Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Weaker Sex! / Sleep, My Love!

Dick Ayers and Jim Mooney battle it out today in the manly Atlas ring, which one wins? And which one has the bigger, more obvious issues with the opposite sex?! I'd love to hear from some female commentors on these two tales today...

Both from the December 1953 issue of Spellbound #18.







NEXT: Mean Gene...
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Vintage ADS




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Sleep, My Love!




13 comments:

goblin said...



I don't even know what to say. I mean, I'm a guy and even I found 'The Weaker Sex!' offensive! But still, it was quite amusing in a deranged and backward sort of way. Mr. Author must have had some serious issues with Mrs. Author at that time…

Anonymous said...

HAAAAAAAA!!!! GREAT STUFF. I DIDNT THINK EITHER STORY LOOKED LIKE THEY WERE GONNA BE HORROR WHEN SCROLLING DOWN AT FIRST BUT THEN I READ THEM AND OH YEAH..........VERY MUCH HORROR! NICE ART ON BOTH TOO.

sfdoomed said...

1950s fear of women's liberation creeping into "The Weaker Sex", and I love the helpless dolt under the scalpel ending.

Jim Mooney's artwork is the epitome of pre code horror comic mood! And the story is decent, too!

I don't want June to end since I'm enjoying the Atlas month so much. Thanks!

Steve Pick said...

In the first story, I just felt so sorry for that poor fish. In the second, I'm still not sure what kind of witch/ghost couldn't take care of haunting her husband whenever or wherever he happened to fall asleep.

Beautiful stuff to watch, in both cases. I'm so used to seeing Mooney's 60s DC work - this was so much more vibrant.

Karswell said...

>I don't want June to end since I'm enjoying the Atlas month so much.

Me too... Atlas being my favorite pre code publisher. Maybe we should take a vote? I added a poll at the top of the THOIA page (righthand column above Kitty) near the current post--- so rock the vote, do you want more Atlas? Or should we go back and mix it up like usual? You decide!

Anonymous said...

Like them both, but Ayers wins!

Horror pariah said...

Suffering sapphos! That first story is quite possibly the epitome of offensive.

Y'know, if you overlooked the ending of the first story, it could basically all be seen as the delusions of an insane, downtrodden little man, heck, it still can. Maybe he just thinks he's seeing what he's seeing as he dies.

And did they kill him, or castrate him? Or is this the 'secret origin' of Christine Yorgensen?

Just thinking about that story breaks my brain a little.

Mr. Cavin said...

"...did they kill him, or castrate him?"

Um, I took it to mean they lobotomized him, so he'd be no trouble during the coming gynvasion. I'm not sure why they bothered, it isn't as if the man was very effective.

I thought this was really funny by the way. I love cold war fearmongering and paranoia, and it is interesting to see it, ludicrously, pointed at women--though that's a misdirect. The paranoia here is still all about the standard bogeymen of scientific technology and exotic cults and powerlessness. Women are just being used as handy replacements for reds or aliens or the senate, here. Their evil snowballing because of gadgetry, loss of task, idle hands.

That's what I was most happy about with these stories, and the real theme of today's post (most cleverly and directly tackled in the ad, probably): the effect of tasks on personality. Sure, women are evil because they have time to be. But there's also this male corollary between tasks and masculinity going on. Do you iron? Have trouble getting promoted? Raise fish, for god's sake? Protect yourself by becoming a manly galley slave!

Honestly, today was a great day around here.

Karswell said...

Bravo! These are the kinds of comments that define why I even started this blog. Keep 'em coming!

So who around here hates bugs? Okay, who hates GIANT bugs? Now who likes Gene Colan?

Get ready...

Tamfos said...

Both of these are fun, though the first one is hilarious. Not the sort of thing you'd want a ten year old boy to be reading back in the 50's, but in retrospect, all I can think of is the poor, misguided (under paid) boob writing this to work out his feelings of inadequacy. What a maroon!

I love the intros that make reference to the previous stories in the book. A nice touch (though it kinda spoiled "Sleep, My Love!" for me since that obviously came before "The Weaker Sex!"). But I'm dying to know about the "fried Martians."

A surprising effort from Mooney. That last panel on Page One is great. It's like a Ringo Lam movie, or something. The story itself is a bit disjointed, making me wonder if maybe it started as a longer script and the editor trimmed it down -- hard to know. Nevertheless, a great showcase for Mooney to draw ALL kinds of things. Let's look at the list:
a ship, an igloo, an Inuit, a furnace, a city skyline, a firing gun, some great silhouette work, and finally a pill-popping, weight-lifting, shower-taking montage. All in four pages!

Todd Mason said...

I'm not sure that we aren't to understand that these are parodies of misogynists...the latter involves revenge on a man who resents his wife "having a life of her own" (I pretty strong indicator!) and the other involves a paranoid fool, even if He Knows.

todd said...

"I'm not sure why they bothered, it isn't as if the man was very effective."

Precisely why I found it hilarious instead of offensive. This is like the Pebbles, Vol. 3 acid rock of pre-code comics right down to the abrupt ending.

The disorienting thing to me about the second story was how quickly wifey was introduced and axed. Was the cauldron beside the bed? Witch school is supposed to teach you to hide it a little better than that.

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