Monday, March 4, 2019

The Devil Seeds / Monster Fang!

We'll stick with Fiction House's freaky Ghost Comics series for a few more rounds, and like our last post, we have another superbly illustrated story (aka The Little Farm of Horrors) from Johnny Bell (aka John Belcastro), highlighted by his beautifully bold line work which, at times, seriously rivals the likes of Nostrand or Davis. Plus, an eerie bonus quickie with art by Jack Abel, both from the Winter 1953 issue of Ghost Comics #9. The incredible cover art is by Maurice Whitman.

























8 comments:

Mestiere said...

The Devil Seeds

"Feed me! Feed me!" Carnivorous plants are creepy enough, but it was that plant versus cow panel that sold the story to me. I believe that when rural horror reaches a certain scale a cow should be involved. Whether it's a twister carrying a cow or a dinosaur eating a cow if a cow is involved you know it's serious.

Monster Fang!

I was wondering how the guide would explain the death of all the people he was guiding but the last panel took care of that.

Brian Barnes said...

In the Devil Seeds, I can't feel sorry for nearly anybody in that story. Laura is nearly an imbecile -- how can see not see those plants are dangerous? She just plays off it eating a bird! Sure, it's small, but the one further out is human sized! Same with the scientist. It's as if this story was written by a farmer who didn't trust anybody but other farmers!

I like the art, it's quick and scratchy and the inking can be bad in places, but the coloring is good and it fits the story.

Monster Fang would have been the best story ever if death would have pulled off the mask but still had the same bushy mustache!

JBM said...

A nice double post. Thank you Mr. K. The first splash had a Frank Robbins look to me. Hang in there with your exercises.

JMR777 said...

"...if death would have pulled off the mask but still had the same bushy mustache!"

You mean Death is really Tombstone from Svengoolie's TV show? Now that would be something!

I liked Monster Fang art and story wise. The art looks more like 70's art than 50's art. I can't put my finger on it, but Monster Fang has that extra something that elevates it from other horror comic tales.

I agree with Brian Barnes as far as 'The Devil Seeds' goes. Its as if the plant emitted a fragrance that turned off everyone's brain cells. When a plant looks like a Venus Fly Trap but is the size of a sedan it might be a good time to break out the Roundup and/or napalm and send Frankenshrub to its maker.

Great post as always Karswell, Thanks.

glowworm2 said...

I gotta admit, I love the panel of the cow getting eaten by the plant.

Also, I kind of love how Death in the second story actually goes by a normal sounding alias, nothing to hint to us of his true identity. No Monsieur Morts or D. Eaths here.

Mr. Cavin said...

I really like the plant design in Devil Seeds. It's got a real botanical asymmetry that most killer plant artists miss. I'd love to see Belcastro do jungle comics. That splash is kind of a curiosity, too. It looks for all the word like Johnny used three different kinds of tone screens to make the image. None of that really looks like CrafTint paper (because the edges of the shade areas don't look brushy, but it could have been pasted in), but I see 35% dot tone, 50% line crosshatch, and some kind of weird dot fade, in white of all things. All of these are certainly mechanical tones, but must have been combined from separate elements. Usually you don't find fussy process experimentation going on in the inking like that. Well, not from anyone but Wally Wood.

I loved the second story. It was like the framing segment of an anthology horror movie left to fend for itself. And the art was gorgeous. All that white-out dry-brushed into those heavy blacks to make snow!

Grant said...

"The art was gorgeous."

Especially the Miss Gregory character. Though I'd rather see her as a horror story HEROINE, who survives at the end.

Martin Johnson said...

It would have been quite a twist if the dead man Jim had grabbed Julia before she fell and said, "Watch your step Julia. I've waited a long time to tell you I know you're genuinely remorseful, and I forgive you."

What would death have said about that, I wonder?"