Monday, March 16, 2020

There's No Pleasin' Some Gals!

As many of you already know, a sense of hellacious humor was just as much a key at precode Atlas as their marvelous artistry and horror themes. And a tried and true approach to their mixture: characters that are so obnoxiously exaggerated, you can't help but applaud their inevitable rude awakening and / or end demise. A good example of this can be found in the October 1953 issue of Mystery Tales #16.



Mr. Karswell said...

Anybody else think that last panel on page 4 looks like Wrightson?

Bill the Butcher said...

As someone who had to handle and study skulls as part of his training, let me tell you, Karen old hen, if you're going to kiss a skull, you probably have problems not even a pithecanthropus can solve.

What's wrong with Roger anyway? Didn't he see Karen's face in the last panels of pages 3 and 4? Even a skull would look better than that as a romantic partner :-|

Brian Barnes said...

I'm with you on the Wrightson panel.

OK, I could go on about the splash for days. The sight line goes from the bottom right to the top left, and the panel is split between the woman and text, with the shadows and lighting coming from the same direction. The dark shadows really emphasis the fear -- it's a master class in a splash panel. Bravo.

In 2020 this reads a bit different -- Roger was not only a stalker but an insane stalker who Karen made quite clear she wanted absolutely nothing to do with it. So the ending is kind of strange removed from that time. Regardless, it's still a hoot. The setup is great -- Karen kissing the skull, hugging the cave man dummy, romancing the skull on the ship (valuable artifact, Karen!)

To add to the stalker stuff, Roger was suddenly wanted by pretty much all the other ladies but couldn't get Karen off his mind!

The "Wrightson" panel is also great -- clean line across the slap with the band extending through the panel. Honestly, there's so many panels in this thing that should just be taught in art classes.

Another great one.

Todd said...

This definitely made me laugh out loud. It almost belongs in the original incarnation of MAD Magazine.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people obsess after people who treat them like trash, but real life is bizarre like that.

I'd hate to think exercise can make you that much hairier.

Glowworm said...

The way Karen keeps kissing that skull, you'd think it was her husband. I love the panel of her kissing the skull in the 5th panel of the forth page. I also love Karen's angry faces, the last two panels of page 3 and the last panel on page 4 are my favorites.
I feel a bit mixed unlike Brian, while Roger is indeed a stalker. (and believe me, there are plenty of these guys in these Atlas comics continuously going after pretty women who spurn them as if they were dirt), Karen isn't really any better. She's hopelessly in love with a man who existed more than a million years ago. I love Karen's shocked reaction when Roger comes to see her with his new caveman body.
I'm surprised that despite his primeval body, he still rings the door bell and uses complete sentences. (Then again, Fred and Barney always spoke proper English.)

Grant said...

Of course, the only women you actually SEE getting worked up over Roger seem to be co-eds, so maybe he would've been a little nervous about mixing with them.
Instead of dated, that would make that part of the story pretty "current."

Mr. Cavin said...

That panel kind of reminds me of the Black Sunday poster.

I like that the traditional Atlas four-panel progression, often reserved for the paranormal atavism of a weremonster transformation, is retasked here to represent the seemingly more commonplace (but just as far-fetched) manly Charles Atlas makeover. Tres Tom of Finland. I kind of wish Roger had shown up wearing a tight leather road construction getup there at the end. said...

This is my favourite story from this issue, now that all the stories are up..
Both characters are pathological.
The ending is insane!