Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Wax Man! / Ordeal by Wax!

I took my son to our local wax museum here in STL last month, and we had so much fun I thought that I'd take you all on a terrifying trip to one as well! Our first tale in today's doomed double feature via THE HORRORS OF IT ALL WEIRD WAXWORKS COLLECTION is from the March 1953 issue of Chamber of Chills #16, followed by a steamy little number from the December 1952 issue of Weird Mysteries #2  --some of you might remember this one from Haunted Horror #15.


Brian Barnes said...

I never suspected where that first one was going. The minute I heard "wax man" I thought for sure it was going to be some kind of vengeful guy that got covered in wax, but it was refreshingly different -- a guy who wanted to be covered in wax! There was a lot of mashed up horror stories in this one -- a melting man, the "careful what you wish for" story, a wax story, and it was well paced.

The ending was ... well ... not really believable but a fun story. The top of page 3 was a nice sequence.

Ordeal in Wax was a more standard wax tale, but I loved the first two pages. Very little dialog! Next to no captions! Yet it perfectly told it's story, something that a lot of writers of the day seemed afraid to do. Yes, the art was amateurish but workable.

Even near the end, the dialog was kept to a minimum and only 6 captions! Very cool!

Mestiere said...

The Wax Man!

One of the advantages of not dying is that your investments continue to grow exponentially. If Caleb Wainwright had invested, let's say, ten dollars or its equivalent at just 5 percent annual return, in 300 years he would have had over 22,000,000 dollars and he would have been able to hire a wax guy to hide his real looks. Unfortunately all those extra years he lived did not give him any extra smarts.

Ordeal by Wax!

The reveal at the end has to be that the owner of the wax museum had at least two traps, one for the people he used as statues and another one for the murderer. The trap on page three panel three opens upward while the one on the last page opens downward. Also, one has to assume that the murderer would not have stood knowingly on a trap door, so there must be a second trapdoor he didn't know about.

Mr. Cavin said...

I find it funny that I shouldn't want to be hundreds of years old because it will make me ugly! What an excellent condemnation of our social ageism. I always thought it might be nice to live to five hundred, but only if I got to be in my twenties through forties for all the extra time. The more likely scenario is that all the excess age adds to the end: I'd get to stay in my hundreds for hundreds of years. Just like in the story, but bedridden. Ugh. The Wax Man takes the usual wax museum horror somewhere new, at least to me. I spent the story thinking that it would work better, maybe, as a superhero origin story than a horror story. And then I realized that it would have basically been a precode version of Darkman. That I'd like to see.

I thought the second story was weirdly paced, and somewhat slight for the page count. Like a modern comic, I guess. But I really love the progressive panels at the top of the second page. Even the color evolves from left to right! That is pretty slick.

Happy November!

Grant said...

Since The Wax Man" starts 300 years earlier, and he expects to make it to 500, I expected the second half to be futuristic.

"Who cares what I look like - as long as I FEEL young!" almost sounds like a line from some current story about "shallowness" (especially one of those that are well-meaning but a little heavy-handed), not some pre-Code horror comic.

JBM said...

A wonderful pair of left-fielders. Well chosen sir.

Mr. Karswell said...

Anyone out there ever been to our wax museum here in STL? It's not too shabby... well, some of it is, but that's also the charm of the place too!

Mr. Cavin said...

Now that you mention it, I don't think I've even set foot in an honest-to-god wax museum since Castle Dracula at Myrtle Beach, and that would have been before high school. It was the kind of place that spotlighted the torture chamber, where wax unfortunates were racked, grilled, and hung by hooks. One dude was buried in ants. The stodgy old celebrities at Madame Tussaud's in DC (all forty-five US Presidents!) just doesn't tempt me after so traumatic a childhood experience as that.