Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Silver Bell of Doom

Man oh man; this swingin' story is seriously set on overload: hangings, burnings, moldy corpses, strangulation… I’d be hard pressed to find a story that gives you more bang for your buck per page than this one. Now if only I could stop that blasted ringing in my ears!

From the August 1952 issue of Web of Mystery #12







18 comments:

Horror pariah said...

Weird how Luis describes himself as stupid/homely looking but is depicted as handsome.now,normally i'd call that a case of artistic liscence or laziness,but it works;Luis has an inferiority complex,he seems at first to be a sympathetic outcast,but there's a townsperson(with a nicely rendered hat)sympathizing for him in the splash itself!.he commits murder to restore a woman he loves,than becomes an arrogant jerk presto,then he kills her!.then he starts schtupping his secretary,who seems to accept and love him despite his Freddie Jones makeover,and he flips out because of the bells and kills HER!("he's murdering her--call the police!"priceless!.)if you ask me he's not an outcast who becomes corrupted by power,but a manipulator with an inferiority complex,he wasn't denied work,he was just a jealous a-hole,no sympathy here!....so viewing the story from this psychological angle....the bondage and incineration panel is quite possibly one of the scariest and most sadistic scenes i've ever seen in comics!brrr!too much.(and yes i want more.)

T. R Xands said...

Viva! No one does muerte like Mexico right? Right? No?...well...

Good show, kill the witch that basically got you everything for some little blond thang. I swear, evil has it's own logic.

I like how Dolores tells Luis to carve "odd and unusual" ornaments and he suddenly thinks "Demons, of course!" And I agree with what Horror Pariah said about his looks, he wasn't that terrible looking...ah well, in the end, post-surgery he did look rather frightening.

Also, I just now noticed the new banner and it looks awesome. I'm in the land of Thoia!

silvano said...

Truly an unknown pre-code gem !Great story with the bonus of the Mexican setting which I love !
Thanks for sharing !

The Vicar of VHS said...

HOLY. CRAP.

Wow, what a story! You start off with a woman swinging from a bell's clapper while a hunchback tolls it, and then it just gets impossibly wilder from there!

So much greatness in this--the wonderful grotesque art on the witch's corpse, the lightning transformation of the bell to ingots, the silver coffin (almost like a fairy tale), the "bizarre ornaments", bell-plate in Luis's head! Just brilliant!

Luis MUST be stupid/challenged to think that he can just get rid of his wife, whom he's ALREADY SEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD ONCE, without paying the price. And what about his bit o' fluff coming up with the bright idea of lining his head with silver from the demon statue? I mean, that just sounds like a wacky idea to me. I admit I laughed hardest at the surgeon's one-line reaction: "I see no objection to that!"

This definitely ranks up there with the wildest stories you've posted, Karswell!

Anonymous said...

MAN THIS ONE NOT ONLY WENT OVER THE TOP BUT IT CAME AROUND AND WENT BACK OVER A SECOND TIME! GREAT FULL CIRCLE ENDING. MY JAW ACTUALLY HIT THE FLOOR WHEN MR COLD HEARTED BASTARD TIED HER UP AND THEN SET HER ON FIRE! OW!!!

WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT INSPIRED STORYLINES THIS ONE TOPS THE LIST

Karswell said...

If you guys like this one wait until you see the haunted hanged man tale I have for you tomorrow that kicks off Jack Cole Tribute Week.

Also, news about another THOIA Giveaway COMING SOON!

Tim Tylor said...

Some nice ideas in this one, and a dark folktale flavor. The skull-plate bit was a smart and nasty tail-sting. Though I was hoping for a bit more out of the "odd and unusual" ornaments - can't help thinking they should have been off doing some mischief of their own.

Joe S. Walker said...

I thought the story was going to have all happened in Luis' mind as he took his turn to hang from the bell. That bit with the lightning turning the bell into a neat stack of silver ingots was just a little much to swallow...

Anon E. Mouse said...

Am I the only one that enjoys crappy coloring?
I prefer my comics pure b&w unless it's something like Acme Novelty Library or the the Sundays of the classic newspaper strips.

But I really enjoy panels colored simple. Page 2 of this story have some good examples.

~

Jack Cole Tribute week?
::drool::

Anonymous said...

THE NEW BANNER IS FANTASTIC TOO BY THE WAY!!

The Eggplant said...

Surprised by the comments. This read like post-code to me.

Karswell said...

>Surprised by the comments. This read like post-code to me.

Yeah, lots of people getting intentionally set on fire in post code comics. Actually we're all surprised by YOUR comment.

Jeffos said...

Okay, now that was truly grawesome. The art on the witch's corpse was incredible. And a truly bizarre story, to boot.

It is interesting how much more handsome Luis gets as the story progresses. It's a shame he didn't get smarter.

What medical text is that surgeon reading? "Trauma-induced coma can be alleviated by surgical insertion of a silver plate in the cranium." Whaaa?

And I think the new banner is Karswell's attempt to convince me that skeletons are scary. It's a good argument...

Anonymous said...

eggplant.....more like egghead

theres nothing even remotely post code about this story
all the comments here prove how wrong you are

Zen Wizard said...

Executioner in San Remos is one hard job--it involves ringing the bell for seven days with no break; even in the rain, with a guy hanging from it.

That would take some dedication.

Why don't they just hook the bell up to a machine or something?

I guess it wouldn't be the same.

Dane said...

I kept expecting the wife to turn on him and do him in so she could be truly free; that's how these things always seem to go. I wasn't expecting her to be faithful and supportive and have him turn on her.

Karswell said...

>I wasn't expecting her to be faithful and supportive and have him turn on her.

I think that's what is ultimately so disturbing about this story, just as nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, nobody expected the innocent girl to die either.

I'm surprised how one day later this post is still generating alot of great comments, more than today's Jack Cole post which I thought would produce an avalanche of responses. Shows what I know...

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