Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Little Miss Gruesome / The Unbeliever

If you remember back in February I posted a couple creepers from the late 50's Pastime Publications issue of Weird Mysteries #1, a black and white one-shot (click HERE.) Now today we have a deuce of doom from a similarly spooky all-star artist mag-- the November 1959 issue of Eerie Tales #1 (also a one-shot and now the publisher name has changed to Hastings Associates.) Featuring illos from golden age greats, Bob Powell and Paul Reinman, plus a nice painted cover from George Tuska, Eerie Tales #1 is a fun, and sometimes very funny collection of horror tales, and at 52 pages long, you were certainly getting your money's worth, as the rest of the issue included terrors from Al Williamson, Gray Morrow, Joe Orlando, Jack Sparling, Angelo Torres, etc...!























10 comments:

Mestiere said...

Little Miss Gruesome

I knew it would be conjoined twins from page one because the midwife said there were two babies and the title was in the singular. To me the question was... in what way would they be conjoined? I hoped that they would be upside down in relation to each other. When it was time for Janice to show up Hulda would stand on her hands allowing her skirt to fall down showing her beautiful sister's head. And yes, that means that Hulda/Janice would have no legs but four arms!

The Unbeliever

I've heard that in death everyone creates their own version of the hereafter depending on what you believe. Whether it's seventy-two virgins, the fires of hell because you feel guilty or winged angels it would depend on you. But what about atheists? Supposedly they are covered by the blackest black and most absolute silence as if they were trying to be nothing. But here we see another alternative. Tom Quesson reasoned: "If there is no afterlife and I can still think then I must still be alive!" And he produces a recreation of the last thing he remembers. Rather clever.

Glowworm said...

I don't know why, but conjoined twins seemed to be a rather popular subject in old horror comics. The most famous variant of this story happens to be "About Face" from EC comics Haunt of Fear 27--which was one of the stories turned into an episode of Tales from the Crypt--with some added changes to it of course. Amusingly enough, both this story and "About Face" share the same writer, Carl Wessler.
Yet, as amusing as this tale is, there's one thing that logically mars it. If Hulda's face is on the other side of Janice's, then how the heck is she moving around when she reveals herself to her father and later goes outside? Is she moonwalking? Wouldn't her feet and arms be turned backwards? Also, it clearly states that Fred didn't seem them for 13 years--neither of those girls look 13!

As for the second tale, I guess Tom's afterlife is that he keeps having to relive his taxi crash because he doesn't believe in an afterlife. Why does he have to drag those other two people down with him though? How does Death, Charon and the Devil feel about this? "Oh, crap, it's Doubting Thomas again!"

Mr. Cavin said...

I really liked the first tale. The art was energetic and loose, very engaging. The big reveal was cleverly articulated in the frame, and that Janus joke was pretty sweet. A nice, solid story. The second one felt a little hastier. Like, if this was an ashcan ish, just to secure copyright on the title, then this story felt like it was maybe cobbled together from something else in order to meet a page count. It's still pretty good for all that. The pages feel a little empty, but those illustrations are certainly quite accomplished, and I always love to see the CrafTint DuoTone paper in action.

It's always interesting to see stuff from the end of the fifties.

Brian Barnes said...

It seems Carl Wessler recycled an old story! This is a fun version, but you just can't beat the Ingels version. In the update, the father doesn't actually kill anybody so there is a lot left over for redemption, as a matter of fact, the ending to this one is a lot more upbeat (they can work this out, and the father in this one was more sympathetic.)

I like page 4, panel 5 in The Unbeliever and I like the artist flourishes with the scratchy thick line work (like the bottom of page 1.)

I'm with @glowworm, I knew where this one was going and panels like page 3/panel 3 show the hands on the reverse way, it doesn't seem possible. The EC version kept the "ugly" twin more shrouded when she went out, so it was easier to ignore (though it would suffer from the same logic.)

The lettering reminds me of cracked magazine!

Glowworm said...

Brian Barnes,While the father is indeed a lot more sympathetic in this version of the story, there isn't a chance for redemption in this one as the narration clearly states on the last page during the reveal of the sisters that "There came another pain in Fred Judson's heart, just before it stopped beating forever... Yeah, poor Fred wasn't just shocked by this,it killed him!

Grant said...

That's a subject I can't take outside of fiction, no matter what normal lives they manage to lead (like the real-life ones in FREAKS). The only true stories I can take are ones where they're separated successfully!

In spite of that, I'm sentimental about one called "The Prodigy Son" in Eerie # 40 (written by Don Glut and drawn by Jose Bea). But I'm sentimental about it because of how much it managed to spook me.

JBM said...

Terrific! Hard to improve on this one. The final panel on page four of the unbeliever is certainly a wonderful rendition Mr.B.. Makes me think of Bruce Banner receiving his gamma indoctrination for some reason. Great black and white posting, the drawings seem cleaner without the coloring. Thanks as ever to you Mr.B.

JBM said...

I meant Mr.K. but you know

JBM said...

Not that I don't appreciate Mr.B's input.

nutsilica.blogspot.com said...

I liked the Unbeliever the most. It's almost Jack Chick like in its conviction. His unbelief is stranding him in limbo. The other people catch his unbelief and stay in a repeat with him.
They still make horror movies with this basic concept.
Quick, simple and lively.
Both of these aren't as good as the Carl Burgos ones you ran early in the year thoughl!
Those were really good.
Slight tales but Burgos' art was so lively and inventive. Career best?
Are there any more Carl Burgos illustrated tales?