Tuesday, August 6, 2019

The Graveyard Ghoul! / Up from the Grave!

I think we're gonna stick with the August 1952 issue of Suspense #21 for a little while longer, it seriously contains some real gems, like today's gravely insane double feature of cemetery scares 'n silly / spooky shenanigans!


Mestiere said...
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Mr. Cavin said...

This first story does an excellent job of illustrating how authority often demonizes those who commit petty crimes against propriety out of need. Simple grave robbing, compared with the monomania of the policeman's homicidal overreach, seems pretty quaint. I like how it was dressed up as a procedural. Quite chilling horror, that.

Brian Barnes said...

Two very different tales, both entertaining.

The Graveyard Ghoul was a punch ending story, which I didn't see coming! I suspect the vast majority did, but it conned me, for sure. I had a lot of interesting alternate endings in my head. The art is fun, many of your standard Atlas 4 panel "transformation" sequences and some real grotesque faces (our hero in anger and his ghoulish dad.). Good coloring throughout and good use of solids to accent. Just a solid punch ending horror story.

Up from the Grave kept me guessing, and that's a much more interesting story. The horror elements are just a mcguffin ... it could have been anything that gave him the power and the story would have remained the same. It's a very dark, twilight zone-ish story, and one of the more nihilistic ones. I can't help but wonder if the general plot was lifted from something.

The art works well for a story that is very static (our protagonist is bedridden.). It develops slowly and by the last page it's obvious where it's going but it still has a great sense of dread ... not that it matters, whether it's his magic or not, everything is over.

That one is truly a gem.

TAG Comics said...

Very nice graphics & great horror story!! Love to read this one.

Darci said...

Mr. Cavin described one of the interpretations of Graveyard Ghoul. The other was that Detective Corby learned he was doomed to follow his father into ghoulishness.

JBM said...

I hadn't thought about Darci's take on the ending of the first tale. I was just thinking about the horror of his killing his Dad the ghoul. Interesting, will Corby become a ghoul? He seemed pretty insistent about the matter throughout. Thanks for the alternate ending. I enjoyed these stories and thank you Mr.K.

Mr. Cavin said...

Darci: I don't think of those as two separate interpretations of the story so much as the difference between its text and its subtext. Or I should say, one possible subtext--since I must endue my reading with a modern cultural eye that was not necessarily predictable in the fifties. That said, I feel comfortable assuming that mid-century New York City was not entirely innocent of violent, bullying police who played fast and loose with regulations.

But, yeah, the story is pretty neat in that it either, a) is intended to ironically cast aspersions on the method of a cop who assumes there are genetic traits associated with the villains he ruthlessly hunts; or b) illustrates that his often repeated pseudo-scientific hunch is bogus hokum. But either way, it's still a story about a monstrous cop killing petty criminals.

Grant said...

It seems like stories about grave robbers are almost divided evenly between trigger-happy grave robbers and trigger-happy caretakers or police. It's interesting that The Graveyard Ghoul actually gives you a reason for the second thing, even if it's a fanatical one.

The Up From The Grave / Medusa Touch comparison is a good one.
One part of the story would be only too popular right now - it was the Russians!