Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Visiting Corpse

Seems like everyone enjoyed our last excursion into the world of supernatural romance, so let's try another, and this time we'll add a little twist of W. W. Jacobs to the mix! They don't get much more clear-cut and to the point as this one, folks! From the April 1953 issue of Strange Fantasy #5.

And a big happy birthday to one of the best horror anthology films ever made-- CREEPSHOW! Released to theaters on this date in 1982... it still tops my list of all-time faves! What'd everyone think  of the new Shudder series? I'm hoping for bigger and much better things with season two...


Mestiere said...

ᴡɪsʜ ᴏɴ ᴍᴇ ᴀɴᴅ ɪ sʜᴀʟʟ ᴀɴsᴡᴇʀ

The artist had a lot of confidence in the printing process if he expected people to read that on the ring.

So that's were the One Ring ended up after all the Sauron unpleasantness. It looks like prehistoric North America was the actual setting of Middle Earth.

"Oh — where — what happened? I fainted... and then... now I remember... I was in the arms of a young handsome cop. And next thing I know I'm in bed dressed in my negligee... and I'm not wearing any underwear!"

"𝕋𝕙𝕒𝕟𝕜𝕤 𝕗𝕠𝕣 𝕓𝕣𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕞𝕖 𝕓𝕒𝕔𝕜, 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕘𝕖! 𝕀'𝕝𝕝 𝕟𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕝𝕖𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕒𝕘𝕒𝕚𝕟!"

"Oh no, Ted is back, but pantless and with longer hair and fewer teeth than when he was alive! This would be the perfect moment for a handsome policeman to save me!"

Quick, Marge, wish him into the cornfield! Oops, wrong story! But the ring didn't have any wish limit, like in The Monkey's Paw. Just wish him away!

Brian Barnes said...

I'm going to say that Ted actually *did* play a joke on her and left the cursed ring in place of her jewelry to "torment" her. "Ha ha, what a great joke, can't wait to see what she wishes for, it'll be a gas!"

Come on, Ted, I don't hunt but it can't be more important than spending time with your pin-up wife!

The art is ... really bizarre in places. The perspective gets wacky, never more so than page 3, panel 1. The artist just didn't have the skill to do that angle right, she looks compressed, and the bed looks twice the size it should. On panel 4 she looks like a doll in a comically over-sized room.

This is a weird one in writing and art. I like how it gets to the point, you don't always need to explain everything but heck, they could have as easily said that Ted left some relic from some exotic hunting trip, so goes to smash it in anger and that's the cursed wish item. The ring ... just appears.

Hey, the artist got to do a lot of good girl art so there's that! Though s/he should have spent just a little more time on the corpse, as it's the impact of the whole story.

Wendy said...

I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed with the new Creepshow. It has such great potential and maybe my expectations were just too high, but... yeah, it fell pretty flat for me. The stories, the writing the acting, I really haven't enjoyed much of it. Though I still feel it has awesome potential to do better in the future!

Glowworm said...

This story was actually reprinted in Midnight #4 (also produced by the Farell company) in 1957 as "Who Knows?" However, the title wasn't the only change that was made to this story, as the entire thing was revamped in a rather confusing manner due to it having to be Code-approved during this time. So Marge doesn't wish Ted dead,(but he does end up lost in an unrelated hunting incident) but is able to wish him back to life--and not in an undead state either, yet also has to wish the rest of the hunting party back as well--so yeah, happy ending.

As for the real deal and original tale, Ted is rather careless.He should never leave his weird supernatural wishing jewelry in his wife's jewelry box--especially during a time when she could very easily be pissed off at him and make some careless wishes upon it.

Speaking of careless wishes, it seems that there are two you should never ever make when playing around with magical wishing items: don't wish people dead and don't wish them back to life.

The police officer looks an awful lot like Andy Griffith.
Also, I'm fairly amused that Ted's last name happens to be hunt--and he's out hunting!
One last thing though--Ted wasn't dead that long! Why does he look so decomposed? Guess the ring had a sick sense of humor.

Dreidel said...

Are you aware that the last page of this story (p.6) is missing? That's why there's no "The End" notice shown in the final panel.

You can view the censored (code-approved) final page in Farell's Midnight #4 (1957).

Mr. Karswell said...

Yes. But are you aware that there is no page 6 to the original precode version? That final page is tacked on for the lame post code remake... you can tell it's not even by the same artist.

Dreidel said...

> "[A]re you aware that there is no page 6 to the original precode version?"

I've never seen the original hard-copy paper version of the 1953 comic book -- just digital copies on various websites, and I know that digital copies sometimes are incomplete.

Do you know if the actual printed comic book went to press in 1953 with the final page missing? That would be a major faux pas, even for a minor publishing company like Ajax-Farell.

Mr. Karswell said...

The original precode story is five pages long. The Midnight remake / reprint added a 6th page of new art to include a typically post code, annoyingly contrived ending.

Mestiere said...

When Glowworm mentioned the reprinted version I looked for it and found it. It's hilarious to compare them:

• They darkened Marge's hair, shrunk her breasts on page four, panel three, put a shirt under her outer, low cut blouse and dressed her in more conservative bed wear including giving her sleeves and covering her entire back.

• Ted doesn't come back naked but covered in a monk robe.

• In the panel where she is storming upstairs to pack and go live with her mother she is now storming to do marketing!

• She never wishes Ted dead.

• She reads aloud what the ring says. It's Ted's class ring with an omega symbol and everything. This is the first time he takes it off.

• In the panel transition where she goes from being in "Andy Griffith's" arms to being in bed in a negligee they add a dialogue balloon to Andy, "I'd better get one of her women neighbors over here to take care of her!"

• The only wish Marge makes is for Ted and his whole hunting party—all but one of whom had drowned in quicksand chasing after a moose call they heard—to come back.

• When Ted comes back he has no memory of having appeared before his wife. Apparently the hunting accident simply "unhappened". And Marge hands him his ring back.

I have to admit I enjoyed the second version as much as the first version but only because I had already read the first one.

Grant said...

Since I agree with Brian Barnes, Marge should've wished Ted back the way he was THAT MORNING, but with the right attitude toward HER. (If the wish could include something halfway intangible like that.)

Dreidel said...

This is the ONLY story in any issue of "Strange Fantasy" that doesn't have "The End" displayed at the bottom of the final page, so I still suspect that either the digital copies of "Strange Fantasy" #5 are missing at least one page -- or that the original printed comic was somehow published with the last page of the "Visiting Corpse" story missing.

Apparently, Ajax-Farell couldn't find it when they reprinted the story in "Midnight" #4, since a totally new last page was drawn.

Glowworm said...

Mestiere--the weird part is that I think I somehow read the reprint first then the original. Marge actually makes two wishes with the ring as well, one to bring back Ted alive, and the second at Monk Ted's prompting to bring back the entire hunting party.
Also, Marge and Ted never have a fight either, Marge is just uneasy about being left home alone and Ted assures her that this will be the last time he ever goes hunting.

Mr. Karswell said...

Well, you might be right, (not sure how we'll ever know) but my copy does not have the 6th page, and all online sources like GCD, DCM etc all say 5 pages as well. Also, the story ends perfectly in line with how most of these monkey's paw tales end... I mean, if there actually was a 6th page in the original precode version, what would that final page offer to the story since the Midnight remake was so drastically re-written for that new ending specifically? Also, I've seen many precode tales conclude without a "THE END" in the last panel.

JMR777 said...

Why didn't Ted wish for a wife that wasn't a nagging shrew? Maybe the ring only works for women or wives.

Lots of debate over a comic tale from the fifties, but at least posters on THOIA act mature, unlike some online communities.

Thanks for the tale and the lively debate, Karswell.

Mr. Cavin said...

I'm really enjoying these haunted romance stories. My favorite panel is the last one on the first page. This is the first clue to the source material: Ted's own hand curling up as he wishes to never see his wife again. I like to think that, when he got outside, he wished on the second finger, "oh yeah! Make sure she thinks this was all her own fault, too!" And then, creek, yet another finger curls up as Marge finds the magic ring. Side note: I love it when magic rings are engraved on the outside. One sees that so rarely in other kinds of rings.

Mr. Karswell said...

>I have to admit, I was pretty disappointed with the new Creepshow.

Forgot to address this (sorry!), but I'm right there with ya... I stuck with it and watched them all, but my overall impression is that while I found it mildly entertaining enough, it felt about as well made and scary as "horror" shows made for kids, like Goosebumps. Certainly hoping they can amp up the quality in stories, acting, and FX in season two.