Saturday, September 10, 2016

Ferry of the Dead / The Dead Demons

Doesn't seem right posting stories from an Eerie Pub issue without uploading at least one blood spurtin' Dick Ayers tale too! And like our last post, "The Dead Demons" is from the same Terrors of Dracula issue as our double vampire freak-out, though the story itself was originally a Harvey story as well, and titled "Ferry of the Dead" from the August 1951 issue of Chamber of Chills Magazine #22. And since I've apparently never posted that Golden Oldie here at THOIA, let's immediately correct that first, shall we? So read 'em and weep, fiends... which one is better?


brandiweed said...

The male pattern baldness on Dr. Karla in the first story is hilarious.

Mr. Cavin said...

Man, I love the dialog in the sequence where Doctor Karla stalks his henchman throughout the boat. I like the crazy brazen nerve of the doctor demanding his employee's bloody death--"Let me in there, Peters!"--and even Peters' half pitiful, half ominous groveling curse. I am a little surprised that a man who needs access to so many bodies would then toss his own victim overboard. Looked like it was in pretty good shape to me. Well, at least in the pre-code version it did.

This surprises me yet again, but I'm gonna have to go with the Ayers art here. I mean, I always like the man's stuff (and this doesn't even come across as hurried like a lot of his Eerie Pubs work seems to be), but the real magic here is in the pacing. I love the way he moves Peter's murder to after the page turn. I love the full-sheet splash. In the first story, taking three panels to toss someone off a cliff seems like an effort to bolster the page count. But in the Terrors of Dracula version it really adds to a building dread. Needs some great pre-code color work though. That's make it perfect!

Brian Barnes said...

IMHO, the layout in the Eerie pub version is vastly improved. Where things can be done in 4 panels, they are, instead of 6 panels in the original. Saving panels in a horror story is always a good idea (again, IMHO, others may disagree) as it keeps the pace up.

The camera is a lot better in the climax, also.

I like this story for the fact that it slams two elements together (and, again, mixes up ghosts and zombies) and then just stirs them up in a big, quickly moving pool of goofiness. And, I think I'd test my monster before killing the captain, just in case I have to start over!

The loving attention Ayers gives to all the corpses is really a joy!

Grant said...

The artist did his homework in one other small way. In the novel, Frankenstein's creature not only has black hair, but LONG black hair, something you hardly see in any version of the story, but this creature has it.

Jasper Bark said...

I generally prefer the Eerie Pubs version of this story, which has a better sense of story telling throughout.

However, the last panel of the Chamber of Chills story is infinitely superior to the last panel in the re-drawn version, as is the splash panel at the beginning. The tone struck by that last panel is like an ominous chord that hangs in the air long after it has been played and the redrawn version just doesn't match that final impact.

Guy Callaway said...

"Die, fool!" : Great stuff - 'Hey, come back here, I'm trying to kill you,jeez!'.