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 insta 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.
The new Gold Key has a full website full of plans and timelines.
We have an interview scheduled with the stakeholders for next week with more information. Some may find their submissions page of interest.
Chief Communication Officer Adam Brooks
Editor in Chief Michael Dynes
Chief Creative Director Arnold Guerrero
Chief Executive Officer Lance Linderman
And here’s some bios:
Once a touring musician, Lance now travels the country in search of comics! He is an entrepreneur and family man, Lance is known for his deep love of music, art, coffee and comic books.
Adam’s love for comics (and their creators in particular) is nothing less than infectious. As an author, creator, and renowned public speaker, Adam is just as likely to be found speaking in an auditorium full of people as he is rifling through bins at his local comic shop.
Michael “Mike” Dynes
Mike has been engaged in the world of comics longer than many collectors have been alive. He has presented panels at large comic conventions on comic book history, specifically focusing on pre-code horror comics and the influence of the Comic Code.
From a young age, Arnold dreamed of illustrating comic books. While this dream has not yet manifested, his love for comics never withered. As an advertising creative, Arnold has spearheaded campaigns for some of the world’s largest companies.
Linderman is the main player, a comics fan who supposedly traded in his copy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 as part of the deal for Gold Key.
I will say, their website includes many modern touches, including lots of licensed goods. That shirt and the flag are tempting….
More to come…