Monday, March 14, 2016

Reading Room TALES CALCULATED TO DRIVE YOU BATS "Ghost Town"

Every few years, Archie Comics attempts to expand their audience...
...by taking stabs at other genres besides teen humor.
In the case of the 1961-62 title, Tales Calculated to Drive You Bats, it was doing comedy versions of monsters and aliens.
But after six issues, the sales indicated that wasn't what the audience wanted.
So, #7 (1962) took a different approach, presenting four tales like the sci-fi/fantasy stories currently running in comic competitors' anthologies like Tales to Astonish and Strange Adventures...but using the same "house style" art as the rest of the Archie Comics line!
Did it work?
Well, there was no issue #8 of Tales Calculated to Drive You Bats...
(Note: there was a one-shot giant-sized reprint issue published during the "camp" craze in 1966.
It didn't sell any better...)
Archie tried the idea of serious stories with Archie-style art one more time with Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told by Sabrina in 1972.
After two issues, the title dropped Sabrina as narrator-host and became Chilling Adventures in Sorcery, then Sorcery and switched over to using artists like Gray Morrow and Alex Toth for the remainder of its' 11-issue run.
BTW, the artist of this tale, Joe Edwards, was one of the most prolific of all the Archie Comics illustrators, with several thousand (yes, you read that right, thousand) covers, single/two-page strips, and stories to his credit, including almost all the ones featuring his creation, L'il Jinx!

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