Friday, August 22, 2008

Gateway to Horror

This is it, the final day for the THOIA Lyric Challenge. And what better way to end it than with a bad ass Basil Wolverton sci-fi horror classic? You have until 6pm to get your submissions in before our judges disappear into their secret chambers to decide your fate. Winners will be announced tomorrow morning. Make it good. Make it count. Or just read a great pre-code story from a true legend.

From the December 1951 issue of Marvel Tales #104

"Beginning of the ending has just begun
You can't speak because you know we've won
On your knees now
The Year is One
Hell and Earth are One..."
Earth Dies Screaming - SOBM


Anonymous said...

Note to self:never trust a guy whose eyes are never visible till bad shit happens.Great story,with so many minor elements(gravity altering darts)that make it a masterpiece.too bad it wasn't a few pages longer.

silvano said...

I did read this great story in an Italian edition years ago ; as for any other Wolverton horror/sci-fi comic the only possible comment is : "Wolverton,nuff said" ...
The Monster hit-parade is a nice bonus
Thanks for sharing
PS - soundtrack courtesy of THE RAMONES ; "Somebody put something in my drink" from the Halfway to Sanity album

Mr. Cavin said...

I've been driving around town
With my head spinning around
Everywhere I look I see
Your '49 Jeeplane Cherokee

You're a bully and a clown
You made me cry and put me down
After all that I've been through
You'd think I'd hate the sight of you

But with every jeep I see
My broken heart still skips a beat
I guess its just my stupid luck
That all of Boston drives that same blue fucking truck

It could be him or am I tripping
And I'm crashing into everything
And thinking about skipping town a while
Until these cars go out of style...

The Dresden Dolls, The Jeep Song

Anonymous said...

Wow, that artwork in the story reminds me of about three other tales, but this one's knew to me.

Love this artist.

Unknown said...

Hmmm ... no lyrics to contribute.

But it's always a thrill to discover a new (to me at least) Wolverton story!!!


Chuck Wells said...

Lyrics from Gateway by Stabilo Boss:

I've wandered ten thousand years for you'
to see this coming true.
I've been to the outer edge of time,
to try to make you mine.
I've been so far gone,
that there's no need to try redeeming me.
I believe that I'm the greatest of mistakes,
that ever has been made.

Unknown said...

I like this one! I thought something horrible would have happened to Sam at the end, so the escape surprised me more than any other conceivable outcome.

"Wicked Gravity" by Jim Carroll Band:

The gravity here is just sick for revenge
It's like my lungs are filled with chains
The sky seems so low
It hasn't moved this slow
Since the virgins
Since the virgins went dancing for the rain

You know the stars in the night
They're like the holes in the cave
Like the ceiling of a bombed out church
But gravity blocks my screams
It's like an enemy's dreams
My guardians quit
They quit before they started their search

I want a world without gravity
It could be just what I need
I'd watch the stars move close
I'd watch the earth recede

I wanna drift above the borders against my will
I wanna sleep where the angels don't pass
But now my lips are blue
Gravity does it to you
It's like they're pressed against a mirrored glass

I want my will and capability to meet inside the region
Where this gravity don't mean a thing

Tim Tylor said...

Why must underground people always be so mean? (Take the Devil and the Marvel Mole Man for starters.) Maybe the high air-pressure gives them chronic headaches?

I'm not a bat or a rat or a cat,
I'm not a gnu or a kangaroo,
I'm not a goose or a moose on the loose,
I am a mole and I live in a hole.

I'm not a cow or a chow or a sow,
I'm not a snake or a hake or a drake,
I'm not a flea or a wee chimpanzee,
I am a mole and I live in a hole.

Yarg yarg, quarck quarck, fried boiled or roast,
You're the slick chick I dig the most ,
I'm not a ram or a clam or a lamb,
I'm not a hog or a frog or a dog,
I'm not a bus or a hip-potomus,
I am a mole and I live in a hole.

Yarg yarg, quarck quarck, fried boiled or roast,
You're the slick chick I dig the most,
I'm not a ram or a clam or a lamb,
I'm not a hog or a frog or a dog,
I'm not a bus or a hip-potomus,
I am a mole and I live in a hole.
I am a mole and I live in a hole.

The Southlanders The Mole In The Hole

The Vicar of VHS said...

Well, you learn something new every day. I had NO IDEA we had frikkin' JEEPLANE technology in 1949! And apparently commercially available to the private citizen! Who knew? And more importantly, where can I get one?

This is one of those stories where an early panel colored my experience of the rest of the story--to wit, in the bottom left panel of p. 1, Sam and Vic are obviously SUCH the happy couple! The way they smile comfortably and lovingly at each other, the way they never talk about dames...seriously, these guys have to be Life Partners.

Of course once I realized that, lines about the MOUTH OF THE SHAFT with a RICH VEIN underneath took on new significance. ("Oh, THAT'S THE SPOT, SAM!") Later the prospector admits to "POKING ROUND THESE PARTS" for years, raising the uncomfortable possibility of homosexual alien rape--made explicit when Vic tells Sam "We're going to be INVADED! They're DOWN THE SHAFT!"

Of course true love conquers all, as the supine Sam eggs Vic on--PLANT YOUR BLORITE IN THAT CRAG! DROP IT INTO THAT FISSURE! OH YEAH, BLOW IT UP!!!--and then that orgasmic explosion, after which Vic's greatest wish is "A cool shower!"--with Sam, obviously. I dunno about you, but I need a smoke!

The art here is great, of course, with the gravity gulch sequence being a real highlight. Also love the aliens' purple gym pants--some things, like ladder technology, are universal.

And for the last day of the lyrics challenge I have to go with one of the creepiest, craggiest, most brilliant lyricists still working, the great Tom Waits and his touching ballad from Swordfishtrombones, "Underground":

Rattle Big Black Bones
in the Danger zone
there's a rumblin' groan
down below
there's a big dark town
it's a place I've found
there's a world going on

They're alive, they're awake
while the rest of the world is asleep
below the mine shaft roads
it will all unfold
there's a world going on

All the roots hang down
swing from town to town
they are marching around
down under your boots
all the trucks unload
beyond the gopher holes
there's a world going on

Anonymous said...

Oh Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down

Oh twice as much ain't twice as good
And can't sustain like a one half could
It's wanting more
That's gonna send me to my knees

Oh twice as much ain't twice as good
And can't sustain like a one half could
It's wanting more
That's gonna send me to my knees

Oh gravity, stay the hell away from me
Oh gravity has taken better men than me
How can that be?

Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is
Come on keep me where the light is
Come on keep me where the light is
Come on keep me where, keep me where the light is

John Mayer "Gravity"

Dane said...

Vicar, your post was hysterical stuff. Bravo!

Until this blog came along, I never gave a thought to individual comic artists of the past; now my education is such that I get all happy and excited when I see the name Basil Wolverton.

Anonymous said...

And more importantly, where can I get one?

My thoughts exactly. Did you notice there was no propeller? It's a freakin' jet jeeplane! in 1949! This must be how we beat Hitler's ME-163s late in the war.

I also liked "Blorite." It has the perfect 1950s science-y sound. "Blorite, now with ingredient Q37. Blorite! -- For all your demolition needs. To blow it up right, use Blorite!"

The artwork on the sagging faces was great. I could have used more of this story.

Tim Beard said...

Gotta love them melting face panels!

Anonymous said...


Mr. Cavin said...

"I am a mole and I live in a hole."

This one killed me. I don't know how anyone can possibly choose a winner out of the heaps of excellent submissions this week. Good f#%king luck judges.

Propagatrix said...

keep straining my ears to hear a sound.
Maybe someone is digging underground,
or have they given up and all gone home to bed,
thinking those who once existed must be dead.

Have you seen my wife, Mr. Jones?
Do you know what it's like on the outside?
Don't go talking too loud, you'll cause a landslide, Mr. Jones.

--Bee Gees, "New York Mining Disaster 1941"

Emby Quinn said...

Since my original double-pasted for some strange reason...:/

There's life underground

I feel it all around
I feel it in my bones
My life is on the line
When I'm away from home
When I step out the door
The desert is alive
I do not trust my ears
I don't believe my eyes
I will not fall in love
I cannot risk the bet
Cause hearts are fragile toys
So easy to forget

It's just another day
There's murder in the air
It drags me when I walk
I smell it everywhere
It's just another day
Where people cling to light
To drive away the fear
That comes with every night

It's just another
It's just another day
It's just another
It's just another day

It's just another day
When people wake from dreams
With voices in their ears
That will not go away

I had a dream last night
The world was set on fire
And everywhere I ran
There wasn't any water
The temperature increased
The sky was crimson red
The clouds turned into smoke
And everyone was dead

(but) There's a smile on my face
For everyone
There's a golden coin
That reflects the sun
There's a lonely place
That's always cold
There's a place in the stars
For when you get old

There's razors in my bed
That come out late at night
They always disappear
Before the morning light
I'm dreaming again
Of life underground
It doesn't ever move
It doesn't make a sound

And just when I think
That things are in their place
The heavens are secure
The whole thing explodes in my face

--Oingo Boingo, "Just Another Day"

Patrick said...

Basil is too good for words. His art just flat out rocks!!

Lyrics today come from Judas Priest, since those stinkin' green creeps were planning to invade and take over the world...

Invader by Judas Priest

"I came across a smoking field, pulsating afterglow
I saw a seering flash of light erupt and skyward go
I staggered back in dazed surprise
What was it I had seen?
And as I stood there mesmerized I heard my spirit scream

Invader invader nearby
Invader, invader is nigh

This is the first of more to come in carefully planned attacks
If it is so we must prepare defenses to fight back
The call is out throughout the world
United we must stand
To build a line, strategic force, they will not take a man

Invader invader nearby
Invader, invader is nigh

When they come to take control every man must play his role
They won’t take our world away when the children we leave
Will have to believe in today

We warn you now you things out there
Whatever you may send
We won’t give in without a fight, a fight until the end
With vigilance by day and night our scanners trace the sky
A shield is sealed upon this earth, a shield you won’t get by

Invader invader nearby
Invader, invader is nigh"

joe ackerman said...

awesome!!! i love basil wolverton, and i have never seen this one before. you, sir, are an absolute diamond! thankyou so very much.

Anonymous said...

Wow, wolverton, thanks you