Friday, June 22, 2012

The Skeptic! / Chilly Chamber Music

A weird war tale with great art from the March 1954 issue of Chamber of Chills #22 (Vol. 1) --saaay, this story needs a better ending, who's got one? And rounding things out with a couple funny Chilly Chamber Music one-page fillers from Nostrand... who else loves this Lee Elias cover as much as me?








10 comments:

Mike H said...

Agreed! A favorite Elias cover!!

Gabriel said...

The chilly chamber music pages were like little horror haikus. Short, but well delivered. Great cover indeed.

Gumba G Gadwa said...

Nostrand does a great Davis!

As for a better ending, it'd be hard as the story is so full of elements that go nowhere. Vampire coffins! Werewolf statues! What happened to the Nazis? The minute you enter a house they stop shooting at you?

It wouldn't have been a bad ending if those elements were missing. Just keep the spooky house and the "guy that sees ghosts", and then play the "sarge was a ghost" card at the end.

Top of page 5 is great, though!

SpaceLord said...

Gumba is right, of course.
Better ending?
I hardly get this story!
Or give a us menacing Kraut vampire.
And stake him with a sausage. Or a C ration or what they're called.
I think war and horror make a bad blend. They did hardly any of this stuff, did they?

Karswell said...

Well war and horror already go hand in hand in some ways, but I disagree, when done right this combo can work quite affectively (theres hundreds of examples in DCs great Weird War Tales series!)

SpaceLord said...

Ooops, put my foot really in there. Totally clueless.
Was talking about pre-code (as I always do). I recall one or two stories, and of course a whole line of one-page fillers about "spectral soldiers" warning their mates - which were lame every time...
Is it a post-code phenomenon maybe?

Karswell said...

I've seen quite a few decent precode war horror stories, I wouldn't say it's as popular of a theme as vampires or severed hands, but yeah, there were some...

Tim Whitcher said...

"The Skeptic!" left me flat, but the art was wonderful! That werewolf statue is a great piece of illustration.

The "Chilly Chamber Music" was just... well... odd. Those babes are some real lookers, though. lol

Rtaylor32 said...

I thought it was good but I'm an easy mark for these old stories. I like the elements I'd just recast them somewhat.

The title implies that the story is about a skeptic not a strange house. So I'd focus the story on the battle-hardened sarge character rather than the kid with supernatural perception. During the charge to the house we notice the kid growing more uneasy with the sarge to the extent of not noticing the enemy fire. Somehow they make it into the house and the kid reveals that he has the ability to see ghosts. The sarge tells him it is all in his head.The final panel reveals a blue ghostly projected sarge looking down at his own body as the Lt character and boy discuss the strangeness of the night.

You could keep the last line to reinforce the skeptic theme but we readers know better not believe in ghosts and ghoulies.

Anyway that's how I would have told the story.

Karswell said...

It seemed like to me the house was just a portal into another land of monsters, they could've played up that angle a bit more-- what's worse, nazi horrors or supernatural ones?

Vampire horror up next! Thanks for the comments