Thursday, September 18, 2008

Monsters of the Mind

Behind one of the most famous, terrifying, and awesomely painted Norm Saunders comic book covers ever, crawls the misshapen, odious visages, these--- Monsters of the Mind across the inner story pages! Some of you may notice a similar plot here to the Jay Disbrow story I posted last Sunday. And coincidently, it's not a coincidence.

From the Dec '52 issue of Strange Stories from Another World #4.











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Cover Art by Norm Saunders

19 comments:

silvano said...

A real classic ! Thanks for sharing !

Mr. Cavin said...

If anyone out there is doing a Vincent Price blog, I certainly hope this gentle homage is on it.

I love an invasion that starts with a lot of aliens in Earth disguises! I like it when any supervillian or psychotic "other" does this, I guess. (Think about the Joker in that nurse's uniform.) But aliens certainly seem to have a knack for personality kitsch. Thanks Karswell.

Pappy said...

"Odious Visages." Good name for a band!

Absinthe said...

Mr. Cavin - my thoughts exactly - John Restin is a dead ringer for Vincent Price.

Also loved the candy colors in this one - damn this story would have made a great addition to an anthology. Price could have played Restin and Peter Cushing could have played the doctor.

Anonymous said...

A great film noir alien invasion story.

wolfkahn said...

The story is cool, but that cover is amazing. No way could I pass that by in a bookstore.

Anonymous said...

THE SAUNDERS COVER IS INCREDIBLE, BUT SO ARE ALL THE COVERS HE DID FOR THIS SERIES. I LIKED THE STORY BUT THOUGHT MAYBE THE DISBROW POST HAD A BETTER ENDING AND ART.

I HOPE THAT SOMEDAY I SUDDENLY REMEMBER THAT I'M A MONSTER TOO, BUT BEFORE ITS TO LATE.

The Vicar of VHS said...

I enjoyed the story a lot, but I was hoping for a little more of a clue as to whether the creatures were in fact only in Restin's mind or whether an invasion was imminent. The narrator seems to think he did the right thing, so I guess we have to go with that. Still, I would have laughed if the closing were something like, "And that poor SAP was just suffering from a concussion! What a ma-roon!"

I've been noticing lately that purple suits must have been EXTREMELY popular in the 50s. :) What all the snazzy diplomats are wearing...

And finally, I had to LOL at this line:

"Good heavens! These documents are a master plan of the world's defenses! If they ever fell into the wrong hands, it would be a catastrophe!"

You know, that might have been a good point to bring up at the first UN Committee meeting for "Operation: Egg Basket" there, Restin... ;)

Tenebrous Kate said...

Pappy--maybe "Odious Visages" could do a REALLY bad cover version of "Fade to Grey"...?

oeconomist.com said...

Uhm… If tossing himself and the briefcase off the bridge was sufficient, then why wasn't just tossing the briefcase sufficient?

Zen Wizard said...

Actors, policemen, short-order cooks, taxi drivers--these illegal aliens are stealing all the good jobs!!

Anonymous said...

Impressive story and wonderful painted cover. A real work of art.

Karswell said...

I'm gonna have to go with Warner Baxter for the lead in this one, but it was totally rad to see Frankenstein make an appearence on the bottom of page two as a cop.

Another great set of comments today kids, and it looks like the Norm Saunders cover really won alot of you over... don't forget the retrospective book to be released by his son comes out sometime this winter, (and hopefully this piece will be featured inside.) For more info check the post I did about it last month:

http://thehorrorsofitall.blogspot.com/2008/08/saunders-brown-finlay-monster-scenes.html

Also: I was reminded that tomorrow is "Talk Like A Pirate Day" so I shuffled some stories around and Friday will feature some seaworthy spookiness. Yo ho ho and I'll see yee's in the mourn! Aye!

Kitty LeClaw said...

"... collating and condensing the facts, estimating, allocating raw materials, putting together tremendous documents that would state the condition of the Earth's defenses!"

That's what I do! Administrative slavery never sounded so exciting!

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Great story. Not that I am only interested in art identification, but this looks like the work of Bob McCarthy to me. The wobbly line, the shaded lower lips, the long faces...

Emby Quinn said...

I have to say, I was kind of expecting Restin to end up as one of the monsters himself. The ending seemed rather abrupt, as though the last page was missing. In fact, at first I thought it was.

prof. grewbeard said...

i still think the last page is missing!

Anonymous said...

are you absolutely certain that there's no missing page? I almost certainly feel that the last page is missing.

The last page, of course, revealing that HE is one of the monsters out to steal the secret docs. The other dead man being the real document bearer. He just lost his memory for a while due to the concussion.

Squa Tront said...

The artist's style looks very similar to a story called 'Dance of The Doomed' I have as a very dog-eared 60's UK B+W reprint. The tiny note on the first page indictaes it's from 'Mystic'.. though I don't know how accurate that is.