Saturday, February 1, 2020

The Gorilla

Time to get swingin' on THOIA's Valentines Massacre 2020 this year-- yes sir, it's an entire month devoted to love gone wonderfully whack-oh, and weirdly wrong! And one of the most non-subtle, fright-filled moments of *CENSORED* to leap outta the fifties funny pages comes from the July 1954 issue of Weird Chills #1. Good lord, you barely even need to read the lines (or between 'em) to know what's going on in this white man, fever dream, freak-out. And my, how times have certainly not changed... not even a little bit.

SING: "You drive me ape, you big gorilla..."


JBM said...

Thank you Mr.K for this crazy story. Will there be a reckoning for murder or did it not happen? No one will ever know.
Never heard of the Dickies but listened and not to bad. I'm a Supertramp fan myself. Bloody well right!

Glowworm said...

The Dickies are also responsible for a cover of the Banana Splits theme song and the incredibly catchy "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" from the movie of the same name.
How do I even describe this story? That splash is hilarious! I highly doubt that that zookeeper has a license to wed others--let alone gorillas.
I also love Ralph's opening remarks about the zoo animals: "I hope our neighbors, the animals don't keep long hours! I like to sleep at night!" "Sort of pay our respects to our neighbors, eh?" "Amd some smells from out of this world...Phew!"
Nothing about this story makes much sense--Why does the zookeeper want to play matchmaker to Chonga? There's no motive for this at all--it would make sense if this took place in the jungle and it was some sort of ritual and Chonga was aome sort of god that the natives worshiped. However, Chonga is just a gorilla who has the hots for Lorna and this takes place at the zoo!
If Chonga did marry Lorna, would she be on display at the zoo too?
I love how Ralph finally remembers that he has a gun!

Bill the Butcher said...

I think we all know what the "gorilla" was a stand in for in this comic.

Mr. Cavin said...

I quite like the idea that the Central Park Zoo is some kind of occult animistic church, or maybe an immigrant beast-deity neighborhood, in new world. A secret Upper East Side space for acolytes and their jungle gods, hidden right out in the open. Tres New York! The story might have fleshed that idea out a little more--like with some time spent in the after hours court King Chonga, or maybe the inclusion of other mesmerized animal brides. Otherwise, no recent story has cried out for the ol' "interpretive ending" quite like this one. I mean, they gave it a whirl with that sop to the "did it or didn't it happen?" cliche, but I think I would rather this one had worked the darker possibilities: That Ralph was simply a paranoid schizophrenic incapable of telling an innocent zoo excursion from a romantic threat, a caged animal from a competitor. Maybe the next day he has a similar problem with the amorous sculptures at the Met, or the romantic taxidermy at the Museum of Natural History.

The art really shined for me in the somewhat scribbly and abstract medium-distance figure drawing (the second and last panels of page two; panel two of page three). I love the way stuff like that looks when it's been really enlarged.

Brian Barnes said...

Page 3, panel 8, Ralph is missing the best opportunity to cut those white pillow and bed sheets into a somewhat pointy-hat costume ...

There's sub-text and there's text, and then there is evidently yelling with a bull horn!

I actually liked this thing. Mind you, it's horrible in numerous ways, but it's also interesting to watch this kind of absolute fear -- and let's not forget the sexism angle where you "own" the woman and she doesn't get to "pick" -- just spill out into a story ... and it's the same damn crap today!

The art, it goes from strangely stilted to just silly -- the splash is great, with Chonga in a suit, and the ape behind him with goofy growl!

Todd said...

"Why does the zookeeper want to play matchmaker to Chonga?"

I feel like Glowworm asks the million-dollar question. The zookeeper is a bigger enigma than anything else here.

Mr. Karswell said...

Saw the Dickies about a half dozen times in the 80's and 90's, two of those times they opened for The Ramones-- one of the greatest old school punk bands ever and super fun live!

Well, I'm glad we didn't have to get too graphic in the comments about this story, haha... see ya's in a few with some rather creepy creature cuddles courtesy of THOIA's Valentine Massacre 2020!

Guy Callaway said...

Never mind the gorilla in a suit (that splash!!), I think the zookeeper should:
1: Speak with his local clergy.
2: Seek professional help.
Just my .02.

Grant said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Ed Wood's THE BRIDE AND THE BEAST, because there's a real resemblance. Although I'm pretty sure that came along after 1954.