Friday, July 18, 2014

Hoax / The Sea - Its Givings... and Takings!

I had a creepy chap write-in looking for a 70's comic he remembers as a lad but he couldn't recall any details other than it featured "a sea monster made out of barrels", and another story about a "hot mermaid." Pretty sure he's looking for the August 1975 issue of Monster Hunters #1, --and if this ain't the one I'll eat a hot mermaid! And fyi: the art on the hot mermaid tale is by Pete Morisi, many of you THOIA followers may be familiar with his awesome precode horror and crime work, so check the archives for more-- in fact, check out his Sewer Monsters tale HERE!














11 comments:

Dr. Theda said...

Monster Hunters #1 ( along with Creepy Things #1) were tow of my favorites since childhood....
The short bit with the "Countess" was enjoyable......
"Vat now ? A stake through mine heart ?"....

Brian Barnes said...

England, then Tibet, then back to Scotland? Was he trying to rack up frequent flier miles?

The mermaid story, aside from the art and the pretty mermaid is pretty much forgettable, but the first is a gem, because it takes a pretty old and hacked twist ending and does something new with it.

The art is also interesting, it's relatively stark and inked incredibly heavily, but it works very well. And while it's a "hoax searcher discovers the real thing" story, the addition of "it was a decoy" elevates the ending. A real nice story.

Mestiere said...

Working for Charlton seems to have been a soul-crushing experience. They often weren't even motivated to ascent to the level of mediocre.

The American "hero" shoots a guy in front of a British Bobby and doesn't get arrested. Just sneaking that gun through customs would get him years in prison.

The bottom right panel of page two made me think of Stephen Colbert pointing at his Black friend, his Asian friend or his Jewish friend.

A polar bear in Tibet?

"Nessie? No, I'm not here to see anyone. I have no relatives in Scotland." If you don't know about Nessie then you are a crappy monster hunter, John. Stick to guns.

Some of the inking looks like it was done with a ball point pen. Fortunately Paul Kirchner got better.

At least the art of the second story is sort of okay. Even if the ending is plagiarized from the Twilight Zone episode People Are Alike All Over.

Mr. Cavin said...

Man, those first four panels of Hoax (after the splash) are absolutely marvelous! That's some muscular, monster-fightin' Dirty Harry-like action, right there. I could stand a lot more eye-rolling no-nonsensing two-fisted debunking just like this in my fiction. Not that this guy's the very brightest bulb on the tree. I mean, who goes from England to Scotland by way of East Asia?

Brian Barnes said...

@Mestiere -- you know what's great about comics and art in general? How two people can have such conflicting opinions about something!

Mestiere said...

I don't want to be unfair to these artists, so i'll say this. The art almost looks like it was drawn smaller than normal, and then blown up, especially the first story. I remember reading that Charlton initially used a second hand press that originally was used to print cereal boxes. I don't know if they always used that, maybe somebody is better informed than me about their printing practices. There is also a rushed quality to the art. Since Charlton payed less than everybody else perhaps the artists reasoned "if I'm going to be payed this little I'll work as little as posible." Now, not everything published by Charlton was horrible, some people have pride, but a lot of it was. Sometimes the working conditions are so bad that coasting is a rational decision.

Grant said...

I agree about that first scene. It's hard to tell whether the writer was picking on England or America. Or both. Either way, the end of this scene gives him a real "hard edge," with that "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a plane to catch" line.

He does an about-face in the second part by CAPTURING the bear, even though it has the same kind of record as the fake werewolf.

I kind of liked the mermaid story. Maybe I've read too many COMEDY comic books, but I almost expected those two fish to be LAUGHING during the ending.

Karswell said...

>If you don't know about Nessie then you are a crappy monster hunter, John.

Obviously he's just playing hard to get with her in this panel, and / or not yet wanting to let on that he's a monster hunter. Both stories contain a nice thread of comedy in them that is quite refreshing-- thanks again to Brendan who wrote in and requested these as I haven't dug out this issue in years and it was fun to revisit. I think we'll take a look at another 70's Charlton debut classic in our next post as well, stay tombed... and as always, thanks for the comments!

Mestiere said...

"Obviously he's just playing hard to get with her in this panel..."

I'm sure you're right. Why would John Stevens be going to Loch Ness in the first place? From Tibet.

Isn't it amazing how the old man built that giant decoy in secret? And he only had one leg!

Keir said...

Having spent some time in Tibet, I can assure you the housing depicted here bears no relation to the yak-dunk habitation I experiences.

Mestiere said...

You've been to Tibet, Keir? What a wonderful experience! Any Yeti sightings? Or polar bear sightings?

My main acquaintance with Tibet were all those Lobsang Rampa books: The Third Eye, The Doctor from Lhasa and the rest. Astral projection, telepathy, flying saucers, lost civilizations, predictions of the future, they were a lot of fun. They were supposed to be written by an actual Tibetan lama named Tuesday Lobsang Rampa, but were in fact written by Cyril Henry Hoskin, an Englishman who had never left Britain and didn't speak Tibetan. Still, the books were a lot of fun.