Thursday, February 28, 2019

Wedded to a Witch

The weird, blasphemous sounds of wedding bells ring out one last time, as we finish up our month long excursion into haunted horror love stories. We hope you had a maniacally romantic time, haha... today's wicked tale is from the August 1952 issue of The Beyond #14, with art by Bill Molno.















7 comments:

Mestiere said...

Sid Leonard sees a witch flying through the night after which he finds her locked behind ice. Zoe the witch has been the queen of some zombie-like creatures for hundreds of years despite the fact that Sid just saw her flying on a broom minutes before. Despite being ancient, Zoe asks for coffee at some diner and later smokes a cigarette. She knew that "about 50 miles out, on this highway, there is a justice of the peace who will marry us immediately!" She also speaks in modern English. At no moment does the protagonist react to any of these contradictions nor to many more I won't bother to recount.

I think I know what happened here. "...my imagination is playing tricks on me, tonight", said Sid in the first panel while hallucinating some "demonic, other-world creatures" in some ice formations. "Sid Leonard found that he couldn't sleep. He was filled with a strange feeling of depression...". That's right, Sid was suffering from a psychotic breakdown which culminated in his deliberate or accidental suicide. This is why, despite the story lasting over a year and involving a lot of driving and moving around at the end Sid's dead body appeared—still young—in the same place where he had seen the witch at the beginning of the story. It was all a hallucination he experienced in a single night.

glowworm2 said...

This story always confused the heck out of me. If Zoe has been living frozen among the ice in the Niagara Falls for a hundred years, then how the heck does she know what a car is, let along a cigarette?

I do love the third panel on the fourth page of Zoe rapidly aging while she's smoking a cigarette.

What also confuses me is how quickly Zoe and Sid's emotions keep changing around. Sid's I can understand because he's partially drugged in the beginning--but even afterwards,when the drugs are starting to wear off and Zoe tells him that he doesn't have to stay with him now, he still chooses to do so. Then later on, when he starts aging, he begins to regret what he did again, yet he still goes out to seek and help her because he trusts her, and maybe does actually love her.

As for Zoe though--she managed to get Sid to marry her, prevent herself from aging away into dust, yet she's never entirely free as the demon keeps seeking them out. Yet afterwards when Sid has finally found her once again, she doesn't seem to remember him, and she appears perfectly content in her ice kingdom. Either she's "Let it Go" or the demons now have her under their own sort of spell. Or maybe she planned it that way. So what was the entire point of trying to escape from them in the fist place?

I know it's a supernatural comic, but this one makes as much sense as a cat suddenly sprouting wings and flying out the window.

Brian Barnes said...

Everybody before me has already pointed out the oddity of the story but the coloring is ... interesting.

A lot of hard lines -- the splash -- page 2, panel 6, page 6, panel 1, and the waterfall drop panel. Really odd ideas from the colorist, but it certainly stark. Art is pretty decent but there's some rushed bit (the splash seems rushed, which is weird as other panels aren't.)

I have to say I enjoy these stories which have no internal consistency. It does have the one thing that always bothered me -- when there's a rule set -- like her rescuer has to marry her before dawn (what if he rescued her at 6 am?) -- why does it still work if it's compelled? That doesn't seem exactly fair! Why have a witch rule set if the witch can just hypnotize anybody she needs?

JMR777 said...

Simple answer to this comic story's existence-
This was a Gallio movie filmed in the seventies, but the female star was really a witch and didn't like the way she was portrayed, so she banished everyone involved in the film into a comic book story and made most of them into ghoul demons set in the frozen falls, then sent the comic into the past, but was accidently pulled into the comic herself, and a drunk comic artist found the story and passed it on to his publisher as his own story, and that is how we ended up with this tale. Either that or the comic artist was drunk when he wrote it/drew it. Reefer was still available back then, wasn't it?

Mr. Cavin said...

I like a good, well-balanced narrative with mystery and character development as much as the next reader. It's easy to love high quality. But it takes a whole 'nother set of skills altogether to love a kind of manic and unhinged hundred-mile-per-hour headlong dive into some psychotronic k-hole of abject weirdness like we have here today. I am definitely that exact reader. I have those skills. This thing reads like Suspiria went off on a high-octane bender with Wild at Heart. It comes across like dilerious seventies counter-culture animation, and I want to imagine all the character voices were supplied by helpful tourist kiosk robots or sexy (but bored) Italians who have very nearly mastered a Chicago accent. The lava lamp color scheme helps the mood tremendously, but it's those whackadoodle dialog balloons that introduce a freaky new idea in each and every frame, and push this story completely into bizarresville. It's hard to imagine it wasn't written, one sentence at a time, around a suspicious bonfire by a coven of adulterated scouts. I loved it.

Grant said...

The fact that it's set at Niagara Falls, the famous honeymoon spot, has to be an inside joke. But it's clever of the story to leave it at that, instead of spelling it out.

Mr. Karswell said...

HAHAHAHA, Mr C: that might be my all time favorite comment for you EVER! OMG lol

And I agree about the splash.... is it just me or does that ghoul back look like someone's butt a'terror twerkin'?!

Glad everyone enjoyed this month of lurid, lousy love stories, lots more on the way here in March-- stay tombed!