Friday, January 3, 2014

Mark of the Tomb / The Unholy Quest

Kickin' off 2014 with a couple of truly terrible tales from the June 1951 issue of Mysterious Adventures #2, a wild Story Comics series that started off a lot weaker than it ended out (two dozen issues later in 1955.) This doesn't mean these stories aren't entertaining though, because they are, in that lo-fi, ultra Z-grade way that bottom barrel B-films entertain. Ed Goldfarb and Bob Baer are responsible for not only the cover art, but also the art in "The Unholy Quest", a tale that would later get reworked by Cirilo Munoz for Eerie Publication's Weird V4#6, and Tales of Voodoo V4#5 --retitled "Black Magic." Another double header from this issue in our next post as well, stay tombed!

















9 comments:

Brian Barnes said...

More like "Mysterious Adventures in Great Racks." Sorry, a lot of these were aimed at 13 year olds so I sort of became one!

Both these stories read exactly like 50s monster movies; guy meets girl, monster takes girl, guy saves girl (and or rotting corpse) from monster at the last minute. Certainly fun, and the art on the first story is great.

Panel layout on "The Unholy Quest" becomes suddenly very distracting on the last couple pages when there's nothing like that on the first few. Now that's "mysterious!"

Honestly, can all of us viewers make a pact? If we ever dabble in evil forces, just TELL your relatives who have to follow your goofy after-death commands. It'll be easier on everybody!

JMR777 said...

For the tale "Mark of the Tomb", I thought I had seen this before- From the Bloody Pulp it was turned into "Boodsucker"

http://www.bloodypulptales.com/2010/07/bloodsucker-bloody-vampire.html

I sure wish Mykal would revive that blog and post a few more tales.


JMR777 said...

One more thing, the ending of The Unholy Quest is reminiscent of the ending of Roger Corman's The Terror where the female lead shrivels up/melts away at the end.

Eric Stott said...

"The Terror of the Ghoul's Corpse" - sounds like they used one of those games where you choose one word from each column to make your title.

Mr. Cavin said...

I really liked the art in the first one too, but was there some reason that the host / narrator kept changing faces? Certainly this was done on purpose, right? Or maybe the story was kind of revamped at some point in the editorial process? I mean, the floating narrator head over panel five on page six isn't even speaking. Just hanging out, watching TV.

The art in the second story may vary a little in quality over the course of things, but you can't shake a stick at the Nosferatulike horror impressionism at the bottom of page six. That is some very heady, very ambitious stuff, especially coming from a time when most comic stories didn't really articulate continuity of motion from panel to panel. Here this guy has directed a whole scene of phantasmagoria in just one panel. Nice.

Mr. Cavin said...

PS., I'm pretty enthusiastic about the use of white, or lack of color, for the boogieman in the second story. While it is rendered somewhat ineffective here and there in open frames that are themselves without much color, when the right elements do come together that really is a fresh and standout way of making a ghost demon thing.

Cheswick Stoddard said...

Re: the multiple narrators - I'm not sure if they're even meant to be speaking in those caption boxes, or if there was some kind of company-mandated monster quota the artists had to fill. ("Gosh, it's been almost two panels with only boring old people in them. Better draw a werewolf!" "Smart thinking, Holbrook! I knew there was a reason I hired you. Everyone, pay attention to what this fellow here is doing!")

Karswell said...

Got the other two stories from this issue up next, and as always thanks for the entertaining comments!

Grant said...

JMR777 is right about that connection with "The Terror." Also a whole lot of August Derleth stories, a little more indirectly, because so many of them are about the heir who gets in over his head just by moving into a house he's been left. (That's one of those clichés I never seem to get tired of.)