Undervalued Spotlight #53

Last updated on May 30th, 2013 at 02:04 pm

Ghostly Tales #55, Charlton Comics, April-May 1966

Charlton Comics took a run at the Blue Beetle title (issues #50 – 54) by displacing their long running Unusual Tales title (#1-49) but found the super hero racket crowded and tough. They switched back to the horror/mystery format with Ghostly Tales #55, a move that paid great dividends for years to come.

Ghostly Tales #55 introduces Dr. M.T. Graves, the host of the comic and on occasion a participant in the stories (and an inspiration for names like I. P. Daley I’m sure). This first story was a 3 pager called Dr. Graves the Ghost Fighter, written and drawn by Ernie Bache. Ghostly Tales #55 also contains a 7 page story drawn by Steve Ditko called Great Caesar’s Ghost.

The Dr. Graves format borrowed from the successful E.C. Comics premise of using hosts like The Old Witch (Haunt of Fear), The Vault Keeper (Vault of Horror) and the Crypt Keeper (Tales from the Crypt) to narrate the happenings of the comic book. I’ll argue that DC’s move to title hosts Cain (House of Mystery #174) and Abel (House of Secrets #81) in the 1969 revamping of those titles was influenced by the, what would have then been, current success of Dr. Graves.

The Overstreet Price Guide shows $45/$73/$100 as the splits at the 8.0/9.0/9.2 grades.

Strengths that make this comic book a good long term investment are:

– Origin and 1st appearance Dr. Graves – carried his own title for 75 issues

– Steve Ditko art

– Should be considered a 1960s Charlton key

– Only 3 graded CGC Universal copies

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Walter Durajlija Written by:

Walter Durajlija is an Overstreet Advisor and Shuster Award winner. He owns Big B Comics in Hamilton Ontario.

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  1. Frank Chang
    September 9, 2010

    While we’re on the topic of horror. Marvel Spotlight #2 9.2 Guides $400 should be featured in the Overvalued Spotlight #1.

    What makes this overvalued is that they are common, readily available in hi grade and not a major contributor in the marvel universe. Marvel Spotlight #5 Guides $500 in 9.2 and is much more popular and commanded a movie with another on the way in the works. For that extra $100 bucks – my hard earned money is on the burning Skeleton face riding the Harley.

  2. Frank Chang
    September 9, 2010

    Forgot to mention for those who don’t know Marvel Spotlight #2 features the 1st appearance of Werewolf by Night. Marvel Spotlight #5 features the 1st appearance of Ghost Rider.

  3. ComicBookDaily
    September 9, 2010

    I really should do an Overvalued Spotlight – Showcase 4 anyone?


  4. Frank Chang
    September 15, 2010

    Showcase 4 has a major following and is perceived to be the 1st Silver Age appearance of a major character (Flash) coming from the Silver Age. Popularity nowhere near Marvel characters but is in the 2nd tier mix. Recently its taking a back seat to alot of other keys and falling but in 1980’s it used to be sitting at the throne in top spot. Steady demand and low supply make this book sustainable but I don’t see large returns regardless of movie. All Flash comics are high in guide though but in reality they always sell at a discount.

    Flash 105 should be undervalued though. 1st Issue at 1/3 of showcase 4 value.

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