Monday, January 18, 2016

The Devil's Bottles

Another devilish tale that I wish we could've fit into my DEVIL TALES collection (available Feb. 9th, click HERE to order NOW!) --with scans also supplied by our fellow cohort in evil, Mike Howlett (see last post as well), this is a frighteningly fun yarn from Hell illustrated by underrated artist Hy Fleishman. Originally presented in the December 1952 issue of Weird Mysteries #2 (which contains one of my all time favorite comic book covers ever too), Stanley Morse later reprinted this one in the August 1954 issue of Mister Mystery #18, which is in fact a complete reprint of the entire contents of WM#2 but with different cover art.


Brian Barnes said...

I like the Fleishman art. I don't know if he was underrated, it's just that pre-code comics had such incredible artists that just being good isn't good enough to get to the top of the pack.

One fun thing about the art -- Hy was obviously trying to make the landlady an old bitty, but the minute she gets pushed down the stairs she's got a rocking body and a tight shirt. He just couldn't help himself!

I like how the ending plays out, the minute our "hero" uses the 4th bottle, suddenly you know what's up, but it saves the second twist -- that he's now going to be another bottle occupant -- for the end. Which, in fact, isn't so bad now, is it? He was destined for hell, but instead of burning he's stuck in a bottle, getting out to perform evil acts. That has to be a slight improvement!

glowworm2 said...

I know this one through reading some pre-code/public domain horror comics on Now here's a man who definitely deserves what's coming to him at the end. He has absolutely no remorse once his revenge is fulfilled. He's a bad man from the start, stealing from his company--and again, no guilt, only blaming everyone else for what he did. The fourth bottle wish is a whammy of a twist--and a clever way to get him to open the forbidden bottle and lose himself to the Devil in the process.

Mr. Cavin said...

Neat to see those linear screen tints (what, half tint instead of quarter?) in a fifties story. I'm more used to seeing them in stuff from the forties. Wolverton used them a lot, lines and dots in conjunction just like here. It's pretty neat to get so much tonal control over each color; but the effect is sometimes zany and busy, just like golf clothes.

It's a good candidate for your upcoming "Dumb Criminal Masterminds" book. Can't wait!

Karswell said...

Har! I'd love to compile a Dumb Criminals collection... there's certainly enough stories to fill quite a few volumes! :) Thanks for the comments! More deviltry coming up!