Saturday, February 13, 2016

Friday the 13th Club

I've had this fun DC chiller saved for a while now, just waiting for a Friday the 13th to post it. Unfortunately, we don't have another F13 coming up until May-- arghhh!!-- so what the heck, Saturday the 13th is close enough. Featuring some slick pencil work from legendary artist Curt Swan, this tale originally appeared in the June - July '52 issue of House of Mystery #4. If you love old 1940's RKO murder mysteries as much as I do, then you'll surely enjoy this one. Plus, I'll have another eerie Curt Swan classic up next...









11 comments:

glowworm2 said...

Well there's a twist I didn't see coming at all--and a good one too.
There's definitely a typo on the fourth page though. Jim's wife says "Tim's right." Out of all the members, there isn't a single one named Tim...

Mr. Karswell said...

I dig the ending too, it's logical but still pretty satisfying compared to the usual supernatural / half-baked twist endings we're used to around here. Glad you liked it, GW2!

And FYI: I went ahead and posted the other Curt Swan story (mentioned in the intro) at AEET, --it fits into a Valentine theme and tomorrow being the big day I just couldn't resist. Head on over and get a second helping of Mr. Swan's lovely artistic talents by clicking here:

http://andeverythingelsetoo.blogspot.com/2016/02/i-fell-in-love-with-witch.html

ENJOY!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

This is to demonstrate that a preposterous premise can give birth to an entertaining story. And educational, too. I didn't know about that "three on a match" thing.

I've never seen anyone more concerned about superstitions than this group of non-believers (et pour cause).

"Logical" ending, yes... Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure no italian magistrate (no matter the period in history) ever used a Gavel, but O.K., there's power in a name and the word "Borgia" has it.

What I find funny, is that after the death of all those who were "meant" to die, all those who pick up the darn thing wear gloves. Lucky guys!

I'd really like to see 13 comments on this post!

Mestiere said...

This was a good one. I thought one of them was eliminating the rest.

The chances of 6 or more people out of 13 dying separate unnatural deaths the same year are less than one in 2.3 billion. Thinking that it was all coincidence was actually the more irrational position.

Grant said...

"I've never seen anyone more concerned about superstitions than this group of non-believers."

That seems to be how it is with almost everything, like religion and paranormal subjects and so on. Often the DEBUNKERS get a lot more worked up about them than the BELIEVERS.

JMR777 said...



There really Was a Friday the Thirteenth Club, it lasted for over six decades without any mysterious or coincidental fatalities befalling its members.

http://articles.philly.com/2000-10-12/living/25588475_1_superstition-traditions-13th-club

It was based in Philadelphia PA, which was either lucky or unlucky depending on your point of view (and as a former resident of Philadelphia PA, it was the latter.)




Mr. Karswell said...

Cool comments, thanks fiends! Don't forget to check out the other Curt Swan posted over at AEET currently as well:

http://andeverythingelsetoo.blogspot.com/2016/02/i-fell-in-love-with-witch.html?m=0

Trying to get these blogs back on track now that we have a few projects put to rest, wish me luck!

Grant said...

It's interesting (in a good way, I think) that the veteran's condition is so "incidental" to the story. Even his BEING a veteran is incidental, except for one or two lines.

Brian Barnes said...

What's interesting about this story -- and I like the ending, too -- is that while it was the gavel that did them in, even without it, many of them probably would have died. Rushing towards a burning building to throw in a rabbits foot? Yes, he froze, but at the same time, the building could collapse and showered him with debris. Same thing with the ladder; going under a ladder is one thing, going under a ladder that's supporting bricks is another! Climbing on a roof? The list goes on!

It might be the Friday the 13th club, but it's also the fearless risk takers club!

Grant said...

Using a building on fire to demonstrate (or even show off) how un-superstitious you are seems a little callous (even more than rubbernecking in a way). Maybe THAT had something to do with his bad luck as well.

Mr. Cavin said...

Pretty neat story. Really dug the sly way the storytellers didn't belabor the vet's missing hand. I also liked the superstitious dismissal of his good luck as being related to the roll call. Very clever. But the seems a little extreme to me, taking for granted that the bad luck to befall each character must be horrible death,* not just, you know, normal bad luck. "The next day, Fred discovered he had a punctured tire and his dog had bitten the neighbor kid." Course, it's much, much harder to use the old "poisoned gavel" saw in a story where merely regular bad luck happens.

*as far as I know, of all the superstitions on display here (and they cheated a bit with Joe Varbelli's mysterious "old country" folklore), only "three on a match" is a superstition literally based on the fatal consequences of the action itself. Well, and maybe having an ace in your pocket.