Thursday, August 28, 2008

Guillotine!

One of my all-time favorite pre-code horror splashes ever, and so nicely summed up on the Atlas site by stating this one simple fact: “Eisnerish art by (Larry) Woromay.” A few panels also remind me a lot of Jack Cole’s top notch brand of violent, dynamically angled visual storytelling too. Enjoy!

From the November 1952 issue of Mystic #14







+++++++++++++++++++++++++
Vintage AD
A wonderful kit for do-it-yourself decapitation. Harmless fun. Go on! Lop off a head NOW!

18 comments:

Horror pariah said...

Agree about the Eisner/Cole comparison,just add a quick panel of the Spirit investigating,or reveal Kiki's ghost was Plastic Man,and in terms of plot and art this would fit perfectly.as for the toy guillotine,i had one,but my mom threw it out,any "parent-hates-your-toys" horror stories people?.

Dane said...

I agree about the splash page.

Poor Kiki - not so much the murder itself as what she died in. I mean, can you imagine the indignity of dying in that orange sack?

Patrick said...

Excellent story- Had to be some kind of ironic twist at the end, and the elevator taking the place of the guillotine was a nice touch! I never owned the toy guillotine, I saw that they re-issued these a while back, buck they sure as hell don't cost 98¢ anymore...ahhh, the good old days of vintage horror!! I did pick up the McFarlane Alice Cooper set, which included a severed Alice head and a nice little guillotine toy...

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Great story... the art does remind me of Eisner, but in the same way Bob Powell's art does. He liked Eisner's trick of showing arches and doors and stuff like that as well.

Max the drunken severed head said...

This story reminded me of my own origins... and an ad for my favorite toy, too!

Great post!

silvano said...

Never heard of this Woromay guy , but the art is incredible !
The contest's over but I can't help but having my own soundtrack to this masterpiece ; "under the guillotine" , courtesy of KREATOR ( from their second album )...
Thanks for sharing

oeconomist.com said...

“all plastic”!?! FtS!

The Vicar of VHS said...

"From out of the shadows, selling contraband at exhorbitant prices, it's THE BLACK MARKETEER!" Now THERE'S your comics pitch. He could be the sworn enemy of the Red Retailer and the Violet Vendor.

I love the art in this one, but more than that I love Henri's incredibly florid interior monologue! If thought I had got thought-bubbled...well, let's just say it wouldn't be quite that poetic. ;)

The tale itself is fairly standard, lifted by the aforementioned incredible art, which reminded me a little of the old Dick Tracy strips. Henri's crestfallen look when the girl leaves is quite affecting, and the top right panel of pg. 2 is awesome. I also love that the blackmailer has no delusions--"I'm a parasite! A jackal! I live off the lions!" He's given his own place in the pecking order a lot of thought.

Still don't know why his last words were "EEEEOOO!" though.

Hex_Enduction_Hour said...

Sweet artwork.
Love that ending. Didn't the Omen feature a similar, grisly elevator death...?

bzak said...

Howdy,

Thanks for this find. Larry Woromay is unknown to me, must try and find more.

I remember working at the kitchen table building the guillotine kit as a kid. There was a small peg that held the "rope" on the blade piece. It needed to be pressed into place, so I pressed down, using the table for leverage. It popped out, so I got down on the floor to try and find it. While I was down there, my eye started itching. I finally got up and went to a mirror to see what was causing the discomfort. As I pulled the skin back, there it was lodged next to my eye. I worked it out and completed the kit. Alway wanted to put a real blade in it.


Brian James Riedel

Tenebrous Kate said...

You're right--that splash is CRAZY! You can't NOT read the comic with an opener like that.

From the ad:

"It's all fun, and you're the judge, the jury and the executioner."

If there was EVER a more perfect pitch to capture my imagination, I have yet to hear it!

Karswell said...

Want more Larry Woromay? Check out TWANNG! that I posted back in May, if you haven't already:

http://thehorrorsofitall.blogspot.com/2008/05/twanng.html

Kitty LeClaw said...

LOL @ Dane's comment. And boy, does Kiki ever look butch from the back!!

Wasn't expecting this ending at all. Did I ever tell you about the Killer Elevator in my building? Never. Riding. Again.

Jeffos said...

Yes, a great splash and a great story with a nice twist ending. I was glad to see they didn't come up with some contrived situation to get him under a guillotine. A head-on collision in one of those old Citroens where the hood comes flying off towards the driver would have worked just as well.

Sometimes I get to going too fast and misread things. At first I thought the blackmailer said he lived off the loins of the underworld. Now that's an image!

AndyDecker said...

Wow, now that was a brutal killing for a kids comic. First he suffocates her, then he bashes her head in. He sure is determined :-)

Great, astonishing artwork.

The Vicar of VHS said...

The toy reminds me of one of the exhibits in the awesome Museum of Clockwork Amusements in San Francisco (may have the name wrong). All kinds of still-working coin-operated amusements from the turn of the 20th century. My favorite was a Guillotine Scene that went through the whole deal--the condemned brought in on a wagon, soldiers playing drums, victim brought to the guillotine, and then SNIP! The end. Fun for the whole family!

Not as good as the "Girl straightening her garters" flip-card viewers, but still. :)

Karswell said...

>any "parent-hates-your-toys" horror stories people?.

My step dad broke my KISS Destroyer record in half one night when I was listening instead of doing homework. That still sucks.

Mykal said...

Karswell: I love Woromay! Thanks for linking this story. For those wanting a gander at Woromay's fast and loose work for Eerie Publications - just click HERE!! -- Mykal