Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Rat Man

Here’s a kooky look at how insane Harvey horror could get at times. And I suppose if we’re throwing around morals to stories lately then today's would be this: If you’re going to get smooshed under a scientific experiment make sure there isn’t a rat anywhere nearby. Unless you want to be a rat, man.

From the October 1952 issue of Tomb of Terror #5









Thanks to Brian James Riedel for the great scans. And to see more Rat Man scans of the original art head over to Pappy’s sometime Saturday… he’ll also have original DC Mystery Comics art on display as well.

11 comments:

Horror pariah said...

RATS!the best laid plans of mice and men always seem to foul up and leave people pushing up rodent-dendrums!,that Benny,what a squeaky jerk,i'd have loved to have exterminate him,i heard he once slipped a guy a mickey!

Mr. Cavin said...

Be just my luck, too. Trapped under oozing life juice with a dead rat rather something that would give me, you know, super powers or a cool physique, et cetera. Instead of being a cool snake person or a venomous gilaman I'd end up a giant team mascot with huge Frodo feet.

This story could have been improved had the protagonist mingled with a whole group of infected lab rats and accidentally launched a plague during his DOA-like deadline to wreak revenge before succumbing to his own disease. Pathos.

silvano said...

This one looks like a forerunner of underground comics , and the RAT MAN himself looks uncannilily like his namesake from an Italian B-movie , who was a REAL freak ( and believe it or not the movie was filemed in the eighties )!
The splash page , the close up of the Ratman , and the panel with him contorting in pain on the last page are real jewels ...
Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

YOU SAID IT FIRST, KOOKY AND INSANE. SEEMS LIKE HE DIED TO EASY THOUGH......

I BOUGHT A GIANT RUBBER RAT FROM A HALLOWEEN STORE A FEW YEARS AGO THAT LOOKS A LITTLE BIT TOO MUCH LIKE THE ONE IN THIS STORY. MAKES ME WONDER

Jeffos said...

As others have noted, the story was kind of goofy, but the writing on p3 makes the whole thing worthwhile.

"His body -- smashed to a pulp -- and indistinguishably mixed with the remains of that animal."

"...two bodies gruesomely intermingled in one gory splash of blood and flesh and cracked bone!"

Brrrrrr. Now that's some horror writing!

Jeffos said...

On an unrelated but horrific note, BoingBoing had a link today to an awesome set of 80 Mexican monster stickers/cards. There's some great art and wild mix of traditional monsters, uniquely Mexican horrors, and cheap rip-offs of popular movies. Check it out!

bzak said...

Howdy,

For those who haven't guessed yet, the art for this one was by the great Bob Powell.


Brian James Riedel

The Vicar of VHS said...

Benny, Benny--never say "Too bad I'm not a real rat!" when your fairy godmother might be listening. Them chicks is CRAZY.

HOLY CRAP. This is one out-there tale. Some really great dialog too. "I've heard a lot about your researches...what exactly have you been doing?" What kind of statement is that? "I've read your book...what's it about?" I think he might be bluffing.

My favorite though is the matter-of -act thug on pg. 4. "Hey, what's that? Looks like a giant rat!" "Yep, it's a giant rat all right." Something about that just kills me. I can hear it in stagy 40s movie-speak.

I was really digging the gun moll on pg. 4, until the most amazing WTF panel EVAR on pg 5--She just suddenly ages 40 years and starts throwing up the devil horns! Was that some side-effect of the serum? Cuz a couple pages later she's still a doddering old biddy. Seriously,W...T...F.

LOL @ "Frodo feet." Also, the girl at the top of pg. 3 has man hands in Mickey gloves.

Great stuff--thanks Karswell, and BJR!

Zen Wizard said...

I was kind of wondering what he planned to do with the money and jewelry he stole...

He would have been happier with a giant wheel to run on and a huge block of cheese.

Anonymous said...

A magic rat man who can instantly turn you into an old woman with a taste for the heavy metal. What's not to love?

todd said...

The Vicar of VHS and Anonymous had my favorite comments in a long time.