Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lover

It pains Mr. Karswell greatly to admit to you all, that despite my vast collection of comic books and other ephemera related material, I actually do not own even one single piece of original golden age precode artwork, be it a cover, or random interior page of simple pencil, or ink! I've tried my hand a few times online, even held some in my skeletal hands at conventions! But alas, luck hath not yet become my friend on said pricey subject. I do suppose if the offer came down the pike, and I were somehow given the chance to pick any page from any story during this horrific 1950's era, page 5 of today's superbly insane story with exceptionally eerie awesome art (by Ed Waldman?) would most certainly be high on my list. It's pretty much got everything: creepy graveyard and freshly exhumed corpses, and sexy mad robo-science gone gory good, and self destructively brutal. It really is 7 of my all time favorite panels, all on one putrid page, and I really do hope everyone enjoys it, as we finally reach the big Valentine's Day Massacre terror tale here at THOIA.

From the June 1953 issue of This Magazine is Haunted #11.























And for another kind of Valentine's Day Massacre, be sure to head over to my other blog HERE, for a really smokin' hot shot of holiday heartburn!

9 comments:

JBM said...

Not wanting to be a contrarian but, I like the following page better Mr. K.. Page six is wonderful. Starting with the close-up. "Like a radio controlled torpedo speeding to its target". Incredible. So post-war. The web and spider foreshadow. I like the man seated next to Lover gazing intently at her and not the stage. Love mirror shots. The fawning butler's face. The look on the cabbie's face as Lover enters. I just like that page! Page eight has that great Lover in the doorway panel. Her posture & his face. The previous panel's relaxed pipe filling suddenly shattered. The second to last panel on that same page with the murderous expression and shadow revealed deed. YAAAAAH! The running Raymond's on page nine were fun. YAAAAAAAAAA, Thank you Mr.K.

Mestiere said...

"I'm so completely disgusted by these women Walters", says Raymond while looking at Walters with the corner of his eyes. "If I could find someone truly enchanting..."
"I hope it will be one of our best nights!" says Walters with a knowing smile. A deleted panel would have revealed that neither of them were wearing pants.

"He's good Kathy! But I've heard stories about his... " sexuality? Even in the fifties there were plenty of rumors about gay actors getting into fake relationships with women—even marrying them briefly—to cover up the truth.

"...at dinner he was his suave, gay, self-assured self..." No need to be more explicit. We got it.

GIRL COMMITS SUICIDE. Looks like Kathy walked in on Raymond and Walters.

Creepy panel with all those bodies on that cart. Very Holocaust-y.

And then for the sequence that makes this the gayest story ever published here. Peter Scott dies and immediately his part corpse, part robot woman comes to life. That's right, Peter Scott's consciousness was transferred to Dulcet Mort. Peter will now take revenge on Raymond Lawrence by having sex with him for months and months!

" Dulcet Mort was the most ravishing, the most exciting girl he had ever met!" It's just like kissing Walters! Maybe I am straight!

"Please get rid of him, dearest! He may be your friend, but he's not the right type for you!" If you want to have sex with a man, here I am!

"But each time Raymond Lawrence saw lover, a gradual lassitude and general weakness overcame him..." It's called automaton initiated draining of stamina, or AIDS.

The moral of the story? Don't live a lie.

This story had more subtext than an Alan Moore comic. And great art too.

Brian Barnes said...

I want to build a half robot-half zombie, transfer my life energy into it, and then go out and kill the colorist. There's other colors than yellow, and sometimes -- I know it's rare -- people aren't one color. They have clothes that are usually different color than, say, their skin.

The laughing skeleton on page 5 is incredible, as is the melting panel. It's quite the page. More so if you LIKE YELLOW. ARGH.

This is a great story -- it's long but it never feels tedious and I boy did I love seeing our playboy get tortured panel after panel and page after page. I loved watching him get away (twice!) only to have her show back up. I do wish the panels at the very end were a bit more grisly or close up, as the artist didn't shy away from the horror earlier and the last two panels feel like a very slight let down.

Coloring aside, this is a great one.

Grant said...

"Finding ego-satisfaction in her pretense of misery."

I've almost never heard a "lothario" character do that much analyzing of one of them women. Is it rationalizing or does he really look at it that way? Or both? Either way, maybe he's at least partly right.

glowworm2 said...

Mestiere's theory that Raymond is secretly gay is hilarious.
Although to me,Lover,aka Dulcet Mort is more like a sex robot. She's literally been made to please one man in particular.
Although, it does bring me to a question: Since Dulcet Mort is made from dead body parts, yet she's actually a robot, is this considered necrophilia or robot fetishism?

JMR777 said...

This Magazine is Haunted could give EC a run for their money when it came to over the top WTF stories like this one.

Robot Zombie Love Machine, the instrument of revenge and a good name for a rock band.

Fangs for this bloody Valentine, Karswell.

Mr. Cavin said...

One of the amazing things about this one, for me, is the way it turns on a dime at page four. I like how our story "really begins" at the bottom of page two --only for things to then go from merrymaking to suicide-induced madness between panels just a page an a half later. There's an argument to be made that this is where a whole new story also really begins; or at least this third act comes off as the story's big twist. I would love to go back in time and stick this into a straightfaced romance book instead. Give the Exciting Romances reader the shock of her young life.

I certainly agree about page five (and would add the last two panels of page four to it, if possible), though I wonder whether I would love the original art boards as much as the printed pages here. It's hard to tell. This is likely an example of the worst possible plastic-plate printing, cheap and inaccurate as can be. It's obvious the paper and the inks used were never meant to last; they have corroded and flaked away badly. (I would argue with Brian that the yellowing of the paper and the relative expense of cyan inks likely contribute to his experience of the colors here. See the way the blacks have degraded? So have the blues. Only yellow has been strengthened over time). All that's just to say that I can't tell what scratchy character exists in this old thing that might not really be present in the art itself. And I, and admittedly maybe only me, would hate to lose the colors, too--especially that first panel on page five, with the concentric light rings. I love that shit.

Eh, if you ask me the real art in old comics is always the print. I mean, I love art boards, sure; but comics are a collaboration between craft and process, a witches' brew of story prompt, (two-part?) illustration, union colorist, and a mechanical process that introduced unexpected variation at every level (and then you mix-in acidic inks, poor quality tools, and crappy paper, stir for sifty-odd years) and what you have in your collection is as unique--and far more complicated--than those old art boards ever were.

(Not that I wouldn't love to own both, of course...)

Mr. Cavin said...

Oh and PS, happy Valentine's Day everybody! This has been a great holiday month around here, Karswell. Thanks!

Darci said...

Until the circuits and tubes came into the picture, I thought this was going to be the story from "Frankenstein Created Woman". The resemblance is uncanny.

I see on the GCD that this story was reprinted (in monochrome) in Spellbound #34. It would be nice to see if subtracting out the yellow makes it better or worse?
Thanks!