Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Weird Picture of Murder

A not too totally terrible tale from this usually underwhelming, poorly edited Star Publications horror series, this one being the lead-off cover story from the March 1953 issue of Spook #23. George Peltz artwork is pretty flimsy and uneven, but the story does have a few moments and I actually really do like the two panels at the bottom of page 4. Cool cover art by L. B. Cole.


Tim Whitcher said...

The art was super uneven. Some panels are great, some the people look terribly warped and distorted. The last page almost looks like it was done by a completely different (and more accomplished) artist. How can this be?

Mestiere said...

An adulterer, a car thief and a double murderer. Justin Finger really had it coming.

Anybody could read the letter on page two? I think it starts: "My Dear... Come to my (studio?)" and then it says "without your..." (husband, perhaps?) For an artist Justin sure had the handwriting of a doctor. It's a good thing for Justin that Lauren didn't ask her husband "Allen, can you read this?"

"Soon she lived to be near him, to feel the thrill of his arms about her and his kiss upon his lips." That mistake, plus the fact that the painting later changes to Allen's face made me think: what if the woman who came later had been Allen in drag instead of his wife? Then killing her lover's husband and killing his lover would have been one and the same thing. But such a twist would have been too much for the fifties.

When the painting starts to get bigger I thought that Allen would walk out of it in a dress, but instead he just materializes out of nowhere (although the final panel sort of makes it seem like he is coming out of the painting with an enormous head). Could it be that the original plan was for him to walk out of the painting but then they changed their minds?

Brian Barnes said...

I see the editor had something better to do that day!

The cover is ... interesting. Is it traced? Light box photo reference? The face and the skull look completely different from the rest of the image, as if redrawn later. Maybe re-used art from a non-horror title?

The actual title "Weird picture of murder" looks like a later edition, also, as it's over a finger and isn't really placed correctly, though I do like the squeezed paint concept!

JMR777 said...

The ghost put the 'finger' on his killer.
Something is wrong with the artwork but I cant put my finger on it.

I think I will stop with the corny zingers now.

The comic's story of the relationship between artist and model made me think of Andrew Wyeth and his favorite model Helga Testorf. The relationship didn't end in foul play but it most likely infuriated the spouses of both artist and model.

Rick said...

oh those temperamental artists...

Mr. Cavin said...

"My Dirt..., Come to my stickies mistrustibility-ism i.e. view tightly, evernut yes or andromeda! [S]top Xpizza Jiggies bag so pink cyan now..... fraulein Finger"

Yes. What did you mean by your letter, Fraulein?

I love the left half of the cover. That's a really scary dude with really neat coloration. I am as skeptical of the right half as Mr. Barnes. At least the book wore its unevenness right out on the front!