Monday, June 13, 2011

Dark Shadows Comics

From June 1966 to April 1971, Dark Shadows aired on ABC television. The show may have had a rocky start and questionable ratings, but with the introduction of Barnabas Collins, the show's feature vampire, around the 200th episode, Dark Shadows became a cult hit. Unlike many soap operas, Dark Shadows was able to transcend the realm of television and was featured in two feature-length theatrical films, a series of novels, magazines, and comic books.

In the early '70s it was forbidden to have vampires or supernatural creatures in most comic books due to the Comic Code Authority (this would change by the mid-to-late 1970s, however). Both Marvel and DC were often strict in their adherence to the Comic Code, hence the reason why Dark Shadows was neglected by both publishers.

Along came Gold Key, a publishing company not bound by the rules of the dreaded Comic Code, and the rest is history. Dark Shadows comics were published from 1969 to 1976 -  lasting a longer span of time than the television show! Altogether, the comic series lasted 35 issues.

The comics featured more 'fantastical' plots than what was commonly found on the show. For instance, Barnabas would take on the threat of sorcerers, viking ghosts, demons, the headless horseman, and on one occasion, a mummy! However, much like the television show, there were numerous instances of time travel.

In 1991, following the Dark Shadows revival series, Innovation Comics published a very short-lived comic series based-on the property.

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