Thursday, October 16, 2008

Haunted House

Pre-code fans of Howard Nostrand are most familiar with his horror work for Harvey Comics, but today we have a great example of his awesome Jack Davis-esque style art, taken from one of just a handful of Atlas issues he worked on. It’s short, but it’s definitely sweet, and loads of spooky fun. And maybe it's not even Howard Nostrand, who knows...

From the Feb ’55 issue of Journey into Mystery #22





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18 comments:

todd said...

Heh. Be nice if we knew whether the lightning got him or something else entirely, but I guess that would spoil the puckishness.

Horror pariah said...

Joe should be happy,at least he got a free house to haunt!(though you can tell he's one of those ghosts who never realizes they're dead.).kidding aside,in the splash;underneath the "H" in "house",is that the grim reaper,or a sillhoueted tombstone?.

AndyDecker said...

Nice story :-) Good art. Very dynamic.

The Fortress Keeper said...

Hey, I posted a Howard Nostrand story today as well!

His stuff was great!!

Absinthe said...

But whatever happened to the body?? ....insert spooky music here....

Anonymous said...

I DIDNT KNOW THAT HOWARD DID STORIES FOR ATLAS, AMAZING!! HE SHOULD HAVE WORKED FOR EC, BUT I GUESS THEY ALREADY HAD SOMEONE LIKE HIM WORKING THERE FULL TIME.

Keith said...

Oh! Oh! REH's horror yarns are some of his best work. I may pick up a copy even though I've already read the stories in other editions.

The Vicar of VHS said...

I liked this one--it has the great 50s tough patois that I love so much, and some really neat details. (I kinda NEED that four-poster bed with the hooded monks carved into the bed posts.) Plus it's got my favorite "BARRROOM!" Easter Egg, or at least what I choose to believe is an Easter Egg. Order me a bourbon, I'm almost done with the inking!

And it's hard to go wrong with a "dare you to stay in the haunted house" story, though usually it's college kids or younger who do it; this is the first time I've seen Dick Tracy and his pals get in on the action. I guess even gangsters and G-men get bored sometimes...

I liked the twist, which I didn't expect (whatever happened to that "NOOOOOOOOO!" whisper--which incidentally didn't look much like a "whisper" to me). A fun little tale that sent me off with a smile. Good stuff!

The Vicar of VHS said...

Oh, and I meant to add--I'm probably not the first person to say so, but I'm kind of in love with the web-slinging bubble-blowing beauty thereon Planet Comics #39. In a word, ZANG.

prof. grewbeard said...

the art looks like a combination of Jack Davis and Dan DeCarlo, of all people!

Hugomarink said...

Great story! Nostrand is one of my all-time faves. His stories for the Harvey horror books are almost always fun, concise, well-written and, of course well-drawn. He's one of the best pre-code horror artists in my opinion. I didn't know he did any work for Atlas so this is a great surprise! Anybody know if he did any other horror stories for Atlas?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Opinions differ but over at Timely Atlas Yahoo many believe Norstrand never worked for Atlas. I am not surprised that it is not listed as such on the Atlas Tales link. Where did yoiu get the credit. Certainly not from the art, because it is nothing like the tuff Nostrand was doing at that time. Can't tell you who it is, though. The last panel suggests Dan Goldberg to me.

Karswell said...

>Where did yoiu get the credit.

Got the info from GCD... there are actually a few Atlas credits to him for the Journey into Mystery series. I'm not saying they're correct either, just assuming so because alot of the art here actually does look like his style to me, as to whoever gave him the credit. If anyone knows differently please let us know.

Pappy said...

I'm with Ger on this one. It just isn't Nostrand's style. Several artists did Davis pastiches, and Nostrand was the best, but this story just doesn't have his look at all.

I trust the GCD when I have no credible evidence to suggest otherwise, or when I'm unfamiliar with an artist they credit. Other than that, and when they try to nail down an attribution for stuff like this story I think they are just flat-out wrong. Caveat emptor when it comes to Grand Comics Database.

Karswell said...

Is it possibly penciled by Nostrand and someone else came in and inked it, or vice versa? I'm no expert of course but to say it doesn't look anything like Nostrand is kinda silly. And to me the thing about it is that it doesn't really even look like an Atlas tale, especially the title in the splash (which looks more like a Harvey kick off.) Could this have been meant for Harvey but wound up over at Atlas somehow, where one of their artists added just enough difference to the art as to make it less Harv?

Ger Apeldoorn said...

No, the Nostrand credits at GCD are among their worst. Generally the Atlas Tales website was assembled later and has had more people go over it. If there is a difference between them it is safer to go with AT. I also have to politely disagree with your statement that it would be silly not to see Nostrand in this story. Point me to one panel that does look like his work at that time. I don't see it at all. I don't even think it looks like imitation Davis.

Karswell said...

Ger has spoken! FYI: Not neccessarily talking about just this story in general, and I'm surely not the only one who thinks Nostrand's style looked like Davis, but my point was this seems to have more of a Harvey essense than Atlas.

Everyone has their own ideas and opinions, wrong or right, it's what makes blogging so interesting / frustrating, ha.

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