Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Witch Killer vs. Deadliest Witch

Live! From our Coven of 13 witches in beautiful downtown Gehenna, THOIA presents the 13th post of April 2019, and we're doing it on Walpurgis Night too! Now if for some reason you don't believe that's black magical enough, it's a damned double header, doomed double dose of Rudy Palais as well-- and both stories deal directly with ::drum roll:: witches! The first is a drippy trippy classic from the September 1952 issue of Black Cat #39, closely followed by a REALLY tasty terror tale from the July 1954 issue of Horrific #12.

Everyone have a wonderful evening, burn the midnight fires-- and celebrate wisely!





















9 comments:

Glowworm said...

I do love myself a good witch tale!
The first one has some excellent art of the creepy zombie witch stalking the earth for her revenge. I feel like this story is mistitled though as we only see the actual witch killer, Anthony Raven, for a second in the story. It should really be "Witch Killer Killing Witch! Also, this one's got a surprise ending to it. Not only does the witch fulfill her revenge successfully, she ends up going back where she came from afterwards due to it. Two things you don't normally see in this sort of tale--the villain losing because they actually won!

As for the second tale--the twist is actually kind of subtle if you don't read the host's introduction of the witch and her daughters carefully. When I first read it, I knew right away due to recalling that introduction--but at the same time it amuses me. Hey, kids, want to learn how to count? Read this creepy story!

Mr. Karswell said...

I think the title is perfect as well as ironic— she killed herself, haha

Brian Barnes said...

OK The Witch Killer. This one left me puzzled as if I missed something. I read it three times and, no, I don't think I did. I think that the story had a different element in it and got rewritten.

They talked about the chemical reaction that made the witch come back to life (not magic?)

Her first victim, the scientist, was a weird plot detail that didn't play off, and then there was the chemical explosion ("spewed out it's content") which seemed to be adding to the story of the chemical mix that brought the witch to life.

Then, at the end, she's caught unaware and melts down. I *suspect* the story revolved around chemicals to much more of a degree. Something in the Korea (a gas attack mixed with the other chemicals?) killed the witch. Somewhere -- maybe because of the Korean angle -- the text got rewritten.

Well, I've ranted and wasted enough space :) I also liked the Deadliest Witch, but like Glowworm I caught the 3 daughters instantly.

Glowworm said...

Now that you've mentioned it, "Witch Killer" is a pretty clever title after all.

Mr. Cavin said...

Happy Walpurgis Night!

Man, Palais really out-Rudied even his own self in that first story. There are twenty blobs of profuse sweating in the second panel of page two alone! That Korean War soldier's helmet is even sweating.

I liked it a lot. I'm not sure I've ever seen one of these family curse stories that properly imagined just how many descendants the hangman (or whoever) would likely have after ten generations. I might have liked to see another page of revenge montage, but I'm greedy. The drippy, veiny art here is amazing. Page two is a horror masterpiece, up there some of the best work I've seen. If Palais had worked at this level all the time, he should have been over at EC.

But often he worked at the level of the second story. I'm not knocking it--this is outsider gumption at its finest, told with more raw emotional grit than practiced draftsmanship--but it's not exactly Ingels. And still: pages four and five are great sequential storytelling, like on par with Alex Toth. Also dig that first panel on page three. What kind of mad genius concocts that visual? It's crude as hell but amazingly weird. (I like the Flintstone house in the next panel, too).

The Lee Elias cover on BLACK CAT MYSTERY is superb. But that Don Heck cover on this post's HORRIFIC is wonderful like a stained glass window.

Mestiere said...

The Witch Killer

In other stories the dead witch would be connected to a particular location. Perhaps a descendant of the Raven clan would buy her house or find her tomb. This dead witch went all the way to Korea!

It looks like the story was trying for some chemical explanation for the witch's final destruction but chickened out. The witch was exposed to chemicals in her burying ground and also at the scientist's lab. I think she was supposed to be exposed to chemicals in Korea too, maybe some kind of gas, judging for how cloudy the battlefield is. The soldier assumes he is hallucinating when he sees the witch. Perhaps it was too controversial to imply the use of chemical weapons in Korea that could affect American soldiers.

The Deadliest Witch

Here's an alternate ending for this story:

"Ah, you thought Ellie was a witch because I said earlier the witch had three daughters and you only saw two! Fooled you!!The other daughter moved out of the house. Ellie is a vampire! That's why she is so much hotter than the witches and is afraid of crucifixes!"

JBM said...

Wow! Creepy, gruesomely disgusting first tale. Second was well done even though it was all so obvious. Thank you Mr. K. Hope you enjoyed your night.

Liz D-M said...

Just in time for Hexennacht, I see.

Grant said...

Along with the lesson of "The most beautiful witch is the deadliest witch," there's also the lesson of the hot hitchhiker in a suspense story almost always leading to some kind of trouble.