Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Mark of the Witch

One day a week this month will be designated “Time Machine Day”, and what I mean by that is once a week throughout January we’ll propel ourselves from the Golden Age Era right into the funky future, 20+ years, to see how our favorite 50’s pre-code “Horror Masters” are making out in the Silver Age 70’s (and beyond.) Sound fun? And who is more worthy to kick off this exciting expedition than Alex Toth with a superbly Satanic, moody offering from the Oct-Nov 1970 issue of DC’s Witching Hour #11.

And of course for pre-code terrors by Alex Toth, check the THOIA archives by using the handy search engine at the top of the page.
TOMORROW: Back to the 50's!


(*NOTE: All ads and bonus materials on Time Machine Days will also be from the future!)


Plus! A cool Sid Greene quickie from the winter 1969-’70 issue of Witching Hour #6

Other Masters to be featured this month: Jerry Grandenetti, Bernard Baily, Bill Draut, and more! If this THOIA concept proves popular enough maybe we’ll do it every month. Or not, it’s up to you guys really. I just thought it’d be fun to mix things up a little around here occasionally… there's definitely some good horror from the Silver Age too.

Have some suggestions? Faves to feature? Scans of your own to share? Drop us a line, THOIA is YOUR blog too!

Also, thanks to Yasser at World 4 Blogs yesterday for featuring THOIA. Other bloggers interested in getting on his ever growing list of “must see” blogs can drop him a line HERE!


Prof. Grewbeard said...

naturally, i'm all for it! more Silver Age once every week, that is...

Toth's one of my favorites, NICE work on this story. and print quality for comics certainly improved by 1970, didn't it?

Anonymous said...

Oh. My. God.(?) NO ONE uses solid blacks for shadows as well as Toth.
Tim Sale comes close, but he has the advantage of being color blind.
The story is much more bleak than most stuff i've seen from DC.
The actual twist is pretty much ruined by the panel showing the side of the Phantom Blot...i mean cultist's head, but i saw it coming anyway. The 70's was DC's golden age for horror i guess, as a kid i read all the horror/hero stuff, really can't believe i missed their out and out horror titles in retrospect.
Lastly, i'll just say i really love the way the "mark" is rendered as fingerprints. I just KNOW i'm gonna enjoy this look at modern stuff already.

The Igloo Keeper said...

Surely any self-respecting satanist would have assassinated Thomas to make sure he shut up permanently?

AndyDecker said...

Frankly I love the DC stuff from this time, even if it was neutered and harmless. But they had often great art, especially on the covers. I bought the House of Mystery Omnibus and didn´t regret it, not a thing I can say about a lot of current comics.

So this story was a little bit predictable - okay, a lot *g - but the art was very good.

Lol, I only knew the Aurora kits, have one in fact. That there was a Dark Shadows one is new to me.

This is a great idea, Karswell. It would be very interesting to see the different art-styles and the different approach pre-code and code.

Anonymous said...

Just for the record, this is Bill Draut and Toth (no matter what the credits say). One look at any page and you can easily see Alex's frequent "Witching Hour" collaborator Bill Draut's inks. It doesn't diminish the quality of the strong layouts and panel compositions, but "full disclosure" is always important.

SaoirseDaily2 said...

Congratulations for winning the puzzle at Robot Nine.

Have a terrific Thursday.

Emby Quinn said...

I remember this gem from its original issue. I loved Witching Hour, House of Mystery and House of Secrets--in fact, for a long time the only thing I would touch from DC was its horror comics because the superhero stuff was so lame and boring.

I think it's a wonderful idea for us to visit the later works of our pre-Code artists once a week. There was some great stuff done even after the Code was hammered down, and some of the ways the creators of these stories got around the Code's restrictions were pretty inventive.

And yes, Kars, I'm back after a long holiday sabbatical. *smewch*

PooBahSpiel said...

Oh! I remember my brother having this comic in his collection. Those finger burn marks were the part that totally captivated my preteen reading.

Anonymous said...


sfdoomed said...

I had to skip THOIA for a few days because I had just coincidentally bought Seduction of the Innocent in 3-D and didn't want to ruin it!

I was first introduced to the wonderful world of horror comics through all the DC titles and had hundreds of issues at one point. The covers were often amazing, but the stories for the most part were lame. Pre code and the black and white 70s mags made me eventually get rid of all my DC stuff.

That said, I suggest going into this move cautiously (this tale was a good choice, by the way). Personally, I'd rather see Twisted Tales or Death Rattle or things like that if there were to be occasional deviations from the pre code norm.

Kitty LeClaw said...

Wow... Satanists sure know how to turn up the heat! This story is blister-inducing HOT!!! And I'm totally picturing a young Barbara Billingsley lying there, waiting to be "offered."

Mr. Karswell said...

A nice set of comments today, thanks everyone. I think many of us read these comics as kids (or as adults) and can rightfully say these examples of artistry spanning the gold and silver years are all relevant to what THOIA stands for.

Should we take a vote? Who else wants to see this Flash Forward Time Machine feature every month?

>I'd rather see Twisted Tales or Death Rattle or things like that

No worries SFD, I like those comics too, and that is probably stuff I'll post at some point under a theme of "pre-code influenced." The point of this month's "deviation" is to showcase the talented people who worked in the golden age as well the silver age. Or have I just somehow been overlooking Bruce Jones' 1950's work all these years?

>Satanists sure know how to turn up the heat!

We sure do! And it's gonna get even hotter tomorrow when you see what Rudy Palais does with a nympho-robo gal! Better bring some wipes... um, for your foreheads of course.

Robert McKinney said...

I vote YEA.

Anonymous said...

'Surely any self-respecting satanist would have assassinated Thomas to make sure he shut up permanently?'
Maybe they thought that killing him off just wasn't a bad enough punishment for him? Satanists are a cruel bunch of bastards and getting locked away in an asylum for the rest of your life with everyone believing that you're a murderous maniac– well, that's one fate worse than death. At least I think so.

Great story and a great idea for a new feature, too, Karswell! The tale was pretty predictable, but I liked all the mythological tidbits that were worked into it, e.g. that demons cannot cross water. The art, of course, was simply breathtaking!

So, I'm all for the Time Machine. One story from the 70's per week wouldn't hurt anyone and I'm sure that solid gold can also be found in the Silver Age.

Unknown said...

Should we take a vote? Who else wants to see this Flash Forward Time Machine feature every month?

I vote nay, but once a month seems like a small sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

this was a neat sampling of 70's stories and ads and if you ask me more silver age around here is definitely not a bad thing..

Unknown said...

I vote yea of course! I grew up on Bronze Age horror mags like DC's House of Mystery!!

Cindy M said...

I like all the blue and green. Why is green so good as a ghastly color, anyway?

Really good artwork too.

Max the drunken severed head said...

I love the idea of the Flash Forward Time Machine feature!

As usual, THOIA gets better all the time!