Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Metamorphosis of the Gkmloooms

This is it, the wind up to our S/F Horror Theme this week, as well as December and 2008. It was a crazy year for us, we went through some interesting changes, unleashed the THOIA tee shirt upon humanity, had a bunch of cool contests, and actually found a way to turn up the horror factor ten fold. But most importantly: we made tons of great new friends… and we certainly hope to make more in 2009 too!

Have a super safe evening tonight, celebrate and drink responsibly (or not) but please think of us at the Witching Hour… we’ll most certainly be thinking about you!

From the March 1952 issue of Worlds of Fear #3




Anonymous said...

That ending would be an absolute kicker if it wasn't all so ridiculous. Great art though.

Anonymous said...

Yowza! Great story! What a wonderfully wacky idea and the art's p[retty good, too!

Dane said...

I give it high points for being unique.

blackwalnut2001 said...

You were saving this one, weren't you? For a... special occasion.

How bloody mind-bogglin' BENT.

They want to "change existing humans into Gkmloooms by MINUTE ATOMIC EXPLOSIONS IN THE SYSTEMS!"

Well, that explains EVERYTHING.

Gotta admit to laughing out loud at the line "HIS MIND BECAME OBFUSCATED."

Other than that, the logic was impecable. Interesting use of yellow people, too. And terrific artwork.

Here's hoping the author made it safely back to his padded room after he turned in this jewel.


AndyDecker said...

Very good story. Never thought they would go for that ending :-)

cu in 09

Chuck Wells said...

Out with the old, in with the new .... gee .... that old saw could potentially apply to my wife.

Happy New Year to you to, Karswell!

"City of the Living Dead", isn't that the new George Romero zombie flick that's due out?

(Just kidding!) I think the working title for his latest effort is currently "Island of the Dead". And speaking of the grand old zombie-meister, I get to meet him next month in Charlotte, NC. That will be loads of fun.

The Igloo Keeper said...

Nice use of the word 'Hades' rather than 'Hell' from the innocent bystander.

Anonymous said...

What's going on with the color on page two?

Anyway, in most artists' hands, this would be a ridiculous and ugly tale, but Reed Crandall's thorough command of anatomy and facial expressions really makes it work beautifully. Thanks for posting this slightly absurd, but visually perfect gem!

And Happy New Year!

Dave Tackett said...

A great week to end a great year! Outstanding!

Happy New Year!

Cindy M said...

Are they related to the Kabooms?

Anonymous said...



Kitty LeClaw said...

"I wish the world was flat
like the old days.
Then I could travel
just by folding a map.
No more airplanes,
or speedtrains,
or freeways.
There'd be no distance
that can hold us back.

So this is the new year..."

Death Cab for Cutie
"The New Year"

Satyrblade said...

*loud laughter*

Soooo... in what dialect of Japanese is "Gkmlooom" a name?

Why are all the people Anglos except for the "yellow faces" at the very beginning?

How did Flash Gordo... I mean, Archer Commanger manage to transform his sweetie simply by holding her, when it took hours of "atomic microexplosions" to do the same to him?

And why am I expecting logic in a tale so wonderfully crack-brained as this one? :)

Thank you! As always, that was a blast!

Tenebrous Kate said...

A fabulous story with amazing art--what a way to send off 2008! Thanks for all the creeping dread, ghastly horror, and chilling terror you've brought us, and here's to a fantastique 2009, sir.

Anonymous said...

man that might be the crazyest story ever here, loved it

happy new year!!

Anonymous said...

That story was more WTF??? than the ones you posted yesterday. I must say, even though I'm not Asian, the 'yellow faces' made me cringe a little. At least the Gkmloooms (seriously, who comes up with a name like that??) looked grotesquely good.

Anyway, thanks for all the chills and scares that made this year all the more entertaining, Karswell! See you all in '09!

Kevin Nowlan said...

Beeeeautiful artwork! The inks don't look like Crandall. Maybe his old buddy George Evans?

So this must have been reprinted by Pacific or Eclipse in the '80's? Page two looks like it was taken from the later version. The Steve Oliff coloring and Ken Bruzenak caption lettering are a dead give-away.

Thanks for sharing this one!

Mr. Karswell said...

Wow. I'm blown away by all the comments already today, thanks to each and every one of you... I guess we're doing something right around here!

Those of you with the good eye concerning page two of this story, it's actually a color copy of the page that came with this issue of Worlds of Fear when I bought it (the original page was ripped and missing half of the first panel.) It is possible the color copy came from the later reprint though, I never really thought about it or investigated the matter.

So anyone doing anything interesting tonight? If you're in St Louis and love loud rock 'n roll music I'll be at The Bluebird tonight watching my chums the Shame Club pound out a set around midnight. It's also bass player Eric's last show with them too so it's kind of a combo sad farewell / celebration gig.

Whatever you do have fun, be safe, and come back to us bright and early tomorrow mourn Day One '09 for the start of Avon's "City of the Living Dead" one-shot in it's entirety (Thurs - Sunday.)

Happy New Years Eve!

Prof. Grewbeard said...


Happy New Year Karswell & THOIA!

sfdoomed said...

That tale sure took me on a ride! At first I was expecting the ol' return from the dead after he drowns routine, but then I got the Gkloooms instead!

Does anyone know who the artist is on this? It does look a bit like George Evans.

Happy New Year everyone!

Mr. Karswell said...

>Does anyone know who the artist is on this? It does look a bit like George Evans.

Overstreet Price Guide says George Evans art in this issue, someone else above said Reed Crandell, I don't know though...

Anonymous said...

Crandall pencils, almost certainly inked by Evans (look at those eyes) as Kevin has pointed out. Evans may even have penciled a bit here and there, but there are real tell-tale Crandall bits all over this puppy; Most notably the lab scene which bears an uncanny resemblance to a Mastermind of Mars illustration he did for the ERB-dom fanzine in the 60's.

Yes, I'm a geek, but see how much richer you all are for my socially stunting "hobby."

Sidney said...

Cool stuff. Good way to round out the week.

Anonymous said...

Love those pre-code stories. They really took no prisoners.

Mike H said...

Happy new year! The Gkloooms story is one of my all time favorite pre-code stories and an excellent example of why George Evans is in my top-5 favorite artists. (I always assumed it was all his... looks like it to me.)

Unknown said...

Certainly the most psychedelic story I have seen here, maybe anywhere. Almost out-Wolvertons Basil Wolverton without ripping him off.

Anonymous said...

This story has a very strong H.P. Lovecraft/Shadows over Innsmouth feel for me. The unhuman/half-human creatures living beneath the water just off of a city -- the hero transforming into one of them, initially feeling repulsion but ultimately embracing his new reality. And the mutants themselves are very Lovecraftian too - protoplasmic many-limbed monstrosities. I wonder if it was just coincidence or if the writer actually was inspired by Lovecraft? I guess we'll never know.

movie scary said...

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Bill the Butcher said...

I must admit that I liked this one very much despite how mind bogglingly ridiculous the premise is (the "minute atomic explosions in the systems" made me laugh aloud). But for a comic of that era to even mention Hiroshima, let alone to admit that the survivors might have legitimate grievances, is something admirable. And of course I am still trying to decide how to pronounce Gkmloom.