Thursday, July 25, 2013

Demon Kiss / The Devil's Matchmaker

Having survived the madhouse that is San Diego Comic Con 2013, I return with a demonic Double Feature, both tales from the November 1974 issue of Red Circle Comics Group MADHOUSE #96, the first story written and illustrated by the great Bruce Jones, (it certainly doesn't  get much better than bikinis and blasphemy for this blogger!), and the second atmospheric story illustrated by Sal Amendola. I'll have more from this scary, short-lived silver age horror series in the next few posts too.









(cover art by
Gray Morrow




18 comments:

Dave Tackett said...

Wow, that is much better art than I would have expected from Red Circle. I knew Morrow had done a bit of work for them, but I didn't know about Jones. The art for both stories and the cover is top rate. Thanks!

Mestiere said...

Much more effort seems to have been invested in the artwork rather than the writing. Although at least I learned that silver bullets kill witches.

brandiweed said...

The pentacle and robe panel in the first story is reminiscent of Alphonse Mucha-- NOT a reference I'd've expected in a horror comic?

Brian Barnes said...

Bruce Jones was one of my favorite writers in 70s comic horror, especially his stuff for Warren. This piece is a bit too post-code DC-ish, though. I always forget Jones could draw because most of the time I saw him as a writer, but he is certainly a talented artist in his own right.

What's with the strange focus on those very clog-like shoes in the witch story?

I'm not sure about the art on the witch story, it's good, but the heavy-shade "pop" art panels seem really out of place.

I complained extra so Kars would feel right back at home after comic con!

Karswell said...

Yeah it's good to be back... I was having complainer withdrawals all weekend

Tim Whitcher said...

It seems to me that Jones started to run out of steam, art-wise, towards the end of the story. The first few pages were brilliant, the last few amateurish.

I wasn't even aware of Red Circle Comics Group, and I grew up buying hundreds of bronze age horror comics. A true addict. Guess my "supplier" didn't carry their line.

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

'Sworth noting that the name “Valarie Lewton” is a reference to Val Lewton. Perhaps most readers here will know who Val Lewton was, but some will happy to learn that he was the producer of various remarkable, low-budget films that include Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, and The Seventh Victim. Anyone here who does not have a copy of The Val Lewton Collection should consider getting it.

Karswell said...

>Val Lewton was, but some will happy to learn that he was the producer of various remarkable, low-budget films that include Cat People, I Walked with a Zombie, and The Seventh Victim.

See also NIGHT OF THE DEMON aka CURSE OF THE DEMON (also produced by Lewton) for more demonic Karswell action!

DR UNKNOWN said...

Weird how you mention Curse of the demon I just saw the movie 2 days ago . I have it on dvd, I seen it many times but I just picked up that the warlocks name is Karswell. I also recommend these witch type films Burn witch Burn aka night of the eagle, Black Sunday , witchcraft 1964 lon chaney jr and also christopher lee's classic witch movie The City of the Dead (U.S. title Horror Hotel) 1960 . gems of the 1960's I'm sure karswell knows them all.

Karswell said...

I know them very well, Doc! All favorites of mine as well!

Brian Barnes said...

Slightly off topic, but yeah, Curse of the Demon is an incredible film, especially for the well know ending image.

Strangely enough, my favorite part is the mind games with the parchment on the train. Great, well played, and suspenseful scene.

Eric Stott said...

The Mucha reference isn't too unexpected - reprints of his posters were all over the place in the 1970's

Mr. Cavin said...

...weeell, Jones' pals Barry Windsor Smith and William Michael Kaluta, studio roommates themselves, totally had their switches stuck between the British Pre-Raphaelites and Czech deco for much of the late seventies. I would be a lot more surprised if this didn't somehow smack of Mucha's stuff--everybody else was doing it.

Karswell said...

Interesting comments, Mucha fun too-- thanks!
More Madhouse up next!

Grant said...

It took me a little while to get the name "Valerie Lewton," but since I can be very bad with parody names, I'm glad I got it at all.

With the aspiring actress angle, the story seems to owe a little to Rosemary's Baby.

Mestiere said...

I had not heard of the movie Curse of the Demon so I looked it up. Not bad. I agree with Brian that the best part was the game with the parchment on the train. It was more like something you would expect to see in a Hitchcock movie. And talking about Hitchcock, something we learned both on Psycho and Curse of the Demon is that guys who live with their mothers are evil!

Karswell said...

Check out "Casting the Runes" by M. R. James for the original short story classic that this film is based on... like all of his horror fiction, it's a truly brilliant piece of work.

Mestiere said...

Will do. Thanks, Karswell!