Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Death is a Dummy in Disguise

Added a Howdy Doody dummy to my son's ever growing ventriloquist doll collection this xmas... he's got quite a weird little army amassing-- and the wife says they give her the heebie jeebies! Now for you guys, I also have a ventriloquist related present, a story with an equally weird bit of "unexpected" heebie jeebies --as well as the creeps! From the March 1974 issue of The Unexpected #156.



Brian Barnes said...

Happy Holidays Kars!

Nice little DC story, with the Scooby-Doo ending. The art is very nice, moody and a bit scratchy, with the accusing skeleton of being especially good.

Story wise not a lot to say but that first page needed an editor for the artist, it didn't make a lot of sense, it wasn't until later in the story I figured out where they were going with it.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Nice to hear kids nowadays are not completely lost into ipads and smartphones, at least some of them retain the taste for good ol' creepy things.
An army of Charlie McCarthys must be quite a sight!
As for the story... the final "hanging" of the real murderer is a nice touch but... a skeleton suit, and a short sighted killer?
Oh no, no nitpicking here, it's a great story, mostly because of Alcala's beautiful art (another one, good, love to see his "non-Conan" work). I have a feeling he pretty much gave himself away inking the work of others.

Mestiere said...

"... my son's ever growing ventriloquist doll collection..."

That's a line I never expected to read. Which is good since we are getting a story from The Unexpected. As long as no one has automatonophobia in your house and nobody's toys come alive at night it's all good. I think.

I have to keep focused on the title, The Unexpected, because the logistics of both the murder and the comeuppance are such that it should be "unexpected" for either of them to work...

The Murder

• Randall has to get in and out of the building where his girlfriend's father works without being recognized.

• Nobody can hear the shot.

•The ventriloquist doesn't go to the police himself.

• The ventriloquist doesn't find the planted gun before the police.

• Of all the articles in the paper the cops focuse only on the one reviewing a ventriloquist's act.

• A judge considers such an article as enough reason to authorize a warrant searching the ventriloquist's place.

• Randall somehow expects to get control of the newspaper even though it would belong to his wife (was he planning to kill her too?).

The Comeuppance

• The ventriloquist's son—let's call him Karswell Jr.—had to be a skilled ventriloquist and puppeteer himself.

• Somehow he figures out who the real killer is even though the killer had no connection to the ventriloquist.

• Karswell Jr. had to predict that Randall would choose to go see his act.

• He foresaw that Randall would be so rattled by the act that he would storm out of the place leaving his innocent girlfriend behind.

• He knew which car belonged to Randall and sneaked inside before Randall did, leaving his audience alone.

• Randall tries to escape the unkillable ventriloquist in his back seat not by running out of the car but by driving really fast!

• Randall gets involved in a car accident that kills him but not the kid.

• Karswell Jr. dug up his father's skeleton, articulated it perfectly, and nobody ever knew!

In other words, this story is a winner, I loved it! And Alfredo Alcalá's artwork is always appreciated.

Grant said...

"Karswell Jr. had to dig up his father's skeleton..."

The problem is, it wouldn't have been a skeleton yet. Which means that he actually had to act like a horror story murderer HIMSELF, by immersing him in acid or something similar!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

So much for 'no nitpicking'...
Maybe the last counterargument ('What's with the skeleton?') can be rebutted: that graveyard is infested by mutated african Safari ants (Dorylus). That would be really Unexpected.

Karswell said...

Not sure what happened to my own comment... ever have one of those years? Anyway, glad it's almost over, 2015 promises to be a bigger, badder, and scarier year than ever. You have my (and Karswell Jr.'s) squeal of approval! :) thanks for the comments

JMR777 said...

2014 has been on of those years (but so was 2013, 2012 and even 2011, at least for me.)
Here's hoping that 2015 breaks the trend and ends up as the first year of good and great years from here on out.

I liked the story even if there were a few plot holes here and there, it was still a fun creepy read.

Anonymous said...

Simply by taking June to a ventriloquist act, Mitch proves his seduction skills are far worse than his frame-an-innocent-man-for-murder skills.