Saturday, March 15, 2014

Meeting of the Damned! / The Statue!

Two stories with a humorous horror twist from Wayne Howard today, both from the August 1978 issue of Ghostly Tales #131. If  Wayne's style looks familiar to you it's because his mentor Wally Wood was a huge influence on most of the fabulous work he did for Charlton Comics in the 70's--read more about Wayne HERE! More Charlton on the way too, stay tombed...


JMR777 said...

I always liked Charlton Comics as a kid when their comics dealt with ghosts, vampires and scary stories in general. I liked them since in their horror/spooky comics there were whole stories printed, no need to worry about buying the next two or three comics to get the whole tale. I wasn't always able to get House of Mystery horror comics so I settled for what was available (a half a loaf is better than none.)

Now, by seeing these two stories on this site, I can see why Charlton gets a bum rap. The overall quality of Charlton can't hold a mausoleum candle compared to faded horror comics from the fifties, since the tales from the fifties had better artwork and better stores to tell (or they told them better).

I still have a soft spot in my heart for Charlton since the artists and writers did their best and kept producing spooky tales when so many horror comics had disappeared from comic shelves. I guess Charlton horror of the sixties and seventies are like the cheesy horror movies of the sixties/seventies, not as good as they could have been, their meager budgets show, but a lot of fun and entertaining if you give it half a chance.

Brian Barnes said...

Howard was interesting and broke down some walls, but could never escape the shadow of Wood and sometimes didn't seem to want to (note how even his signature is in the same style as Woods.)

If you are going to follow somebody that closely, I couldn't think of a better artist than Wood, and I'll bet Howard wrote these too. A real talent, though I would have wished him to have more of a style of his own.

I agree with JMR777, though, but a bit more disappointment. I like Charlton, they can be fun, and these ARE fun, it's a nice, breezy read, but it's the junk food of comics. It doesn't grow much beyond C grade.

Any work from Howard you want to print is something I'd love to see. He's kind of been forgotten over the years.

Anonymous said...

"The Statue!" isn't particularly scary, but it's fun seeing Galatea get her licks in for once.


I always enjoy Wayne Howard's work, though I agree with the sentiments posted above. The link you posted about Howard had some interesting anecdotes. He certainly was talented and really loved the Ghost/Horror themes, but his stuff always seems to come off as WOOD-lite...looks like Wood but half the content, pretty but not a lot of depth. The 1st story had a nice little ending but seemed to not know where it was going for most of the pages. Liked the statue page. Nice post!

Unknown said...

In the story "The Statue," she says "Rega Flexis Mur." That is the exact chant used in the EC Comics story "Which Witch Is Which?" illustrated by Jack Davis. That's an interesting story where the innocent-looking girl is actually a witch after all. Worth a read.

Unknown said...

I'm going to make a slight correction regarding that title I gave before. It is correctly titled "Witch Witch's Witch?" GCD has it under Vault Of Horror #36:

The Crypt of Terror / comic story / 7 pages

Johnny Craig
Jack Davis (signed)
Jack Davis (signed)
Marie Severin
Content Information
Genre:horror-suspenseCharacters:The Crypt-Keeper (host); Eric Holbein; HelenaSynopsis:Eric was coming home to Blumstedt with his new wife.....who was not the girl to whom he had been betrothed since childhood. As he entered the house, he was met by his former betroth, Alicia, her Mom and his Mom, all of whom harshly berated him for bringing shame to them all. Eric's mother soon passed away, but Helena wouldn't go to the funeral. Days later, the ladies from the local church saw Helena and told her not to attend their meetings....and the leader of that group soon died. Talk began to surface saying Helena was a witch, and they thought it true when Helena walked down the street and a woman, Alicia's mother, fell dead. A mob formed and went after Helena, and, when Eric tried to intervene, they killed him and began stoning Helena to death, when she stood and chanted a few words and all the people turned to rats and scurried away. In the midst of it all was the most ugly and hideous creature of them all: Helena....the witch!

By the way, that last picture of the witch with all the townspeople turned to rats is a wonder to behold !

Mestiere said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grymsayre said...

That "Rega Flexis Mur" sure gets around! It also appears in a story called "Trial by Fire" in Warren's EERIE #6. That story was both scripted and drawn by Johnny Craig (then working under the name Jay Taycee so that his employers or clients wouldn't trace it back to him in the event they stumbled across it.) This story appeared in 1966, somewhat closer to Howard's era than the EC story, so he might more likely have swiped it from there. Not that it matters either way.

Unknown said...

Wayne Howard may have been mentored by Wally Wood but his style here is rather WOOD-EN and clunky.

Grant said...

My first exposure to Charlton's horror comics (and my only one for quite some time) was Ghost Manor # 16 (of the first series, with "Winnie the Witch" hosting it). I became incredibly sentimental about it, and much later started getting as many others as I could (though I've only owned a couple of Dr. Graves issues), and I feel the same way about those. So there's no way I'm discriminating about Charlton.

S D Joe said...

Far be it from me to praise Charlton Comics -I knew them primarily as barber-shop comics, as they were usually the only comic books remaining after nimbler-fingered kids had glommed all the better DC/Marvels, and I can't recall ever seeing one for sale in an actual spinner rack - but by the time Wayne Howard had joined the 'team', a Charlton horror/mystery comic was a thing approaching, if never quite arriving at, comics respectability. A typical 70s-era Charlton would feature art by Howard, Ditko, Tom Sutton, Pat Boyette, Joe Staton, Don Newton and/or Mike Zeck, which might not be crowding EC or Warren off the top rung - but was hardly chopped liver.

And Howard enjoyed one perk years before anyone else in funnybooks did - his name above the title of the comic (Wayne Howard's MIDNIGHT TALES), appearing as it did at a time when only Kirby enjoyed such marquee status. A shameless Wood acolyte? Sure, but Wood had that effect on his ex-assistants: look at early Joe Orlando or Dan Adkins.

Dunno what ever became of Howard, one of the pioneering African-American comic artists of the era, but I always think of him fondly.