Thursday, May 10, 2012

Back from the Grave + Creepshow

The undead continue their insatiable attack upon THOIA this month with a weird one from Stan Lee and Fred Kida, from the November 1952 issue of Astonishing #19. And as a bonus, we have the first half of a lengthy, 20 page Creepshow article from the Fall 1982 issue of Cinefantastique Vol. 15 #1. It's a fascinating piece on the best pre-code horror inspired film ever-- enjoy!



















(to be continued...)

10 comments:

SpaceLord said...

Stan Lee really did NOT like Stalin.
I remember a 1953 comic story "obituary" about Stalin's death, wherein Stan Lee depicts him as a vampire!

Mr. Cavin said...

This was fascinating. The first half of this plot was incredible, would really would make a great idea for a movie or novel or some other long, thought-provoking storytelling format. But it opened a can of ideas that a short comic story just couldn't close again in only nine pages, and it felt like everyone just totally gave up trying by the end. "Well, this is where we stop." Even the art goes from great to pretty bad halfway through page seven. It's too bad, too. I would love to see a story with this set up--the balance of international power rests on a Frankenstein pacifist with a bullet lodged firmly in his atomic secrets--worked out into a Ira Levin-style social horror yarn.

But even with this ultimately, eye em oh, truncated and disappointing version of the story there are perks. Page five and six are some of the best comic book pages I've ever seen--gritty, beautiful, kind of heartbreaking.

Gumba G Gadwa said...

I could never be sure if Stan was rabidly anti-communist or he just thought they made good villains.

Certainly, throughout his super hero career he not only used both the Soviet Union and China as faceless bad guys, but he sometimes actually put a lot of human element into some of those stories. And we even got the Black Widow out of them.

This, though, is great! While it was certainly more than 9 pages could hold, its a perfect example of the "wish fulfillment" aspect of some horror stories. Where an evil we all fear (in the 50s for sure) get magically wiped away. There's a lot in there.

... and it's full of awesome reaction shots. This is two in a row with great reaction shots!

Trevor M said...

Haha! I agree with the above posts. This story is as frustrating in its brevity as "The Living Dead" just a post or two ago was in its length! "Back From the Grave" should have been a full comic book story as the professor's zombie goes on a huge body count killing spree, working his way up to Stalin. Damn good concept for a zombie feature film. Expensive as hell to make because of the period setting, but it's a great original spin on a worn out genre.

Karswell said...

Yeah, even for a lengthy Atlas tale (8 pages) this one still feels like it could use a little more something something... but it does indeed have its moments.

And what the heck, no Creepshow fans out there?! I thought you guys would be eating this article up like ravenous lil fluffy crate monsters...

Trevor M said...

I had tried reading the Creepshow article, but by about a third of the way through the first page the eye strain was giving me a headache so I gave up. The text is really blurry and drops out a lot. You make such a good effort to present crisp, clean scans on here, I imagine you didn't do these? At your urging above, I've looked at it again and the rest is more readable and it is one awesome article. Lots of good stuff in there on Fluffy and friends. I am very glad I did go back and read it. Thanks for posting!

Karswell said...

Nah, these are my scans but the first page of the article is either super faded or just printed really weak in my copy of this issue. The rest of the article should read fine, the remainder of which includes more on Savini's fx, additional matt and optical fx revealed, and some funny mishaps on the set with the cockroaches.

Ghastly Gil Smith said...

The article is definitely worth reading if you have the time. There's some great quotes in there from King and some interesting insight into my favorite sequence The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill.

Frederick said...

Thanks for posting the Creepshow article, I had missed that one! Looking forward to the rest. That is one movie that works on so many levels, and the music is great also. My favorite segment is "Father's Day," and featured the best "rising-from-the-grave" sequence ever seen up to that time, also enhanced by the score.

Karswell said...

Fathers Day is my favorite story from Creepshow too. And yes, the music is excellent (more on the score in the next post!)