Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Curse of the Mandibles (Dr. Drew)

Who says Werewolf Wednesday has to be on a Wednesday? Derrrr, I only say this now because oops I forgot to hit publish on this post yesterday after uploading it! Distraction distractions!! And yeah, it's been a while since I featured a fun and frightening Dr. Drew horror mystery, so let's take a look at some more brilliant early work from Jerry Grandenetti (sorry, its been recolored by Eclipse in '85 though) and marvel at what some comic book legends could accomplish over half a century ago with just 8 pages to work with. Originally presented in the Oct '50 issue of Ranger Comics #55.


Brian Barnes said...

Grandenetti had a pretty good career, but all his years with Eisner is pretty obvious on this work. I'm not the best artist spotter but without the signature I would have sworn this was Eisner.

Is Dr. Drew immortal? First off, he takes a hit from a SPIKED MACE to the head and basically just gets knocked out, and his head caved in. Second, he just keeps harassing the sister even though she's constantly trying to kill him. Even shots him!

The art in this thing is spectacular. The splash, the inserted transformation scene, some of the camera angle, very Eisner-ish (not taking away from Grandenetti). Great stuff.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

As you said, Karswell, this lovely story is from "Mr. Monster" n. 4, 1985, a series I love.

The story was reprinted from another reprint, that was in the fanzine "Rocket's Blast Comic Collector" n. 141 (1971).

This 1985 version shows an alternative sequence of the transformation of Charles into a monster, different from the one showed in "Ranger Comics" 55, but it's actually the FIRST version of the sequence.

James Van Hise (publisher of RBCC) explains this in a letter to M. T. Gilbert ,published in "Mr. Monster's Hi Octane Horror" n. 1 (1985):

"That's because the panel was redrawn and pasted over back in 1950. When the artwork turned up in the early 70's, such paste over had fallen off". [RBCC reprinted the story from original art].

Incidentally, I think this first version is much better. Can't figure out why it was changed. Here's the link to the 1950's redrawn sequence:

Mr. Cavin said...

Oh nice, it's John Brahms 1942 manor werewolf thriller The Undying Monster,* retasked as a Dr. Drew story. Works pretty well too, since the original story is already about a detective swinging by the old dark house to solve their medieval curse for them. All they had to do was slot the new character in and go. Anyway, an old favorite.

These eighties colors sure are weird, though. Like I mentioned on the recent Dennis the Menace post: man, once you get used to seeing one thing, done one way, some slight alteration on that expectation can translate into a giant uncanny valley. An uncanny canyon. I spent way more time checking out the odd halftone screen (rather than Ben Day's fixed dot) color passes here than than I think I was supposed to.

* of course, the movie is a very faithful adaptation of the 1922 book of the same name by Jessie Douglas Kerruish. Bet these guys saw the movie, though.

Mestiere said...

You are right, J_D_La_Rue_67, the original sequence was better!

This was fun in a campy, semi-comical sort of way. My favorite part is the mind-blasting revelation that the curse caused the victims to strangle themselves, something that is, of course, not possible. But again, neither is becoming a six-fingered monster.

Grant said...

I definitely wanted Melani to survive.