Wednesday, December 11, 2019

The Demon Is a Hag!

Wednesdays are usually dedicated to werewolves around here, but this week we're conjuring up some witchcraft instead-- so welcome all, gather 'round the midnight fire for a rather bitchy, Witchy Wednesday instead! Now some of you might remember this precode Rudy Palais tale I posted back in April (CLICK HERE!), and so today we present the Eerie Pub remake from the May 1973 issue of Witches' Tales Vol. 5 #3, featuring all new art by Ezra Jackson. If you compare the two, you can clearly see the original is about 666 times more horrifically gruesome in nearly every panel (even the new story retitle is a bit meh.) But not all is lost, and it's still a perfectly fine little update... it's just gonna be a no win situation however hard you try to re-do that putrifyin' Palais perfection.


Brian Barnes said...

Maybe because I grew up on more modern comics, but this layout seems better (IMHO) than the original. What isn't better is the story still doesn't make a lot of sense, I'm surprised they kept all the elements but didn't do the slight alterations it might take to explain what's going on (as I said before, why the lab scene? It should be important.)

Is the Palais art better? Yeah, but there's a lot to love here. The splash is great, page 2, panel 1 is very cool in staging and the witch, and the B&W shading works really well in places like page 4, panel 1. Palais is more horrible, but Jackson is a bit more modern and has a real good command of light and shadow, something that sometimes didn't come out well on the pre-codes or got muddied by color (Ghastly being the incredible exception.)

Last panel on page 3 is especially beautiful with the dark inks around the lightly inked witch.

Mr. Cavin said...

Well, this thing is an interesting specimen; but it's stacked up against my favorite recent Rudy Palais art--maybe my favorite Palais art ever--so it can't help but feel like a misfire to me. I mean, there is something a little crude about most of these Eerie Pubs redos (ironically, the crudest of which are often Rudy's own stuff). Usually it's highly entertaining crudeness because of the freewheeling and blithely juvenile way they tart-up the artwork with gouts of blood and seventies-style love. But this time, and maybe it's because of the unfair comparison or maybe my usual bias against the tropes of this era of horror comics, but this one feels a little weak to me.

It certainly makes a great post script to the original, though. I love seeing multiple versions of stuff.

One things for sure, though: that hanged demon hag at the top of page two is so far out and over airbrushed-looking that it would totally amaze on the side of a van down at the beach.

Mr. Cavin said...

PS, and we got some werewolf action on the cover, too! Wednesday remains inviolate!

Grant said...

It's funny in a sad way to see the part about the war being updated from the original.

I'm definitely not preoccupied with historical accuracy in horror stories, but it's always interesting to see an American witchcraft trial having a hanging instead of a burning at the stake.

Mr. Karswell said...

Definitely not my favorite art either, it feels flimsy and inexcusably inconsistent at times against some of the really super panels, it's just an all round frustrating remake in my book.

Let's cleanse our palette with an Atlas tale up next, shall we? Stay tombed...