Nightmare started back in the summer of 1952 under publisher Ziff-Davis. The company (still publishing titles today such as PC Magazine) had a brief stint in comic books from 1950-1953. It published as many as 51 different titles, most of which never lasted more than one or two issues (the 46 issue G.I. Joe being a notable exception).
Having entered the comic market during the challenging times of the waning of the Golden Age, they exited the market about as quickly as they appeared. St. John Publications wound up picking up many of the Ziff-Davis comic titles for $50,000. Nightmare then carried on with them for four more issues (ending with issue #13* shown here from August 1954). After this issue, the title was renamed Amazing Ghost Stories.
What makes Nightmare #13 most notable is the cover art is by the undisputed good girl art champ, Matt Baker. I don’t feature his covers that often because they tend to also be quite expensive. He is best known for his stunning, cover popping redesign of the character Phantom Lady for Fox Comics. The cover shown here uses a brilliant selection of color tones and seductively places one of the mermaid-seaweed-sirens on her back. What is a poor skin-diver to do? All in all, the cover is an excellent representation of Baker’s skill at the portrayal of the female form. Unfortunately, Matt Baker passed away of a heart attack at the young aged of just 37.
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