Monday, December 31, 2012

Horror Show! / Nightmare!

Two Astonishing Atlas tales to help scream in the new year and toss out the old! And since there are some of you that like to party, and some of you that enjoy simply staying in and watchin' the boob tube, I've scarefully chosen a story themed for each of you! Our first yarn transmitted from the April 1952 issue of Astonishing #12, and our second for you party animals, art courtesy of the great Joe Maneely-- from the December 1951 issue of Astonishing #7.

Happy New Year!!!














11 comments:

Dr. Theda said...

Happy New Year from the "Crypt"...

Mestiere said...

It looks like 3D TV had already been perfected in 1952.

The second one reminds me of the stuff that would happen on the TV show Freddy's Nightmares.

Turok1952 said...

This is classic Stan Lee, with the common theme of a doubtful reality. This is based on the observation that none of us perceive reality. What we perceive is our perception.

Lee later would reuse this theme in several monster mags of the 1957-1965 era. I am thinking of a story in which a monster (called the Hulk!) keeps stepping out of a progression of movie screens, and a story in which a man wakes up and finds his floor missing or that he is floating, with the caveat that he never seems to wake up to what actually is.

Perhaps you will wake up and find yourself on the firat day of first grade and that everything since has been only a dream. But would we know the future?

SpaceLord said...

Maneely's "Nightmare!" has an almost Johnny Craig-ish touch and feel to it. Would have graced any EC book. Nice.
A very happy New Year to you too, my friend in horror!

Brian Barnes said...

I second SpaceLord's Johnny Craig comment on "Nightmare." This kind of art works great on murderous intent/non-monster stories. Everybody being prime and proper and well dressed ads to the evil.

And it's a very good ending and somewhat unexpected. Infinite loops/trapped stories are particularly unsettling for me.

Maneely could about draw anything, couldn't he? If only he would have made it to 60s Marvel, he'd have been one of the all time greats.

"Horror Show" is fun but I think the ending might have been a miscommunication. It might have been that the monster was supposed to burst into the house (from the outside) through the TV, not merge out of it.

Turok1952 said...

I agree about Maneely, Brian. What a tragic loss Maneely was. And I too thought the Syntheticon, as I think of it, was was going to enter from the outside. I asked myself why it would be shown coming through the tv.

Because, as the Hulk would one day step from the silver screen into the audience numerous times in a future story...

So this Syntheticon comes through the tv screen to show us that the real monster, Fear...comes at us through the avenue which first presents it to us.

What was it the character in "The Truman Show" told us... "We accept without question the reality with which we are presented."

The man turned off the tv to no effect. Of course...it is easy to doubt oneself. But the presented object of our fears... from a perceived instructive and more wise source...well... what a flaw in the human character.

Notice, though, how small the Syntheticon was compared to the proffered "newscast" size of it.

This story is chock full of Talmudic-based implications!

Brian Barnes said...

Turok1952, the best type of story analysis is the one where I can't be sure if I'm being had or not :)

Mr. Cavin said...

My god Maneely was always so inventive and great. I wish he'd lived to be another Ditko, because that's certainly where he was headed. This era was such fertile ground for rule-breakers. Also, the story fairly adequately describes my New Year's Eve, only with more in the way of chicks and murder and less in the way of powerful, spicy oyster shots.

I liked Horror Show a lot too. All those great opened-up interior spaces were superb, creating a staginess that really felt like a television studio to me (hinting at the missing fourth wall to be broken at the end there). But the art really falters in those last two panels, and I am wondering if the reaction people are having to the end isn't because it really was changed in some rushed paste-up job? That art hardly looks like the same guy....

Karswell said...

I think we'll stick with the Atlas double features for awhile, sound good? Keep them comments coming, hope everyone had a nice holiday and here's to much much more on the 2013 horrorizon!

Turok1952 said...

Yes indeed, great one! The more darkly psychological, the more Ditko-esque, the more the bad guys get their just deserts, the more outer space aliens symbolizing human qualities, the more hidden meanings, the more unknown quantities, the more irony, the better!

Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

Todd said...

George is a terrible husband.

I wonder if Terror on TV! was based off Horror Show! or just coïncidence.