Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Number 1463: Ditko does his Thing

Halloween is tomorrow, so it looks like I’d better get a couple of bags of cheap candy for the neighborhood monsters. But...wait. I think I have a few of those miniature candy bars left over from a couple of years ago. Heh-heh. I try to discourage the kiddies from coming back to Casa Pappy, but as I’ve found out over the 38 years I’ve lived here, the neighborhood kids aren’t discouraged by mold on stale Snickers bars.

So...where was I? For Halloween I’m presenting four Steve Ditko stories from the infamous Charlton horror comic, The Thing. The stories, scanned from black line reprints published in a 1972-73 Australian comic, Doomsday, were uploaded by scanner Bladeshade9. Thank you Bladeshade9. I appreciate your efforts, and if you come on over to my house I’ll give you some Halloween candy. I’ll even scrape off the mold.

Unlike Pappy’s candy, these Ditko stories may be old, but never moldy or stale: “The Worm Turns” and “Day of Reckoning” were originally published in The Thing #15 (1954). “Rumpelstiltskin” and “The Evil Eye” are from #14.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Number 1462: Warren Kremer’s Burke and Hare

Warren Kremer (1921-2003) was one of the most talented artists in the history of comic books, but you’d hardly have known it. Over most of his career he drew the fantastic kid-friendly strips for Harvey Comics, including Casper, Spooky, Richie Rich, et al. He didn’t sign his work and until his name became known by fans he was kind of comics’ best kept secret.

Early in his career Kremer was drawing more adult fare, crime comics, and later he delivered some terrific covers for the Harvey horror comics. With this story of the infamous duo of Burke and Hare for Ace Comics’ Crime Must Pay the Penalty #2 (1949), which he signed, he showed he could handle drawing dead bodies as well as friendly ghosts.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Number 1461: Horror without the horrible

Only a few more days until Halloween. Fill up those candy bowls for the visiting trick-or-treaters, but save the best stuff for yourself. Pappy's rule for Halloween: the kids get the cheap stuff.

No cheap stuff for you today. I’m showing all the stories from Atlas Comics’ Marvel Tales #119 (1953). The tales run the gamut from a golddigger/serial killer to mummies from outer space to choosing a new life, to...well, read on.

Unlike most horror comics of the era there aren’t any vampires or werewolves, and the mummies aren’t even Egyptian mummies. All in all it’s a fun issue. There is some variety, even humor to some of the stories. Besides the total silliness of the plot of “When the Mummies Rise,” drawn by Russ Heath, there is a shaggy dog joke ending to “They Gave Him a Grave,” illustrated by Larry Woromay. John Forte’s art is perfect for the serial killer story, “Collector’s Item!” I got a laugh out of the Marilyn Monroe panel in “The New Life!” drawn by Al Eadeh. Mac Pakula wraps up the issue with a story of a killer who escapes earthly justice only to find it in space.

I could not help comparing the cover by an unknown artist to an earlier cover by horrormeister Bernard Baily for Mister Mystery #11.

As a morbid child I used to think of what would be the most terrible way to die. High on my list was being buried up to my chin and set upon by ants. Despite having a higher ratio of skulls to head, the Marvel Tales cover is tepid compared to Baily’s.