Friday, September 9, 2011


Two down, two to go from the July 1953 issue of Weird Terror #6... here's the third entry from this whacked-out issue, and of course nothing in pre-code history defines "whacked-out" more than the uniquely disturbing, and strangely sexy art of the great Rudy Palais. Just look at that splash!

Vintage AD


Odyzeus! said...

The art sure is out there, but what about that script? Split infinitives, non sequiturs, run-on sentences, and perpetual lapses in clarity. I felt insane just reading it!

The parenthetical statement from the caption in the last panel pretty much sums this all up.

Trevor M said...

I agree, I'm going to have read this story a couple more times. WTF?

But the art is TERRIFIC! By the time he gets to the 4th page it's on an amazing surreal level. Krigstein had a rival, that's for sure.

Thanks for posting this one, Karswell!

Mark B said...

gods what great art!

I wondered about the script also... did Palais go hog wild just to keep up his own interest? I doubt those scenes were described in the script!

Looking at the splash panel, I had to read the story a few times to ID the characters. Good looking guy in the center is Tom, the fat guy at bottom left is Junior (only seen clearly on page 3 panel 1).

Creepy Victor is right center, displaying the sweat drops now common in manga and anime. Those sweat drops are repeated in his murder scene on the last page.

The repeated use of those odd glasses and eyeballs must refer to people being faceless to Louella.The use of a row of heads on page 1 panel 3 is "defaced" further on page 4 panel 5. I have no idea whose mouth is screaming in panel 5, but the nostril up-shot is repeated again in Victor's murder.

The fog or smoke wafting through the art gives an unearthly feel. Why does the window shutter change from page 3 panel 4 to panel 5? Why does Louella sometimes appear full-figured and sometimes slender (at least to me)? Mere deadline pressure or assistant mistakes?

Thank you for this Karswell! I must sound ready for the mental ward myself after obsessing over this story!

Oh, I also was reminded of Krigstein, and if I had seen a random page I might have thought of Nostrand.

Diandra said...

I'm going to look for more art by Rudy Palais now. His work is brilliant here!

Mr. Karswell said...

Haha, LOVE the comments on this one so far... muddled scripting aside (wait until you see the next story from this issue-- argh!), Rudy Palais was indeed a real one of a kind illustrator. There's many more of his stories in the THOIA Archives, just search him by name in the handy search engine at the top of the home page, or try here:


Drew said...

Hey Karswell,

There's a reason the script is so hard to follow: Your scans are missing a couple of pages!

According to the Grand Comics Database (, "Die" is a SEVEN-page story. (Page 2 is clearly missing, not sure where the other page fits in.)

Mr. Karswell said...

>Your scans are missing a couple of pages!

Well, I checked the binding and there doesn't appear to be any pages pulled or torn out, I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm not seeing how there are any pages missing. And fyi: GCD has been wrong countless times on number of pages, so what they say is occasionally of course not the final word on anything.

>Page 2 is clearly missing

The second scan is on the backside of the first page scan, so clearly page 2 is NOT missing. So unless someone else can chime in who actually owns this issue, I'm thinking this story is actally only 5 pages long and just incomprehensible on it's own-- without my help.

Anonymous said...

i love these (not so very) happy endings! Damn fine story and art. thanx

Drew said...

Well, the 5-page version, complete or not, is definitely incomprehensible -- no debate there.

Still, the bizzare/sexy splash artwork is exceptionally imaginative, even for Rudy Palais. With an opening like that, you can't help reading through the entire story.

Mr. Karswell said...

For an even sexier Palais gem, check out "DEATH KISS" that I posted way back in 2009:

Mr. Cavin said...

Well I agree with everyone. I definitely think there is something missing between the first and second pages here, and I also think that it was probably missing in the original book, too. Note: I am frequently guilty of jumping to sloppy publishing conclusions when sloppy storytelling is ultimately at fault; but in this case, I think it's pretty clear that we are introduced to the cast of characters--and their relationships--on a page (or pages) that are not in evidence here. Since Karswell's point about the second page here being the backside of the first means it cannot have been physically removed at some point, it must mean that the issue went long and this story was awkwardly clipped before publication.

That's not too implausible, right?

Mr. Karswell said...

>That's not too implausible, right?

Well, as we've seen in pre-code horror comics over the years here, nothing is at all implausible. This does seem more likely, as I also checked the remaining story number pages, (as well as the page count on the two stories I've already posted), and they're all correct by GCD's count. And of course, if pages are missing in one place in a comic, that would also mean pages missing at the opposite end of the issue since they are actually two double sided pages stapled in the center. So if there are indeed two pages missing, then this would mean 4 pages of missing AD pages since even the one page text filler pages are mentioned at GCD, both are in my issue. That seems like alot of AD pages considering the issue I have now already includes 4 pages of ADs. So, 8 pages of ADs? Unlikely. Everyone following this?

Anonymous said...

I noticed the weird art in the second story, too; (but just mentally put it down to someone's repressed desire to be a modern artist!

In the first story, I liked the hunchbacked gentlemans expression in the first story; (darn forgot the page and panel; but it's near the fight scence!) And, given, the twist *is hokey, but it strangely fits with the anti-smoking ad on the next page!) Did even the Surgeon General gave a running leap about smoking; except from the "filthy habit" angle back then*?)

Also, my dear Karswell; I thought you said the next story (last time) was supposed to be titled "Die, Cemetaty, Die"! Maybe I read it wrong; but I kept wondering "How can a cemetary die?"

DBurch7670 (Sorry if I haven't been 'signing my work" lately!)

Mr. Karswell said...

>I thought you said the next story was supposed to be titled "Die, Cemetaty, Die"!

It was a joke, DB... one story is called "Die" and the other is called "Cemetery." I just gave it the "Scream, Blacula Scream" treatment for fun.

Anonymous said...