Monday, June 23, 2008

The Phantom Ship

To celebrate the late great Alex Toth’s 80th birthday this Wednesday, we’ll be spending a week with a sampling of some of his classic pre-code horror work. Unfortunately I don’t own a full week’s worth of Toth stories from their ORIGINAL printed sources, but I do have a few fine, though re-colored, Eclipse reprints that I will be sharing. Of course you can also delve into the THOIA archive for two stories I have already posted: Blood Money of Galloping Chad Burgess from Unseen #5, and Grip on Life from Unseen #13.

But for now, we open this terror tribute with The Phantom Ship, originally presented in the October 1952 issue of Out of the Shadows #6.

(NOTE: Reprinted / re-colored in Seduction of the Innocent Part 5)


Toth Panel Swipes

Just a mere 2 months after Toth's Phantom Ship set sail, the December '52 issue of Web of Mystery #16 hit stands... check out some of these panels below from the rather medicore tale Terror Stalked the Secret City, and compare for yourself. How multi-blatant can ya get?


SCOTT said...

Really enjoy this blogsite it's difficult to find anything truly associated with 50s horror comics. I appreciate the scans since the original comics are too expensive and rare for me to obtain. I'm looking for a particular story I believe it is called "Death on Ice", from Strange Fantasy #6. Can anyone tell me if this story involves some wierd guy who kills his wives and then stores them in a giant walk-in freezer? I remember the artwork as being sort of Iger Studio in appearance, anyway it was an especially creepy stroy and left a lasting impression on me as I first saw it when I was about 8 years old in a black and reprint. that was in the early 70s and horror magazines had the wildest stories in those days.Anyway hope this blog lasts for till the year 2100, thanks karswell for the great stories, the one I like best so far has to be the one about the jelous husband who shrinks the heads of his wife and her lover, (Heads of Horror) good luck and goodbye.

silvano said...

I knew this story from the Eclipse reprint , nonetheless I enjoyed it immensely , it clearly shows why Toth is an "artists' artist" highly regarded by everyone , but especially among his colleagues ,the top panel tier on page 7 and the close up of Rhino transforming in a rodent on page 8 are just my personal highlight in such a gem ...
Thanks !

Tim Tylor said...

Witness the fate of those who don't know their classics. >:D That's a neat satisfying story, and great art - the transformation scene's perfect.

Chuck Wells said...

Too many great posts over the convention weekend to comment on all of the "greatness" individually, but Happy Birthday to Mr. Toth and here's to you, Karswell.

Man, I hate that I missed "I Married A Witch" on TCM. I would have liked to see that, but even if I had been at home, the effects of a late convention night tossing back Gin & Tonic, Corona, Mai Tai & Rum Runner's would have negated me viewing the flick the next day.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting blog. Keep up the good work.

Photo To Canvas Service

The Vicar of VHS said...

I'm back from the international Naughty Vicar's Convention to comment on this tale--pretty cool! I thought we were going to get some Lovecraft at first, with the whole "Mad Arab" and "Rats in the Walls" hints, but then they went all Greek myth on us! Agree that the transformation scene is an awesome one. Would love to see that in icky 80s practical-effects goodness.

Love Circe on the splash page--that broad has evil thoughts written all over her face! :) I also got a kick out of the "SQUEAK! RATATATATAT!" sound effects, but maybe that's just me.

Like a colorized Three Stooges short, the colors on this are almost TOO much. Oh, for the washed-out, raggedy-pulp goodness...

Still great stuff, Karswell!

Anonymous said...


Mr. Karswell said...

>I believe it is called "Death on Ice", from Strange Fantasy #6.

Not familiar with this one Scott, I don't have the issue but maybe someone else around here can help you out. Keith? Brian?

>I knew this story from the Eclipse reprint

You'll be seeing a few more of these Eclipse reprints this week. I do have 2 original printed tales from Standard COmics though that I will post on Wednesday for Toth's official b-day day.

>That's a neat satisfying story, and great art

Words that will no doubt be forever associated with Toth. Thanks Tim.

>Gin & Tonic, Corona, Mai Tai & Rum Runner's

Chuck, you and Veronica Lake would have got along great together.

And welcome back Vicar, your famed insight to our daily posts was sorely missed while you took your blood soaked sabbatical. And yes ANON, swipes can be funny in a most annoying way. I hope to start displaying more in the future with side by side comparisons etc...

Thanks again for all the great comments today. So I've noticed a big drop in daily commentors recently and hope it's not something I said... I certainly feel the quality is still here in our daily posts. If anyone has suggestions or additional comments please drop me a line at so we can really keep this place hoppin'.

And as usual, I'm always accepting pre-code scan submissions, horror news, interersting terror tidbits, whatever too, just let me know what you gots. Thanks again.

The Vicar of VHS said...

>>o I've noticed a big drop in daily commentors recently

I have the answer: more cheesecake. ALWAYS more cheesecake. :)

Anonymous said...

wow those swipes are gratutitous wonder if anybody got sued?

Anonymous said...

>I believe it is called "Death on Ice", from Strange Fantasy #6.

Nope. Death On Ice was about a group of mountain climbers on Mt. Everest who encounter a ghostly figure portending doom then fall into a crevice.

That story does sound familiar, but I can't place it.
Probably from an Eerie Publications reprint.

Anonymous said...

Is it wrong that i find Circe's evil grinning face oddly attractive?.i love the coloring too as the others have said,real moody.i also wonder who would win,these rats or Powell's Rat Man?.