Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Recluse + THOIA (a poem)

Some of you might remember last month I had a “Stupidest Killers Weekend” special... and by golly today’s post falls into that ridiculously entertaining category as well. See how much sympathy you can muster up for these two geniuses as they try to take advantage of – The Recluse!

From the May 1954 issue of Out of the Shadows #13

Strange Mysteries #9 in it’s ENTIRETY!


As we wrap up the last day of August here at THOIA, we thank everyone again for their continued daily devotion, and in some cases, their continued contributions to the cause. Brian Hirsch for example started out as merely my favorite ebay seller of pre code comics, but over the last few years he’s become a good friend and one of my most popular donators of gruesome Golden Age goodies. Check my archives, some of the best stories I’ve ever posted here have come from him. Who could ever forget I MUST KILL!??!

Below we see Brian in his dank, dark dungeon. It’s a typical Saturday night in his doommain, sacrificing virgins and drinking their blood... and it is here he relaxes, head bowed, in morbid meditation, while casually burning the midnight fires to his Dark Lord, in eternal, evil servitude:

But wait... something is wrong. One mispronounced word in the incantation has altered his nightly ritual, and thus called forth some-thing he had not bargained for! Something black and corrupt, brimming with endless, diabolical terror! It now crosses over into our realm, possessing his angelic son, enveloping the child’s flesh with something from not of this world! It’s… it’s… a THOIA shirt! AIEEEEEE!


THE HORRORS OF IT ALL (a poem by Brian Hirsch)

The witching hour has finally arrived
What once was dead is now alive
Spirits near and far, heed your Master’s call
And join me at THE HORRORS OF IT ALL

Get yourself ready and take a step inside
It will be painless, just like a swallow of cyanide
We are legion and always looking for a new friend
There’s a cemetery gathering that you just have to attend

Where skeletons can dance without any skin
And sinners are free to revel in their guiltless sin
Lost souls forever trapped between here and there
Are caught in a realm found in your worst nightmare

Inhuman screams come from a mother in unnatural childbirth
As a rotting zombie is spat forth from cursed earth
You might even catch a glimpse of an angel’s fall

Where wrong is always right and the truth is full of lies
And the insane try to escape from a Hell of their own devise
An unholy place that reeks of charred flesh and brimstone
That will make every demon feel right at home

Blind eyes see all movement from behind the dead wood
You can come alone but I don’t think that you should
Here awaits you all the things that go bump in the night
That suddenly disappear when you turn on a light

Witches, werewolves, vampires and ghouls are just a few
Of the inhabitants looking forward to meeting you
Out of the swamps many hideous creatures crawl
To greet you at THE HORRORS OF IT ALL

(Thanks again, Brian! ---Karswell)
And just a quick reminder to MAD Magazine fans who live in or around the St Louis MO area, you still have a few more days to see the original MAD artwork exhibit at the St Louis Artists’ Guild & Galleries in Clayton. Admission is totally FREE and hey, you may run into Karswell who will be there today sometime between 1 – 3pm.

For more info click HERE!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Final Horror

Appropriately enough, today’s story is called The Final Horror, and it marks the final Purple Claw mystery of August. Hope you enjoyed the brain hurting exploits of one of pre-code comic’s earliest ongoing enemies of the supernatural. Next month you can expect another Lance Storm classic, maybe even a chilly appearance by Sergeant Spook, and some more creepy fun from Bob Brant and the Trouble Shooters. Have a great weekend everyone… and wow, Monday is already September!

From the May 1953 issue of The Purple Claw #3

Saunders, Brown, Finlay & Monster Scenes!

Norman Saunders by David Saunders

This spectacular new 288-page hardcover (Previews actually lists the book at 368 pages) monograph documents the extensive career of legendary artist Norman Saunders. From his work as one of the top pulp illustrators, to his paintings for men's adventure magazines, paperbacks, pre-code comics, Mars Attacks, Wacky Packages, and numerous others, this book provides a thorough overview of his life's work. Illustrated in full-color with hundreds of images culled from Saunder's extensive archives. The expected publication date is late-2008. $39.95


Reynold Brown: A Life in Pictures by David J. Hornung.

A spectacular 200+ page hardcover book on the life and career of one of America's greatest illustrators is currently in production. This fantastic new volume profiles all facets of Brown's work, from his early days with North American Aviation during WWII, to his work as a paperback and magazine illustrator in New York City, to his prolific career as one of Hollywood's finest movie poster artists (The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman etc...), to his final years as a western fine-arts painter. Illustrated in full-color with hundreds of images reproduced from the original paintings and drawings, this is a landmark volume not to be missed! The expected publication date is late-2008. $39.95

Click HERE for more info on both of these Illustrated Press collections.


Virgil Finlay Future / Past: Worlds That Never Were edited by Tim Underwood

One of the legendary creators of science fiction and fantasy art finally receives the recognition he so richly deserves. Virgil Finlay Future / Past: Worlds That Never Were gathers all of the illustrator’s classic drawings from the pulps as well as many of his full-color paintings (a first for any Finlay book) to make this a fitting showcase for the influential master. 400 pages! Hardcover $29.95 / Deluxe Slipcase $75.00

Click HERE for more info.



Not enough kick ass new release news for you today? How about this: Monster Scenes are back in fall 2008, in styrene! Not since 1971 have horror kit enthusiasts had the opportunity to mix 'em and match 'em at an affordable price. Now, by an exclusive partnership between Dencomm and Moebius models, your favorite kits will be available again. No glue needed! $24.99 each.

Visit the Moebius models website for more information.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tour of Horror / Rivals unto Death!

TGIF peeps, and what a week! So let's top it all off today with two ACG tales for the price of one. Both of these shock spookers come from the May 1954 issue of Forbidden Worlds #29. Our first atmospheric story, Tour of Horror, is by Al Camy and George Klein, while our shorter, second tale, Rivals unto Death, is a nice bit o' great Bob Forgione filler.


Warner's "Best Buy" Horrors

Dr. Phibes just dropped us some cool news courtesy of DVD Drive-InWarner Home Video is releasing a batch of long–awaited 1960’s horror classics on DVD as Best Buy store “exclusives.” October 7th will see the release of Christopher Lee in BRIDES OF FU MANCHU paired with Patrick O’Neal in CHAMBER OF HORRORS. Also, Gig Young, Carol Lynley and Oliver Reed star in THE SHUTTERED ROOM paired with an underrated Karswell golem favorite--- IT! starring Roddy McDowell.

All features will have anamorphic widescreen transfers and retail for $19.98.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


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!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Beast from the Deep!

In June 1951, The Saturday Evening Post published the short story The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (aka The Fog Horn) written by sci-fi master Ray Bradbury. Two years later in the summer of ‘53 the story became the inspiration for the very loosely based, though none the less fantastic big screen film of the same name, featuring jaw dropping stop-motion FX by master animator Ray Harryhausen. It didn’t take long after the film’s release for Toby Press to jump on the source material the same year, as the October 1953 issue of Tales of Horror #7 hit comic book stands with it’s own excellent, uncredited, though much closer adaptation of Bradbury’s original tale, and drawn by ACG / DC legend John Rosenberger.

(Reprinted / recolored in Seduction of the Innocent #4.)
UPDATE: Mr. Cavin requested a page from the original Toby Press version so here it is, as mentioned I opted for the recolored Eclipse reprint for today's post because as you can see the print job here is practically a quarter inch off target. Other pages look even worse!

The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (TRAILER)

Who knows what waits for us in Nature's No Man's Land?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Green Witch

Okay, straight up time… you’re not going to learn anything new from this one. And while it is most definitely a humdinger of a yarn about possession and bitchcraft, if anything, what you should really take away from THOIA today is this: Proper Harpoon Storage = vertical. Not horizontal. Seriously folks. Safety first!

From the July 1953 issue of Journey into Fear #14


Vintage Ad

Thanks Brian Hirsch for this scan!