Monday, August 25, 2014

The Haunting White Shadow

Got some stories from Beware! Terror Tales lined up for you in the next few posts-- kicking it off with another crooked pair of doomed numbskulls who have it bad enough as is with just each other, let alone getting the supernatural involved in their hopeless escapades. Fun art by Bob McCarty as usual-- from the September 1951 issue of Fawcett's Beware! Terror Tales #3.


Mestiere said...

If Justice is blind, why did she need a candle?

This is one of the more arbitrary tales we've read. Justice saved the money, but not the guard. What was the point of her appearing in the cave if the guard's spirit was going to take revenge? And what a spirit! It showed quantum non-locality by being in three places at once and was so solid that bullets bounced off it. This is the first story where I see such a thing.

I think my favorite non-sensical thing was the money breaking the glass window inside the cave(!).

I think I like this story.

Mr. Cavin said...

That was kind of an odd one. Some of my reaction to the pacing here is probably due to my being mostly used to reading five- and six-pagers in this mode. At ten pages, the story felt almost as if it should be epic--and yet it still pretty much covered the same old ground: Set the characters up, then the crime, and then pay-out the comeuppance. But while this story felt padded to the point of actually repeating itself from page to page (how many times are you going to stop and talk about how you need to hurry up? Does it really need to take Squash two panels to stuff the money in a bag?), there are big action set pieces (like the car crash), that happen in the gutter between frames.

The art was absolutely terrific, though. I loved every part of page eight; but especially the top two panels, which look like the kind of designy commercial clip art you'd have scanned from a pamphlet for the other blog ("explore the Pirate's Grotto during your overnight stay at Tom Sawyer Town, exit 25 along scenic Route 666!"). Story wise, I liked how much of this tale played-out as an existential dialog between pessimism and optimism, resulting in the each narrowly defined character's reactionary suicide. That's pretty cutting edge stuff, my friends. But dig on that totally crazy pre-title text balloon. Read it out loud in a creepy host-mummy voice. That's pure T nonsense of the highest caliber.

Brian Barnes said...

Being the arbitrator of justice, the spirit of justice doesn't do any ... justice. She just knows they are guilty, and basically facilitates their punishment. There's going to be a whole lot of paperwork that will need to be filled out in the spirit world to deal with this mess. Did they by mistake send down the Ghost Rider/Spirit of Vengeance instead of the spirit of justice?

The art was great, the coloring a little weird, especially with the spirit of justice who's skin tone goes from white to peach across pages, and while noted as "having no eyes" gets them put in a different color in a place that just makes it look like she's actually Little Orphan Annie!

The cover, BTW, is great. The wild mix of colors in the skull and the almost black-light like painting of the fabric folds and fingers is fun to look at. Could have done without the Mummy's mug, though!

Grant said...

At the top of Page 7 Jocko is given a sort of Karloff look in the face. And of course Karloff was in at least one famous gangster film, SCARFACE, and at least one gangster / slash horror film.

I somehow expected Squash to survive, surrendering in a terrified way. Or even both of them, since Jocko keeps getting rattled by Justice and her tricks, even if he keeps shaking out of it too.