We’ve talked about the weird, wonderful, and often horrific world of the comic books from publisher Harry “A” Chesler a few times here recently, particularly the Dynamic Comics issues featuring Dr. Doom, and those wild Gus Ricca covers among others. But much of the rest of the Chesler line was equally amazing, and the Punch Comics series was one of the best of those. This is a tough-to-get series with Chesler’s hallmark shock and awe covers by the likes of Ricca, Charles Sultan, and Paul Gattuso and interiors by Jack Cole, George Tuska, and others as well. But the Chesler line is even more underrated for its horror-focused covers that preceded the era when Pre-Code Horror boomed in the comic book industry, and Punch Comics #19 is one of the best of these. There’s a Punch Comics #19 (Chesler, 1946) CGC FN+ 6.5 Light tan to off-white pages up for auction in Thursday’s 2021 November 4 The Black Cat Collection and Pre-Code Horror Showcase Auction #40183 at Heritage Auctions.
The Punch Comics series started out as a fairly typical war-era hero adventure series, but the cover and interior artwork of Ricca and Gattuso in particular soon gave the series a horrific edge. Gattuso’s cover for #19 in particular among the stand-outs of the series. Gattuso drew comics for a wide range of Golden Age publishers, but his Chesler work was used as an example of cruelty in comic books by Fredric Wertham in the book Seduction of the Innocent. An underappreciated series with unrestrained covers and interiors to match, there’s a Punch Comics #19 (Chesler, 1946) CGC FN+ 6.5 Light tan to off-white pages up for auction in Thursday’s 2021 November 4 The Black Cat Collection and Pre-Code Horror Showcase Auction #40183 at Heritage Auctions.
Punch Comics #19 (Chesler, 1946) CGC FN+ 6.5 Light tan to off-white pages. Classic cover by Paul Gattuso. Overstreet 2021 FN 6.0 value = $504; VF 8.0 value = $1,075. CGC census 11/21: 3 in 6.5, 7 higher.