Sunday, January 5, 2020

Love from a Plant

THOIA follower, Otto, emailed me looking for some answers to a comic cover he remembered seeing at a grocery store over half a century ago, and I believe this Ross Andru / Mike Esposito pair-up from Mystery Tales #16 (1964) fits the bill. Now if you clicked the GCD link in the previous sentence, you undoubtably noticed that the story itself actually originated in the Sept '52 issue of Tales of Horror #2, that's because Mystery Tales #16 is simply a complete reprint of that entire issue, just with brand spankin' new cover art. This story also found its way into Haunted Horror #4 in 2013.


Brian Barnes said...

I love how completely misleading that cover is, and it continues on to the splash, of which absolutely nothing remotely like it happens!

This is a fun one, and I've learned to accept the nagging large wife/skinny nagged husband trope -- as kind of awful as it is -- just to be the macguffin that kicks off the story. That said, why does Ross make Nathan so ... childlike? The head too big for the body, etc. It's weird! I guess it sets him off better from the wife.

Page 6, panel 1 has such odd colorings it looks like a man with a nuclear explosion hair-do and wires connecting it all together!

Gary said...

Last time I talk to my plants !!! Great story

Glowworm said...

Anyone notice that in the last panel of the story the narrator calls the protagonist Arnold instead of Nathan?
Also, I always was rather disappointed that both the cover and the splash page are so misleading. There's no gorgeous flower nymph in sight here--just a horny plant who can't keep its vines to itself.

JBM said...

Thank you Mr.K. for this tight offering. No Glowworm, I breezed right past that goof, and as everybody seems to be saying/writing "where the hell is the plant/lady?" I expected that axe to be more than a red herring. The corpulent nag was depicted well with a capital B. I liked the coloring. The ending for me was unexpected. Thanks again. PS on reflection Mr.B. maybe he chose to make him a freak to show he couldn't find a better mate than large wife?

Mr. Cavin said...

I read this with considerable sympathy for the wife, frankly. Even over the course of the story he never listens to her or takes her feelings into consideration. Sure, she gets frustrated and angrily tosses some furniture around. And, okay, that's kind of bullying; but heck, I've done that myself. Anger is an honest human reaction to loss. And it isn't as if she's wrong about the guy. But she never threatens him with violence or even divorce, just fights back against the mechanism by which she's been abandoned. Fights for the lifestyle she was likely promised at the altar. So I'm glad he got boinked to death by a weed.

Bill the Butcher said...

What's potassium carbonite and how the hell does one get the exact or even approximate opposite of a chemical compound?

Grant said...

I had the same reaction as Brian Barnes to Nathan / Arnold's appearance. It's funny that Martha the "harridan" wife isn't drawn as much of a CARTOONISH harridan wife, but he's drawn as a very cartoonish scientist / henpecked husband.

The ending definitely reminds me of one of the most entertaining MOVIES about this subject - at least to me - MANEATER OF HYDRA.
And even though it isn't even a killer plant movie, it's also a little like the ending of LADY FRANKENSTEIN.

Even though I've only read it once, that misleading cover reminds me of a short story by Edmond Hamilton called, I think, "The Seeds From Beyond."
It has a very sad ending, but a very different kind from this story.