Friday, February 17, 2017

Number 2012: Former EC artists’ “true” ghost stories

Ten years after the end of EC Comics, three of the artists closely associated with EC had stories published in Gold Key’s Ripley’s Believe It Or Not True Ghost Stories #1 (1965). George Evans is credited with “The Mummy’s Hand,” Wallace Wood with “The Ghost Ship,” and Al Williamson with “The Flaming Scar.”

That word “true” shows up in the title, but proving any of these stories to be true would be impossible, except for the verifiable Iroquois Theater fire in Chicago, 1903, and the sinking of the Titanic. You think a mummy’s hand caused a curse? You think the son of a sea captain found his father’s ghost ship, 10 years lost, floating full-masted with canvas in perfect condition? You think a man avoided death by avoiding a man with a flaming scar?

I don’t believe in ghosts, or at least I don’t now...when at some point I have passed over into the great unknown I’ll attempt to come back and haunt you readers. Believe it or not!

Believe it or not, this coming Sunday I have a Pappy’s Sunday Supplement...the complete issue of The Face #2.


Daniel [] said...

As a child, I didn't know what to make of Ripley's Believe It or Not! True Demons and Monsters, because of that word “True”. I didn't encounter True Ghost Stories until it was pretty clear that they lying about the demons and monsters, though a shyster might have argued that the ghost stories truly were ghost stories, albeït that they were not factual stories.

100 guineas would have been £105. Now, as I've said previously, price-level calculations become ever less meaningful as intervals are lengthened; but, still, we're talking about something roughly like US$10,000, handed-over at the last minute to a stranger, for a mummified hand in a box, in an era in which whole mummies were easily acquired for well less than £5.

Pappy said...

Daniel, regarding mummies, I read once that there were so many being exhumed in the 19th century that Egyptians were burning them, using them for fuel. Probably nothing like a good steak cooked over a flaming 3,000 year old corpse to give it a little extra zing in the flavor.

A few years ago you mentioned in a comment that price-level calculations were less meaningful the further back one goes, and it stuck with me. After what you said I look at the Internet and see those instant calculations from then to now more as a guide than actual prices. But they are still something with which to compare. The story was fiction, and the prices probably seemed reasonable to the writer.