Sunday, May 27, 2018

Death Came Calling / A Web for Her Wedding Dress

Double Feature Day at THOIA with a couple of spooky kooky back-up quickies from the original supernatural 50's Ghost Rider comic series-- our first atmospheric entry comes from the August '52 issue of The Ghost Rider #8, followed by a hairy scary creeper from the May - June '53 issue of The Ghost Rider #12. All awesome artwork by Dick Ayers of course!



michael john said...
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glowworm2 said...

"but that first one was pretty good -- however, isn't its ending based on some kind of folktale or story from somewhere? I can't put my finger on where."
I know the one you are talking about, Morbid. It's an old Mesopotamian tale that basically goes like this: A merchant in Baghdad sends his servant to the marketplace for provisions. Soon afterwards, the servant comes home white and trembling and tells him that in the marketplace, he was jostled by a woman, whom he recognized as Death, and she made a threatening gesture. Borrowing the merchant's horse, he flees at great speed to Samarra, a distance of about 75 miles (125 km), where he believes Death will not find him. The merchant then goes to the marketplace and finds Death, and asks why she made the threatening gesture to his servant. She replies, "That was not a threatening gesture, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."

There are other variations such as King Solomon knowing that two of his servants are marked for Death, and attempts to get them somewhere else for safety--except that Death meets them there as that was to be their actual appointment to begin with.

glowworm2 said...

The first one reminds me of the aforementioned Mesopotamian folktale "An Appointment in Samarra." The most well known version is by William Somerset Maugham.

I like how friendly Death is in this one. Although I wonder if the phony scare attempt was just a friendly prank or something more sinister.

The second tale kind of unravels a bit much like Jeanie's hopeful material for her dress. However, if an old woman ever asked me to "step into her parlor." I'd run for my life.

Guy Callaway said...

@ Morbid: "The book 'Mail Order Mysteries' is very tempting to me."
I have it, and it's awesome!

glowworm2 said...

"However, isn't its ending based on some kind of folktale or story from somewhere? I can't put my finger on where."
The folktale in question is a Mesopotamian called "The Appointment in Samarra." The most well-known version is told by W. Somerset Maugham. It goes like this:
There was a merchant in Bagdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating getsture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Bagdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.

There are other variations such as one in which King Solomon discovers through his magic powers that two of his servants are marked by Death and tries to get them to escape to a place where Death won't be able to reach them. However, they find Death at the place before they can reach it because this is where Death was to meet them.

glowworm2 said...

The first tale is fun with a rather friendly Death. However, I do wonder if the two men who were attempting to pull the scare's intentions were simply a harmless prank or something more sinister.

The second tale becomes a bit unraveled much like the sought after wedding dress material once Jeanie is rescued and the store has been abandoned for 10 years without an actual story or explanation.
I will say however, if an old woman asked me to come into her parlor, I'd get the heck out of there!

Mr. Cavin said...

I love anything with a skeleton costume, so the first story is the clear winner with me--and such a cool take on a classic, although every time I read it I want Death to say something more like "Yeah, I only scared Mark because it was Dave's last wish. You should have seen his face!" instead of the time-honored Samarra surprise line.

I get so used to thinking of Original Ghost Rider as a hoary ol' cowboy times title that I quite forget that it was full of cool stuff like this, too. The first two pages of the Spider story were great, and I kind of wish they'd left it there. The last page has an oddness to the dialog--like it's not in the right order or something? Like they aren't listening to each other?--that at least makes the tiresome gaslighting denouement a little more surreal than usual.

Mestiere said...

Something happened, right? A lot of comments disappeared.

Mr. Karswell said...

I'm not sure whats happened but unfortunately this is true, many of the comments on the past half dozen or so posts are gone :( --and not just here either, but also at my other blog... I was in Japan for the last two weeks and trying to moderate things from there as well as the scheduled posts which I prepared before I even left. Something seems to have seriously glitched along the way, but if everyone feels like going back and re adding their comments it's much appreciated. I've tried digging around in the comments sector of blogger to see what could've happened but not finding anything unfortunately. Apologies to everyone :(

Grant said...

I've only seen it once or twice, but Boris Karloff also tells the "Samarra" in the movie TARGETS. Of course, he tells it in an unforgettable way.

JMR777 said...

That's all right Karswell, not your fault.

Modern technology- its great -if- it works.