Friday, December 7, 2018

Vampires! Voodoo! Vengeance!

I saved these last two tales from the August 1952 issue of Mysterious Adventures #9 so we could put them together in a doomed Double Feature and compare to see which one is more hilariously inept in the storytelling. One is clearly miles better than the other (in the art department too), and seriously, OMG WTF is going on with putting narrative blocks at the bottom of a panel?!! Also-- put skulls EVERYWHERE! It doesn't get much worse, or better (depending on your POV) than these two creepy clunkers-- and that, my friends, is why I love precode horror so stupid stinkin' much! Fun fun fun, and a perfectly putrid wrap-up to this FULL ISSUE presentation. Oh, and since it is December, I thought I'd throw in a xmas ghost just for some additional spooky spice! A big thanks again to Danger Diablo for the super scans to this insane issue!



Brian Barnes said...


What a colossal mess of crazy inept scripting and drawing! This is really too much to process at once!

Notice one interesting thing with how far these scripts sometimes got carried away with the format -- both of these stories have very hard to read opening narrations. They run on, they just explain the story we are about to read, and can be hard to parse. Voo-Doo (or voodoo, the story wants it both ways) is the grand winner in ludicrously overwrought dialog.

And I love it. Every word.

Note that both these tales, especially VooWhatever, are focused on people that absolutely deserved it, 100%. Absolutely deserved random "That night, there was a train wreck!"

Two favorite panels: Vampire, Page 3, Panel 6. No further words are needed!
VooComeOnPickOne, Page 6, Panel 5. Where did the village get the giant novelty skulls?

It's fun to be snarky, but truly, I love these, so never feel you need to skip the screwball ones to get to better ones!

JBM said...

If we are to compare the two, I have to say that the second story seemed superior to me. I did not see the ending coming which to me is the point of most of these stories. I thought the background of the voodoo story panels offered more for the eye. Especially the detail on the curio shop exterior. Thank you Mr. K. for the fun as always.

BTX said...

These stories and art make appreciate Stan Lee's Atlas years....

JMR777 said...

The real author of these horror comic train wrecks- Ed Wood when he wasn't making films?

Grant said...

With oil men as the original villains, doing whatever they want in someone else's country (Persia or Iran), it sounds like some social comment is slipped in at the last minute. If so, the writer was really in the minority about that subject.

Todd said...

I'm shocked these aren't from Ace Comics.

I thought the first one was corny but somewhat competent. The second is like a bad translation from some other language.

Mr. Cavin said...

Hoo boy. My very favorite thing about Vengeance of the Vampire is that it comes full circle. Like a haunted hitchhiker legend where the same dead girl flags some hapless motorist down every time it rains. This story starts with its characters having to abandon their play because the lead actor has died. Then that happens four more times in a row. It's like watching a .gif on repeat. Other favorite things include dialog that I had to read in the robotic voices of modern virtual assistants, and that framed picture on the wall in panel two page two. Rest in peace Mr. Peanut.

The second story was interesting because just about every scene happened at the cemetery. At first I thought it was just a first-page mistake when the splash and story panels both happened at the bone yard. But nope. And then there it is again in the flashback! I also like how this guy moves on the chick at the scene of a horrible accident. That's classy! Start her down the tawdry path of pewter mug collecting and she'll be yours for the taking, buddy.

Both of these were super!

Grant said...

"Voo-Doo Dolls" reminds me of the movie CULT OF THE COBRA, because the female character who's such a big part of the revenge plot compromises herself by falling for one of the victims. Except that in CULT OF THE COBRA, that saves the life of the final victim, and in this story it doesn't.

anthrax2525 said...

Brought to you by rotgut and cartoonish deadlines! said...

The second story is drawn by this guy named Stan Asch. I really like his art. Everything he did in horror was a crazy fever dream.
His ineptness had kind of an outsider art feel that made it charming instead. He used to ghost the sunday Katzenjammer Kids in the 1940s. It was a strip where these two brothers would play cruel pranks on mostly their father. Usually the strips ended up with him beating them while they cry.
Anyway the strip had a distinctive and attractive art style. It was 'the' prank strip.
He did all sorts of strips. He was working in the beginning of the comic strip. He did super-heroes and humour strips for years.
when I look at Stan Asch's art it seems like he's having a laugh. This one it isn't as obvious but you can definitely see it in the splash panel and the last page.
His art was getting better and better until Wertham shut the whole thing down.
On The top right we can see this Bill Elder-like zany faced voodoo practitioner poking at t he skull. The guy with the doctor's bag wants to amputate the guy's leg. I think he just wants to cut someone's leg off.
The woman has a big smile when she says, "I feel faint."
For a better example of his goofiness read the story, 'Grounds For Murder.'
You will see the same expression on the girl and the story is much better.
Here's grounds for murder: