Thursday, April 11, 2019

The Horror of the Hearse

What's that you scream, not enough chemical vat torture stories here at THOIA? Well, let me rectify that NOW. Fans of mysterious detective tales (like Dr. Drew for example) should enjoy this eerie expedition into macabre murder and vengeance, as Kirk of Scotland Yard faces one of his most facelessly evil adversaries! From the Dec '47 issue of Manhunt #3, with perfectly petrifying art by Paul Parker!


JBM said...

Wow Mr. K., another hero with questionable actions. I enjoyed the art and story. The antagonists face being nice and gruesome. The denouement was a bit rushed though, for my tastes. That "black Cat" cover, I liked the little green man jumping with excitement. Thank you Mr. K.

Mestiere said...

Ever seen some of those Bollywood movies where they anachronistically have horses and cars, swords and bullets? Everything seems to happen in some kind of simultaneous Supernow. Well, this story did one better. It happens in a Superhere. Not only are horse-drawn hearses, cops driving cars and Medieval family feuds contemporaneous, but Spanish families from the Inquisition exist in the same place as Scotland Yard. Neither time nor place are limitations for this writer.

What a conscientious citizen Gaye Kaily was. She gets captured at the beginning by mistake, abandoned for having the wrong color eyes and no mole, then she calls Scotland Yard and they convince her to get captured a second time by a torturer. And this time the eye color and lack of a mole won't save her, they put colored contact lenses on her and a fake mole! But Gaye was risking life and limb for no reason, Donna Luisa was dead. On top of that Hodges, Kirk's man, lost track of her and it's just by a miracle—he overheard "The Skeleton" telling an address to the driver—that Kirk saved her. With his fists because, you know, English cops don't use guns.

Karswell, you said that you love it when the comments get weirder than the stories. That's going to be a challenge this time!

Guy Callaway said...

Okay, that was awesome.
Could easily be an early '60's Italian/German horror movie.

Guy Callaway said...


'Ever seen some of those Bollywood movies where they anachronistically have horses and cars, swords and bullets?'

Completely the same with many 30's/40's cheap westerns.
Jeez, guys, WHEN is this taking place??

Mestiere said...

"Completely the same with many 30's/40's cheap westerns."

I thought of that! And didn't Roy Rogers and Gene Autry drive jeeps on their shows?

By the way, Guy Calloway, I read the EC comic story you mentioned. It's Pickled Pints! on Vault of Horror #29. Graham Ingels was A-number-1 when it came to horror art.

Grant said...

Speaking of Scotland and anachronisms, the notorious anthology film GALLERY OF HORROR has a story set in "Edinburgh in the 18th Century," where a character has a short phone conversation.

Brian Barnes said...

I have to question the justice in all of this.

Jaime kind of had a real point in his vengeance. They tortured him for FIVE YEARS and turned him into a living skeleton! Did our inspector ever mention that his torturers were caught? NOPE! Just trying to catch the poor living skeleton. I'm pretty sure his victims deserved their fate. I'm not promoting vigilantism but come on! FIVE YEARS OF TORTURE. For falling in love with somebody?


That chemical vat panel is awesome.

JMR777 said...

This could have been an adventure in the Doctor Who series with the third doctor, Jon Pertwee, as the hero. Make the Pre-Skeletor villain a threat from the future trying to eliminate the ancestors of his rival. The Doctor's companion, Sarah Jane, gets kidnapped due to mistaken identity just as in the comic, and its a race against time for the Time Lord to save his companion.

Is this comment weird enough for ya?

Mr. Cavin said...

Oh man! A skeleton with a pompadour from a fifties comic! That's some kind of undead hepcat fashion right there. Since this takes place in post-war London, I guess our revenge-mad international man of mystery was trying to fit into the network of gangland Teddy Boys feeding him necessary street dope, à la the Shadow. And why not? Teens are notorious gate-keepers, but I guess one perk of being a living skeleton is that one can dodge all sorts of age restrictions.

And for the record, an image search for "horse-drawn funeral" brings up thousands of post-war examples. Meanwhile, the "wild west" most definitely lasted well into modern times. The shootout at the OK Corral happened about fifteen years before cars started appearing on US streets, but Wyatt Earp lived long enough to be a consultant on early Hollywood oaters (John Ford was a good friend, Tom Mix was one of his pall bearers). Plenty of small western towns and northern pioneer villages still looked just as "cowboy" as they ever did well into the thirties. Except for all the cars, of course.

Mestiere said...

I knew Roy Rogers owned a jeep! It was driven by his sidekick, Pat Brady. You could even buy trusted Nellybell as a toy.

If you were a fan of Roy Rogers (real name Leonard Franklin Slye) you would have seen him playing a Confederate officer during the Civil War as "himself" on the movie The Arizona Kid. You would have seen him replacing Billy the Kid in Billy the Kid Returns (also as "himself") and having many other Western adventures and then you could see him being driven around on that popular jeep on television. Staying in character all the time isn't as popular now as it used to be.

Mr. Karswell said...

Thanks for the weird comments, lol-- keep 'em coming cuz I have lots more weirdness coming right up

Grant said...

I know what Brian Barnes means. For every Phantom of the Opera type story that really goes into the character's grievances, there are many others that brush that aside.