Pocket Chiller Library: Issues 1 – 50

Pocket Chiller Library Montage

Thorpe & Porter and Top Sellers were both imprints of publisher Williams. Between 1971 and 1977, Top Sellers published Pocket Chiller Library, running to 137 issues, but there are plenty of questions circulating online about the title’s origins and exactly what it featured – reprint European strips or commissioned material from British creators?

Read our main feature about Pocket Chiller Library here to find out more

• Checklists: Issues 1 – 49 | Issues 50 – 100 | Issues 101 – 137

Checklist Issues 1 – 50

Additional information welcome!

1 – The Body

Pocket Picture Library #1. "The somewhat uninspired typography out of a flat colour background on the covers was because the Spanish packagers were selling different language editions," notes Dez Skinn, who worked on the series, "and wanted easy word changes to the covers for each translation (ditto the often ill-fitting typeset balloons inside). Had the words been reversed out of the cover artwork it would have been far trickier. Horrible compromise though."
Pocket Picture Library #1. “The somewhat uninspired typography out of a flat colour background on the covers was because the Spanish packagers were selling different language editions,” notes Dez Skinn, who worked on the series, “and wanted easy word changes to the covers for each translation (ditto the often ill-fitting typeset balloons inside). Had the words been reversed out of the cover artwork it would have been far trickier. Horrible compromise though.”

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

2 – The Jewels

Pocket Chiller Library No. 2 - The Jewels

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

3 – The Monster of Rillington Place

Pocket Chiller Library 3 - The Monster of Rillington Place

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

4 – Killer Doll

Pocket Chiller Library 4 - Killer Doll

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

5 – The Vampire of Dusseldorf

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

6 – The Evil Eye

Pocket Chiller Library No. 6 - The Evil Eye

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

7 – Hell on Earth

Pocket Chiller Library 7 - Hell on Earth

Cover: Fernando Fernandez (Signed on cover)
Interior Art: Information Welcome

8 – The Pirate Brothers

Pocket Chiller Library No. 8 - The Pirate Brothers

Cover: Fernando Fernandez (Signed on cover)
Interior Art: Information Welcome

9 – The Ghost

Pocket Chiller Library No. 9 - The Ghost

Cover: Fernando Fernandez (Signed on cover)
Interior Art: Information Welcome

10 – Space Virus

Pocket Chiller Library No. 10 - Space Virus

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

11 – To Kill for Kicks

Pocket Chiller Library 11 - To Kill for Kicks

Cover: Fernando Fernandez (Signed on cover)
Interior Art: Information Welcome

12 – The Beast

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

13 – The Nightmare

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

14 – Doctor Satan

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

15 – The Potholers

Pocket Chiller Library No. 15 - The Potholers

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

16 – Public Enemy Number One

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

17 – The Mummy

Pocket Chiller Library 17 - The Mummy

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

18 – The Butcher from Hanover

Pocket Chiller Library 18 - The Butcher from Hanover

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

19 – Billy the Kid

Pocket Chiller Library 19 - 19 - Billy the Kid

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

20 – The Statue

Pocket Chiller Library No. 20 - The Statue

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

21 – Images of Death

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

22 – Body Snatcher

Pocket Chiller Library No. 22 - The Body Snatchers

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

23 – Followers of Satan

Pocket Chiller Library Issue 23 "Followers of Satan" originally debuted as Nightmare Suspense Picture Library Issue 7, "The Devil's Disciple", utilising the same cover art
Pocket Chiller Library Issue 23 “Followers of Satan” originally debuted as Nightmare Suspense Picture Library Issue 7, published in 1966, “The Devil’s Disciple”, utilising the same cover art
Pocket Chiller Library No. 23 - The Followers of Satan

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

24 – Hands of Evil

Pocket Chiller Library No. 24 - Hands of Evil

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

25 – The Bloody Flowers

Pocket Chiller library 25 - The bloody flowers

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

26 – Hypnosis / The Spider’s Web

  • Pocket Chiller Library 26 - Hypnosis (aka) "The Spider's Web"
  • Pocket Chiller Library 26 - Hypnosis (aka) "The Spider's Web" - Interior
  • Pocket Chiller Library 26 - Hypnosis (aka) "The Spider's Web" - Back Cover

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

Two different versions of this edition have been spotted. The confusion may have been caused by the use of “The Spider’s Web” on the interior strip, but “Hypnosis” on the cover.

With thanks to downthetubes reader “Gary” for the cover and images

27 – The Secret in the Cellar

Pocket Chiller library 27 - The Secret in the Cellar

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

28 – The Hunchback

Pocket Chiller Library 28 - The Hunchback

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

Reprinted in #87 as “Gibbet of the Damned”

29 – Obsession

Pocket Chiller Library 29 - Obsession

30 – Werewolf

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

31 – The Vampire of Loban

Pocket Chiller Library No. 33 - The Vampire of Loban

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

32 – The Monster Maker / Cry of the Wolfman

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

Two versions seen

33 – The Lake

Pocket Chiller Library No. 33 - The Lake

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

34 -Brides of Death

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

35 – The Mutant

Pocket Chiller library 35 - The Mutant

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

36 – The Dead Don’t Always Sleep

Pocket Chiller Library 36 - The Dead Don’t Always Sleep

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

37 – The Cry of the Wolfman

Pocket Chiller Library 37 - The Cry of the Wolfman

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

38 – The Children of the Damned

Pocket Chiller Library 38 - The Children of the Damned

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

39 – Daughter of Darkness

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

40 – Fear Has a Thousand Eyes

Pocket Chiller Library 40 - Fear Has a Thousand Eyes

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

41 – Nightmare Curse

Pocket Chiller Library Issue 41 - Nightmare Curse

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

42 – The Dark Fiend

Pocket Chiller Library 42 - The Dark Fiend

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

43 – The Dead are Awake and Walking

Pocket Chiller Library 43 - The Dead are Awake and Walking

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Dave Gibbons (reprinted in No. 102 as “Unholy Fiends”)

Pocket Chiller Library 43 - The Dead are Awake and Walking - art by Dave Gibbons
Pocket Chiller Library 43 - The Dead are Awake and Walking - art by Dave Gibbons
Art by Dave Gibbons

44 – The Unquiet Grave

Pocket Chiller Library 44 - The Unquiet Grave

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

45 – Fury

Pocket Chiller Library 45 - Fury

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

46 – The Mummies

Pocket Chiller Library No. 46 - The Mummies

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

47 – The Cupboard

Pocket Chiller Library No. 47 - The Cupboard

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

Some interior pages here

48 – Suffer a Witch to Live

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

49 – The Finger

Pocket Chiller Library 49 - Pocket Chiller Library 45 - The Finger

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

50 -The Snake Woman

Pocket Chiller Library 50 -The Snake Woman

Cover: Information Welcome
Interior Art: Information Welcome

Pocket Chiller Library – Main Feature

Checklists: Issues 1 – 49 | Issues 50 – 100 | Issues 101 – 137

Additional information welcome! This feature and listing last updated 31st August 2021

For those of you trying to puzzle out the history of the many British pocket library titles and publishers, Steve Holland notes that just to add to the confusion, a lot of pocket libraries were packaged abroad and sold around Europe (France, Germany, Spain, etc.), so there is still a lot of questions about whether some pocket libraries were reprints – or were actually published here in the UK first!

WEB LINKS

Grand Comics Database – Pocket Chiller Library Listing and Covers

Nightmare Suspense Picture Library – Listing and Covers

With thanks to Dave Gibbons, Steve Holland, Rik Hoskin, Chris O’Leary, Douglas Noble, the much-missed Colin Noble, Steve Pini, David Roach, the indispensable Richard Sheaf, Dez Skinn and Jon Smit – and thanks also to the WordPictureWord Group for sending me down this rabbit hole!

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.



Categories: British Comics, Comics, Creating Comics

Tags: , , ,

4 replies

  1. Some of the early covers were signed by Fernando Fernandez as his signature is clearly seen, e.g. #7 and #9.

  2. I never bought these but I remember seeing them on spinner racks in newsagents. If it wasn’t Marvel horror or House of Hammer I wasn’t interested but I wish I’d bought some now.

  3. Some of the earlier issues must have been pre-1966, as Australia began using decimal currency (Dollars and Cents) from 14 February of that year, and the first few issues show 1/6 for Australian buyers….

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