Ghosts (comics)

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Cover of Ghosts #1 (September–October 1971), art by Nick Cardy.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
FormatOngoing series
Publication dateSeptember–October 1971 to May 1982
No. of issues112
Main character(s)Dr. 13 - The Ghost-Breaker (1980-1981)
Creative team
Written by

Ghosts is a horror comics anthology series published by DC Comics for 112 issues from September–October 1971 to May 1982. Its tagline was "True Tales of the Weird and Supernatural" (December 1978), changed to "New Tales of the Weird and Supernatural", as of #75 (April 1979), and dropped after #104 (September 1981).

Publication history[edit]

The comic was created by Leo Dorfman, who wrote all of the stories in the first issue.[1] To avoid having it seem that a single writer was monopolizing the comic, editor Murray Boltinoff had Dorfman use the pseudonyms "Geoff Brown" (Dorfman's son was named "Geoff" and his wife's maiden name was "Brown") and "David George".[2]

Ghosts was one of several horror-mystery-suspense DC Comics series launched in 1971, along with The Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love and The Sinister House of Secret Love.[3] According to DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz, though Ghosts "wasn't a fan favorite (then or in retrospect), it was a disproportionately good seller".[4] Nick Cardy was the cover artist for Ghosts for issues #1–6, 8–15, and 17–36.[5]

Each issue of Ghosts carried multiple stories of the supernatural. The stories were prefaced by a short description introducing the premise and ended with a summation of how a mysterious justice was dealt to the evildoers of the tale.[6] The first issue of this series carried the singular title Ghost in its indicia, but everywhere else, including advance promotional house ads and even on its own cover, it was the plural Ghosts, as even the indicia would read from #2 on.[7][8] Limited Collectors' Edition #C–32 (Dec. 1974–Jan. 1975) reprinted stories from Ghosts #1, 3–6 and featured new material by Leo Dorfman and artists Gerry Talaoc, E. R. Cruz, and Frank Redondo.[9]

Starting with issue #37 (April 1975), a new regular feature was added. At the front of each book a page of single panel depictions of alleged ghost sightings were listed in the fashion of Robert L. Ripley's Believe it or Not! features. These one-page introductory spreads were usually titled "Ghosts and the Supernatural". A Ghosts Special was published in December 1977 as part of the DC Special Series umbrella title.[10] Ghosts #95 (Dec. 1980), introduced the series' first continuing-character feature, "Dr. 13 - The Ghost-Breaker". The character encounted the Spectre in a three-issue storyline.[11] The "Dr. Thirteen" feature last appeared in #102 (July 1981).

For the most part, Ghosts was not "hosted" by a recurring character used in a framing sequence. In issue #104 (September-October 1981), however, Squire Shade was introduced as the title's host. He lasted in that position until the book was cancelled with issue #112 (May 1982).

2012 one-shot[edit]

A Ghosts one-shot was published in October 2012 under the Vertigo imprint and featured a story by Geoff Johns and Jeff Lemire.[12]

Collected editions[edit]

  • Showcase Presents: Ghosts collects Ghosts #1-18, 512 pages, February 2012, ISBN 1-4012-3317-1
  • The Steve Ditko Omnibus Volume 1 includes Ghosts #77: "Ghost, Where Do You Hide?" by Jack C. Harris and Steve Ditko and Ghosts #111: "Shrieeeeeek!" by Sheldon Mayer and Ditko, 480 pages, September 2011, ISBN 1-4012-3111-X


  1. ^ Sacks, Jason; Dallas, Keith (2014). American Comic Book Chronicles: The 1970s. TwoMorrows Publishing. p. 55. ISBN 978-1605490564.
  2. ^ Wells, John (October 2011). "Beyond Capes: You Will Believe In Ghosts" (PDF). Back Issue! (#52). Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing: 22. Archived (PDF) from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Manning, Matthew K.; McAvennie, Michael; Wallace, Daniel (2019). DC Comics Year By Year: A Visual Chronicle. DK Publishing. p. 141. ISBN 978-1-4654-8578-6.
  4. ^ Evanier, Mark (May 29, 2009). "More on Leo Dorfman". News From ME. Archived from the original on October 6, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012.
  5. ^ Coates, John (1999). "Art Index". The Art of Nick Cardy. Coates Publishing. p. 161. ISBN 1-887591-22-2.
  6. ^ McAvennie, Michael (2010). "1970s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. Each installment of the horror anthology series featured stories with surprise twist endings designed to send shivers down the spine.
  7. ^ Ghosts at the Grand Comics Database
  8. ^ Overstreet, Robert M. (2019). Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide (49th ed.). Timonium, Maryland: Gemstone Publishing. p. 720. ISBN 978-1603602334.
  9. ^ "Limited Collectors' Edition #C–32". Grand Comics Database.
  10. ^ "DC Special Series #7". Grand Comics Database.
  11. ^ Kupperberg, Paul (w), Gustovich, Mike (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "Dr. 13 Ghost-Breaker and the Spectre" Ghosts, no. 97 (February 1981).
    Kupperberg, Paul (w), Gustovich, Mike (p), Blaisdell, Tex (i). "The Haunted House and The Spectre!" Ghosts, no. 98 (March 1981).
    Kupperberg, Paul (w), Gustovich, Mike (p), DeZuniga, Tony (i). "Death... and The Spectre" Ghosts, no. 99 (April 1981).
  12. ^ Truitt, Brian (October 29, 2012). "Johns, Lemire scare up a Ghosts story for Halloween". USA Today. Archived from the original on November 5, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2012. Sometimes Geoff Johns just itches to tell a good ghost story for Halloween. DC Comics' A-list superhero scribe and chief creative officer moonlights for the company's Vertigo Comics imprint for the first time and teams with artist Jeff Lemire for the short tale "Ghost-for-Hire" in a special Ghosts one-shot out on Wednesday.

External links[edit]