Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ridiculous, amazing DARK SHADOWS book covers from Germany

DARK SHADOWS has had several lives outside of the original 1966-1971 television series. Even as the show was charting new (and frequently contradictory) timelines, its peripheral feature films, comic books, comic strips, novels and audio dramas adopted policies of charting their own unique narratives. It's possible to be a longtime fan of DARK SHADOWS without ever having seen the original television show.

For a lot of counties, watching the TV series was never an option. DARK SHADOWS has always been an unwieldy beast, and few markets were willing (or able) to make room in their schedules for 150 minutes of programming each week for the daily serial. But that didn't stop Barnabas Collins from eventually going globe hopping.

In Germany, DARK SHADOWS found a second life in pulp magazines. The Paperback Library published 32 DARK SHADOWS novels written by Marilyn Ross, some of which were later recycled as content for German horror- and gothic-themed pulp digests.

The first book to be published in Germany was Ross's first DARK SHADOWS novel from 1967, re-titled "Der Witwenhügel" (which refers to "Widows Hill" located near Collinwood). The novel was reprinted as part of the Gaslicht series in 1973.

The next books in the series, "Victoria Winters" (“Keine Gnade für Victoria”), "Strangers at Collins House" (“Die Fremde im Collins-Haus”), and "The Mystery of Collinwood" (“Das Haus über der Todesklippe”) would be published out-of-order in Gaslicht,

The misadventures of Barnabas Collins, though, would find their way to the Vampir: Horror Roman series in 1977 and 1978, usually featuring cover art that looked like something from Marvel's TOMB OF DRACULA comics. Below is a sampling of covers from that series. Look carefully and you'll spot Arnold Schwarzenegger on the back cover of the first photo.

The final image in this post is from the Dämonen-Land series, which published its first issue in 1989.

(Note: Many of these images made their first appearance on this site back in 2012. I was unable to learn much about their origins at the time, though.)

"Barnabas Collins and the Mysterious Ghost."
"The Secret of Barnabas Collins" and "Barnabas Collins and the Mysterious Ghost."
"Barnabas, Quentin and the Avenging Ghost" and "Barnabas, Quentin and the Haunted Cave"
"Barnabas, Quentin and the Nightmare Assassin"and "The Peril of Barnabas Collins"
"The Phantom and Barnabas Collins" and "The Demon of Barnabas Collins"
"Barnabas Collins" and "The Foe of Barnabas Collins"
"Barnabas Collins"
"Barnabas Collins"

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