Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Face on the Floor

Time now to finish up with the last, but most certainly not least, of the stories from the September 1952 issue of The Tormented #2. You've seen THOIA post some crazy ass tales here over the last three years, but what in the world could possibly prepare you for a story about a killer mop? Well, there's a little more to it than just that, but here ya go... (and once again, thanks to Brian Hirsch for the scans of this entirely great issue!)






10 comments:

Drew said...

Hi, Karswell --

Do you plan to post the 2-page prose story, "The Lady in Black," which was also in this issue of "The Tormented"? Some of us actually do read the text stories that many early 1950s horror comics included.

Apparently having at least two full pages of text made the comics a more legitimate "magazine" in the eyes of the Postal Service, which then gave them a slightly lower second-class postage rate.

Karswell said...

>Do you plan to post the 2-page prose story, "The Lady in Black," which was also in this issue

When presenting a full issue I usually do try to always include the text stories... unfortunately these scans came from someone else and the zip file did not include these pages. Sorry!

Drew said...

Ah, well, thanks for posting the rest of the issue! You do such good work that I don't want to give the impression that I'm complaining...

Mr. Cavin said...

If this was an EC story, it would have stopped right when that dude used the lady's head to swab the deck. The next couple in the lobby would have [choke!] discovered the maddened janitor smearing an upside down head around on the floor in a ghastly final half-page panel.

But I appreciate the real-world logic of the remaining pages here, too. Human hair, not being at all absorbent, would indeed leave all the water puddled on the floor.

Gumba said...

Speaking of it being an EC story, there's an awful lot of panels where the caption re-explains what's in the picture.

The ECs were text-heavy -- and a lot of these books were trying to duplicate it -- but the text was usually additional. Here's it's just breaking the #1 rule in comics - let the picture tell the story.

Still, a great story and well executed.

Mr. Cavin said...

Gumba: I think text-heaviness was a pretty typical mode of presenting comics in the fifties. Part of that was, as you say, the duplication of a method that really worked. But comics had been trending, for better or worse, to a digest model for decades. The more explanatory text in genre narratives, the less space a story took up in pages. Therefor it was possible to cram four or five stories in a single issue--another method demonstrated to sell books. I agree that in the thirties and early forties the typical comics model was less text-heavy, but those stories were also a lot simpler. Otherwise, it wasn't really until the eighties that we really see an industry-wide sense of confidence that a reader could follow a story in which the art pulled its weight moving the narrative along. Whatever examples of this I find from the fifties and even the sixties I think of as being the exception to that number one rule, not otherwise.

Gumba said...

Mr. CavinThe only reason this story caught me was the 4th page of the story. First caption is unnecessary, but the second caption gives an important piece of information. Third caption, also unnecessary! Four caption adds to the horror of the story (with the "proud of the mop" remark.)

If there's one thing we can learn here: if you murder somebody, and then you see their face or ghost but nobody else can see it -- ignore it! Only you can see it!

A Snow White Sanctum said...

My question is if he worked for the landlady, and then killed her, isn't he out of a job? Why's he still mopping?

All's well than ends well...I guess :)

Just stumbled upon your blog. Terrific site. I've never seen so many posts! Nice job.

Karswell said...

>If this was an EC story

good point, Mr C!

>if you murder somebody, and then you see their face or ghost but nobody else can see it -- ignore it! Only you can see it!

Haha, true true true!

>Just stumbled upon your blog. Terrific site. I've never seen so many posts! Nice job.

Thanks! I'm amazed at your Snow White blog and all the fascinating posts there too. One of my favorite films ever! Thanks for stopping by!

SpaceLord said...

Yes! Nice! More craziness!
Edgar Allan Poe's TELL-TALE HEART gets a spring cleaning...
And one of the very few stories wherein hair actively commit murder.
There's the one about the bald barber who scalps his customer. And in the end the scalp goes strangling the barber. Same pattern, same impossible madness.
By the way, I'm the german guy, having changed my name to SpaceLord.
And thanks as well for posting TORMENTED#2 - couldn't get my hands on it otherwise.