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!

Jiminy Kill-It

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The “Gentle Giant” era of Dick Briefer’s classic Frankenstein series ended with the 17th issue of the character’s eponymous magazine. It would be three years before Briefer’s take on the monster would appear again, and at that point the series shifted into a pure horror mode to capitalize on the popularity of EC-styled comic books.

Perhaps sensing the end was near, the final issue of the “funny” Frankenstein is a bit darker than previous installments. The stories downplay the goofy surrealism of earlier stories and focus on the “lighter side” of murder and mayhem.

It’s a tribute to Briefer’s talent that he pulls off such a difficult feat. Much like his monstrous creation, Briefer was truly one of a kind.

The Thirteen Days Of Halloween continue with “Voice Of His Conscience.” The story originally appeared in Frankenstein Comics # 17 (Prize Comics, January-February 1949).

The story was written and drawn by Briefer.

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If you’d like to read more of Briefer’s Frankenstein, I dedicated a week to his three distinct takes on the character a few years ago.

Coming tomorrow: One of cinema’s original scream queens!

Party On, Garth

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The Thirteen Days Of Halloween continue with the macabre menace of the Vampiric Viking, Garth! The story originally appeared in Strange Fantasy #12 (Ajax-Farrell, June-July 1954).

There are no credited artists or writers for this tale, but it’s safe to assume it was produced by the Iger Studio.

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And they umm… lived (?) … umm … happily (?) ever after?!?!?

Given that the Iger Studio’s only staff writer was a woman, the fate of the tale’s female protagonist is especially  interesting. Is the last panel a barbed commentary on ’50s suburbia? An insight into the paranoia of that particular decade?

It’s worth pondering …

Coming tomorrow: Frankenstein’s Monster let’s his conscience be his guide!!!