Indie Comics Review: Boris Karloff’s Gold Key Mysteries #2

by Matthew Lloyd
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Indie Comics Review: Boris Karloff’s Gold Key Mysteries #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Publisher: Gold Key Comics
Writers: Michael W. Conrad, Kraig Rasmussen and Matt Harding
Art and Colors: Kelly Williams, Kraig Rasmussen and Rachel Allen Everett
Letters: Kyle Arends


Reviewed by: Matthew B. Lloyd



The Where House reveals more secrets from Boris Karloff’s life and fate along with a couple mystery/ horror tales that evoke an era past.


Very often today’s comic reading is centered on the continuing tales of favorite characters, and in the hey dey of Gold Key Comics there were many titles that told stories to simply entertain that didn’t require connecting with a hero, heroine, villain or villainess.  Boris Karloff’s Gold Key Mysteries #2 manages to do both.  Whether it’s the continuing saga of Boris Karloff in “Where House Pt.2,” “Trenchfoot,” or “The Town With A Million Eyes,” these stories ENTER-TAIN.  The slogan is right there on the front of the issue, “Story Never Dies.”  While “Where House Pt. 2” continues from last issue as this atmospheric offering from Michael W. Conrad and Kelly Williams imagines how the actor Boris Karloff could be the host of all these strange and disturbing tales, “Trenchfoot,” and “The Town With a Million Eyes” are both classic horror short stories like one would’ve found in the original Gold Key’s Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery which in turn grew out of the horror genre made infamous by EC Comics in the 1950’s.

Conrad’s second person narration on “Where House” is unconventional but it helps create the feeling of uneasiness as the reader takes on Karloff’s experiences from his/ her own point of view.  This contributes to the atmosphere that is consistent throughout the issue.  It’s the one thing that a horror/ mystery book like this has to get right, and Boris Karloff’s Gold Key Mysteries #2 succeeds unequivocally in this regard.  Williams art on the lead story supplies equally menacing visuals, and Kraig Rasmussen’s jarring colors in “Trenchfoot” make the experience of being gassed seem truly trippy.

“The Town With A Million Eyes” comes off like a story from The Twilight Zone.  You can guess that it’s not going to end well for the protagonist, but because the desire for freedom is so strong in humanity, the reader identifies  with Jenna’s desire to be free of her captor- no matter the cost.  Rachel Allen Everett sells Jenna’s commitment to escaping just as she sells Jenna’s captor’s desire to keep her safe because he/she/it loves Jenna.


It’s hard to find a negative, as Boris Karloff ‘s Gold Key Mysteries #2 actually comes across a little bit stronger than the first issue.  The fact that we probably won’t see Jenna again is slightly disappointing because…I mean…what happens next?!?!?!  It can’t end like THAT, Matt Harding!


Like comics published by Ahoy Comics with which this title shares a kindred spirit, Boris Karloff’s Gold Key Mysteries #2 is entertaining and nostalgic, but also modern.  With this issue it’s clear that there’s a lot of mileage in the concept and as a vehicle for comics in the mystery/ horror genre.  Not everything has to be superheroes, and this title provides something different while also being comforting and familiar.

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