Thursday, March 12, 2020

He Went For A Train-Ride

A moody little yarn that looks a lot more scary than it actually is, courtesy of the oddly unique hand of Bernie Krigstein.

From the May 1952 issue of Mystery Tales #2.


Brian Barnes said...

I always liked Krigstein though I think it can be an acquired taste. I don't think horror was his forte but I love the scratchy nature of the art here. The human figures are good but the ghouls/skeletons/crumbling houses etc have this very scooby-doo-ish look to them. It's fun, and it makes our poor human feel even more out of place.

Page 3, panel 5 is a great over-exaggerated house!

The colorist used a lot of dark colors on this one. It's surprisingly not muddy, so good job!

I don't know about the twist being that your wife got old, though!

Bill the Butcher said...

The ending is pretty silly, turns the story into a joke. But otherwise our protagonist might ask himself exactly what happened to the he in 1951 who was apparently unknown to the office people in 1981, so he had to be rehired. If I were he I would probably want to stay in 1981. I certainly wouldn't reboard that train - it might take me to 2011 as easily as back to 1981, and then, in the midst of Excel spreadsheets, where would I be?

JBM said...

Thank you Mr.K. for this boldly stroked fun ride. Yes, that is a unique style on display here. I liked the faceless crowd scenes. The detailing of spiders rats and even bats. The key in the door lock is just perfect. I was sort of anticipating this plot to end as warning of some sort for our hero when he exited the train to empty buildings. For me though, it's a nice little shocker of an ending that doesn't require explanations just puzzlement at the absurdities of life. Stay healthy everybody! Thanks for brightening our days Steve!

Glowworm said...

I'll be honest, I actually misread the last panel when I peaked at the ending earlier this morning while taking a short break at work. I thought that Phil was relieved that everything had changed, but his wife had stayed the same. The funny part is, that that would have been a better ending in my opinion. It's funny though, everything looks ancient but Phil doesn't seem to have aged --even when he looks at himself in the reflection on the subway, his face remains the same although the reflection certainly looks like that of an old man. It's also funny how 65 and 60 is considered to be old back then.

Mr. Cavin said...

"...our protagonist might ask himself exactly what happened to the he in 1951..."

My suspicion is that he disappeared thirty years into the future one morning. Never to be seen again. At least not for thirty years. It is a little bizarre that the process has also aged him, though. Maybe the train ride took thirty years to make? I think I'd like to see an ending where everything, including Lorna, had returned to the its fifties look except Phil--who was now yet another thirty-year train ride older than that morning.

I really enjoyed the aggressively garage punk art on this. I often like Bernie Kriegstein, but usually he doesn't look so caffeinated. This stuff is edgy and brute, and looks kind of like the editor cobbled the story together out of sketchbook pages. I like the aggression and the devil-may-care vibe. And I agree with Brian about the coloring.

To me, the splash looks like an edit. Might have happened anywhere in the creative process--maybe it was even Bernie's initial strategy to make the picture pop. But I suspect Phil's image there has been enlarged 200% by photostat and then pasted into the frame. Then some smaller hatching has been added with the usual size brush to make it rhyme. Otherwise those super huge outline marks were done with something quite like a house painters' brush.

JBM said...

Oh yeah, forgot to say I liked the splash a lot and the roses? in the last panel look like they have teeth ready to bite his nose. And I should proof-read better. Thanks again!

Todd said...

I like stories with a dreamlike quality, and this reads like some crazy dream the writer just woke up from. Too bad about Lorna; they look unlikely to have a very happy anniversary!

JBM said...

This twilight zone like story cannot be made to make sense. It doesn't need to. He disappears at work but his wife is waiting for him to get home from work. Cue the dada dada. (Zone theme) said...

I just finished writing on another post that Daniel Clowes art doesn't look that much like Kreigstein's
but I guess this story looks more Dan Clowesy than others.
It seems like Kreigstein did this quickly.
He probably didn't think so much about it...
or maybe he was just in a hurry.
In any case I like his quick style.
The absurd punchline at the ending kind of seems a bit Dan Clowsey as well... actually.