Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Death Notice! / Television Ghost..

Two ghost posts for you today, and the first tale picking up where we left off with our continuing look at Atlas comics from the July '52 issue of Mystic #10. Then our second spooktacularly silly haunting is from the debut Sept. ‘51 issue of Mister Mystery #1. Note: GCD credits the pencils / inks here to Charles Stern who “was a former roommate of Harvey Kurtzman and John Severin, and a reason why this work resembles Kurtzman.” [GCD now credits "Television Ghost" to Ross Andru. Make of that what you will. -- Nequam]


Vintage AD


Television Ghost..


Mysterio said...

The first tale was fantastic! The whole story had a real gritty, cinematic feel to it. I liked the way the villain went from nervous about his new "power" to outright psycho by the end.
The second story was a great ligher tale, one that wouldn't have looked out of place in MAD or some similar magazine.

Prof. Grewbeard said...

i choose Uncle Miltie!

Mr. Cavin said...

Today's second story works well with yesterday's cat story: double murder returns couple to status quo. And the two stories today also pair-up nicely dialog-wise: "that can't be you! I killed you!" Very elegant programming, Karswell!

Along with Mysterio, I really liked the way the first story ran a little wild with its conceit; certainly anyone who discovered they had the power to murder other people would immediately make for the nearest underworld. The second story was a little rote, and pretty substandard, I think, as far as Kurtzman imitations go. Still, I was amused by the visual oddity of seeing Mr. Mystery's talking head formally prattling around such goofy looking panels.

Anonymous said...



Unknown said...

My only objection: "You--You dirty killer... You--Argh!" I have a hard time believing a newspaper editor, even having a stroke, would accept so quickly and so easily his worst writer were suddenly so capable. Aren't newspaper editors supposed to be skeptics?

Anonymous said...

I notice that the focal character doesn't look the same in the splash panel (title panel) as he does in the rest of the story. Nor does the lettering match.

I know it was common practice back then for the cover to be done first, before the cover story was written. The cover story would then be written to match the pre-existing cover which had been created out of whole cloth to sell the comic like a movie poster.

I wonder if splash panels were sometimes done the same way--done without a clue to what the story to follow would be like. You see the phenomenon in both Atlas and DC comics of that period, the phenomenon of splashes depicting things that don't quite match the rest of the story.

In some cases, I think the splash panels may have been rejected covers. The splash to "Death Notice" could be a rejected cover, redrawn or trimmed to splash size.

Anonymous said...

I understand how a man can be held accountable in the afterlife for his sins, but once he's dead, I was under the impression all bets were off. Is it really murder if it's not another human being committing the "crime?" I'm not buying that line. If that were the case, going to heaven would have way too many caveats. You misbehave, and whoosh, it's off to "h" "e" double toothpicks you go. You're just never off the hook, are you? If Christians learn this, well, we're all in for a lotta trouble.

Mr. Karswell said...

The theory about discarded cover art becoming splash pages could be true, or maybe Stan Lee or whoever just had a big pile of potential story titles and whatever it was would lead to a cover "theme" (or side bar thumbnail) with art produced before the actual story was written, regardless of what the actual story inside was eventually going to be about... and not like it matters, we all know to NEVER judge a book by it's cover.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think the splash for the first story shows one of the editor's victims. The name is completely different.

If so, it would be one of the few examples of a non-protagonist splash.

Horror pariah said...

Now that was a fun little chiller to welcome me back. Thanks, Kars.

Man, I think Atlas put out more stories about writers than any other company. I wonder if the typewriter is the same one later used in the Googam era story 'X the Thing that Lived'.

The second story had some funny moments, but was overall just weak. Nice Kurtzman imitation, tohugh, art-wise.

Pappy said...

I'm glad you identified the artist of the Television Ghost story as Charlie Stern, the first time I've ever seen his work, and someone who's always been a mystery to me.

Mr. Karswell said...

My pleasure Pappy, and thanks for stopping by! And also thanks for the cool plug over at yer blog, very very much appreciated by me (and Punky!)