Friday, May 6, 2016

"Mirror, Mirror, On My Wall"

Finally getting things going here in May, and we're picking up where we left off last month with another tale from the June 1952 issue of Charlton's The Thing #3. This one just happens to be the kooky cover story too about a fluff ball cloud demon with a Gene Simmons tongue, and features art by Albert Tyler who not only worked on a lot of St. John's precode horror titles like Weird Horrors and Strange Terrors, but also many crime caper comics as well like Lawbreakers, Crime and Justice, Racket Squad, and Super Spy.


Brian Barnes said...

Your note about the crime comics makes a lot of sense here; it's your standard sending demons out to kill your enemies but this time the enemies are drug smugglers and the protagonist is ... a pusher! It's almost as if they tossed on one of their crime writers and he just couldn't break out of the mold.

I can't take a wizard seriously if he's wearing stars and moon pajamas. Heck, I love Dio and I still had a hard time with the Rainbow days and the stars and moons jeans!

Page 2 and 3 both have great, sunken eye, sulky faces for our poor little wizard. It's setup (spoilers!) for the ending, but I love it.

JMR777 said...

A great story, but once again the practitioner of black arts gets overconfident or leaves his source of magic unguarded.

Garth should have told his assistant it was a shopkeeper's good luck mirror, as long as the mirror stays in the shop, they would never be robbed, always be successful, etc. and drop the hint if anything happens to the mirror the assistant would be out of a job in a heartbeat.

Of course, locking up his private office to keep the mirror from being sold by mistake, as well as keep his magical paraphernalia away from prying eyes would have made sense, but also lead to a longer story and defy comic book logic, i.e. always do dumb things that lead to your downfall.

The demons looked more like evil genies than demons, though having never seen a demon myself I can't claim that the demons drawn in the story are inaccurate.

A fun tale, thanks Karswell.

Mestiere said...

Snail blood, one of the ingredients in the spell, is blue. It's not relevant to the story, I just thought you needed to know that. If you see a blue stain on the floor it could be... murder!

There is, in fact, a mythological figure that is a flying head with the tongue hanging out, but in Indonesian folklore, not Indian. It's called a Leyak (pronounced LEH-ak). It's supposed to be a human black magician and cannibal. Apart from hanging tongues they also have hanging entrails.

In the story The Hanging Balloons by legendary Japanese manga horror writer and artist Junji Ito millions of giant floating heads who look like specific people come flying down from the skies of Japan. They're alive and intelligent and instead of a hanging tongue they have a hanging noose and they're trying to hang the people who look like them, after which they just float around with the corpse. In a short time the sky itself smells like rotting flesh.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

And for some reason I've always seen the Indonesian/Balinese Leyak or Penanggalan described as a variety of the vampire, though I'm not sure if it actually is a bloodsucker.
I seem to recall we're talking about a beautiful woman who can actually detach her head and send it for children victims.

glowworm2 said...

Drugs and demons sound like a perfect fit for a horror story if you ask me. Almost as if the demons were a metaphor for all those drugs...

Like another poster mentioned--that wizard's robe is not threatening at all. Perhaps Garth should have gotten one in dark blue rather than one that looks like a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Mr. Karswell said...

thanks for the comments! There's more horror from THE THING series coming up all this month, but first I have another request on deck-- this time one from living legend JACK DAVIS! See ya soon!