Midnight Tales

The book was “hosted” by  Professor Coffin  (aka  The Midnight Philosopher  ) and his niece  Arachne,  publishedby Wayne Howard and published by Charlton Comics from 1972 to 1976.  Midnight Tales  was an American horror -suspense anthology comic book series. (  1)  The setting, Xanadu University , was a tie-in with the Charlton E-Man series.

Charlton took the unusual step of giving Howard a “created by” credit on each issue’s cover, providing a precedent for the credit of becoming more common with DC’s Vertigoimprint.  [2]  Charlton writer / editor Nick Cuti described Howard’s credit being granted because of the book, “… was his idea, his concept, his everything.”  [3]  In addition, each issue shared a theme: “One time it would be blob monsters, and I wrote three stories about blob monsters, and another time it was vampires … and that sort of thing”.  [3]  Howard penciled and inked every cover and virtually every story, and occasionally scripted stories as well.

According to critic Mark Andrew:

Old dude and his sexy niece traipse across the countryside, bumping into oddball characters who invariably have a story to tell …. Sadly, since Charlton did not want to do anything that’d offend your average nine-year-old, you can  feel  this book fighting against the uber-restrictive comics code . Kinda sad, really. What  is  good, however, are the artists in this book, easily the equal of anyone working at Marvel or DC at the time. You got Wayne Howard … probably the most deft practitioner of the Wally Wood school ever.  [4]

Publication history

Midnight Tales  was published by Charlton during this period. His sister titles were the Charlton anthologies  The Many Ghosts of Doctor Graves  (with host Dr. MT Graves),  Ghostly Tales  (with IM Dedd),  Ghost Manor  (with host Mr. Bones),  Ghostly Haunts  (with Winnie the Witch),  Haunted  (with Impy and then Baron Weirwulf), and  Scary Tales  (with Countess RH Von Bludd).

Midnight Tales  appeared bimonthly; altogether, it published 18 issues. In Oct. 1985, Charlton briefly revived the title as reprinted book, changing its name to  Professor Coffin  , and continued the numbering for three more issues before finally ceasing publication in 1986.

Besides Howard, other contributors to  Midnight Tales  included Nicola Cuti , Don Newton , Joe Staton , and Tom Sutton . George Wildman edited the book for its entire run.


  1. Jump up^  Midnight Tales  entry, Grand Comics Database. Accessed April 3, 2011.
  2. Jump up^  Cooke, Jon B., “Lest We Forget: Celebrating Four That Got Away”: Comic Book Artist # 12 (March 2001), p. 112.
  3. ^ Jump up to: b  Nicola Cuti interview,  Comic Book Artist  # 12 (March 2001), p. 41-42.
  4. Jump up^  Andrew, Mark. “Nine Things I Read This Week (hopefully) Weekly Column”, “Comics Should Be Good” (column), March 3, 2006.WebCitation archive.

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