Thursday, March 6, 2008

The (Weird) Vampire Mob

After Quality Comics finally told Plastic Man to take it on the arches, Ken Shannon made his skull shattering debut in the December 1950 issue of Police Comics #103. A violent, hardboiled shamus for hire, Shannon usually talked with his fists and asked questions later, punching his way for two dozen issues (with amazing Reed Crandall artwork starting with issue #105) before finally getting his very own series tackling bigger, badder, more agressive goons, and occasionally a horrific ghoulie or two… as in this memorable crime / horror entry from the August 1952 issue of Ken Shannon #6.











10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Karswell, you really made my day with this one! I've been dying to see what a Ken Shannon story is like and man did this one deliver in spades! Reed Crandall is one of my all time favorite EC artists and the writing here is exceptionally excellent, "Mouse-trapped! If that thing swats me I'll be just a smear on the wall!"

I would love to see more of these Shannon stories, how's The Corpse That Wouldn't Sleep from issue #3? Great cover on that one too! Thanks again! Best blog on the web!

Chuck Wells said...

Busiest blog on the web, too.

I could spend all day browsing the "Horrors Of It All" and never tire if it wasn't for the gooseflesh rising, and hairs standing at attention on the back of my neck, that is.

The Ken Shannon tale was groovy!

Anonymous said...

I echo the first blogger's observations. Reed Crandall is indeed one of my favorite EC artists ("Ghastly" is my favorite, of course). Great combination of the ersatz-supernatural and the Mike Hammer-like protagonist, giving the story a hard-boiled detactive angle. The protagonist is illustrated as a lantern-jawed hero, not attractive in the conventional sense, but he looks like he could take anything thats thrown at him.

Anonymous said...

EXCELLENT POST! NOT SURE WHAT ELSE I CAN ADD HERE THAT THE PREVIOUS COMMENTORS HAVE ALREADY SAID.......WOULD ENJOY SEEING MORE KEN SHANNON POSTS IN THE FUTURE. ONE COVER IN THE GCD GALLERY LOOKS LIKE HE TAKES ON FU MANCHU OR SOME SORT OF YELLOW MENACE.

The Vicar of VHS said...

Wow, I love the style of this one! In my opinion, horror and hardboiled detective fiction go together like peanut butter and chocolate. I'm surprised it's not done more often.

That cover is great, even if it is unrepresentative of how the vamps actually look. Then on the inside splash page, the Bat-Man becomes Friedrich March from Jekyll and Hyde!

Still, one of the most entertaining stories in a while--Shannon's internal monologue is hilarious, but still cool. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Excellent art and story, I really dig the detective horror stories like this and the Dr Drew post from a few weeks ago, hope to see more.

Karswell said...

>he looks like he could take anything thats thrown at him.

It's the tough as nails bow tie.

>Then on the inside splash page, the Bat-Man becomes Friedrich March

Ha ha, good point Vic... not to mention the vampire mob went from being "weird" on the cover, to just being a mob on the first page.

Can anyone find a writer these days that can come up with priceless tough guy dialog like this? It's such a lost art.

And to everyone asking to see more Ken Shannon, never fear-- I will definitely post more in the coming weeks. I've got them all.

Horror pariah said...

Yeah,i don't mind you posting reccuring hero stories too if they have a creepy element,and especially if they're this good!

Pappy said...

This reads like Leslie Bellem's Dan Turner, Hollywood Detective. "She had an angle and her curves weren't bad, either!" Wow, they don't write lines like that anymore.

Karswell said...

>if it wasn't for the gooseflesh rising, and hairs standing at attention on the back of my neck

Ha ha, thanks Chuck!

>Wow, they don't write lines like that anymore.

True Pappy... true.