Friday, July 14, 2017

Terror of the Speedy Goat!

Of all the ridiculous, kookball stories I've posted here over the last decade of this blog's existence, this one is sure to find a rightful place waaaay up there on top with the kookiest of 'em! Have fun with this one, fiends-- Mr. Karswell's positive that you're gonna eat it up! From the October 1952 issue of Mysterious Adventures #10.

And thanks again to one of my bestest bloggin' chums, Mr. Cavin for the wonderful package of books and his excellent illustration of me in the early 80's beating the Williams arcade classic, JOUST game late one night at a Showbiz Pizza Place-- the only arcade game I ever defeated! Yep, true story!


Mestiere said...

In this 1952 story we have an evil American company firing a local employee in Mexico for getting injured. But that happens in the U.S. all the time, then and now. With certain exceptions, every state recognizes the doctrine of “at-will” employment. At-will employment means both the employer and employee are free to terminate their working relationship at any time, for just about any reason and without warning. An at-will employee can be fired at anytime, with or without cause. (Montana is the only state which requires an employer to have “just cause” to fire an employee, once the employee has completed a probationary period.) This is one of the many ways in which the United States is an exceptional country. The U.S. is one of only a handful of countries where employment is predominantly at-will. Most countries throughout the world allow employers to dismiss employees only for cause.

There are no goat gods in Latin America because goats are not from the Americas, they originated in the Middle East. And "voo-doo", of course, is of African origin.

The culture of Manuel Torres, which worshiped speed, might have been inspired in the real life Tarahumara Indians from Mexico. The Tarahumara word for themselves, RarĂ¡muri, means "those who run fast". They have a tradition of very long distance running. They run up to 200 miles in two days going down canyons and up and down mountains.

Bert looked really happy as a goat, ecstatic really. Is it really revenge if you make your victim happier than he was before?

Brian Barnes said...

I let others talk about the crazy parts, I want to talk about the characters. Manuel got his "revenge," but was it really deserved?

Certainly, he was treated poorly by the company, and certainly, companies can be greedy and treat their workers like dirt. At the same time, he knew that his entire worth was in his speed; after the injury, there wasn't anything he could do about it.

Bert just got the job. He didn't take it, or steal it, from Manuel! He wasn't even particularly mean to Manuel! Did he steal Manuel's girlfriend? He didn't use hypnotism (unless it was off panel!) She decided to leave Manuel for him.

Look, I can feel bad for Manuel, but his revenge is very much misplaced, if not outright undeserved.

That said, I'd pay good money for a cool skull/devil/goat statue!

Morbid said...

You're right, Karswell, this one is Kooky with a capital K. I had fun reading it. It achieves that surreal dream world aura I like in these stories. I was only thrown a bit when the text box ended up on the bottom of the panel rather than the top on a few panels where it should have been. And the ending, though I felt disappointed a bit when I first read it, stuck with me as kind of haunting actually. Some say that somewhere up in the treacherous mountains of Kalan, the mad goat man still climbs -- best not try to take any of his precious herbs!

Glowworm said...

Yeah, this is one weird story. There's some misplaced revenge, some mismatched cultures and probably one of the silliest curses I've ever seen placed upon a victim. Heck, the only way it could have possible gotten even goofier is if Burt started acting like a goat before his climbs and started eating tin cans!
I do love that little skull headed goat statue though! That thing is awesome looking.

Morbid said...

Mestiere is both right and wrong. There are native mountain goats all over the Canadian U.S. rockies and they can climb like crazy. However they don't range down to Mexico. The writer of this story no doubt thought they did when they wrote this crazy story.

But if you really want to get into the weeds on a whimsical 1950's horror comic book story, I looked it up and there was the Harrington's mountain goat which did range down through Mexico until it became extinct about 10,000 years ago when the Clovis People arrived. So I would propose that the goat god in the story was at least 10,000 years old and had been passed down from generation to generation in the village. That's my theory.

Mestiere said...

I was thinking of domestic goats but you are right, Morbid, those could be North American goats. Obviously the goat god has been busy turning American tourists into goats, and logically they would be turned into North American goats!

Mr. Karswell said...

Well, now I know who to call on when I need some goat expertise!

I think...

Morbid said...

I will tell you, Karswell, if you put a great brain like Mestiere's together with mine -- or in fact any decent combination of the massive brain trust you have created with this blog, you'll get expertise on all kinds of things esoteric. Mexican goat god statues and curses, brain-bats, weretigers -- you name it! The cable news pundits have got nothing on your readership!

Mr. Karswell said...

Haha, my plan is working perfectly then!

JMR777 said...

To add to this comic (which can be filed under what were these comic writers drinkin' or smokin') the lil goat god looks like a satyr, only the pan flute is missing.

South American beliefs, Voodoo (which didn't show up in North America until the 1700's) Roman satyr goat god, bizarre revenge/weregoat curse, this sounds like the plot of an Ed Wood flick!

The fifties horror comics ran the gamut from terrifying to just plain nuts.

Mr. Cavin said...

"...goats are not from the Americas, they originated in the Middle East."

So now I get why the chupacabras were always lining up at Lebanese takeout joints.