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Adventures Into The Unknown was the first ongoing horror/mystery/suspense anthology in comics, concentrating on ghost and monster tales akin to Universal Studios films instead of the gory, O. Henry-esque tales preferred by later competitors like EC and its many imitators.

That may be one reason why the American Comics Group title was able to survive the Comics Code purge and last well into the Silver Age ascendancy of Marvel-style super-heroes. It didn’t take much for the creators – usually editor Richard E. Hughes under a variety of pseudonyms and a roster of artists that included Ogden Whitney, Kurt Schaffenberger and Harry Lazarus – to shift from the “monster du jour” to sci-fi and supernatural tales that owed more than a little debt to the Twilight Zone and Outer Limits.

The following story – written by Hughes as “Derek Rutherford” and drawn by the great John Buscema – is a good illustration of how the American Comics Group kept the freak-flag flying for sci-fi, horror & suspense until other companies finally saw fit to challenge the Comics Code.

“The Little Men” originally appeared in Adventures Into The Unknown #108.

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