Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Hand of the Yogi / Monster Lore!

I unwittingly started a theme this month, that being precode comic horror stories that use themes we see over and over again, like the creeping, murderous, severed hand tale, as well as plots that borrow heavily from literary classics like The Monkey's Paw. In today's post, we see a story that borrows from both, and to make things even more demented, it's illustrated by the king of all that's demented himself-- Rudy Palais! From the April 1952 issue of Black Cat Mystery #34, plus a one page bonus quickie also illo'd by Palais, same issue.


Mestiere said...

At least Sarah got to keep the 25,000, about 220,000 in today's money. These Monkey's Paw stories always seem to happen to people with a conscience. A real psychopath would just use the yogi's hand all three times to make money no matter who got hurt.

As for monster lore and how to get rid of them they could have included the golem. You only change the inscription that gives it life, emet (truth) to met (death). Sure, it wouldn't be easy, but neither would it be staking a vampire.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Not only a good,shameless rip-off of "the monkey's paw", but a great origin story. The Yogi's hand, wandering aimlessly, was finally picked up by a distinguished gentleman called Gomez and found a home and a loving family.
Palais? Demented or not, this is the kind of art I like to see in a popular 50's Horror comic, no Burne Hogarth or Alex Raymond, but very effective.

Darci said...

What was the significance of the hand moving toward her face each time Sarah made a wish? AFAIK that's not part of the "money's paw" inspiration.

Grant said...

It doesn't seem clear whether Uncle Wallace actually shoots any of those characters trying to rob the Yogi, even though he fires a gun and two of them go tumbling off that structure. It reminds me of all those comic book heroes (and movie and TV ones) who manage to "rout" a whole army without killing any of them.

Also, the dragon seems to be some kind of mechanical one (used for a religious ritual?), even though Uncle Wallace calls it "a dragon" with "flaming jaws" and leaves it at that, oddly enough. He makes it sound like some extra supernatural part of the story, along with the hand.

Brian Barnes said...

The Palais art is great, it's like a cross between Ghastly and Davis in parts. He's got good control of slanting the perspective on some of the panels to make them more "spooky."

I'd say this story is more of a re-skinning of the monkey's paw. As it's already a great story, it serves well here in it's slightly updated settings.

That cover is great. It screams Eerie pubs, long before they existed. The hunchback, the scar, the shirtless woman. Great stuff!

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Mr. Cavin said...

Holy cats. I always love Palais, but this is maybe the best one I've seen. That splash is nothing shy of glorious; but it's also somehow equaled here and there in the story itself (the top of page three, the last panel of five and the bottom of six, for example). Rarely is this kind of enthusiastic momentum sustained over a whole a story. I love the flashback panel in the middle of page two. It reminded me of pivotal set pieces from both Raiders and Temple of Doom all rolled into one inventive wellspring.

And that cover is amazing. If it didn't seem impossible, I would swear it was at least penciled by Kurtzman.

Karswell said...

Indeed, Palais knocked it out of the park on this story... I thought I had already posted it years ago but when I realized I hadn't, well... :)