Monday, January 6, 2014

Cabinet of the Living Death / Curse of the Witch

Here are the other two traumatizing tales from the June 1951 issue of Mysterious Adventures #2, no artist credits listed at GCD for either story-- though just as we saw in our last post, another entry from this issue gets the 70's Eerie Pub art make-over, this time by Oscar Stepancich and appears in Horror Tales, Weird, and Terror Tales --and thus "The Cabinet of the Living Death" gets mundanely retitled "Body Snatcher." Some of you may have also noticed the issue cover blurb from our last post that mentioned "terror of the ghoul's corpse"...there is no story in this issue with such title.


JMR777 said...

There is a good bit of unintentional humor in the first story

We sail aboard the Ferry Queen
(Is it docked by the Dairy Queen?)

Marcy Merry, I will leave other posters to have fun with that one.

“We don’t sail until midnite. You, me, and my dolls.”
Ed Wood would have been proud of a line like that.

When Jim heard him say “We don’t sail until midnite. You, me, and my dolls.”
shouldn’t Jim have realized that the guy had evil intentions, or at least was a candidate for a straitjacket?

“I’m in until the end”
Prophetic words for Jim.

In the second story, how was it she was proclaimed an innocent witch by the spirits?
Wouldn’t falsely accused witch have been more accurate? It is hard to figure out the logic of spirits sometimes.

These two tales had the right mix of scary and roll your eyes humor. They were a bit like the horror movies of the thirties and forties where the main characters are dull witted until a key clue is discovered and all of a sudden they become Sherlock Holmes and solved the mystery in time.

“We don’t sail until midnite. You, me, and my dolls.”
That is just too good a line to overlook so I will quote it one more time. It makes me laugh each time I read it.

Brian Barnes said...

A woman named Abigail, who was cursed and returned from the grave to destroy, and people being turned into living dolls ...

Did a young King Diamond have this issue?

OK, two perfectly goofy tales, but the art ... oh the art. On the second story, it has workman like quality. One the first, it's a class in how not to do art. Just for fun, quickly, on the first page:

The man looks like a women
The woman is supposed to be scared but looks pissed at the man
The perspective is so goof ball that I can tell if they are all supposed to be dolls or not
The cemetery, in the jungle of South Africa, looks like a cemetery in Illinois, and is built on the least flat land I've ever seen
The gravestones in panel 2 are comically big
The man in panel 3 is reading the note with his eyes closed

Heck, the text "cabinet of the" and "living death" have different perspectives!

Sorry, but man, I love that first story. It's the Plan 9 of horror comics! It's nearly impossible to follow, the art is bad, the writing is run-on, it's nearly perfect!

Mr. Cavin said...

See, the name of the boat is a rather clever pun on the title "Fairy Queen", a ferry being, well, a boat. Dairy Queen is also a pun on that title. I think that's a case of pretty intentional humor, actually.

I spent all last Wednesday afternoon listening to a toddler and a seven-year-old telling scary stories around a campfire. Those stories all had much of the same breathless, headlong, made-up as it goes quality that the first story here has. I like its pitched lunacy: they are shrunk but then the lady bites him and he is also shrunk and then they are saved by a revenging zombie but then the zombie makes them into dolls anyway and then..." Last Saturday the stories all had a lot more to do with My Little Pony characters, but the timbre was the same.

I thought the second story today was just great, though. Totally excellent. Page two (at least) had magnificent art, and the plot--while perhaps slightly more pregnant with potential than it ultimately gives birth to--was a really clever idea. It might have been another page longer and a bit less neatly ended than it was, and like the previous commenter I was confused as to Abigail's witch status (or lack thereof), but overall I really dug it. I think it would make an excellent Barbara Steele movie.

Mestiere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Karswell said...

I have a few more of these early wonky Mysterious Adventures issues if anyone's interested, I can pull them out and post them another time... up next I have a cool Frank Robbins story for the people like me that love Frank Robbins, all others can just sit it out until the post after.

Thanks for the incredibly lengthy comments, haha

Grant said...

When it comes to "The Cabinet," I definitely expected a happier ending, along the same lines as the movie ATTACK OF THE PUPPET PEOPLE.