Monday, July 21, 2014

A Kiss to Save Him from the Grave! (PART ONE)

Pretty sure I've never posted anything from my gothic horror nurse story files (wait, do I have a file like that anyway? Apparently, yes!) And here's a good example, a supernatural terror tale dripping with ominous atmosphere, as well as wonderfully inconsistent art from Tom Sutton. Sutton seems a bit all over the place with this one (some panels look as if he's trying to ape Frank Robbins for example too), but it's still a cool and creepy, haunted mansion / ghost story-- it's also a sprawling 16 pages long so I split it into a two parter. From the April 1973 issue of Charlton's Haunted Love #1.
 be continued!


Mestiere said...

It's too soon to have an opinion but I'll say that my favorite images up to now are the groovy-licious lettering used for the title of a horror story and the image of Mrs. Allen silently sneaking past Kritz the undead butler on page five panel two.

Brian Barnes said...

Kars, you're really on the money here, it does look like Robbins in places, I wonder if Sutton was rushing this for some reason? He's responsible for the inks (according to GCD.)

It's weirdly uneven. The splash is brilliant, but the nurses face changes drastically throughout the story and the shadowing seems haphazard sometimes.

And you know what? It's still great. Stylistically, it's perfect for that Dark Shadows style gothic romance book (it's hard to believe the market would support these books that both DC and Charlton were in on it!)

JMR777 said...

Horror Gothic Romance, Charlton beat the Twilight series by decades!

I prefer to look at Charlton as the coconut of comics, either you love it or hate it with very little room in between. Me, I always liked Charlton, faults, warts and all.

Karswell said...

I've always felt that Charlton was real hit or miss too, but when they hit it, they hit it hard... and Sutton rarely disappoints. Part Two coming up later today or tomorrow, thanks for the comments

Mestiere said...

Here is a long interview with Tom Sutton from 2001, the year before he died. On page eight they discuss his work for Charlton, how the place seemed to be almost a front for something else (mob connected?) and more.

"GROTH: If I may say so, some of this work looks like it was fairly rushed: especially some of the Joe Gill stuff. Would your work vary at Charlton, where you would put a lot of work into some and less work into others depending on how enthusiastic you were about the script?

SUTTON: Well, once again, a lot of those scripts were mine. If I had a new plaything… If I had new markers, it was an ideal place to fuck around with them. That kind of thing would go on. And, I was tired. I think the biggest one was you knew you’d never hear about it. That’s not really correct, but that’s the way it was."

He essentially admits that he was getting paid (very little) to practice.

There is also an awesome story about Wally Wood raiding the place with a couple of friends using grappling hooks and descending through the skylight to recover some of his art. Charlton would destroy original art before allowing the artists to benefit from it.

Karswell said...

Interesting, thanks for sharing that!

Grant said...

Since this is an early ' 70s comic, the start of that last page - a blonde heroine in a skimpy nightgown - almost makes you think you're seeing a Joey Heatherton "Perfect Sleeper" commercial.