Tuesday, April 12, 2016


One more devilish tale for you before we move on to other horrific subject matter, this time from the March-April 1952 debut issue of Avon's Witchcraft #1. Some of you already know that I'm all about the Devil-Music, but despite a nice crash crash panel, this one just didn't pack enough heat nor did it cut the spicy hot mustard for inclusion in DEVIL TALES either. Nice inks by Vince Alascia though. And with this post, we complete another full issue presentation here at THOIA-- use the search engine to check the archives [or our new indices-- Nequam], you can get the other story titles from the last scan below which is highlighted by some really cool art from the great Sid Check.


JMR777 said...

I liked this story. It is the type of tale that would fit in well if produced as a Twilight zone or Night Gallery episode, or a Tales of the Darkside episode.

The realization that she couldn't escape her fate could have been stretched out longer, a page of her desperation during the last few years passing all the while Mammon popping up again and again to remind her of her fate, and doom.

I was a bit surprised that she had 25 years of fame, usually the time frame for such devil deals is seven years or so. I guess ol' scratch is a music lover and enjoys seeing his latest prize put on a great show as he watches from a distance, or on wide screen TV down below. I can only guess the cable access they have down there.

I will admit this tale isn't as terrifying as some other devil tales, but it was a clever reworking of the devil's contract story.

Thanks for this post!

Brian Barnes said...

25 years later ... "Gasp -- you're the devil!" A bit slow on the up-take!

The art is good, but there's not a lot to work with, mostly human figures. One thing about some of these stories -- the devil goes and bumps off the finance. It seems in so many of these stories the devil has some weird inconsistencies; he's only supposed to be able to work with those that freely give themselves to him, but he also seems to just be able to murder anybody, at anytime. That's a weird set of rules in a world that are governed by ultimate good and ultimate evil! This entire story could start a debate in philosophy class.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

It's a lovely tale, not too gory (I prefer this way in stories involving the Devil) and not excessively stupid.

Yes, the gal IS a bit dumb, but I guess she already knew who the man was, only she was too weak to accept it. She had plenty of warnings anyway, just like the young girl in the last page.

The maid's remark and unflappable attitude is priceless: "He's dead... can't figure out why, but if you ask me, it's the devil's work.", then she just keeps doing her chores!

And of course there's the biblical reference: you can't serve both God and Mammon, meaning God and Money if I recall.
"Mammon" as the devil's name is quite an odd choice, as the story is based on vanity rather than on greed.

Mr. Cavin said...

Well, you know me. I like my Satan in little red shorts and a big cape, under L.B. Cole-style psychedelic lighting, haloed by puffs of fire, and gloating on a bat throne surrounded by writhing green she-demons. But this'll do in a pinch. Loved the headlights panel! For once real headlights!

The lettering was pretty godawful throughout, though.

Mestiere said...

I laughed out loud at the bodies flying in the last panel of page six, it was so over the top. And remember, both women survived the car crash!

Your soul for twenty-five years of a singing career? It's a steep price for a goal that seems at least possible without supernatural intervention. Sinatra must have given more than one soul, among many other singers!

Grant said...

"If I were you, I wouldn't see him again."

Philip has to be one of the least possessive boyfriends in any weird story I can think of! Let alone considering the fact that he and Helen are already engaged! And when he actually sees Mammon - and takes him for a regular human being - you almost expect him to at least try to hit him, but it doesn't happen. Instead it's "Call me when you've come to your senses."
I know I harp on this subject, but that attitude of his also clashes with most people's entire image of the ' 50s in a big way.