Saturday, November 22, 2008

Séance of Horror!

As some of you know I’m on vacation this weekend. Not really, but it sounds good and gives me (and my scanner) a breather. In the meantime, THOIA’s most popular contributor and longtime chum, Brian Hirsch has submitted some terror treats for you including the long awaited return of fearless criminologist Lance Storm. Okay now, look at and read the splash… anyone else think the title of this story should come AFTER the opening narrative? Ooops.

From the September 1952 issue of Crime Mysteries #3

PS: Has yesterday's cover mystery "monster" indentity been solved? Read the comment from Habakkuk Zylbyrbutz in today's comments and tell us what you think.

Also, GCD currently has no information or even a page for the Crime Mysteries #3 issue… maybe someone out there who works with GCD can use the date info I provided and swipe my cover scan (below) and create a page for it?

UPDATE: Eagle eye reader The Oeconomist spotted the similarities between our Crime Mystery #3 cover and the cover for Spicy Mystery June 1935. Nice work!

Also, here's a vintage ad about how atrocious a mother’s advice can be... or wait, is this an ad for religion? Whatever it is, and in case you didn’t know, the smartest / fastest way to your new girlfriend’s heart is to take her to church--- not nightclubbing, or fine dining, or hooking up in Clifton Hill. Silly me... I now see the error of my ways.
(Illustrated by an obviously embarrassed Frank Frazetta.)


For more terror tinged crime, author A. R.Yngve writes in: “…my "crime horror" short-story collection PRECINCT 20: DEAD STRANGE is available for FREE reading online HERE, and contains many stories where supernatural horror and the macabre clashes with ordinary policemen at a homicide division in an unnamed American city.”

Its cool stuff and note how each story is illustrated with an eerie black and white photo from the Library of Congress archives. Also available is A. R.Yngve's short-story collection THE FACE IN THE DOOR, in paperback from Café Press. Click HERE for more info.

Thanks for writing A.R.!


Dane said...

Fun story, but I'm especially happy about the heads up regarding "PRECINCT 20: DEAD STRANGE" because that sounds great. You knew the mention of the photos from the LoC would get me, though. :) said...

That cover illustration is swiped from one of the Spicy pulps. (I don't know exactly which off the top of my head.) said...

And on the “Score by Taking Her to Church” page, what is that emblem in the upper-right? (To me, it looks like an encircled pepper pierced by a cocktail sword.) said...

Spicy Mystery June 1935

H. Zylbyrbutz said...

Sorry to be tardy, but it is MY picture that was mistaken for that of the great RONDO HATTON yesterday. I was working as a bicycle messenger in New York City in 1951 -- a position I held until arthritis got the better of me (I'm 87 years young) -- when I learned that the call had gone out for a Rondo Hatton look-alike.

When I arrived at the modeling agency, there were at least fifteen other "Rondos" there, our common ailment giving us all a strong resemblance to our late lamented favorite actor. It turned out to be a wonderful and cathartic experience. As we waited and talked, the deep feelings we all shared for Rondo emerged and began to pour forth. I won the modeling job (which paid $5), but it was not due to any talent on my part. The casting agent simply stuck his head into the roomful of Rondos, just at the moment when the voluble mourning for our fallen hero had reached its peak, and he muttered, "Holy Christ, I can't believe this bullshit." As I was seated nearest the door, he thrust a finger in my direction and said, "You're it!" and left the room. What a glorious time that was! (The only incident that marred the day was the eruption of fisticuffs between two contenders, each claiming to have been Hatton's stand-in during the filming of "Jungle Captive." But this scuffle between "dueling Rondos," though lively, was brief.)

Several others I met that day became friends for many years. Often thereafter we would go out on the town, four or five of us together, all addressing one another as "Rondo" to the exclusion of our real names, throwing back gallons of cheap hooch, then staggering forth into midtown to frighten the tourists… Those were the days!

I hope this clears up the "Rondo" mystery.

-- Habakkuk ("Rondo") Zylbyrbutz, Hoboken, NJ

Mr. Cavin said...

"...unless you want your neck cut off!"

Jeeeze, this one was great! Like yesterday's clean, no-nonsense artwork (but with that patented heightened yellow effect that I find so engaging), elevated by Lance Storm-level hoot writing. There's really too much to comment on, but favorite panels include the revelation that Lance's FBI cover is "Lancelot" at the top of page four and that incredibly pansy punch on page five (panel three). I guess that's just par for the course when your hero's a sub-genius.

Of Course! They release a fog-like vapor that dulls the senses! Then they all don robot costumes and levitate on wires in the dark! None of this "cold reading" technique that professional criminal tarotists use to the same ends. But I like Karnoc and his robot assistant's style: that panel with the floating good-news deathheads on page two is fabulous. OOOOhhh! Evrything's fine! Wooooaah! Don't worry about it! Of course the next day, when all the relatives have been killed in horrible accidents, how is it that Karnoc explains his piss-poor prognostications? I don't think that guy would stay in business all that long, style or no.

Mike H said...

Sweet! Brian Hirsch never let's us down! (Nor do you, Karswell!)

Karswell said...

To Mr. Zylbyrbutz,
Thank you so much for writing and for clearing up yesterday's cover discussion. Is it possible for you to contact me at and possibly even pass along a photo of yourself, (old or new) so we can see? Once again, thank you for writing in... I also sincerely hope this is a REAL comment and not merely one of my readers trying to pull a fast one!

Also, a big thanks again to The Oeconomist for spotting the Spicy Mystery cover swipe. Today's post has been updated.

Emby Quinn said...

I sincerely hope it's for real, too, Kars. What a wonderful thing to happen!

Anonymous said...


Kitty LeClaw said...

Synagogue me.

8thRay said...

"Chief... have you ever had a thin, steel-like coil of wire flung at you? Believe me... you stop..."

Well, who hasn't?

Now there were those times when a thick, firehose-like hawser was flung at me, but I didn't feel compelled to stop.

Horror pariah said...

I really hope this turns out to be true, and not another "Sid Terror" situation. It could make Newsarama!.

Karswell said...

I'm with you HP, if this turns out to be true (and so far there's no reason to think otherwise) this should hopefully inspire a change in the next edition of Overstreet for the Weird Thrillers #1 entry.

>Synagogue me

Consider yourself synagogued Kitty... or would that be SINagogued?

Anonymous said...

Well, it'd be nice it were true, but I'll be very much surprised if it is. How many 87 year olds cruise horror comics blogs, after all? And a casting call for a 1951 comic book cover? Really? Not to mention the tortured pseudonym. Still, it's possible, I suppose. said...

I went searching for Mr Zylbyrbutz at,,, and In each case there were no matches found.

Karswell said...

>each case there were no matches found.

Did you look under Comic Books? said...

> Did you look under Comic Books?

I found a Mr Mxyzptlk there, but no Zylbyrbutz.