Friday, October 12, 2007

The Hidden Vampire

Interesting set of comments on yesterday's werewolf post, lots of praise and even some Atlas bashing, and though I don't wholly agree with the negatives, I do find things are much more interesting here when we have views coming in from both sides of the tracks. So with that, here's another Atlas classic... I remember reading this for the first time reprinted in Giant Sized Dracula #5 in the mid 70's and it really threw me for a loop.

Originally presented in the January 1955 issue of Journey into Mystery #21.





12 comments:

Anonymous said...

i went back and read that guy's comment youre talking about and he's nuts.... i mean if anything both yesterday and todays posts are 2 excellent examples of why atlas was so great

to each his own

Karswell said...

I agree, but I also understand what some people don't like... alot of the Atlas stories do seem derivative, even Stan Lee would agree. But on the whole I believe (with the amount of product they released during our favorite pre-code time frame) that they gave us much more good horror than bad, and especially in the art department where I find them easy rivals with EC.

Anonymous said...

I DONT THINK THERE WAS ANYONE WORKING AT ATLAS WHO COULD TOUCH GHASTLY OR JACK DAVIS BUT FOR THE MOST PART I AGREE WITH THIS TOO, AS SOMEONE SAID THOUGH ITS ALL SUBJECTIVE.

Anonymous said...

For me something has to be REALLY bad to even get a little negative about it, people who bitch about stuff like this are of course entitled to their opinions but everyone should remember that it's all useful, good or bad, and a valuable insight into preserving the history of these great stories. Thanks for the continued posts Karswell!

Keath007 said...

Ha ha - okay I was totally rolling my eyes at this one ("luckily a boy pointed out which big castle was the right one because, you know, there are huge castles on every block here") but the ending totally hooked me. Definitely worth the post!

Anonymous said...

To each his own,i prefer BRIDE OF to SON OF FRANKENSTEIN,and Ed Wood to BLAIR WITCH,thought the Games episodes of REN & STIMPY were OK,and prefer CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF to THE WOLF MAN,so i guess im a pariah and shouldn't judge the anti-Atlas guy,but still,he's wrong,i mean you can't just sit back and call the ending of this one"cliche",the whole story was a Universal(superstitious villagers)meets Val Lewton(suspense without showing the monster)meets Ed Wood(thats some fucked up logic)type of story,and the splash was gorgeous.fuckin' loved it.

Anonymous said...

I never said I didn't appreciate the blog (I love it - think it's the best blog out there) or even that I didn't appreciate the Atlas stories. I wouldn't have said anything at all but for the statment that there was "no doubt" that Atlas was right next to EC in quality. I think plenty of people would doubt that, even among Atlas fans. I'm not an EC fanboy and get tired of the all-EC focus in many pre-code horror discussions but I personally don't find Atlas to be close to EC in quality. Then again, I'm probably atypical among comic fans in that I consider writing as important as art if not slightly more so (the best art in the world can't save bad writing for me). I guesstimate that Atlas produced about 2,100 pre-code horror stories and I think it shows in the writing (the fact that they generally had an extra story per magazine may also have contributed). They did have a number of great artists - I don't dispute that. I'm not thrilled about being labelled the "anti-Atlas" guy, much less "loser" (that guy must have written for Atlas - sorry, couldn't resist). I have only read about 40% of the pre-code horror stories but on my list of top 100 non-EC stories, Atlas has so far only had one in my top 50 and 7 in the top 100 (I've read about 750 pre-code Atlas stories - and about 2700 pre-code stories - which I only mention because I have almost all of them scanned and will be happy to contribute some if anyone is interested)

Lethargic said...

I gotta say I agree with the anti-atlas guy. Not because their bad (because they are in an enjoyable schlocky sort of way) but because EC was so far ahead of the game it left the others in the dust. Not to say their wasn't some great stuff put out by others, just that EC led the pack.

Karswell said...

>I guesstimate that Atlas produced about 2,100 pre-code horror stories and I think it shows in the writing

That was pretty much my point, and I still (and forever) stick by my usage of "no doubt" in defense of Atlas. But then I didn't grow up reading EC either, I grew up in the 70's reading the Atlas reprints which obviously brain washed me.

The Anti-Atlas Loser said...

> I grew up in the 70's reading
> the Atlas reprints which
> obviously brain washed me.

Could be. I grew up in the 70s as well and read a lot of horror comics - though, oddly, very few Marvels (odd because I was a fan of Marvel superhero comics).

Nope - my horror diet consisted primarily of DC and (shudder) Charlton and Gold Key (with occasional forays into Warren and Eerie Publications). Charlton and Gold Key are much (and it sometimes seems "universally") maligned among horror comic fans but that's what they had in my area. I am currently about 3/4 of the way through reading around 5,000 pre-1990 horror comics, rating each story as I go. I haven't gotten to the DC bronze age horror revival yet (still in the execrable postcode, pre-1968 period) but I have finished all (and I mean ALL) of the Charlton and Gold Key bronze age horror.

One of my biggest disappointments was how these books didn't live up to what I remembered - for the ones I didn't read back in the day, that is. I still enjoyed them immensely, but it just wasn't the same. However, with the specific stories and issues I DID remember reading as a kid, I still loved them just as much (even though there were no differente than the rest) and found it impossible to be objective when rating them.

Same with the also much-maligned Eerie Publications. They were MY EC comics (the forbidden fruit of the comic world). Sacrilege, I'm ure, to Warren afficionados but in the late 70s, when I started reading B&W mags, Warren was at what I consider its nadir, publishing primarily sci-fi, series (the Rook - ugh!), and stories with naked chicks riding dinosaurs - good art, no story.
Now I am reading the early Warrens, Skywald etc for the first time (along with the non-EC pre-code stuff) and loving it.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for calling you the Anti-Atlas guy,i was just defending one of my favorite companies,hey,i know how it feels not having acess to the "real thing" and having to read the next best,as a kid i couldn't read my brothers CREEPY magazines,so i had to read Kirby Kaiju Krap(hmm,3 K's not good.)and though i loved the really good ones,like FIN FANG FOOM and the Ditko stories,most of them got repetitive,so when i found some old copies of MENACE and SUSPENSE,it was my un-holy grail!,my horror fix!,and when the reprints came out like WHERE MONSTERS DWELL and VAULT OF EVIL i was hooked,THIS was the dark and evil side of Marvel i wanted,to hell with the others!,but i did later get to reading the EC.and ACE stories when i became a collector,so i guess everyone has their favorites,hell a guy could get addicted to(gag!)MERIT publications under the right circumstances,and like i said im a horror & cartoon pariah for liking Games and James Whale.

Karswell said...

Pleeeese folks, lets try to get along here, this is supposed to be a FUN blog, not a pissing contest. Opinions are highly welcome, but let's keep the name calling to minimum.

Don't make me email you a rune...