Friday, November 8, 2013

The Devil to Pay / My Fair Beastie

We finish out a weird week with another full issue presentation here at THOIA (see also: The Catch and The Monster-Go-Round) with the final two terror tales from the June 1973 issue of Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery #47. And hey, if you thought the lake creature in our last post was kooky looking, wait until you get a load of the monstrosities in this double header post! We'll be heading back to the macabre age of pre code horror for the rest of the month next-- so stay tuned!


Mestiere said...

When I saw the parents were a redhead and a blonde but the boy had black hair I thought "either one of them isn't the parent or one of them dyes his/her hair". Turns out the kid was adopted. Good job, character designer.

Notice how the red stuff the demons are covering "little Damian" with is not named, they just refer to the act as an anointment. Had it been called "blood" the story probably would have been censored.

In the second story the rich steal from the poor and get away with it. The victim (and hero) becomes the accused. Relevant after these 40 years.

It's curious that the Duchess transformed into something that looks like a stuntman wearing a costume. On page 7 in particular you can see that the bulge at the base of the neck could contain the real head, that the elbows are normally positioned but the forearms are abnormally long, and the whole creature looks strangely stiff. Perhaps the artist used a man in a suit as a reference photo?

Thanks for publishing these stories!

Brian Barnes said...

The first story has bizarre motivation problems with the characters, but the art is good and the last panel has probably the more evil leer from Karloff!

The second story is much better, and reads a bit like a 40s horror/superhero story which is more based on finding the "rules" and then a clever way to follow them. More great art though I could do without the slightly racists Karloff in cliche gypsy costume. The mister was absolutely fun.

I agree with Mestiere, the rich/poor divide is subtle in this story, but very much the wheel that turns a lot of it. The rich woman can pretty much get away with anything because of her resources, and we know the fate of the poor gypsy.

Karswell said...

We'll come back to Gold Key comics occasionally, they're not the scariest stories but they are a lot of fun And the artwork is always nice to look at too... thanks for the comments!

Cheswick Stoddard said...

"My Fair Beastie" is definitely the best story of the issue. After all, what's a horror comic without a little subversive social commentary?

JMR777 said...

The monsters on page five were a mix of scary and goofy at the same time. The scaly guy looks like Aquaman's dad, the ape men look like the type of goon/gorillas you would see in a Three Stooges short, and the birdman looks like Spiderman's enemy The Vulture.

Still, it is a decent enough tale even with the demon/shape shifters looking like refugees from HeMan and the Masters of the Universe.

I wonder how Eerie or Creepy would have handled these two tales if given the chance.

I always enjoyed Gold Key comics as a kid. Even if the monsters weren't monstrous, the telling of the tales made up for it. A good story can make up for limited artwork, especially with the comics code in full force back then.