Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Fanged Freak

Black and white 70's remake from Eerie Publications, "The Fanged Freak", from the Feb '75 issue of Tales from the Tomb V7 #1.








12 comments:

Craftypants Carol said...

damn. 70s Elena really is one hotsie totsie mama!

Mestiere said...

For a moment I thought Elena would turn out to be a guy.

Both versions look good, but I think Kirby's drawing of Elena's rubber disguise at the bottom of page four is more disturbing than the 70s version. Kirby's version of Elena's real appearance is also more shocking.

"It hasn't been easy staying here, Johnny... knowing that on the outside there are men like you... tall, good looking, good to be near!" It looks like Elena was interested in physical appearance. How would she have reacted if Johnny turned out to also be a phony wearing a costume?

That is some tremendous mutation to make a human look like that. I imagine the mind was also affected, since Elena reacted to being seen in her real appearance as if it shouldn't matter. After all she wasn't just a monster, she was also a liar.

Brian Barnes said...

It seems they didn't just go to the foam rubber company but also the balloon factory ...

So the guy was fooled by a child sized creature (that can barely crawl) in a foam rubber suit which he held and kissed. If only I could be so easily fooled by foam rubber, it might make life more interesting :)

Heresy, I know, but I think the Eerie pub is staged better, but not always drawn better. Moving the suit reveal to a large panel at the bottom was better, but not having it hang over the couch was worse (it's hard to tell it's flat.) The opening page works better on the Eerie version as we get a freak close-up (the tight paneling is not doing the 50s version any good), and the creature reveal is much better in Eerie, as it's face on, center panel (and showing the foam suit at the same time), even though the 50s creature is actually better.

It goes to show how important panel staging is.

BTW, one thing I love about Eerie pub covers is how badly positioned elements are. What is the vampire dude doing? Who is he menacing? The vampire woman's hips?

Trevor M said...

I've always thought that panel 4 of page 5 of the original was kind of a minor 50's horror comics masterpiece. Shame it's so small here -- it's really disturbing from what I remember from the Black Magic reprints I used to have.

Thanks for posting the remake version. Interesting in its own right.

The interiors I can often take or leave, but I always get a kick out of the covers of these 70's bottom of the barrel Warren knock-offs. They never make any sense -- the "vampire dude" in this one or that lunatic pastiche from Terror Tales a few posts ago. LOL

Mr. Cavin said...

You know, I kind of strongly dislike the Eerie Pubs version this time. Contrary to the usual Pubs' press, this content has been dramatically tamed down; and even with the addition of an extra page, the mealy seventies paneling looks crowded-out by the flood of scattered word balloons. The original folded all of this away so neatly that I almost didn't notice that between the first and last pages, all we really have here is a story of two jerks talking and talking to each other without, you know, ever explaining anything pertinent. I agree that figuring a way to get the rubber suit to the bottom of the page is the better formatting, Mr. Barnes, but it's hardly worth all the storytelling formalism they lost in the process.

That said, I'd sure love to see a lot more different artists redo this one (or at least the best page of it: the Black Magic cover). Corben and Veitch seem like obvious choices. Wolverton. Crumb. Beto. Goya.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the original Black Magic #29 story is in fact DC Black Magic #1 (November 1973). One giveaway was the girl's hairstyle, which is definitely not a 50's style. It got me thinking to try to investigate this. See this website for an explanation: http://kirbymuseum.org/blogs/simonandkirby/archives/1695

Karswell said...

It was definitely reprinted in the 70's Black Magic series as well... if you still need to investigate further you can try the links to GCD that I include in every post intro, these will take you back to where these stories originated.

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

I believe that the point of the anonymous comment is that the S&K version above is also at least a partial redrawing — by Joe Simon! Compare the original version of the second page with the version presented above.

The reprints and redrawings in the Eerie Publications caused me various sorts of bafflement when I was a kid.

Karswell said...

Marvel did the same sort of updating with image elements in their 70's reprints of golden age horror too

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

Well, what I notice in the Marvel stories was toning-down the images, to bring pre-code horror stories within the boundaries tolerated by the '70s CCA. I only notice a very occasional change beyond that, but maybe more was done, while I was distracted by bright, shiny objects.

For these Black Magic stories, Simon was creating new, uncolored inked sheets by tracing original pages. As he was doing this, he was widening panels to compensate for different page dimensions. And, as one can see, he was attempting to up-date the appearance of women.

I think that the widening and the attempted up-dating were just ill-advised. The need for uncolored, inked pages, however, was technologically imposed.

Anonymous said...

I read this story in the DC reprint book as a kid and it has remiained perma-glued in my brains ever since. 35 years or so later it is still freaky and tragic and horrific and sad. The word "classic" is overused, but time it fits.

Turok1952 said...

This tale is a deep metaphor for what ugliness can mean to people. Ugliness inside, as the story finally reveals, can even at its worst plead for catharsis once it tastes the hope for something better.
Johnny cried as he dropped the hammer because he found out what he thought was, was not, and by extension what actually is...is past the ability of perhaps most to accept the truth of, much less be able to live with.