Thursday, November 7, 2019

Terror from the Tomb!

If you couldn't tell, I'm a big fan of these 1940's / 50's detective stories featuring sexy, supernatural overtones, and this oddly written sock 'em shock 'em --also from the same April 1948 issue of Manhunt #7 as our last post HERE --is certainly no exception! Here we find juicy Jim Fallon of the FBI on the case (I say "juicy" because dig the babe checkin' out Jim at the top of page 3!); we also have a potential va-va-va-voom vampire girl on the prowl, brutal thugs turnin' up the horrific heat, and THOIA fan fave artist, Ogden Whitney, signing his freakin' name right in the middle of the harrowing climax! Fun, off-beat stuff that should've been made into a spooky movie or TV show back in the day, and starring Vikki Dougan as the female lead, please...

Va-Va-Va-Vikki Dougan!


Mestiere said...

Another of the many adventures of Jimmy Fallon, G-man. And, like the other Jimmy Fallon, he is only funny by accident.

𝙹̲𝚒̲𝚖̲𝚖̲𝚢̲ ̲𝙵̲𝚊̲𝚕̲𝚕̲𝚘̲𝚗̲: Hi, Bill. What did you find and where?

𝙱̲𝚒̲𝚕̲𝚕̲ ̲𝙼̲𝚘̲𝚛̲𝚛̲𝚒̲𝚜̲𝚘̲𝚗̲: I knocked this woman unconscious in the woods and instead of taking her to the hospital I decided to bring her home and dress her in a genie outfit in her sleep.

𝙹̲𝚒̲𝚖̲𝚖̲𝚢̲ ̲𝙵̲𝚊̲𝚕̲𝚕̲𝚘̲𝚗̲: Carry on.

"The fact that there have been no mysterious deaths and that Lorna seems perfectly unhurt by daylight makes me think she's a vampire," thinks Jimmy Fallon. "Instead of using a cross or garlic to be sure she's a vampire I'll just have Bill's medication checked for blood building tonics at the FBI lab. The FBI won the lottery when it hired me!"

Jimmy meets the only foe that can defeat him in a fight: a rock.

"My body is completely engulfed by flames! I'll use my special FBI training to shift my body in such a way that only my clothes and ropes get burned, not my body or hair. After that I'll cut my ropes with a wrench!"

"No time to change! I'll just show up at Bill's house in my soggy, burned clothes!" says Jimmy. "But Jimmy, we brought you a change of clothes!" say his FBI partners. "No time! To the Morrison mansion!"

"As we all know, leukemia is simply weakness of the blood, not cancer! Its perfectly curable with a blood fortifying tonic. Your butler was counterfeiting money so he switched your medication for water knowing you wouldn't notice the difference in taste. With you dead he knew he could continue the counterfeiting".

"But I never knew about the counterfeiting," says Bill. "Lorna is the one who knew. Why kill me and not her?"

"Don't ruin my moment Bill, I'm the hero!"

Vikki Dougan was a reaction to the large breasted, Jayne Mansfield types by emphasizing the back with a series of backless dresses like this one. That's the Dougan cleft!

Brian Barnes said...

This is another story where all I can say is "things happen." Many, many things.

Who does Jim Fallon think he is, Green Lantern (inside joke for 70s comic readers.)

Page 6, panel 5 is a great piece of framing.

Why did Whitney sign on such a weird panel? Was he was trying to sneak in his name? It's not an especially interesting panel, in a story full of them! Maybe if it was a sneak, he thought it would pass for water?

Whitney certainly gets his fill of girl good art in this one!

BTW, was it a requirement in 48 to wear clown pajamas?

I like these, fun reads. I'm always happy to see this "cross-over" type stories.

JBM said...

Wow! Such fun here. Thank you Mr.K.. So much done right. It brims with caring and pride on every page. Some great bad/good girl art. So many little touches of detail. The butterfly bedsheet. The Life magazine. The last panel of page three. Just terrific all around. What a conclusion. So far out of left field I was dazzeled.
Page four panel one, what is her right hand doing?

JBM said...

I wanted to comment before reading Mr.M's. I laughed and enjoyed his take very much.

JMR777 said...

This tale was a winner. The vampire angle was different, and Fallon only told the lab technician his theory and he met the response he expected. "Boy! What an imagination!"
Maybe Fallon didn't 100% believe in his vampire theory himself, but he wanted to be sure one way or another before making any accusations.

In spite of the plot holes this was a great tale, thanks Karswell.

Glowworm said...

This one is fun, and while I somewhat figured that Lorna wasn't actually a vampire despite the fun opening with her emerging from a coffin and complaining of hunger. I really love page 5, panel six where Jim is playing leapfrog over the thugs' heads. To be honest, I wasn't sure how the heck the thugs were going to make it look like Jim had an accident by setting his boat on fire. After all, seeing a rowboat on fire would only look the more suspicious--especially since this wasn't ancient times when a viking funeral wouldn't have been out of the ordinary. Then I realized that it wasn't so much an accident as purposely setting everything on fire. Obviously, Lorna wasn't a vampire because she actually showed up on camera, yet what exactly was she doing hovering over Bill in the middle of the night? Oh well, I do love that Bill and Lorna legitimately loved one another rather than ending on the cliche "My wife is a vampire" note that I was half expecting.

Darci said...

For the reprint of this story in A-1 #98 (1953), the GCD indexer guesses the writer was Gardner Fox (as with all the stories in that reprint issue).

Jim mentions a clue you don't often read about in vampire stories: she smells like a grave.

Mestiere said...

"...she smells like a grave."

How embarrassing for Lorna! Jimmy sees his pal Bill entering the house with an unconscious woman in his arms and his FBI instinct is to take a whiff. You can't let them catch you sleeping!

Mr. Karswell said...

Glad everyone enjoyed this excursion into eerie crime horror... we'll for sure delve a bit more into these types of tales before the year is out, but for now it's time to have a little fun and in the next story we'll head to the amusement park for a lurid laugh or two! Stay tombed...

Mr. Cavin said...

That boat burning scene was intense. A whole page-worth of panels (spread over two) is more attention to a comic book trap than I expect to see in this size story. The horror and the pain are stressed more than normal. And that scene--rather than the melee with the thugs--is the climax of the piece rather than an act four diversion. But this whole story was an interesting shape. It starts with three different POVs: first the girl, then Bill, and then lastly Jim. Each change in viewpoint is a misdirection, most of the action takes place offstage. The villain, on the other hand, isn't really ever a character at all, some thug named Biggy has more lines of dialog. And of course the end is an out-of-the-blue exposition dump.

And yeah, some of this is not Storytelling 101. But I thought this unexpected shapeliness really kept things fresh this time, at least in an outsider kind of way. And if I haven't made room for a segue here, well, then I don't know what one is! Vikki "the Back" Dougan is certainly one of my very favorite It Girls, but I'm not sure I've ever seen her in a movie before. On the other hand, I just finished all the (classic) Universal Monster series in a maniac binge this October, and I think Virginia Christine from 1944's The Mummy's Curse would play this story's grave-scented protagonist to the hilt.