That "radiant with love" panel initially had me thinking that the girl was going to be the villain of the piece...
I've been wondering if you'd ever cover this one.This charming little story would have been the usual run of the mill terror tale about the literal lady killer and one of his victims coming back from the dead for revenge if it weren't for the novelty of the narration.This is the only horror tale I know of where the story is being told by the wedding dress itself! It's fantastic! The best part is that what keeps it from getting too silly is that the wedding dress isn't possessed or able to fight back despite being able to tell its tale to the readers.
Ditko was such a master. I'm really in love with the way he centers the dress in many of these frames, cutting off the heads of the characters to concentrate on the clothes. The next-to-last panel of page two is super (and a process color geek like me loves to see them showing off with that bouquet), as are all the panels of the corpse bride riding patiently in the car.And also: Whoever was responsible for coloring Steve's covers on these post-code Charlton mags was totally amazing. It seems very likely it was Ditko himself, but there are so few instances of color in the man's nearly hundred-year career that it's hard to convince myself he cared enough about the process to have gotten so great at producing it. Anybody know?
Narration from an inanimate object been done a couple times but it's really well paced here. The story beats are obvious which in this case heighten the story because it's more about the reaction of the dress that the story beats.And Ditko maintains his mastery of the art. The 3 panel push-in on page 1, all of page 3 and the framing of the dress, and most interesting, page 5 and 6 both have parallel panels. Left of 2nd row, and the center of the 3rd row are directly relational to each other. Did Ditko mean this or was it a lucky break? I suspect Ditko knew what he was doing, but it's really awesome.
Animism is true, at least in this story. Before organized religion indigenous people all over the world just assumed that there is no clear distinction between the spiritual and material worlds, no Cartesian dualism. That spirit, soul, consciousness exists in humans, animals, plants, rocks, rivers, the wind, thunder, the moon, the stars and even shadows and words. It was taken for granted to the point of not even having a name for it, or for religion. The word animism was invented by anthropologist Sir Edward Taylor in 1871, it didn't have a name before. The idea of objects of power like the Ark of the Covenant, the Sankara Stones and the Holy Grail from the Indiana Jones movies have an animistic component. Notice that in the story the bride's spirit only gets the ability to obtain her revenge after she is wearing the gown, implying that the gown has power.
Ditko is always a joy. His art is singular to me. It is usually easily recognizable. The stained glass window and the lampshade being examples. Where did the Pan-African face/flag come from? Yes, physical therapy sucks but the more effort now, the greater your recovery will be. Thank you Mr. K., visiting your sites is always a joy too.
The owner of the dress shop looks almost (but not quite) like a parody of the famous costume designer Edith Head (who must be about the only one whose appearance I actually know, from her TV appearances as herself). Oddly enough, she also has sort of a New Wave look to her!Whatever you call the look of her face, Ditko makes a point of having her BUILT the same way as the bride.
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