Thursday, December 5, 2013


I've posted a number of tales here at THOIA over the years with the same "Insane!" title as this one, but never one from this particular Story Comics series-- the October 1954 issue of Mysterious Adventures #22 in fact! Art credits go to Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, with a chilly cool cover from the great Hy Fleishman! I'll have more from this crazy ass issue over the next few posts, so hang on tight-- things are gonna get even more insane, I guarantee!


Brian Barnes said...

A little wordy in places but the art is great, the inmates really do look insane and our villain is drawn in a relatively grotesque way to point out his evil.

I could do without the silly twist at the end; otherwise a fun little story. These inmates/prisons/etc get revenge stories work best if you spend most of the pages turning the bad guy into the most cartoonish evil you can (like this one) and this one is well paced.

I'm not sure about the weird skulls on the splash, looks like a later addition to punch it up. Kind of strange in context!

Mestiere said...

Wow, what a harrowing tale! And they didn't even show the lobotomies or the electroshock therapy. Today, of course, we are far more civilized. We now keep our mentally ill in prison where 30 percent of the inmates have schizophrenia or some other psychiatric condition.

I recently read a great book by British psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist (I also read books) titled The Master and his Emissary. It explains that schizophrenia didn't seem to have existed at all until the late eighteenth century and that it seems to be fundamentally connected to modernity. As a civilization becomes more and more advanced, more an more of the information we handle is second hand. Second hand information mostly comes in the form of language and mathematics, both of which are overwhelmingly analytical. Analytical information is processed by the left brain hemisphere. In some people the left brain hemisphere becomes overactivated and tries to take over functions from the right one, the one that handles holistic, synthetic, contextual information. Information that cannot be analyzed. The result is insanity. Urban people get schizophrenia at twice the rate of rural people. Of course, if we all go crazy we won't know it since we will no longer have a point of reference of what normal is.

The tale must have had a stronger impact in its time when insane asylums still existed and were far worse than anything that could be shown in a comic. I remember that the fear of going crazy was Stephen King's number one phobia.

bzak said...


Loved the art!

I wonder if J. Walter Quinn went to school with Wertham?

Brian Riedel

Mr. Cavin said...

Man, I loved that splash--there is something about the bland, undynamic millieu that's really creepy--but it is kind of an excellent example of a twist beginning, what with its implications of paranormal horror.

I loved the story too. I love all asylum and hospital horror stories. This one was oddly compassionate, at least for a yarn about the brutal revenge of an deranged mob. I'd love to see it get amped about a hundred and fifty percent, à la Eerie Pubs. Really grue-up that snowman scene: bright blue frozen grimace of horror, button sewn into amputated nose-hole, eye sockets filled with glowing coal. You know.

JMR777 said...

This was a pretty good tale with the usual twist ending. The villain in this story reminded me of the movie "Tales From the Crypt" by Amicus, where the uncaring director for a home for the blind gets his in the end.

Cheswick Stoddard said...

Not to mention that similar EC story where those kids make a pumpkin out of the cruel orphanage director's head.

Karswell said...

More from this issue coming up! Plus HAUNTED HORROR #8 in stores on Dec 11th!

Thanks for the rad comments!