Saturday, January 10, 2015

Corpses from the Sea!

Once again we hit the high seas of horror, and today it's the final post from the February 1952 issue of Black Cat Mystery #33, featuring the always awesome art of THOIA fave Bob Powell! If you're just joining us, check the last three posts for the rest of this issue. According to GCD, "Corpses from the Sea!" got re-worked / reprinted in three different Eerie Pub titles, "Terror Tales", "Horror Tales", and Terrors of Dracula" as "Hidden Horror"and redrawn by A. Reynoso.


devilsavenger051181 said...

A great story with creepy artwork that perfectly compliments it. I especially liked the sinister ending where the crew realise they will have to spend the rest of eternity as plague ravaged corpses, aimlessly sailing the seas.

Mestiere said...

The art was so much better than the writing that I looked up who the writer was and it was Bob Powell himself. Comic historian Tom Heintjies said about him: "A very good artist, Powell was a journeyman writer...". That sounds about right. Captain Bates communicates with the population of an entire island apparently using that speaking trumpet from page five (!). A single bottle of serum would have cured the whole island's population from the Gray Plague but the crew was willing to mutiny (a crime punishable by death) so that they wouldn't have to share the cure with the islanders. But when the zombie-like islander later brings the Gray Plague to the ship the crew doesn't use the serum to save themselves. Still, the art was good, and with a better writer this might have been a memorable tale.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

You saved the best for last in the Black cat issue...
All the classic elements of a good sea horror story: The Ship approaching Island of Doom, the Guilt, the Curse, the Salty Dog, the Fog that leads to Hell.
A story that reminds me of many great sea tales... let's say from William Hope Hodgson to The Fog (and let's throw in Shock Waves too, minus the nazis).
Good supernatural twist: they could already be dead during the storm, and their souls punished after the fog sequence. The "cloud of the gray plague" is of course symbolic, no real disease.
No need to comment on Powell's great art.
P.S.: Where the f*ck has the sensitive ship doctor gone after page 2?
P.P.S.: I'm almost sure no real 19 th. century's ship commander would have done such a thing for a bunch of natives. They were pretty tough guys, as far as I know.

Morbid said...

Any Powell post is a good post at THOIA, as far as I'm concerned. Lots of fun drawings as always, and good atmosphere. The captain reminded me of the real Captain Bligh that's been uncovered in recent years. Virtually a radical liberal humanist by the standards of the day, he paid for it, but went on to have a remarkable and very distinguished career. Though you'd never know it watching Mutiny On The Bounty.

Brian Barnes said...

I have to slightly disagree with some here, I think the story is incredible -- is it unique? No, it's pretty much a standard story, but it's paced incredibly well and really sets everything up. It's a B&W progressive tale about the fate of those that mistreat their fellow man with a very biblical ending (and this is from an atheist!) Standard, but in the right hands can work wonders.

And that's what good horror stories need to be. They don't need to be original, they don't need to shock, they need to have the economy of movement in the plot that carefully winds you to the eventually fate of the characters.

And the artwork, wow. There's a lot of emotion in those faces, and Powell just nails it, not a single cheap or fast panel in the bunch.

Karswell said...

I almost didn't post this one because I figured it was in the Chilling Archives Powell book... but then I looked and realized it wasn't!

Hope everyone except Lanford enjoyed this issue, lots more on the way in 2015!

Mr. Cavin said...

Man. I love the way the crew gets trapped in a weird cloud that disorients them but also crystallizes fir them the very outcome of their evil treachery. That's very sympathetic magic right there. Not only can they not escape the island, time has moved along to the endpoint that has doomed them, beyond all hope of their redeeming themselves. Nice.

And in a post brimful of excellent pictures, that splash really stands out. The anthropomorphic cloud looks like a malignant Harvey Kurtzman cartoon. I can't love that enough.