Friday, November 21, 2014

Number 1660: Moody blues...reds...greens...yellows...

In the excellent blog, Ace Horror, Jim McLaughlin is given credit as the artist who had the most stories in the Ace horror comics. These two stories by McLaughlin, who had a fairly straightforward illustrative style, are from The Beyond #15 (1952) and Baffling Mysteries #10 (1952) respectively.

In scanning both stories something that struck me is the moody coloring. The story, “Diogenes’ Deadly Lamp” does not have any panels colored in traditional style, although “Don’t Wake the Dead” is a bit more traditional. In both stories the coloring adds an aura of eerie mystery and dread.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Number 1659: The ha-ha he-he laughing giggling sadist killer!

Herman Duker was one bad guy: a psychopath who committed cruel acts to animals and fellow humans. He eventually went to the electric chair. His story was told in Crime Does Not Pay #57 (1947), drawn by Fred Guardineer, reprinted in Blackjacked and Pistol Whipped: Crime Does Not Pay, a trade paperback still available from Dark Horse Comics.*

A few months after the Crime Does Not Pay story another version of the Duker story was published, the one I am showing you today. It is from Exposed #2 (1948). The character is given another name, John Hirsh, but it is based on Duker’s story. I’m giving an advance warning that it contains panels with graphic blood, cruelty to animals, and one helluva injury to the eye panel. If you are sensitive don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Comic art spotter Jim Vadeboncoeur Jr gives credit for the artwork to Joe Orlando. It would have been very early in Orlando’s career. As you may know, Joe worked for EC Comics in the fifties, and hung around the comic book field long enough to become an editor at DC Comics, then DC’s vice president, eventually even associate publisher of Mad magazine. He died in 1998 at age 71.

*You can also read the story presented in 2008 by Karswell at The Horrors Of It All. Just click on the thumbnail.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Number 1658: Trapped in time

In 1961 I was a snarky junior high kid and my friend Ronnie was even snarkier than me. One of our targets for snarkiness were the monster comics that came from Marvel Comics. You have seen those giant monsters that were drawn by Jack Kirby. There were dozens of them. Despite our snark attacks on those comics Ronnie and I bought them as they came out and we read them. We liked them but were just too snarkily cool to admit it.

“Trapped In the Twilight World!” is not one of the monster stories, per se, although monsters abound. It is a story of passing from one dimension of time to another and probably would have earned hoots of derision from Ronnie and me. Not only does “Trapped” give the “truth” about UFOs, but the Abominable Snowman, and even has an early version of Kirby’s big red Devil Dinosaur! Despite still having a vestige of snarkitude I am giving this story a pass due to nostalgia, not only for the memories of those comic books, but also for old friend Ronnie, who died not too long ago.

 From Amazing Adventures #3 (1961):

Friday, November 14, 2014

Number 1657: Misery loves company

Airboy fought humans (wartime and postwar), aliens from space and supernatural villains during his career. In the latter category none was more eerie (or odd) than Misery, who debuted in this issue, Air Fighters Comics #12 (1943).

This is the origin story of Misery and his Airtomb. It is credited by the Grand Comics Database to Harry Stein for writing, and Fred Kida for the artwork.

Another story of Misery (and the sexy Valkyrie!) can be found here by clicking the thumbnail.