Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Trapped!

Somewhere in the THOIA Archives is another pre-code publisher rip-off of EC's Shock Suspenstories #9 classic "Carrion Death!" but I'll be damned if I can find it or remember what it's called (with well over 1300 untagged posts now, it's hard to keep up with stuff like this!) Anyway, I'm pretty sure it was good, but possibly not as great or as relentlessly grueling as this version from Fight Against Crime #17 (1954) which features endless cruelty, child murder, a word balloon without words (?!) and vultures cannibalizing the living and the dead in gorious four-color detail. Thanks again to Brian Hirsch for this one, as well as our previous heartless post too!







16 comments:

Todd said...

What, no drugs?

bzak said...

Howdy,

The EC story was called "Carrion Death", illustrated by Reed Crandall.

see here:
http://ec.wikia.com/wiki/Shock_SuspenStories_Vol_1_9

I guess if you're going to rip-off the story elements, you can't go wrong replacing Crandall with Doug Wildey.

Thanks to all who brought this story to us today.

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

bzak

The question wasn't of the name of the EC story (which Karswell gave in his prefacing remarks), but of the name and location of yet another story in bald imitation of it.

Guy Bell said...

Actually a little more gruesome than the original. Nice.

Gumba said...

This goes to show why EC is held in such high regard; this version is a good comic but the pacing is odd and there seems to be a lot of unnecessary story elements in it.

The EC version was tight and the pacing was perfect. The ending was never in question (in the EC version), it was the journey that was great. This riff of that story didn't have the same impact.

prof. grewbeard said...

the crime stuff is always more horrible than the horror stuff! it's no laughing matter...

Drew said...

Let me put on my critic's hat and agree with Gumba about the unnecessary story elements.

Inserting extraneous material (killing a child, running into the funeral procession) is useful only if it advances the overall plot; otherwise, it's just distracting and irrelevant.

bzak said...

Howdy,

Sorry, I scanned the intro in my head while thinking of what reference material I could use to find a similar story. The intro was forgotten before I was even finished it. Meanwhile, the Doug Wildey story is the only one I could find. My reference did have a couple of the last panels side by side to show their similarities.

Bzak

Turok1952 said...

The child being killed was to get the reader to dislike the thieves even more... and it sure worked with me, at least.
The funeral run-in was poetic justice and irony. It was a touch of genius on the part of the writer.
The crooks' self-imposed desperate death march in the desert was their last bad decision culminating a lifetime of bad decisions. No one but these idiots made these idiots idiots. Surely, this is a powerful subliminal message.
And the vultures? Fitting retribution from, of course, above.

sandor said...

Have to agree with Turok. I loved this story. Well told, humanly inhuman, and poetic if not necessarily tight. Less "Indiana Jones" and more "Sugarland Express."

Plus, the artwork is gorgeous!

Gumba said...

The child being killed was a cheap gimmick that I normally wouldn't mind but there was also (it's hard to tell), what, 3 or 4 cops killed? Plus the robbery!

Stacking the deck that way turns characters into thin cardboard cut-outs.

I do think any view of this story -- for me at least -- is going to be colored by the original EC story. It just makes everything more glaring.

Karswell said...

Interesting range of opinions on this post, personally I like the EC story AND this version about the same, and for a variety of reasons... mostly I love good character development / writing just as much as glaring cheap gimmicks and cardboard cut-outs so it's a win/win sitch here at THOIA for some of us. I still haven't figured out what the other publisher variation on this story is (as mentioned in my intro), it's possible now that I have it but actually have NOT scanned and posted it yet, so I will look a little more for it and get it up ASAP.

I might be taking a breather here at THOIA for a bit, health issues are leaving me no other option than to spend less time at the computer... but I will be around and posting when I can. Thanks again to everyone that made 2010 alot of fun here at The Horrors of it All, see ya soon! --K

Enrico Teodorani said...

Happy New Year!

ghostseeker said...

I don't know the original but that was good and gruesome. Score one for the vultures!

Gumba said...

Get better, Kars! This blog has been my constant read-while-eating-lunch companion for years, and I appreciate everything you do!

Turok1952 said...

G_t mit zu also, bruder!
And a thousand thanks!