Hallowe’en Countdown IV, Day 19

« I think it’s safe to surmise that Mr. Church viewed his comics as his own private passion, and wanted to share them with no one. Is it any wonder that his heirs didn’t show any fondness for them? » — Charles ‘Chuck’ Rozanski

Let’s give a little love and a spooky cheer to the greatest comics collector of them all, Coloradoan Edgar Church (1888 – 1978), who also happened to be a pretty terrific illustrator. When he passed away, it turned out that his collection comprised a whopping 18 to 22 thousand comics books, mostly in the high grades. Ouch.

Here’s a must-read article by Mile High Comics’ Chuck Rozanski relating the (almost) posthumous discovery of Mr. Church’s incomparable collection, a tale of what very nearly was an incalculable loss: http://www.milehighcomics.com/tales/cbg12.html

With that out of the way, let’s take a step back and admire some of the man’s halloween-themed illustrations over the years.

As it plainly states, this piece was created to commemorate 1941’s eeriest holiday. Isn’t “IT” a beauty?
Another IT peace from the same era, which I admit to colouring a bit, in what I like to consider good taste and restraint. « Not only was Church an important collector of first-generation comic books — he also ran a busy advertising-design studio in Denver and served as an illustrator for that city’s Smith-Brooks Printing Co. A marginal note identifies this splendid composition as an inside-back cover — likely for a Smith-Brooks magazine called It, to which Church was a frequent contributor. » 
If those Life Member Luncheons were half a fun as Church’s ads made them seem, they must have been the highlight of Denver’s social season.
Featuring a wee bit of recycling, Church’s ad for the 1970 do. Interestingly, these shindigs were held on Wednesday nights, so they may not have been quite as debauched as one might have expected.
Mr. Church’s preliminary pencils for the 1964 ad.


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