Friday, June 14, 2019

Night Owl

Is there a genre for gory bowling themed horror? Well, there is now! Originally presented in the July 1954 issue of Horrific #6, (art by Marty Elkin), we actually reprinted this one in the June 2013 issue of Haunted Horror #5 and it's seriously one of the most insanely entertaining tales you've ever seen coming from a mile away-- twist ending wise, that is!


Mestiere said...

"It's disgusting!... But her husband is equally to blame... I pity those two sweet little children of theirs!" Right. Killing the wife and leaving her headless body home with the children while the husband went bowling with her head was hardly a solution to the children's neglect, was it?

The median family income in 1954 was 4,200 dollars (about 40,000 in today's money). Spending nine to twelve dollars a week to pay babysitters would add up to 450 to 600 dollars a year, or 11 to 14 percent of Fred's estimated income (and since they could afford a maid Fred's salary might have been higher than average). Perhaps Marjorie could have gotten a part time job? But money clearly was not the real problem with this couple. Craziness was. From the beginning Marjorie's and Fred's pinprick eyes gave away that they were cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Something bad was going to happen sooner or later. At least they didn't kill their children, although they did scar them for life.

Disturbing story!

JMR777 said...

I could imagine this as Al Bundy's fantasy dream, finally freeing himself of Peg and bowling a perfect game with her head. A dark episode of Married With Children?

Brian Barnes said...

I'm going to get technical on this one, IMHO.

When the story arc is this predictable, it needs to speed up towards the end. This one actually does this (events start to move faster) but the walls of text never stops, which makes reading basically the same speed. Less and less text (again, IMHO) would help this plug along faster at the end.

As for the art, I thoroughly enjoyed how crazy everybody looked, from panel one to the head rolling down the lane!

Mr. Cavin said...


Shudder. It's quirky how this story sort of lays the blame at Marjorie's feet, even though this is obviously all Fred's fault. I mean, paste literally any other kind of addiction--heroin, gambling, porn, ugh, marathons--and it's totally clear that Fred is just another opportunistic street pusher looking to drag everybody else into his monomania. I'd like to believe this is a pointed dig at the sexual double-standard of the times. But without the expected comeuppance, it's hard to believe. Can satire that subtle be in a story this not?

I loved the crazy eyes throughout. I sort of wish this had just ended like any romance comic would have--"Oh Fred! I... I just thought maybe, if I enabled your addictive lifestyle, you'd love me more!" "Nonsense Marj, I love you best when you are at home where you belong!" (Fade to silhouettes in a heart-shaped panel)--but kept all the psycho facial expressions just as they are. It'd still be a pretty freaky story.

PS, Page two, panel seven. That's definitely my attitude about bowling. And marathons.

JBM said...

Starts off with a so near perfect splash. Bowling addiction, who knew? Incredible art and tension builder in this one. Duz detergent makes an appearance. Discontinued in 1980. "Duz does it all." What an insane ending. Did not see it coming 'til 3rd from last panel. Thank you Mr. K., lets go bowling, all the kids are doing it.