Sunday, January 20, 2019

Curse of the Jabberwock

Today we have a rollickin', highly atmospheric, old dark house creature feature, with super art by an unknown artist (any guesses?) --from the March 1952 issue of Crime Mysteries #12. I do wish Ribage had allowed said artist at least one more page to help flesh out a few more of the climactic visual details, (so that the out-of-left-field narrative didn't have to do all the talkin'), but still-- fun fun fun-- and that's a great lookin' monster to boot! And before Brian says anything about the girl in the last panel at the bottom of page 3, I have 3 words: Bathed. In. Moonlight.









9 comments:

Nequam said...

Fun little story, but I'm a bit puzzled by the last panel of page 3. Is Dale Tremaine (I think that's the character) supposed to be abnormally pale with fright, or did the colorist miss something?

glowworm2 said...

Feels a bit like "And then there Were None" if the murderer donned a monster costume.

Brian Barnes said...

I guess that's the last time I make a snarky remark at a porky pig comic on FB -- I'm going to get name-checked in a post at The Horrors of it All! :). And now @Nequam picks up the baton, this is going to be a long night!

OK, the story, yeah, it's a standard old house murder mystery. The art is *great* and I swear this is coincidence, I'd rather have seen this in B&W (not continuing on the moonlight joke, I swear!). The artist had a lot of skill with shading and backgrounds and the it just ended up darkening in the coloring. Freeing it from the color would have made the art even better.

I swear there's a small bit of Wood in that art, but I'm terrible at artist spotting.

John said...

Some of the faces and crosshatch work is reminiscent of Kinstler, but I don't think he ever worked for Ribage. I can see a little Wood there, too. It's actually pretty nice work, whoever it is!

Mr. Cavin said...

I'm not usually comfortable with this much crosshatching in newsprint comics. It comes apart when the images are enlarged, and details are lost when the images are reduced. Also, the old, cheapie printing plays hell with a lot of little line detail, and some of these panels are nothing but. Also, the colorist has to be incredibly precise to keep from muddying up the works, while misaligned registration frequently boinks that kind of precision (though at this late date, the aging of those color blocks don't really muddle the lines as much as they might've--Look at that girl at the bottom of page three. Obviously the slavishly natural verisimilitude of competent comic book color has entirely faded away there). All that said, I feel like the artist made a conscious decision to deliberately evoke the woodcuts that often illustrate Through the Looking Glass, and I can respect that. Even if it doesn't work perfectly.

And this is really competent stuff. I'd love to check out the original art boards. The draftsmanship is very good. I still mostly gravitate to the frames without the hatching, though: The top row of page two, the (likely painted) outline image of the Jabberwocky on page four.

Mr. Cavin said...

PS, I love the wonky cover on this ish, too. Now that's what I call moon-bathed! That lady's got the green cheese shining all over her.

JBM said...

To me this had an old movie feel all the way through. I enjoyed it very much as such. The grainy dimly lit photography captured perfectly by this art. The plot as mentioned by Glowworm2 reminded me more of Charlie Chan and others. Thank you Mr.K.

JMR777 said...

I had heard of being scared as white as a sheet but this is ridiculous.

Horror doesn't have to be supernatural beasties, man is sometimes worse than the devil himself!

Mr. Karswell said...

Glad everyone enjoyed this story, and fun to see some of you chime in on my inside joke with Brian. You guys have checked out his Mondopiece Theatre channel on youtube, yes?

Something witchy and extra bitchy up next... stay tombed!