Friday, February 28, 2020

Lost in the Graveyard / Missing... One Head!

Yet another Atlas comic containing two similarly themed tales of heady horror within one issue, and this time they're both from the Nov '52 issue of Adventures into Weird Worlds #12. And we end out the month with another double (be)header-- and another great Bill Everett cover too! Hope everyone enjoyed this fright-filled February! See ya's in March!


Brian Barnes said...

I know Atlas' output was large, so it could easily be a coincidence or just what stories came in when, but were they trying to theme? Or just the same writer re-using an idea multiple times? Combine this with 2 posts ago and it's hard to not think they were at least trying to theme.

The first story is pretty clever, obviously the ending is going to be about him losing something but it doesn't become evident until the ghost gives him the headless trick.
The art is a little scratchy and simplified at times, but I like the ghost and it works well. The real joy is figuring out how the heck he lost his head in the short walk between the graves and the shack!

Much better art in the second tale, and I love the splash, with the running rats and the spider. Last panel on page 4 is a really good image, as the last page, panel 3. A fun little tale, minor complaint is that we are told he's running around like a headless chicken, instead of being shown it, but I can't imagine if that would have worked in a "shock" panel at all.

Glowworm said...

Ah, to quote Voltaire (the singer, not the philosopher)from his song "The Headless Waltz" for the first story
"Please Sir, for me, Sir,
Won't you see if you see, Sir?
Oh dear, I dread
I seem to have lost my head
I think I left it about
It fell to the ground
And I kicked it around
Has anyone seen, no need to be mean,
My bloody, fat, ugly head?"

Man, I've heard about people who are so forgetful, they'd lose their own head if it wasn't attached to their own body, but not literally!
Another tale of a henpecked husband with an overbearing, ugly wife. Notice how the ugly wives always have ugly names too. Bertha, Madge. Hortense has to be the worst of them IMHO. The ending is fun though. I hope the ghost of his late wife doesn't start nagging him about losing his head too.

The second tale has some great, dark atmospheric art to it. I love the 3rd panel of the third page of Gus with his knife ready to slaughter the chicken. I also love the seventh panel of the same page of the headless chicken running around as well as the fifth panel of the final page with the avenging husband. That's a lot of fun.

Grant said...

It's funny when you haven't even seen Hortense and you already know she'll be holding a rolling pin. That's how big a cliche it was forever.

When it comes to the second story, it's a little strange to hear about the "skeptical" mountain people, since in most weird stories they're supposed to be superstitious instead.

Speaking of entertaining cliches, that famous Tibetan chant shows up in a few supernatural stories, but I wouldn't have expected to see it in two stories in a row.

Bill the Butcher said...

"Om mane padme hum" (the jewel is in the lotus) are "forbidden" words? Who knew?

Todd said...

These two are fun! Fast-paced enough I didn't anticipate where they were going, or they were so close to the end. It helped I learned from last time and didn't read the spoiler at the beginning until afterward. I do wonder, though, why Lester's friends couldn't have taught him the secret of finding things. I'm sure that would have made for an equally fascinating story!

Bill the Butcher said...

Or at least Lester's friends could have asked him to not wear a bright orange suit.

Mr. Cavin said...

The bottom of the first story's second page is just awesome. I think Lester Brown has it made in the shade, myself--living in a lonely caretaker's house on the cemetery grounds sounds like a worthwhile goal to me. The panel where he blithely admits to chatting up his clientele is a real hoot. Just look at Hortense's face! I am with everybody else about the super art in the second story. Especially the chilling chicken sacrifice page. That one kind of pushes the envelope a little bit, and it totally affects the feeling of seeing Gus' bloodless beheading at the end of the story.

It really is interesting to see the theme here. I mean, here are two stories not just about headlessness, but entirely developed from common idioms that use headlessness as an illustration for something else. Common failings. In a way, it's like they've expended ten pages of this issue on a coupla one-liners, but it feels like so much more than that.

JBM said...

I thank you Mr.K. for this dandy double header. We didn't see the ending coming in the first tale though it became obvious when the head was absent in panel three of the last page. For me the first story's art was about the eyes. The last panel of page two exemplifies this with the wife's expression. She appears ready to burst. The second tale certainly had some wonderful art and detail. Did not see this one's abrupt out of the blue ending either. I loved 'em, thanks!