Sunday, April 21, 2019

The Forbidden Tomb

On this day of things returning from tombs, let's add another horrifically hopeless tale to the mix about just that, scraping it's weird way up from the bottom of the May 1954 bargain barrel that is Startling Terror Tales #9. Artist unknown (and they probably choose to remain that way), though we have a superbly sinister L. B. Cole cover that thankfully most of these silly Star Publications comic monstrosities seem unnaturally graced with. Happy horror-day, fiends...













10 comments:

Glowworm said...

One thing that stands out to me is that the innkeeper mentions that Johan the old servant at the castle never speaks. Yet Johan clearly talks when the gangsters come up to the castle.
The entire story is a muddled mess if you ask me.

JMR777 said...

The story itself isn't bad, a greedy man finding riches but becoming the guardian to said riches by an evil curse.
With a skilled artist at the helm and a rewrite here and there this wouldn't have been a bad tale at all.

Mestiere said...

There is some kind of a story here. Criminals from the big city go to a remote rural area to rob a castle with a treasure from the Crusades, confident that the superstitious locals won't stop them. Bringing grenades to rob a place with valuable relics might seem reckless but, if you read real crime, real criminals can be really, really dumb. The art is what ruins everything. It's just so goddamn ugly. Look at the last panel on page five. If they didn't tell you that "Stanis... slipped over the edge and became entangled in a draw chain...", would you know that's what happened there? They even tried to draw a skull for effect on that panel and botched it completely.

Glowworm said...

Mestiere, oh, that's what that word was!Draw chain. I thought it was "draw cham" thanks to the scrawled writing which is about as bad as the art itself.

BTX said...

This is the worst drawn story I've seen here so far... but he got published didn't he?

Guy Callaway said...

Damn, that green critter (and it's pose) on the cover is a swipe..but I can't place it.

Brian Barnes said...

The two captions on the first page are very hard to read! You sometimes see that with the Poe-like adjective writing in these tales, but these are particularly difficult to parse.

I'm going to give the artist some credit. The person never skimped on backgrounds, and had a couple decently lit panels. I would have cut some of the butler panels so we could have some extra panels wit the deaths (the chain/hanging panel needed at least another panel.) I like some of the crazy monsters in the background.

Mr. Cavin said...

You know, I can totally get into some weird and chunky (and, in this case, also scratchy) outsider art. I sometimes think we, the comics reading public, overvalue the role polished draftsmanship must play in comics; and I occasionally prefer that rawer, uglier, and more emotional output of some demon-driven nutter with more drive than refinement. But alas, even a demon-driven nutter must have some idea how to tell a story with a sequence of pictures. This guy can ruthlessly gouge his art into these pages all he wants, but I still can't hardly tell what's going on. I do think he rallied a bit for the last page, though. Especially the top two rows are funky and pretty neat.

Mr. Karswell said...

I like to mix it up around here with both the good and bad, as some of you know, and what technically qualifies as the the definition of either is always subjective. Sure it's mostly a disaster, but I actually really like the last panel of page two, the gnarly trees and weird roofs, the shadows and color, it feels like a stage play for one quick instance, the carved wooden bat on the door is neat, etc... enough little details that proves even the goofiest doofiest story can still produce something of interest around here.

JBM said...

En joyed it. Thank you Mr. K.