Friday, September 19, 2008

The Kraken / The Phantom Pirate

Before you blasted landlubbers officially start celebrating “Talk Like a Pirate Day” today (thanks for the reminder Dane), let’s take an excursion into the eerie, murky depths of the November 1953 issue of Adventures into the Unknown #49, and sea what’s up with---


The Phantom Pirate

It’s also “Read Like a Pirate Day” today so make sure to put on your best Blackbeard or Captain Hook accent while yee dig yer scurvy hooks into this quick ghostly tale from the very depths of Davey Jones Locker!

From the April ‘54 issue of Adventures into the Unknown #18

NEXT: A Dick Briefer Frankenstein Weekend!


Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for the fact that the Kraken has existed "for time immemorial"this could actually be considered a sequel of sorts to that MONSTERS OF THE DEEP story you posted a few months back.great story and art(that woodcut is apparently based off of a real one too;i saw one similar in the book MONSTERS OF THE SEA by Richard Ellis),the expression on Mona's face on page 1,panel 4,what a perfect depiction of love at first sight!.As for the actual pirate story,eh it was okay,i guess i'll celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day by watcing NIGHT CREATURES and CAPTAIN BLOOD.

Todd Franklin said...

Shiver me timbers I almost forgot about this holiday! Arrghh!!! I need to dig in the ye old treasure chest for something pirate for my blog. I best get Kraken!

Mr. Cavin said...

Ahoy, comicslubbers. I like that second bloody panel on page two o' the first yarn, where it's rendered pretty plain that the professor's lass has never before seen the pictures he has a-hanging openly on the wall. P'haps it's just a side-effect of Ahab's bedazzling the lady with his turban jewel. Aye, methinks that rig'd sailed long before the fateful day, laddies, if you ken my arrrrr-rated meanin'.

Anonymous said...

Aye Karswell, ye warm the cockles of me cold black heart! Tis perfect that the day be marked for wicked wenches and buccaneers since I've had a fancy for em all week long!

Anonymous said...

Second to last panel of the "Phantom Pirate" story. He's "strangling?"

Tenebrous Kate said...

Avast! A Swami AND a scurvy dog in a pince nez! It's a treasure chest of fashion excellence :D

DrSpecter said...

Ay! An' that Dane'll make'ya walk like a pirate, too!

It's also Adam West's birthday. That's it, I'm calling in!

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

There're an awful lot of purple suits in these stories.

Mr. Karswell said...

You're all gonna laugh at me like I'm Carrie White but my favorite pirate movie is Disney's Blackbeard's Ghost ('68.) I've easily watched it a hundred times. The old seaside inn where a majority of the film takes place is one of the greatest sets in film history. If only that place really did exist! Ustinov steals the show of course but you can't ask for a better cast than Dean Jones, Suzanne Pleshette, and Elsa freakin' Lanchester! Spooky fun, and one of the best live action Diz films ever next to Mystery in Dracula's Castle and The Moon-Spinners.

Ooo... I just found another great uncredited Gene Colan ACE pirate story in my collection that would have been cool here today but I'll save it for next month since I just posted a Mean Gene tale a few weeks ago. And don't forget, all this weekend (Sat & Sun) it's double your pleasure, Dick Briefer Frankenstein time again--- rampaging through a computer screen towards YOU!

So don't miss it, cuz, you know, dead men tell no tales! Batten down the hatches! Man the bowsprit! Stow the missen mast! Gibe the gib boom! Hoist the mainsail and lower the tattersail! Look sharp man! Paint the starboard hatch to leeward, swats. Trim the scuppers on the port poop deck! Whew!

Okay Maroons, me and Mister Christian officially declare Pirate Day OVER.

The Vicar of VHS said...

Today's pirate tale is kind of neat in bits--I always like a good outrageous foreign accent, and here we get both Spanish and German versions (that look to be transcribed from a John Cleese-style impression), and the Madman-style lid-slamming kill is a doozy. (Boy, he sure doesn't waste any time going from "dying sea dog" to "murderous ghost," does he? No point wastin' time..GET HAUNTING RIGHT AWAY!" Still in all, the story seems a bit pointless--"Here's a pirate! He kills people! And look, he kills people again!" Nice, but where's the turnabout, the comeuppance, the twisted justice?

THE KRAKEN, though--now THERE'S the stuff! We've got a great splash (love the "squid eyes" on the human face there), we've got bad though-possibly-real-placename puns ("Keeling Deep"--Keeling Over--YAGEDDIT?) and the wonderful bit with Mona bragging that Naja's "worked like a beaver!" No wonder she's attracted to him--also, he has a moustache just like dear old dad's.

"Jets of acid! Burning into the monster! I-I can't look!" And I can't draw it either, apparently...

But it's got to be Naja's crazyface FTW in this one. I've seldom seen someone so happy about accomplished vengeance. Good on ya, you turbaned beaver!

And in lieu of talking like a pirate, I'm going to offer one of my favorite poems here that's completely apropos--"The Kraken" by Alfred Lord Tennyson, a wonderful piece of lit with great imagery, rhyme, and a chilling ending. Enjoy, kids! There will be a quiz!

The Kraken

Below the thunders of the upper deep;
Far, far beneath in the abysmal sea,
His ancient, dreamless, uninvaded sleep
The Kraken sleepeth: faintest sunlights flee
About his shadowy sides: above him swell
Huge sponges of millennial growth and height;
And far away into the sickly light,
From many a wondrous grot and secret cell
Unnumbered and enormous polypi
Winnow with giant arms the slumbering green.
There hath he lain for ages and will lie
Battening upon huge sea-worms in his sleep,
Until the latter fire shall heat the deep;
Then once by man and angels to be seen,
In roaring he shall rise and on the surface die.

Emby Quinn said...

Vicar: Wow, Lyric Challenge for smart kids! Well done.

I was actually expecting Naja Deva to be a ghost, not a deity...but, hey, if some slimy sea-monster ate all my worshippers, I'd be ticked off too.

Nice interaction between Naja and Mona, too, with just a hint of 1950s-scandalous interracial romance. And Dad obviously does not approve! Of course, it was never meant to be, since she's a lowly mortal and he's, well, a god.

I didn't think quite as much of the second story. It was okay, but one of those faux-Believe It Or Not! things, apparently.

Prof. Grewbeard said...

favorite live-action Disney film? Dr. Syn Alias The Scarecrow w/ Patrick McGoohan. it's kind of a "land-pirate" film besides being a Robin Hood rip. look, if there's such a thing as land-sharks then...

Unknown said...

This is the first I've ever heard of the kraken being beautiful.

Got a beautiful face
Got a f***ed up inside
Need a shot of your faith
Come along for the ride
Yeah, love is your faith
Yeah, death is your fate
Yeah, death is your fate
Come along for the ride

Bill the Butcher said...

Shouldn't Cap'n Naja have an ivory leg made of the tentacle of a Kraken? And shouldn't the ship be sunk with all hands, with only one survivor let to tell ye?

I've always wondered why pirates would want to bury their treasures. I mean they couldn't possibly trust each other to not come back and make off with it. Would seem rather, I don't know, more sensible to just distribute it around and get it over with.