Friday, September 27, 2013

Man at the Grave / Fangs of the Vampire

The other day we saw the pursuit of a vampire, today we'll feel the requested fangs of one-- but first let's see what's up with that creepy old gent over at the graveyard-- two tales from the March 1954 issue of Astonishing #31, featuring atmospheric art from Vic Carrabotta, followed by Joe Sinnott, and the typically terrifying cover genius of Joe Maneely.


Anonymous said...


NOTHING like some good old classic Atlas stories. Joe Sinnott is one of my favorite artists. And those Atlas covers are always extra special.

I know, I've heard that Atlas was not as good as EC, but I disagree. When Atlas was good, it was very good, right on par with EC. And Atlas had their own great stable of artists.

Brian Barnes said...

The opening Carrabotta should be shoved in the face of every aspiring art student. The way the background gravestones are stretched together give it this great cavernous feel, and the angle is repeated in all the panels on this page. It's something a lot of artists don't think about.

The guy, far left, first panel, with the kid, looks like it was drawn by Ghastly because of the shading!

A good tale, and Atlas knew when to keep a tale short if the ending was more twilight-zone-ish than horror. This wouldn't be nearly as good stretched out to 5 pages.

The second one is a fun, well-paced vampire tale. Predictable, but gets the job done.

The off-stage skeleton hand on the cover is awesome! Maneely, what a terrible loss.

Mr. Cavin said...

I like the tentative, almost cautious use of Zip-A-Tone/Letratone applications in both stories. Well, I'm assuming. It's hard to imagine why anyone would use Ben Day paper for effects on just one or two panels, right? And in the Sinnott story, the Zipped panels have dots at contrasting angles. This is is an interesting aesthetic, foreshadowing the hand stippled fog effect obscuring the vampire attack on page five. Very moody, beautiful stuff! At the same time, I think I'm even more bowled over by the really unusual effect of the sky in the Carrabotta splash. Looks like he applied the Zip, scratched it off artfully, and then lightly hatched in the spaces, creating a really rich and chewy texture for the very air that still doesn't crowd out the positive space. Marvey!

Karswell said...

Fine sum ups, gents! I like when we can find the positive aspects to discuss about these stories instead of just baggin on the bad stuff... as I've said before, this blog is not here to be MST3000.

More Atlas up next!

Mestiere said...

Two relatively restrained stories for their time. The first one reads like a Believe it or Not! "true" ghost story. The second one is ambiguous about whether anything supernatural has actually happened. Clyde might have dreamed his crimes and Doctor Klaus "unfortunate accident" was never described and might have nothing to do with Clyde. After all Clyde apparently left his girlfriend Rose alive. The blood on his lips when he woke up might mean that he bit is lips during the night. Still a doctor should pay attention when an apparently disturbed person claims to be a vampire. Serial killers who drink blood, like "The Vampire of Sacramento" Richard Chase and "The Vampire of Düsseldorf" Peter Kürten are certainly real.

I agree about the decent artwork and efficient use of screentone.