Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Ugly Duckling

The March 1954 issue of Chamber of Chills #22 kicks off with this demented little terror tale... a tale that seems to have possibly made an impact on Canadian filmmaker Julian Roffman, as the spooky skull image in the splash panel below seems nearly identical to the cursed mask in his 1961 cult film classic "The Mask."






12 comments:

Gumba G Gadwa said...

What a great piece work. The splash is awesome, and though not much happens in the story, it's actually pretty riveting because you know the other shoe is going to drop, eventually.

It's a nice change of pace from the usual "I'm ugly, must take vengeance" type stories.

The ending is actually very good, it's unexpected -- because it defies explanation -- but at the same time is fair -- as you had the accident explained before hand. Best not to think how it's possible!

I've seen "The Mask" (probably on Son of Sven, if I remember correctly) and I do remember the "put on the mask now!" and the psychedelic 3D. Don't remember much else about it. If true, it's interesting how a throw-away image on the splash can be used to construct an entire movie.

Frederick said...

I noticed the resemblance even before reading your text about the connection. However, he could have seen a photo of the actual Mayan mask which inspired "The Mask" as well, since it was published in photos and such.

Jeff Overturf said...

That was F'in' Freaky!

Drazen said...

Slobber it up! and I did! That was some great noirish voice over as well great drawing.

Turok1952 said...

GAAAAAA!!!!!

That ending is GREAT!

It was unexpected, even though he had spoken of the rotary knives. Yeah, they whacked him badly, poor schnook.

Tim Whitcher said...

Loved the art, even the writing... nut the end? WTF

Mr. Cavin said...

Wow. Excellent art. And here is my favorite example of the kind of Aztec mosaic skull masked that inspired both the excellent movie and the twist beginning on today's story. Here are a couple more variations.

Trevor M said...

What a disturbing ending and panel! Nightmare stuff. And the panel where he finally loses it and tells her he's going to show her is intense. Thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Great yarn. this one reads like a classic EC tale. I love this stuff!

SpaceLord said...

This is exceptionally good.
And somehow atypical, even for Harvey (though I am not yet familiar with the 1954 issues).
The writing struck me as particularly smooth. Grrrreat stuff.

Which also goes for your ZOMBIES anthology I now proudly own.
Delightful foreword and a truly creative and refreshing choice of stories.
What really made my day was the original art by Al Eadeh - gorgeous.
So, what's next?
:-)

Pappy said...

It's really nice to see this story from the comic book. Back in 2007 I posted the original art from this story in Pappy's #128. I swiped the scans from Heritage Auctions (although I didn't credit them at the time I'll go back in and give them their props). They attributed the artwork to Manny Stallman and John Giunta.

The story is a real shaggy dog. Builds and builds to...what? An impossible ending. It's a really fun story, though. One of the better ones, and a genuine twist at the end.

Karswell said...

>It's a nice change of pace from the usual "I'm ugly, must take vengeance" type stories.

I agree, a much appreciative change of pace.

>However, he could have seen a photo of the actual Mayan mask which inspired "The Mask" as well

The color and everything is what made me immediately think of The Mask... even though the film is in black and the white, I remembered the colorized lobby card which seemed to ape this splash image.

>That was F'in' Freaky!

That's the way we like things around here!

>That was some great noirish voice over as well great drawing

Agreed! Good hardboiled dialogue isn't an easy task, they definitely pulled it off in this one!

>even though he had spoken of the rotary knives. Yeah, they whacked him badly, poor schnook.

I imagine there's a pole of a core left somewhere in the middle of his head rising from the tip top of the spinal column... sort of like when you slice a pineapple with one of those inner pineapple slicers and try not to break it into pieces, then impale the entire slinky spiral on a large knife. Eeeek!

>nut the end? WTF

Not the end? But the end? Wut TF?

> favorite example of the kind of Aztec mosaic skull masked

All great! I still say The Mask movie is influenced by this comic though-- just because that's what I so desperately want to believe more than anything else.

>Nightmare stuff.

That's the other way we like things around here!

>I love this stuff!

Me too!

>What really made my day was the original art by Al Eadeh - gorgeous.

Original art is definitely the highlight of any book. Thanks for picking up a copy, Space Lord! And if anyone else has too please let us know! And hey, take an interesting photo of yourself with the book, I plan on creating a gallery where I'll post all the pics of people loving their new ZOMBIES collection!

>Back in 2007 I posted the original art from this story in Pappy's #128.

Very cool Pappy, thanks for the sliced heads up!

I have another tale from this issue up next, along with some neato one page Nostrand fillers. And speaking of the ZOMBIES book, stick around for news about a contest to win a signed copy directly from THOIA! Thanks for the comments!