Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Brain That Wouldn't Die

Not to be confused with the cult classic B-film from 1962 of the same name, today's tale from the January 1954 issue of Web of Evil #10 makes a gloriously revolting mess of science as only pre-code horror knew how.








14 comments:

FrankFay said...

There is some great artwork- but when I think of the brain speaking I hear "The Brain".....and I miss Pinky.

Karswell said...

Indeed Frank, in fact speaking over this with Paul Tumey of the great Jack Cole blog, we both feel it is indeed Cole, not Forte as GCD has credited. Also, GCD incorrectly credits the Death's Highway story (same issue) to Cole... maybe they just got the stories mixed up?

Paul Tumey said...

Paul Tumey here. I feel certain this story was written and penciled by Jack Cole. It is very much "of a piece" with the rest of his Web of Evil work. There are a number of "Cole-isms" in this story that indicate Cole's work, as well. These include the characteristic sound effects lettering, the amazing scenes of dread and anxiety (I think Cole was channeling Cold War nuclear fear), and the sense of movement in several of the panels. The writing is by whoever else wrote the bulk of the Web of Evil stories Cole drew -- whether it's him, Joe Millard, or someone else. This story has the same dynamic between the twisted, broken individual who is at odds with society as several of the others, such as "Monster of the Mist," and "Killer From Saturn."

"The Brain That Wouldn't Die" was made in 1962. One wonders if Cole's horrific brain-in-a-jar imagery in this story inspired them.

I am totally psyched to see this story appear here. Thanks, Steve!

BTW, the Grand Comics Database, which I love, has a lot of errors around Cole's work, which is understandable since a clear understanding of the different phases of his work is only just now coming into focus. I am working as an editor at that site to correct the errors, but it is a slow process. I'll add this correction to my list!

Thanks for the awesome blog, Steve.

Karswell said...

Fantastic comment Paul, thank you! And for anyone who hasn't been to Paul's amazing blogs, here are the links:

http://colescomics.blogspot.com/

http://www.comicbookattic.blogspot.com

Paul Tumey said...

A couple of additional thoughts come to mind for this remarkable story. First off, all throughout his career, Jack Cole loved to build comic book stories around genius inventors. Starting with his 1939 series, "Dickie Dean, Boy Inventor," Cole clearly was projecting a part of himself into his inventor characters. This story is one of his last comic book stories, and represents his second-to-last inventor story. His last, "I Was The Monster They Couldn't Kill" is the penultimate horrific variation on this formula.

Interestingly, the shaggy, white bearded, bespectacled Dr. Renard in this story is a more realistic, serious version of Cole's longest-running inventor character, Doc Wackey, who appeared in nearly 40 Midnight stories.

It's a pleasure to finally, after all these years, see the Cole story for Web of Evil #10, and the second-to-last comic book story of his career!

Gumba G Gadwa said...

This story has one of my favorite devices -- allowing the reader to assume something. When you first see the brain communicating, you assume everybody can hear it.

Of course, then the twist (and I love how casually the brain is getting tossed into the fire!) and you really you were lead to believe something that there was no evidence for.

[>] Brian

Turok1952 said...

I absolutely love this story and Sweet Baby does, too. It made her day and I thank you a thousand times!!

To me, this is a cautionary tale about letting one's desires and ambitions push one to do unreasonable and terrible things. Renard was obsessed and compulsive and he let his obsession ruin him. He did not realize that it was he who held the cards, not that manipulative criminal.

I wondered why he just didn't whack off Brain's head instead of carry off that body.

Also, it was hilarious to see Renard driving around with Brain in the jar behind him in plain sight. That was great!

Well, at least Renard ended up in a meshuganer haus. Brain ended up in the police station furnace.

Again, so many thanks for once again brightening up both our days!

Karswell said...

Glad to see everyone digging this tale, it is indeed a beaut, and always great to have another Jack Cole masterpiece to add to the archive! And as mentioned above, get the UPDATED and fascinating full scoop (thanks to Paul Tumey) on this one over at his Cole Comic blog by clicking here:

http://colescomics.blogspot.com/2012/01/karswell-posts-key-cole-story-brain.html

Trevor M said...

I must add my praise to the heap. Good art, fun story. Thanks for posting this one!

Prof. Grewbeard said...

this was a great story to look at but oh, the absurdities! the twist was great, though.

Liz D-M said...

Great storytelling, great artwork. I also want to thank you for using your old format for making this story easier to see.

Mykal Banta said...

Mr. Tumey certainly doesn't need backup from me regarding Jack Cole's work, but I see Cole in many rendering of hands, and particularly in characters running. Great stuff, Paul and Karswell - this is what comic book blogging is all about: this network of shared knowledge and art - all to better archive and preserve the work of artists and comic book art.

Karswell said...

Thats what its all about! Well said Mykal! And thanks again to everyone who chimmed in on this one, it's not everyday we get a visit from the eternal spirit of Jack Cole!

Allen's Brain said...

Fantastic! Always love a good brain-in-a-jar story, for some reason!
Cinematically, this is closer to "Donovan's Brain."