Monday, December 2, 2019

Perfect Hideout! / Preview of Death

The Ziff-Davis Winter 1951 one-shot, Eerie Adventures #1 has some frightfully fun stuff in it. Most notably this 5-page tale of mad science miscalculation and murder which we also featured in Haunted Horror #18 back in 2015. Realizing that I've never posted anything from this issue here at THOIA over the years though, I thought we'd give this one another looksie, and even round it out with a one page quickie (from the same Eerie issue), with a spooky story that borrows just a wee bit from E. F. Benson's classic, The Bus Conductor. "Just room for one inside, sir..." 



Glowworm said...

Hah, that's a cute twist. Good thing the Professor never got to test out what the "Fourth Dimension" was really like. Well, either that, or the machine actually was a total failure and killed Rocco and his soul ended up in Hell. Take your pick.

Brian Barnes said...

I love the cover of this issue. The Reaper on it looks like he's absolutely creeping on that woman, and her reaction is genuine (I'm ignoring the knife!)

@Glowworm beat me to it. I'm sure the author has something in mind (more than likely the 4th dimension was hell) but you can interpret it as the professor was a quack and his machine just killed Rocco.

I love the crazy inks. They are thick, and a lot of the times it works. Page 4, panel 5 and the final panel are striking. Other times, like the last panel on page 3, it's just mud, but it's worth it for the great panels.

The one pager -- yup, the old signal man, the conductor, the whatever. Always makes a fun campfire ghost story.

Todd said...

"Room for one more, Honey!"

Grant said...

Even THE BOB NEWHART SHOW used that idea once (in a light comedy way, of course).

Mr. Cavin said...

I liked the art here. Often I think these obvious photo-reference jobs are kind of antithetical to the spirit of comics, which (to me) means that generalized form of caricature meant to indicate identifiable archetypes instead of fully fleshed, three-dimensional characters. Obviously there's a lot of play in the wheel; obviously your mileage may vary. But to me, and in this sort of comic, this kind of process can feel gratuitous. Other problems that may arise when an artist relies heavily on real life models and reference photos: A disconnect between the foreground and the background; a quality shift between depictions of pedestrian conversations and wild fantasy action panels; or maybe just a general frame-to-frame overuse of one constant POV (see how in every panel we are looking at the story from, what I assume, is pretty much the height of the artist and from about as far away as the back wall of his room*).

But none of this really bothered me here. I love the way this artist compensated between (what seem to be) imagined and referenced elements by using really gestural, offhand brush stroke--of a semi-dried ink quality--to really stylize both kinds of visualization. I like the way backgrounds were rendered as high-contrast shapes for the most part, how the colorist kept all that separated into planes. I like the way he turned the splash image sideways later on, within the panel continuity. It's strange work, but I dig it.

* I'm acutely aware of this phenomenon of spatial POV in many modern green screen movies, too.

Grant said...

Except for the art, "The Perfect Hideout" seems so much like one of those post-Code Atlas-Marvel type stories, the kind reprinted in "Where Monsters Dwell," "Vault of Evil" and so on. I wonder how many times in those stories a burglar kills someone, then gets his weird comeuppance a few pages later.
Except of course for the news that apparently the "Fourth Dimension" is actually hell. That's pretty strange for a SF story.

JBM said...

Thank you Mr.K. for this fourth dimension fun. The florid face of the professor caught my eye also.

Bill the Butcher said...

I may have said this before, but i would give a great deal to read a comic set in what the fourth dimension really would be like (for example, you could step through walls and see everyone's insides, including your own).