Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Where the Undead Roam

Nice artwork from Benulis and Abel save today’s unfocused, plot hole riddled tale from completely derailing alongside the narrative train wreck… seriously, just tell the story next time—argh! But still, for this very same reason I actually like this tale, because as in lesser pre-code publisher style, it reaches high for moody, poetic flourishes but typically never quite manages to fully grasp the brass ring (can’t fault them for trying though.)

From the 1953 issue of Monster #2







TOMORROW: Time again to Flash Forward to the 70's, this time with Joe Sinnott!

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Vintage Ad

14 comments:

oeconomist.com said...

I'm very much reminded of some of the stories in the Charlton horror comics of the early '70s. There's be tales, usually attributed to Saki, which seemed to teeter on complete randomness and incoherence.

blackwalnut2001 said...

What, did Fiction House have a penchant for yarns set in the inbred South, or what?

Being Southern born myself, I have a penchant for such tales, and perhaps see logic where others do not.

And yes, there is an internal cohesiveness here, a style that pays homage to... uh... that when viewed through the proper... Or to approach it from the classicist angle...

Uh...

bluuuuuuuuhhhhh...

Mr. Cavin said...

I have to admit, the nearly unreadable loop-de-loops of narrative arc here actually provide a sort of fresh spin to an otherwise fairly banal zombie one-liner.

But about the art: it's interesting how the stream-of-consciousness storytelling here is reflected in the bizarre paneling. These oddly contrasting frames don't seem to mete the story out in the ways we've come to expect. They give us little guidance to time compression, scene changes, or the tenor of mounting emotion. At times, they even obscure the forward motion of the story. Within the frames, however, the drawings are fairly pretty.

Now, what I don't know about pre-code horror production: am I still complaining about the writer in the paragraph above, or am I actually complaining about the artist? Who typically blocks out the storytelling strategy during the process of making a finished comic? Or did they, in this case, draw out all the panels based on the dialog alone, on scraps of oddly-shaped index cards, and then scatter them about randomly on the floor?

Emby Quinn said...

You know, traditionally zombies aren't actually dead people. They're simply in a deathlike trance that keeps them docile and biddable. Which means those guys who tramped into the bog weren't actually dead until the waters closed over their heads. Way to effect a rescue, Jake. Let your actual client drown himself while you guard the pretty girl who's no longer in any danger!

You know, I went to school with a couple of Broussards. They really are strange people.

Anonymous said...

This disjointed story may have been influenced by the classic EC Haunt of Fear story "Horror We? How's Bayou?"

AndyDecker said...

What the others said. Nearly incoherent at times. The dark print didn´t help either. Still, the plot as such isn´t half bad, and the writing had a kind of manic energy which was lively.

wiec? said...

i thought maybe some pages were missing. the story was all over the road. however some things in the art work were stellar.

1) the big guy in the living room with the pitch fork

2) the big guy again and his evil looking dogs

3) when the coach driver midget guy whipped the other guy. it almost made coffee shoot out of my nose. where did he get those little pants?

goblin said...

Great art, but otherwise: ugh, what a mess! And it's a real shame, too, because if the story had been told properly, it could've been pretty awesome.

Anonymous said...

I DEFENDED YESTERDAYS POST BUT HAVE TO AGREE ABOUT THIS ONE TODAY. AT TIMES IT ACTUALLY SEEMS LIKE THE WRITER HAD SOME FLAIR BUT NO REAL KNOWLEDGE OF WHAT TO DO WITH IT. EVERYTHING MADE SENSE IN THE END BUT WAS JUST HANDLED SO CLUMBSY. I REALLY LIKED THE ART THOUGH. THE VOODOO DOLL ON PAGE ONE AND THE PANEL UNDER IT, AND LAST PAGE 5TH PANEL OF THE ZOMBIES IN THE WATER IS GREAT.

Karswell said...

I was going to do another day of Fiction House but screw it, let's jump into our Time Machine instead and get that out of the way for some better pre-code stuff for the weekend. Sound good? Thanks for the comments today (and yesterday) too.

PS: Did anyone hear that Lux Interior of The Cramps died? There's a story here:

http://www.thedailyswarm.com/headlines/cramps-lux-interior-rip/

But no one can verify if it's true or not.

8thRay said...

The story is a mess, but my main disappointment is that the Oompa Loompa with the huge-billed orange Robin Hood hat was only in one panel (aside from a microscopic appearance on the splash).

Sorry to hear about Lux.

Horror pariah said...

Well i like southern-cooked horror as much as the next guy(grew up in a town with gators, ghosts and a demented old woman who made scary looking dolls.)but this was just...weird. I agree that the midget seemed out-of-place, even though i did like the twist with the missing man. Funny how "it reaches high for moody, poetic flourishes but typically never quite manages to grasp the brass ring" describes 97% of M. Night Shamalayn's work.

oeconomist.com said...

The Los Angeles Times and Reuters are reporting Lux Interior as dead.

todd said...

I think was the least I've ever cared about characters in a story.

I'm upset about Lux Interior, however.