Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Monsters Three

Hot on the paws of yesterday’s Sass a’frass O'Squatch-a-Rama comes another round of rampaging beasties, this time with triple the terrible hunger for man and womany flesh. I have to say, the print job on this issue is particularly and typically atrocious, but somehow the grimy quality of it all lends itself nicely to the story and the wonderfully doomed / downbeat ending.

From the July 1953 issue of Mysteries Weird & Strange #2


Classic "Monster Plants" mail-away ad--- invading a windowsill or ceramic pot near you!


Dane said...

The most emotional impact in the story by far - horror, sadness, anything - is Pat's knowledge of their coming fate. The last couple of panels are the best thing about the story.

Anonymous said...

Agreed.nice art though.

AndyDecker said...

Rather grave ending for such a story. I bet it made an impact on impressionable minds at the time.

silvano said...

Not wacky and cool as yesterday's post ;anyway it has its moments like the small mushroom cluods coming from the ground and some oddball dialogue("I can smell radioactivity in the air"); as the other guys said the last couple of panels are the best thing in this story , but I think that's the reason why they look a bit out of place ...

Anonymous said...

I feel like I have learned so much from this comic - you can smell radioactivity and uranium mining was big in the day. I like the bleak ending it works for the story - reminds me of the old movie "On the Beach"

Mr. Cavin said...

Not only are those last panels a bit more sobering and mature than the standard moral twists we tend to see, they represent a neat switcheroo I'd hate to see slip by without comment.

A scene we see over and over again at the end of these stories is one in which the hero has just saved the unconscious heroine from the wicked clutches of some unsettling horror. In most cases, he opts to keep what has just happened to himself--why upset the groggy damsel with the scary facts. At the end of this story, the events are tantamount to the opposite.

This is great. One thing I always read as a sop to square-jawed chauvinism--a nudge-nudge wink-wink about the weak and hysterical general nature of the victimized sex--has been equalized. Apparently, lying to preserve the temporary happiness of your friends is a trick or virtue of all humanity.

Liked the mutant enemies in this one, by the way. GRRR! ARGH!

Mr. Cavin said...

Oh, and I meant to add that it is statistically unlikely that lightning will strike four times at the very same place where someone has finally discovered some uranium.

Frederick said...

"Sweetheart, I'm so happy we got married. But... why is your hair falling out? And those terrible skin lesions... I think I want a divorce... you are one ugly hag!"

Anonymous said...


Chuck Wells said...

I also enjoyed this tale quite a bit.

Weird & Strange, huh! That really describes most of my relatives.

The Vicar of VHS said...

"The uranium rush was on! The new wealth that could blow up the world!" Why am I picturing Walter Houston dressed in a full-body biohazard suit, doing a little prospector's jig while the Mexican Bandidos' hair falls out in clumps?

And why am I loving that image so much?

Jack Torrance: the Uranium Years.

The downer ending is an unusual turnaround--years of reading comics would have led me to expect that Jack and Pat would have developed amazing powers and toured the universe as a crimefighting team! I guess you never know what's gonna happen...

It's a shame, too, because Pat is quite a looker. The full-face panel in the middle-left of p.2 is great. Also, Pat in the torrential downpour FOR THE WIN. Also also, dark purple jodhpurs. I don't know why I love them like I do...

I was actually surprised that they acknowledged the deadliness of the radioactivity, esp. after the baddie's strange claim that the doc is sure to overlook the uranium so close to camp...despite the fact that he's got a GEIGER COUNTER. And by the way, I don't know about uranium, but strontium smells like carnations and mouldy towels. TRUE FACT.

Got to concentrate...
Don't be distractive--
Turn me on tonight!

Mr. Karswell said...

11 comments before 9am is always a good sign! And some great points made today too already about the ending. It is rare and highly unusual to see this sort of sad finale, but even more so with the role reversal implications applied.

Tomorrow I have a story that is more typical in it's conclusions but turns up the sex subtext factor to overload. You're seriously not gonna believe your own eyes...

Vicar pulls out some Firm lyrics! I would have thought that from Dr Phibes. So how about more radioactive lyrics sung from the Monsters Three point of view:

"You're my food, you're my water, you've got to be the devil's daughter
Can't get near, can't get far, you've got the power, but know you are
She's radioactive..."
--Gene Simmons

Emby Quinn said...

The ending was a real shocker. Not because I didn't see it coming, but because I did.

You see, throughout the whole story I was shaking my head and thinking "All those rads flying around and they don't have so much as a teacup to shield themselves. These people are so going to die horrible deaths in a week or so." But I never for a moment expected the story to acknowledge our heroes' grim fate. I was expecting it to be either ignored or blithely explained away ("Good thing we took our One-A-Day Vitamins Anti-Rad formula pills this morning, Pat!").

As grim as the denouement was, it was fitting and strangely satisfying. Who says pre-code comics weren't educational?

Emby Quinn said...

Oh, and I almost forgot to add my own radioactive lyrics! My bad.

We've lost our chance
We're the first and last
Ooh, after the blast
Chips of plutonium
Are twinkling in every lung...

--Kate Bush, "Breathing"

Tenebrous Kate said...

See, I coulda played Lyrics Challenge *today*, Mr. K!

Representing Kraut-style with Kraftwerk:

Discovered by Madame Curie
is in the air for you and me

C'mon guys--it's not a downbeat ending! It's just that their "happily ever after" is a lot briefer than that of most couple's. And--really--is that so VERY bad? "I promise I'll love you forever, which by my accounting, is about two weeks."

Patrick said...

One way or another, death seems to catch up with nearly every character in these pre-code stories! Gotta love that grim overtone!

Today's background music is provided by Hallow's Eve, and the appropriate song "Death and Insanity"

"Death and insanity a flicker in the flame
Death and insanity are you truly sane?
Do you ever wonder when you're lying in your bed
Deep dark thoughts of trances coming flying through your head
You know you're truly stable but could your thoughts be the truth
A horde of groping parasites to haunt you in your youth"

The Vicar of VHS said...

King Karswell, we think he's pretty swell,
He gives us great comics for free--
He just pulls up the 'net, then packs up a bowl,
And then shows us his cool
Monsters Three.

Been working on that ALL DAY. :)

Mr. Karswell said...

>Been working on that ALL DAY. :)

My new theme song! Give that man a cigar and another THOIA shirt. Thanks bud... and thanks to everyone again for stopping by today.

And yo peeps, hold all thoughts on song lyrics for now... the next LYRIC CHALLENGE contest starts Monday the 18th!


Possessed by the Black Dildo!

Tim Tylor said...

A troubling ending, and a nice sardonic opening line too: "To the deadly throb of voodoo drums, and the stealthy tread of man-eating beasts, they sought the new wealth that could blow up the world!"

Nuclear wind, when wilt thou blow,
The small rain down can rain?
Christ, if my love were in my arms
And I had my arms again.

That "Grow Your Own" ad looks wonderful, but I suspect the reality left a lot of kids dangerously disappointed.

Unknown said...

That sounds like some future Placebo hidden track.

Great monster art, by the way; I was scared.

Dane said...

>Possessed by the Black Dildo!

Yeah, and don't we all know what *that's* like ...

Sorry. I always end up working blue.