Monday, February 2, 2009

Ghoul’s Gold

As some of you already know Dick Ayers created volumes of superb horror work with many publishers of the Golden and Silver Age eras, from Marvel / Atlas to Eerie Publications… and here we find DA displaying his unique pre-code chops over at Ace with a spooky grave robber tale from the November 1953 issue of Web of Mystery #21.

FYI: If you enjoyed yesterday’s Beelzebub tale (which came out 5 months before this one), then today you may find yourself experiencing a serious case of déjà vu.

TOMORROW: Monster.

Plus, a couple ACE extras...


blackwalnut2001 said...

I just love it when you post two versions of the same idea, like back when you put up two takes on Henry Kuttner's The Graveyard Rats (July 07).

Not surprising that there should be more than one story like this; the search for THAT BOOK has occupied many a fictional forager in the fields of the occult. For two cents I'd go after it myself.

But you know, it just NEVER ends well.

Still, today's tale is a paragon of plausibility compared to the 3rd panel of Unexplained Mystery #41. I'm cropping that out and emailing it to everyone I know, without explanation. See what kind of responses I get.

Unknown said...

I was all set to criticize the werewolf story until I realized it was a true tale of unexplained mystery. Man, you would think they could have talked over their differences.

Mr. Cavin said...

I particularly liked page three. It really amused me at the top when the grave robber and the underworld fence continued shouting their criminal dialog out on the busy street.

"I'll never get caught grave-robbing you fool! The people in this town are all deaf!"

It is, of course, worth noting that he is indeed caught grave-robbing two times over the course of the story. The first time is even before all this public braggadocio. Anyway, later, at the bottom of the same page, the damsel's father remains pretty sanguine as the same robber just comes right out and admits his intended misuse of the girl.

"No worries about my rejection dad! I'll come back and force myself on your daughter later on!"

I'm not sure there is all that much you can learn about robbing graves or dating from this particular comic.

Anonymous said...



AndyDecker said...

I never liked Ayer´s Marvel work, but this is much better. Even if the story was kind of a mess. Too much going on. The grave robber, the ghost, the girl, the second grave robber who is Satan, whew.

The whole subplot with Maria, the woman with the impossible waist, was kind of unnecessary and the conclusion suffered. But the "revenge" of the ghost was fun. "It is there, no there, no there..." :-)

sfdoomed said...

Man, some of the comments on this blog are just as fun to read as the stories!

I've always been confused with the term "ghoul" since it often gets applied to grave robbers; I always thought ghouls were those who ate the dead. Or maybe it's a blanket term for those who violate the dead in any way?

OK, I just looked up an official definition in the dictionary, and the first entry says, "one who delights in the revolting, the morbid, or loathsome". Doesn't that make us ALL ghouls? Yikes.

Nice knife in the back scene in the first story, by the way. A good way to start the week!

Anonymous said...

think yesterdays was better too but this is stil a good one with lots of cool panels

ever see any of the western ghost rider comics by ayers?

Mr. Karswell said...

>I just love it when you post two versions of the same idea

Yeah, it's fun to compare the same stories from diff publishers. If anyone has ideas or examples of another fine pair let me know.

>until I realized it was a true tale of unexplained mystery.

It's gotta be true Todd, you read it on a blog.

>shouting their criminal dialog out on the busy street.

Yeah, but EVERYONE yells in comics. Ray Bradbury has been quoted as saying how thrilled he was that EC were using his stories back in the 50's. But at the same time he was dumbfounded as to why there had to be an exclaimation point added after every sentence where one wasn't needed... haha... love that story.


It's hard to beat a Matt Fox / Larry Woromay combo!

>the story was kind of a mess. Too much going on.

Typical of Ace though, with each story always being a consistant 7 pages in length or more, they really had to fill it all in, sometimes to the benefit of the story, but occasionally not. I personally think Ace was one of the more consistant pre-code publishers though.

> A good way to start the week!

Yes perfect. A knife in the back. Just like working in the Noho office again. Did anyone see the Super Bowl commerical with the girl screaming in her car? That was me everyday in LA before I moved back to STL.

>ever see any of the western ghost rider comics by ayers?

Yes I have... don't own any myself but Pappy has a great selection that he has posted over the years, in one of my faves GR even tackles Frankenstein's monster!

Well, a few of you showed up today, I guess the Monday after Super Bowl I should have posted something a little more competative with a Matt Fox tale... maybe tomorrow's story will lure some of you back.

See ya then...