Monday, October 14, 2013

He Dwells in a Dungeon! / My Brother... The Ghoul

As we iron-out the details of the huge upcoming YOE BOOKS contest giveaway (as promised in the last post) let's take a quick look at two tales from the May '52 issue of Adventures into Weird Worlds #6, --an interesting inking style on the first tale, and Hank Chapman signature on the second... both stories are excellent examples of the menacing mood and atmosphere that Atlas excelled in.


Brian Barnes said...

That's an awesome (what I assume) to be Everett cover. The garish colors on the half skeleton/half whatever monster would really stand out on the racks. As much as I love Atlas, I've never been a fan of the stories side bar, it distracts from the great cover art they had and is usually pretty unrelated.

This stuff really needs to be collected in a masterworks atlas era book (it's not as far as I know.) I'll be first in line for a copy.

Both relatively predictable Atlas style stories with some great art. The inking on the first story is different and seems to misinterpret the shading but I love it -- everything has this plastic look, and the door sequence is great.

Atlas learned the lesson so many EC imitators never did -- it's not the ending, but the journey there.

Mestiere said...

Cool cover!

Jean was a murderess, but George was keeping his brother Henry in the cellar. Neither of them were quality people. Interesting that Jean realized immediately that Henry was intelligent and had figured her out, unlike George.

Was her intention to frame George for the murder of Henry? That would explain her using George's gun. But Jean kept talking of having George committed to an asylum. How did she plan to do that?

We all know twins are freaky. In this case psychologically freaky since Julius allowed himself to be forced to wear Hugo's shoes and not tell the police even though his brother must have been similar in strength to him.

The electric chair for grave robbing? That's harsh! But why would the authorities release Julius rather than give another try to the electric chair? After all they thought Julius was guilty.

Entertaining stories!

Karswell said...

Oh man I love the story sidebar images! Funny how some things work for some people and not for others

Karswell said...

I'm thinking we'll keep it entertaining throughout Oct with Atlas double headers... any objections?

Mr. Cavin said...

No objection here. I love this Atlas stuff.

A brotherly love twofer! I think I prefer the looser, more emotional art in the second story, but nothing really competes with that astounding noir cellar sequence on page four of the first one. It just reinforces Mr. Barnes point about the narrative process. That page was the darling horror of the story, heavy with the pay-off promised in the title. The beginning and the end were just a rushed excuse to serve us that middle--to make us a little bit more alarmed the next time we go down into our own basements. The same can be said of the middle row on page five of today's second story. Everybody knows right where all this is going, so the narrative takes a time-out and just really plays-up the crescendo. Super!

Also I really like George's goofy wagon-wheel tie. I like to imagine the artist incorporated it as an in-joke (was it a gift from his brother's wife?). It's just too oddball to be anything else.

Anonymous said...

Great art, great yarns...what better than on a chilly October night?

Daniel [] said...

As to the second story:

Since Julius seems to have sustained more damage from the pick than did Hugo, I infer that the story had it that injuries were never equally experienced, but most or exclusively fell upon the other twin, whichever that might be. This would then explain Julius allowing himself to be arrested and so forth, and his sure sense that Hugo wre dead. Had he allowed ugo to be duly charged, Hugo would have survived and Julius would have died. (A question would be why Hugo didn't make the same calculation.)

Historically, grave-robbing could get one legally executed, but I doubt that this were the case in any nation using electrocution at the time.

Indeed, when an attempt at judicially approved electrocution has failed, there have usually or always been immediate, repeated attempts, without further judicial process, until the convict dies. But the story doesn't tell us that Julius was released.

Mestiere said...

Daniel, your comment made me curious about which countries have used electrocution as capital punishment. It turns out to be a purely American invention and it has been used outside the U.S. only in the Philippines starting when it was a U.S. colony, just like the guillotine was used in Vietnam when it was a French colony. The Philippines hasn't used it since 1976, so it's now used only in the U.S. and only in a handful of states. I guess using electricity to kill was seen a sign of modernity.

I like your speculation about the other twin being the most seriously hurt. Perhaps we should always try to come up with an explanation for why the story does make sense, like with Marvel's No-Prize.

Turok1952 said...

Yes Yes Yes! Please keep the Atlas tales a-coming!

Daniel [] said...

Interesting datum on electrocution, Mestiere. I recall that Churchill wanted to have an electric chair ready to be hauled to Hitler's location, should he be captured, to be used for his (summary!) execution. I can only guess why Churchill would think this otherwise un-British method especially suitable for Hitler.

[Note that Godwin's Law has here been verified.]

Karswell said...

I agree, page 4 of the first story is amazing... I love the way the splash page is laid out too

Karswell said...

You got it!

SpaceLord said...

Great looking stories indeed.
Peculiar art in the first one, dare not guess who. Art in second should be George Roussos.
And nice to see Chapman credited. He was a very prolific Atlas writer and excelled at war stories.