Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Maze Master

Ready for a trippy, nightmarish descent into horror, as only the great Lou Cameron would deliver it? This is not your typical THOIA type tale, though it is full of surreal panels and oddball creeps 'n creatures. This is also the final story scanned from the April 1954 issue of Baffling Mysteries #20, check the archives for the other 3 classics from this collection: "Tune of the Zombie Queen", "Hostage of the Unearthly", and "When Voodoo Drums Rumble."








10 comments:

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

"Victor Rarlo" is a strange name indeed. If there's a joke, I can't spot it. But it made discover Victor Rallo!
Very nice story, wonderful art. All in all, I'd call it a masterpiece.
Mr. Cameron was visionary enough for Doctor Strange.

Mr. Cavin said...

Yeah, man! The ghosties on page four are just magnificent. Neat story. Visionary like Ditko or Kirby. I wish the coloring had been as wild as the line art, but there's nothing what with what we have here, either.

JMR777 said...

A really great story, really great artwork, really great nightmare beasties on page six, especially the frogman with a green hand pointing at Rarlo and the red man lifting his lid in a polite gesture revealing the snake pit that is his mind.

I wonder if the last panel on page 6 was an ancestor of The Rolling Stones logo.

JMR777 said...

A really great story, really great artwork, really great nightmare beasties on page six, especially the frogman with a green hand pointing at Rarlo and the red man lifting his lid in a polite gesture revealing the snake pit that is his mind.

I wonder if the last panel on page 6 was an ancestor of The Rolling Stones logo.

Mestiere said...

An unusual tale with terrific art. A winner!

Many years ago there was an engineering competition to create a robotic mouse who could solve a maze the fastest. While most participants tried to develop complicated algorithms and maximize computing power the winner did something much simpler. He simply had the mouse always turn left (it would have also worked always turning right). Then he cranked up the speed. That was it. It's like those Marvel stories where a supergenius like Doctor Doom is defeated by The Thing or The Hulk by using just brute strength.

Diablo666 said...

Great story n' art!.....Cameron kicked ass, in this hallucinatory gem!.... This fate should befall ALL scumbags!.....excellent Karma!

Brian Barnes said...

A good story with good pacing and wonderful Cameron art. As others have said, it really has that 60s Ditko Dr. Strange vibe to it (but toned way down, Ditko was the master of that kind of art and few could reach that level.)

A bit wordy, though, and the revenge reveal, eh, didn't alter the story at all.

I love the crazy splash, it's not related in any way to the story; the snake hands, the bird hair, the well placed crystals (Cameron had to have fun getting away with that!) and the puzzle border, that's a real work of art and better than what you'd normally see in splashes where people would just add as many crazy monster faces as they could. It could easily stand on it's own, with just a little better coloring.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Mentioning the splash panel makes me think that Ditko is a visionary with a personal, instinctual style, While Cameron, in my opinion, has the knowledge to "borrow" something from various artists.
The splash reminds me of Mucha-Schiele-Klimt, the Vienna scene (twisted in an horror mood). The frog-man cited by JMR777 and the guy who shows the snakes in his brain are from Albrecht Durer and all those medioeval little monsters... maybe.

Grant said...

Even a story as weird as this one, and without a single female character in it, manages to throw in a little titillation on the first page. And why not?

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

One grateful thought for Mr. Chris Lee.
Always remembered, forever UNdead.