Friday, February 6, 2009


For the next few days we’ll be looking at some stories from the October 1953 issue of Witches Tales #21. And coincidently, today and tomorrow’s tales both found their way to the small screen on the landmark Alfred Hitchcock Presents television series a few years AFTER this issue hit the stands. Today’s post in fact was made into the very first episode of AHP (airing on October 2nd 1955), also titled “Revenge” and based on the classic Samuel Blas story (watch the full episode HERE courtesy of Hulu!)

TOMORROW: Howard Nostrand!


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Anonymous said...

AAAAhhhhh.....Rape, murder and the false accusation of random innocents. Courtesy of the publishers of Casper the Friendly Ghost.

blackwalnut2001 said...

What a sensational post. Harvey really did put out some memorable tales; Chamber of Chills is just full of great ones. This one's on a par with EC, for sure.

I had no idea any of Hitch's yarns were comic-inspired. And you got another of these tomorrow? Can't wait...

Mr. Cavin said...

Wow, damn. I never really expected such a harshly rendered rape-and-revenge story. I expected it to be glossed behind the usual coy expediencies: "H-honey, he kissed me! Then he forced me t-to marry him!" Page four was just tragic.

Still, I think it could have used another page to illustrate her traumatized confusion. Maybe had whatsisface attack and kill another townie before getting wise. One of them has to be innocent, right? As it is, we are left with the general idea that the real rapist may indeed have been acted upon in vengeance, and that the girl is just confused about it all. I'd rather a story that confuses me--and especially confuses the male lead--into acting, eventually, against someone demonstrably innocent. Or again, against a number of people, all of whom could not be guilty.

AndyDecker said...

What the others said *g Never would have thought that they did a rape-story in 1953. And the end did need a panel or two more.

Still, great and unexpected post. Such stories really illustrate how the code castrated the whole genre.

Mike H said...

That Blas story was originally in Colliers Magazine (I think) in the Forties. It was the first episode of the Hitchcock show and starred Psycho's Vera Miles. Damn, she was a sexy lady.

This is a favorite Harvey story. I think the ending is fine... it shows you not only that she lost it, but it leaves the horror of what the husband has done unsaid. It's better to have that punch in the stomach to mull over in your mind.

Chuck Wells said...

Vera Miles was a real peach wasn't she?

That panel of "Melissa" at the top of page 3 ain't too bad either!

Anonymous said...


Tenebrous Kate said...

WOW--a really intense, effective story with some amazing art. From the splash to the reflection in Melissa's eye, it's an amazing accomplishment.

Loving the ads too--THROBBING ROMANCE and PULSATING HOPES. It's almost as if they're alluding to something... Good thing there's an AMAZING PLEASURE PACKAGE offered in the very next ad!

Anonymous said...

Vera Miles and Ralph Meeker.

This story was also freely adapted for an EC tale (in Shock Suspenstories, I believe). The victim in that case was an elderly father, and his adult son goes after the "criminal."

The Igloo Keeper said...

Reminds me of Memento. Except Memento didn't have a town dandy.

Anonymous said...

...a town dandy reading "Wheezy Tales", no less!

Small coloring error I noticed: Last panel page 4, the car has odd circular devices from and back. Took me a moment to realize the penciler/inker intended them to be the glare from the headlights and tailights, so I guess the colorist didn't get the memo.

Mr. Karswell said...

>I had no idea any of Hitch's yarns were comic-inspired.

Check the THOIA archives for "My Coffin is Crowded", a cool Atlas tale, this time adapted to the screen for the also excellent Alfred Hitchcock Hour series:

>This story was also freely adapted for an EC tale (in Shock Suspenstories, I believe).

Actually it was in the Oct-Nov 1953 issue of Crime Suspenstories #19, titled "Murder May Boomerang" art by Johnny Craig... and yeah, instead of a husband and wife team it's a son avenging his assaulted father. It's interesting to compare dates and see that both EC and Harvey stories each came out the same exact month and year... ?!

The Vicar of VHS said...

Late to the party, but wow--what a tale.

* "To me, she is bathed in sugar!"

* Ron's a creepy-looking dude on his BEST day.

* I want a job as the Town Dandy. Just tell me where they're hiring. I promise to be 100% less rapey.

* Also, there's something for the foot-fetishists at the bottom of page 2.

* Wow. Mamie van Doren as Melissa at the top of p. 3.

* Nice ominous shot of the Dandy leaving on pg. 3.

And the raccoon trauma look on Melissa--I think that's Asia Argento's standard image, isn't it?

Great, surprising stuff, K!

8thRay said...

I doubt there were many tears shed over the bludgeoned Dandy.

Dandies, with their straw hats, canes, garish jackets, and sheet music notation flying out of their mouths, are nearly as annoying as mimes.

Dane said...

Wow, a surprisingly mature story for the time. Well, that sounds snottier than I'd intended, but you all know what I mean.