Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Shadows in Pawn / Devil's Stones

The final two pieces of the June 1952 issue of The Unseen #5 puzzle... a puzzling issue of high weirdness I mean, as witnessed in our last post HERE about the hunter, but also the story about the giant man-eating caterpillar in the THOIA Archive HERE; the spectral highwayman horrors from an Alex Toth classic HERE, and finally today's Abe Simon entry about a man without a shadow! (Plus a one page bonus filler tale.) Hope everyone enjoyed another FULL ISSUE presentation!


Mestiere said...

If a man doesn't have a shadow (he doesn't stop light), wouldn't he be invisible? Unless his own body emitted light. But in that case he would be visible in a dark room, he couldn't not know he didn't have a shadow. And there would be no shadows on his own body, meaning that he could stand in front of a light source and be perfectly visible. I wish the comic had addressed some of this things.

In the Electric Universe theory—a branch of Plasma Cosmology—a planet with no shadows is possible. In that theory brown dwarves (about ninety percent of stars) are gas giant planets similar to Saturn and Jupiter surrounded by a hollow sheath of plasma held in place by electrostatic forces. The satellites of those planets would be rocky worlds like Earth or Mars, they would be within the sheath of plasma, and would get light from every point in the sky at the same time. As a result there would be no sharp shadows. Instead light would diminish gradually as you enter a house, for example.

The last page is from the narrative Lithobolia published in London in 1698. It can be seen as one of the first reports about poltergeists. The story was also reported in Increase Mather's book Illustrious Providences.

Brian Barnes said...

My response to meeting a man without a shadow: "I have hundreds of experiments to run!" The people in this story: "Tiz the devil, himself!"

I art is super interesting in this one. Our heroes are draw in a very advertisement like clean style with thin, crisp lines, but our evil shop keeper is draw with thick lines and dark shadows. I'm surprised we didn't see more of that kind of art in horror comics. I don't know if it exactly works, it's a bit on the nose, but I like it!

"The Devil's Stones" is just like the kind of short, "true stories of the unexplained" that I devoured as a kid. I like how Satan is about ready to drop a damn boulder on his head on that last panel, completely ignoring the caption!

glowworm2 said...

I always found this story to be so weird. How does one even forget that they pawned away their shadow to some creepy nutjob 5 years ago?

JMR777 said...

I liked both stories, though I liked the one pager the best. Sometimes a one pager can get the job done better than a 4-5 page tale.

Thank you for these great posts.

Mr. Cavin said...

I assume it was the artist who came up with the plot here--nobody fights for the light to type. The story reminds me of all those days and nights I spent hunched over an art table, lamp in one hand and technical pen in the other, desperately trying to mitigate my own shadow. This guy should have thought about becoming a surgeon or something.

Grant said...

About the only fly in the ointment for me is that list of physical conditions not having a shadow is supposedly WORSE THAN. Hyperbole is one thing, but the things mentioned are a bit much.

Like Brian Barnes, I always like seeing "Fortean" text stories worked into these horror comics. Let alone one that combines one of those "falling stones" stories with a New England setting.

dungeon master said...

The plot of this story is quite good! Thanks for posting.