Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The Fatal Note!

Another dreadfully drenched tale of death and drama (and sweat beads) on the high seas, from the Ziff-Davis summer 1952 issue of Nightmare #1. Real nice art by Syd Shores, with a possible sweat bead assist from Rudy Palais (just joking.) Sweat beads-- the beads of sweat!













12 comments:

Mestiere said...

"Get away! There's only room for one!"

Morta said there was enough room for two on that little piece of wood. Then there should have been enough space for two on that door at the end of Titanic. According to this they could have both survived had Jack and Rose just been a little bit smarter.

This whole story could have happened in Walter's guilty mind except that Morta appears after Walter had drowned, turning a story of overwhelming, corroding guilt into one of divine retribution. Still, entertaining and with good art.

Brian Barnes said...

So neither of them had the bright idea to put on a life jacket? Morta surely waits around for dolts, doesn't it?

Page 4, panel 3 is probably a tracing, it looks different from the other art and the representation of Walter. Walter's reaction at the end is the same thing that happened to [SPOILER for an ANCIENT movie] Ronnie Cox in Deliverance (depending on how you view that scene.)

Some great art and some great atmosphere, and a good guilt/revenge story.

Page 5, panel 4 is a panel that really catches my eye. It's a good job of taking what could be a boring talking head panel and making it interesting.

JMR777 said...

Lifejackets people, lifejackets.

Lifejackets- Saving lives and keeping people away from the lighthouse of Death since 1870 if not earlier.

glowworm2 said...

I don't know why, but Morta is the best part of this story. It could have simply been a story about a man being haunted by his guilt of leaving his fiancee to drown and eventually drowning himself in the same exact spot and it still would have been good. Yet the addition of Morta makes this story even better. Morta knows exactly what Walt did and that he absolutely does not deserve to live. Yet he is also willing to give Walt a chance (although chances are that if he knew that Fate brought Walt to him, he probably also knew that Walt was doomed to fail his chance after all.)Yet, all Morta really needs to do is see if Walt's own guilt will catch up with him. He really doesn't have to warn him that his time is up or that he's here to take him for good this time.
I absolutely love the closeup panel of Morta wagging his finger and offering Walt his deal.
Oh and the last panel with Morta stamping the paper note is great.

Mestiere said...

"I absolutely love the closeup panel of Morta wagging his finger..."

"His"? Morta was the Roman goddess of death!

glowworm2 said...

Mestiere, ah, pardon me. I did notice that Morta's name did sound rather feminine--but it's really hard to tell the gender of someone when they're little more than a nondescript skeleton wearing a long black hooded robe.

Mestiere said...

..."it's really hard to tell the gender of someone when they're little more than a nondescript skeleton... "

Also not being able to hear her voice. I bet she sounds like Minnie Mouse on helium.

Mr. Karswell said...

Haha, great comments... see you guys tomorrow with another nightmare! Sweet dreams!

Todd said...

Morta seems pretty nice here. "All you need do is this one thing, and you have a whole year!" Of course, bad guys in these stories gotta be bad guys.

Mr. Cavin said...

I spent most of the story hoping he'd wait till the very last day--last minute!--and then bust out the necessary confession to the next girlfriend. Morta wound then appear in a whiff of petulant smoke--denied!--and say something to the effect of "No way! You've upheld your end of our bargain, Walter Gregory, and so that means you are free to walk the world of the living unmolested by my bony hand" before she then disappears into the swirling ether. At which point Lillian, overcome with angry grief, produces a snub-nose revolver--"she was my best friend, you... you bastard"--and shoots ol' Walt full of holes. But Morta's gone. Walt just has to live with bleeding .38 caliber holes all through him for the rest of his life. Bummer.

Fade out.

Todd said...

Mr. Cavin's endings are better. Especially if "Bummer." actually appears as narration at the end.

JBM said...

Nice post. Have to agree with glowworm2 that Morta makes this story a cut above. Thank you Mr. K.