Sunday, September 20, 2009

Start Screaming it's Murder!

THOIA reader, Mark Borbas emailed me a bunch of great scans last week as we struggled to put a name to the "Mystery Artist" featured. Along the way the name Harry Anderson came up and Mark sent these scans from the July 1952 issue of Wanted #48. Anderson was not who we were looking for, but man this is one crazy "true" crime story, and much too good to not post (especially after a day of riding roller coasters myself!) Thanks again Mark!








Speaking of Orbit's great WANTED series, Mike over at FREEDOM SCHOOL RECORDS posted some awesome pre-code stories (for me!) earlier this month from #13, emphasis on Mort Leav and Maurice Del Bourgo. Check 'em out by clicking HERE!
And thanks again Mike!

11 comments:

Lysdexicuss said...

I'm pretty sure now that the 'Mystery Artist' is simply the Jack Binder Shop, which handled some Nedor/Better comics as well as some Faucett stuff... Check out early issues of Bulletman and some America's Best Comics issues. There are several early horror stories featuring weird super heroes. Many have the Lou Fine inspired 'floating heads' etc, but in particular, they have great splash pages~ the way Kirby did isolated splash pages for Prize/Crestwood. I think Jack Binder did the splashes, had his shop do the rest~ but an EXCELLENT inker pulled it all together !

Mr. Cavin said...

Man, this was great. The top of page three is almost too horrific and tragic to read. Those broken hands, ugh.

Mike H said...

Wow- that's great stuff! Thanks, Karswell... I might never have seen it if not for you!

Anonymous said...

I SECOND THE WOW. THIS IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THE CRIME STYLE STORY THAT WERTHAM WAS SO OBVIOUSLY APPALLED BY........ THANKS MARK AND KARS!

prof. grewbeard said...

that poor girl in the floor of her car- nasty stuff. i'd rather hang out with vampires 'n' ghouls 'n' such, because after all- "who can explain what goes inside the brain of a madman?"...

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of that "Niagara Falls" vaudeville routine that the 3 Stooges and others sometimes did. (I seem to remember seeing it on I Love Lucy as well).

"Niagara Falls!"

"Inch by inch, step by step! Slowly I turned..."

Mark B said...

I'm glad people liked this "real world" horror story as much as I did.

And thank you anonymous for mentioning the Niagra Falls routine. I used to say that "slowly I turn" bit when I was a kid and probably didn't even know then where I got it from. Yeah, I was a weird little kid.

A Google search turned up the Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello doing it with clips on youtube. They were staples of my after school TV viewing. So many bad influences at so young an age...

Mr. Cavin said...

"And thank you anonymous for mentioning the Niagara Falls routine."

Seconded. That's a really astute observation. I think of this as the "Slowly I Turned..." routine, probably because that was the title under which I first read a transcript of the stage act, done prior to Abbott and Costello (and guest star), or even the Stooges, popularization of Niagara Falls as the trigger destination. Here they are at YouTube:

Three Stooges
Abbott and Costello

(And thanks for sending me to YouTube, Mark B--this has been a great half hour.)

One interesting thing about today's story, in light of the original routine, is that it employs both the Vaudeville gag and its letter opposite: in the original, it is the screaming of the victim that eventually stops the violence. Here, of course, the original stopper is the trigger itself. Also, all versions of this homicidal trigger plot (that I'm aware of) are extended chases, though the comic story focuses on the pursued rather than the pursuer. And also, the comedy act is, you know, side-splittingly hilariously cruel, whereas the comic is by turns harrowing and tragic and cruel.

Karswell said...

There's two other awesome classic Curly shorts where he turns violent in a similar manner. In PUNCH DRUNKS he goes bonkers every time he hears Pop Goes the Weasel, and in GRIPS GRUNTS & GROANS he loses his mind when he smells a certain type of perfume.

Anonymous said...

The madman in this story was very believable, thus a tragic series of events ensued.

Theres another madman by the name of Everett in an EC story that is my absolute favorite over the years, and it was conveniently printed recently: http://asylums.insanejournal.com/scans_daily/938971.html

Now, a story like this can't be judged as tragic: just a fun read.

freedomschoolrecords said...

WOW, thanks for the plug Karswell! You're far too kind - THOIA is an inspiration for those of us starved for Pre-Code sickies!