from the Past….but only for, shall we say, veteran comics readers: Gold Key Comics is back…and so is the Boris Karloff themed horror comic that was one of its signature titles.
In case you are too young to remember that iconic Gold Key comics logo peeking out from newsstands (memba them?), Gold Key was founded in 1962 by Western Publishing and put out Disney Comics, WB properties, and a robust horror line, including Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery, which is coming back to give chills in 2023.
For those too young to remember, the Gold Key Instagram will give you a pretty good feel for the olden times.
The new company is a partnership between entrepreneurs/comics enthusiasts Lance Linderman, Adam Brooks, Mike Dynes, and Arnold Guerrero and was stealth announced about a year ago. However it’s coming back for real next week with a Kickstarter for its first publication: Boris Karloff’s Gold Key Mysteries, which is a partnership with the Boris Karloff Estate.
Karloff was an English actor who played Frankenstein in James Whale’s classic film trilogy, and later on became a brand name synonymous with horror, later appearing in several Roger Corman classics, and narrating and voicing the Grinch in How The Grinch Stole Christmas. He evidently licensed his name for horror fiction anthologies starting in the 40s, and the comic was a natural offshoot.
The campaign for the new Gold Key edition kicks off on March 28th. According to PR:
The new series blends the feel of the classic horror anthology with a modern, ongoing narrative in a way that is sure to excite fans new and old. To reward early supporters, Gold Key has created a unique, early special edition of issue one available through Kickstarter. This crowdfunding campaign is scheduled for pre-launch on March 16, 2023 and will go live on March 28, 2023. The special edition offers a one of a kind reading experience peeling back the layers of the creative process to give readers a behind the scenes look into the creative process. This high-quality printing will be akin to that of an artist’s edition. With a hardcover printed exclusively for backers of the Kickstarter campaign, the special edition is sure to be highly desired among fans and collectors.
The new issue includes a cover by Johnny Dombrowski, and three original stories from creators including Michael W Conrad, Steve Orlando, Artyom Trakanov, Kelly Williams, Jok, Craig Hurd-Mckenny, Sergey Nazarov, and Kyle Arends. Each issue will include both a continuing story and a self contained on.
The original Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery ran for about 100 issues from 1964-1980, and provided many a distraction on long car rides for this aging comics reader, along with stablemates The Twilight Zone and Ripley’s Believe it or Not. I’ll spare you my nostalgic mutterings FOR NOW, but it was fun stuff! Gold Key was the rights holder for the many licensed books published by Dell Comics, that flourished in the 40s-60s. However, Dell was the licensor and Western the licensee – Gold Key was created in 1962 and was successful until the decline of newsstands gradually killed it and the many other comics companies of the time.
From the Gold Key website:
Welcome to the Resurrection!
Iconic Brand. New Era.
60 years after its inception, Gold Key Comics is very much alive and well. We're working along side some of the most talented creators on the planet to deliver what Gold Key has always strived for, compelling stories and amazing art.
At the risk of sounding clichè, we are truly a publisher of comic lovers, for comic lovers, and couldn't be more excited for what's to come. Sign up for our newsletter below to stay in the loop.
On March 28th, the campaign to help launch our first publication will officially go live on Kickstarter. In cooporation with the amazing Sara Karloff and the Boris Karloff estate, GOLD KEY COMICS is proud to reunite with the legendary BORIS KARLOFF, to launch its first title of the modern era: Boris Karloff’s Gold Key Mysteries. A horror anthology, Boris Karloff’s Gold Key Mysteries is packed with ALL NEW stories (not reprints). Titillating tales have been carefully crafted by several of today’s most talented comic creators and we can't wait for you to experience it.
Here's the LINK to the Kickstarter camaign.
And here's a sample of the original version from 1963: