Rude Awakening

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The 13 Days Of Halloween conclude with a classic written and drawn by the one and only Basil Wolverton! From Weird Tales Of The Future #3 (SPM Publications, September 1952), here’s “Nightmare World.”

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Yikes!

That’s it for this year’s fright fest, but there’s still one more piece of business to conclude Time Bulleteers. Come back Nov. 2 for an All Souls’ Day special starring The Wraith!

Alien Encounters

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One of the more interesting facets of ’50s horror and sci-fi comics is how effectively they captured the underlying paranoia of the times. From thinly-veiled allegories of the Red Menace to more subtle examinations of the horrors hiding within seemingly placid suburbs, Pre-Code comics often conveyed potent messages using the most lurid methods possible.

Case in point: Today’s Red Scare tale courtesy of classic Commie-Baiting publisher, Atlas Comics. The uncredited writer  – Stan Lee, perhaps? – does an excellent job of evoking the paranoia of McCarthyism through the guise of man-eating, shape-shifting aliens.

(Now that I think of it, those Atlas and Marvel comics of the 1950s and early ’60s did have a lot of Communist super-villains. It’s probably because the Timely-Atlas-Marvel imprint never saw a popular trend it couldn’t exploit.)

The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with “The Man Eater!” from Astonishing #8 (Atlas, January 1952). The art, drawn in the style of Atlas stalwart Joe Maneely, is credited to Norman Steinberg.

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Another happy ending!

Coming tomorrow: Basil Wolverton reveals humanity’s deepest nightmares!!!

Memories

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Unrequited love once again leads to complications as the 13 Days Of Halloween continue with “Night Screams” from Journey Into Fear #2 (Superior, July 1951). The story and art emanated from the omnipresent Iger Studio.

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Man … taken together the Halloween posts this year are creating one messed-up romance comic.

Coming tomorrow: Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you!!!

He’s Your Puppet

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Has any story concerning a ventriloquist and his or her puppet ever ended well for the person who purportedly held the strings? Since we’re well into the 13 Days Of Halloween, it’s a good bet the answer is “no.”

“The Devil Puppet” originally appeared in Worlds Of Fear #5 (Fawcett, July 1952). The story was drawn by Mike Sekowsky.

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Well … it was kinda sorta a happy ending for somebody.

Coming tomorrow: Another relationship gone sour! I could have posted most of these stories on Valentines’ week!!

The Whole Tooth

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Romantic couples in Golden Age horror comics have a tough road to hoe. If one member isn’t falling prey to bouts of insane jealousy, another usually turns out to be a vampire, witch, werewolf or some other supernatural creature.

(I don’t recall any Wendigoes in the mix, but I lack the statistical evidence to back that up.)

A vampire is cast as the home-wrecker in today’s tale, but as is usually the case with these moldy oldies all isn’t necessarily what it seems. The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with “Vampires? Don’t Make Me Laugh” from The Clutching Hand #1 (American Comics Group, July-August 1954).

The art is credited to Harry Lazarus.

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Coming tomorrow: Everybody loves evil puppets, right?

Pulped Fiction

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Swamp creatures are nothing new in comics, even back in the 1950s. Add in leeches, an evil scientist and more than a few panels depicting college co-eds in bondage, however, and you have a tale “worthy” of one of the more tawdry crime/horror titles of the Golden Age: Trojan’s Crime Mysteries.

The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with our grisliest guilty-pleasure tale yet, “Dead Woman’s Swamp.” The story, drawn by Myron Flass, originally appeared in Crime Mysteries #12 (Trojan Magazines, March 1954).

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Yeah … who needs science anyway. Just a bunch of trouble if you ask me. And … wait a minute. Is that corpse still rotting in the back seat of their car?

Blech.

Coming tomorrow: Another marriage ruined by vampirism!

Love And Marriage

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The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with a sweet tale of love and trust as depicted by one of the all-time great Golden Age horror artists, Howard Nostrand.

“Shock!” originally appeared in Witches Tales # 20 (Harvey Comics, August 1953). The story was written and drawn by Nostrand.

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Coming Tomorrow: Swamp Things! Evil Science! ’50s Sexism! This one has it all, true believer!!!

Arachnophobia

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Despite years of propaganda from friendly, neighborhood corporate mascots, spiders are gross! If you don’t believe me, perhaps this creepy Pre-Code horror classic will provide an effective argument.

The 13 Days Of Halloween continue with “Spider Hider” from Chilling Tales #13 (Youthful, December 1952). The art is by Vince Napoli.

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Coming tomorrow: Revenge ain’t always so sweet!