Monday, May 12, 2014

The Part-Time Corpse! +CONTEST

Wanna win yourself a copy of David Lucarelli's THE CHILDREN'S VAMPIRE HUNTING BRIGADE Vol. 1 (and signed by David too?!) Long time THOIA readers might already know a bit about this, as details depicted in this graphic collection are based on actual TRUE eerie, events that happened half a century ago in Scotland,  when hundreds of armed children descended upon a cemetery at night in search of a killer vampire (events possibly sparked by THIS precode comic book story.) It's a fun, fast paced GN (more info about it HERE) and also features an introduction by Mr. Karswell himself! As for the contest, all you have to do is email me at: karswell @ hotmail.com to enter! You have until Friday, May 16th to do so...



In the meantime the posts keep coming-- it's another one from the September 1954 issue of Mystic #33!




6 comments:

Mestiere said...

Well, that was different.

I kept thinking why Jan Quill had been brought back to life, and how. Did his body unrot once a week? Where did he find the money to do all that partying? Why was the fact that no one went to his funeral relevant? Would he continue to get old one day a week? Could he be killed on a Tuesday and come back next Tuesday?

I guess it all makes sense in a comic book sort of way. Ellen had been attracted to Jan from a distance but never interacted with him when he was alive. So she decided to bring him back using black magic. Presumably Ellen would have continued to resurrect him every Tuesday as long as she was alive. But when he killed her he was done.

Perhaps she should have told him the truth. Maybe she was afraid of rejection. If he didn't show interest in her she could simply stop bringing him back. Painless for her. She thought.

Somehow I didn't see the twist coming and was intrigued and interested the whole time. Good story!

Mr. Cavin said...

I prefer to imagine that Ellen always trolled the graveyard for no-strings romances, and had a different resurrected regular for each day of the week.

"I'll be right with you, John. Oh, Jan, is it really only Tuesday?"

I would love to see a series of these. It strikes me that Jan would make a really neat supervillain: A totally angry, truncated hedonist who absolutely had to make all his money in a few hours every week, but could easily elude the cops by hiding in his grave after each heist and whose fingerprints the police always assume are just mistakes of the test. Even by 2014, he'd only be approaching ten years older than the events in fifty-four, after all. I think his life story would be poignant and interesting.

Meanwhile, this here story had great ideas that didn't go all that far. I feel like the twist with Ellen at the end was left a bit illogical just to keep the reader in the dark. It's hard to justify her actions on either end of the story. That said, I love any precode tale with a splash panel at the bottom of the first page instead of the top. At the end of the page it becomes a living part of the narrative instead of just some ornamental billboard like normal.

JMR777 said...

Ellen could have been-
A) A witch
B) A powerful spirit from the netherworld who could walk among the living one day a week.
C) A lonely spirit who could only return to earth as a person if she brought back another spirit as a person, but never tell him about her real self (magic spells constantly have those don't tell clauses.)

I seem to recall a similar tale, possibly from Atlas, about a killer hiding in a bar trying to evade the police and a weird guy enters and starts doing amazing tricks (levitating tables and such.

The weird guy offers to switch places with the killer, and they change bodies. The killer goes on a robbing spree, walking through bank vaults, levitating police cars, etc. and at sunrise he is summoned to a grave where he finds out too late that he switched places with a ghost. Once again, the story features a clause that was left unspoken and acted as a "gotcha!" for the unlucky victim.

I tried to find the story on your great blog, Karswell, but I had no luck. Anybody recall seeing that story?

Brian Barnes said...

To be honest, in a lot of EC-style horror stories, the characters are strawmen, because setting up the plot to get to the twist usually takes a number of contrivances.

This story -- and I love Atlas -- not only has strawmen, but I think it was inked by squeezing the ink out of straw! There isn't a single motivation that makes any sense; it's full of useless narrative, illogical actions, baffling un-explained rules, and really good art :)

Worse yet, it seemed to have a decent shot at saying something about greed, about wishing for more when you already have great luck, but that was just a ploy to lead to the twist.

When they say this is "one of the world's most mystic tales", they aren't kidding!

Karswell said...

>I tried to find the story on your great blog, Karswell, but I had no luck. Anybody recall seeing that story?

Doesn't sound familiar, sorry JMR

Thanks as always for the comments, and to all the of the people that have entered the Children's Vampire Hunting Brigade contest so far-- there's still a few days left to enter so don't delay!

Grant said...

Not to nitpick too much, but there's one small problem with the story. I know it's a short story without drawn-out scenes, but Jan throws the potion at the other character so soon, instead of THREATENING to throw it a little more, to try his best to get what he wants. So even if the other character HADN'T been Ellen, he still would've been wrecking things for himself.