Thursday, February 5, 2009

I Turned into a… Martian! / I Lived a Ghost Story!

We won’t be traveling as far into the future as we did last month on Time Machine Days… just a half decade or so to the early 60’s this time around. And I know, yesterday I promised a Joe Sinnott story, but when I got ready to scan it I realized I totally misplaced the damn issue somewhere. So to make up for this I’ll post two stories today, including a spooky ghost gagger by Atlas fave Paul Reinman.

But first, let’s fill a Steve Ditko request from THOIA reader Black Walnut with this classically titled S/F monstrosity from the September 1960 issue of Journey into Mystery #60.







“Possession of the mind is a terrible thing
It's a transformation with an urge to kill
Not the body of a man from earth
Not the face of the one you love, 'cause

I turned into a Martian
I can't even recall my name
Times I never hardly sleep at night
Well, I turned into a Martian today

I walk down city streets
On an unsuspecting human world
Inhuman in your midst
This world is mine to own, 'cause

I turned into a Martian…”
---Misfits



TOMORROW: workin' on it...



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I Lived a Ghost Story!
From the January 1960 issue of Tales to Astonish #7






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(Click the image for the details!)

28 comments:

oeconomist.com said...

I acquired a book from Ackermann when he was scaling back. I really wasn't happy then at the thought that he was winding-down his life (though with me the book found as good a home as it might).

blackwalnut2001 said...

Hey, thanks for the Ditko, Kars!

The word that always comes to mind when faced with Ditko's distinctive style is CLEAN.

Each panel is thoughtfully composed (even when he was handed mediocre material to work with), and in fact he seems to compose each page more carefully than most, so that if you step back from it, it forms a unique piece.

For instance, it seems like he's created four little episodes out of this brief tale; three of the four pages have 3 panels on top, 2 in the middle and 1 on the bottom, with the last one forming the exclamation point to the episode.

Now that's CLEAN.

Thanks again.

Mr. Cavin said...

I'm enjoying the flash forward career spotlights from pre-code era luminaries. Course, perhaps it is I who am gone space crazy.

The Ackerman auction stuff is super cool, but don't overlook the .pdf catalog of neat comic art, including a thrillingly iconic Vaughn Bodé that set my cockles on fire.

...only to have them totally broken by the news about Lux. Goddamn. I listen to the Cramps every day. Nature is certainly a jerk.

todd said...

Wouldn't he just get shot again?

todd said...
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AndyDecker said...

who wants to be the master of the earth? Seriously? It´s not worth the effort :-)

I can see the appeal of Ditko´s art, but I never was a fan.

The ghosthouse-tale was a real groaner, but art was nice. Even if the sheetghosts were lame.

Anonymous said...

TWO COOL STORIES, I GUESS THIS IS WHERE THE MISFITS GOT THE INSPIRATION FOR THE SONG? THAT IS AWESOME. I LIKED THE SECOND STORY TOO, TYPICAL ENDING FROM THIS SERIES OF THIS ERA BUT ITS STILL FUN IN A BEETLEJUICE KIND OF WAY.

TERRIBLE NEWS ABOUT LUX, I DID NOT KNOW HE HAD AN HEART CONDITION AND YOU WOULD NEVER THINK THAT SEEING HIM PERFORM ONSTAGE WITH ALL THAT CRAZY ENERGY. SAD....... THE CRAMPS ARE LEGENDARY.

IS IT JUST ME OR DOES ANYONE ELSE WONDER WHY THE ACKERMAN COLLECTION IS EVEN GETTING AUCTIONED IN THE FIRST PLACE. SHOULDNT THIS STUFF BE GOING INTO THE HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM OR THE SMITHSONIAN?

Anonymous said...

My dog had ears like that Martian. And am I the only one who sees the origins of the look for Marvel's Man-Thing in that Martian's design?

Keith said...

I was floored & saddened to hear of Lux Interior's passing yesterday. I deal with death everyday as a part of my job, so celeb deaths normally don't phase me, but this one sure did. The Cramps were a huge influence on me as a teenager in the 1980's.

Ironically, I got a chuckle right away from seeing "I Turned into a Martian." If there was a celeb passing that would effect me worse than Lux, it would certainly have to be Glenn Danzig. Hopefully, that day is far in the future.

Anyway, RIP Lux.

sfdoomed said...

And now we need to find a pre-code connection for Astro Zombies!

These two stories are representative of Atlas/Marvel post-code years in that they featured great art, but obviously tame deliveries. Both of these tales seem rushed, and although they were forced to have limitations, they could have been much better if stretched out more.

Total bummer about Lux. I was never a huge Cramps fan because I never got into the whole psychobilly thing, but I'm glad to have seen them a few times over the years and totally respect their place in the canon of real music.

Thanks for all the great work, Karswell. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say we really, really appreciate your efforts!

Anonymous said...

Awful news about Lux. Hard to imagine him being 60 in the first place, harder still to imagine him gone.

Forry Ackerman's estate sale smacks more of vultures than any of the usual supernatural monsters you see on this site and, accordingly, it REALLY gives me the creeps.

Arkonbey said...

So. The main character of "Martian" doesn't seem bothered that the body he's returning to is a corpse...

Horror pariah said...

The Lux thing really depresses me, especially now that it's confirmed. As for the Ackerman thing....i refuse to comment. That aside, i really loved the art in both stories; Ditko and Reinman are an unbeatable combination. As for the ending of the Ditko story, yeah i read this as a kid and thought the same thing, either he gets shot again or returns to a dead body, AMAZING ADVENTURES#1 has a similarly stupid ending for it's "Torr" story too. As for the second story, i wonder how DRACULA would have turned out if he hired this guy as a real-estate agent?.

oeconomist.com said...
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oeconomist.com said...

Eh, if Ackerman wanted this stuff donated to a museum, then he could have made the donation himself, before his death or in his will. And if others want it in a museum, then they can form a syndicate to buy these things at the auction and then give them to an appropriate institution.

Ackerman himself sometimes bought things from estates. I wouldn't call him a vulture, but a man with a sincere love for a sort of popular culture. Likewise most or all of the people who bid at this auction.

Anonymous said...

Well, for people who really care about Forry (as I know so many who come to this site do) it's hard not to see the morbid opportunism this auction exemplifies. We're not talking about some widow (or offspring) selling off items of a decedent to pay for a funeral, or other expenses. This is -- obviously -- being turned into an "event," complete with spooky graphics and special lettering. If you had met Forry (and perhaps you did) then you might be able to see how this feels a lot like the pawn-broker's scene in "A Christmas Carol." Except, of course, Forry was no Scrooge.

oeconomist.com said...

If Ackerman had been asked, in advance, how he felt about the idea of spooky graphics and special lettering being used for his estate auction, what do you think he would have said?

Hex_Enduction_Hour said...

Immediately rushed over here when I discovered the news about Lux.
Truly, sad sad news.

This weekend will be an all-Cramps playlist.

Psychedelic Jungle and Gravest Hits of course.

RIP Lux

Lethargi said...

Lux is dead, what a bummer. Well here's to you Rockin' Bones.

Anonymous said...

Oeconomist.

You're missing the point entirely, perhaps deliberately.

Mr. Cavin said...

Anonymous: it is a little arch to accuse Oeconomist of "missing" a point he is very ably arguing against. I'm with him, by the way. Estate sales are traditional, normal, and this one doesn't seem any more opportunistic or morbid than any other, considering the stock. Beneficiaries should have the opportunity to collect on the liquidation of any estate, and, honestly, collectors should have the opportunity to collect these things they love. How else do you picture this happening?

Honestly, I agree there should be a museum for this stuff. But that'll take someone making one, and then that museum will have to acquire its collection the way museums always have--by buying them from the estates of private collectors.

Michael said...

I agree, if Ackerman didn't want his stuff sold in an estate sale, he could've made plans for his collection beforehand. What always bummed me out was reading about people who would steal from him while touring his house. Now, that's low.

The first footage I ever saw of The Cramps was from their show at the Napa State Mental Hospital in California, which blew my mind. Also, seeing Lux with his microphone stuffed in his mouth in Urgh! A Music War was unsettling to me as a youngster. Of course, I had to go right out and find some Cramps records to buy.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, you're all missing the point. What Forry would have wanted is no longer germane. How we paw through the stuff he leaves behind is about us, not him. You have your take on this, but in my line of work, I watch the venal do this sort of thing on a regular basis, and it's never pretty.

What Forry shared with us is how he should be remembered. What piece of him we can make off with after he's gone is not. I'm more than a little surprised to find that I appear to be the only one who feels this way.

Karswell said...

I'm all for preserving these horror relics in a museum and displayed for future generations to enjoy... cuz if someone like Leonardo DeCaprio swoops in and buys Dracula's cape, then merely shoves it into his collector closet so that nobody else can appreciate it then what's the point of the cape anymore? We're not talking about the lost ark of the covenant here, or are we?

Anonymous said...

Norman Osborne-Space Ranger!

And I really love the jaunty wave one of the ghosts is giving Lang as he leaves.

oeconomist.com said...

Anonymous—

Nobody's deliberately missing the point. If your point was that Ackerman's wishes weren't germane, then you should have actually made it, so that some of us could tell you that we think that his wishes are still quite germane. (Would you think that his wishes weren't germane if he'd indeed requested that the stuff go into a museum?)

First you engage in personal attack against those who are participating in this auction. Now you engage in personal attack against me. Is it your habit to see all those who don't say and do as you wish as Bad People?

Maurizio Ercole said...

Psychosexual werewolf / Elvis hybrid from hell, good journey in outerspace!!! I will never forget you.

Kitty LeClaw said...

I turned into a mewer...