Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Too Horrible / How Beautiful?

The May 1953 issue of Adventures into Weird Worlds #18 utilized the tricky old "Eye of the Beholder" / covering of the face for added drama routine most famously seen in the classic Twilight Zone episode, in not one, but two stories in this issue. (FYI: The TZ episode didn't actually air until 1962.) And as creepily clever as Atlas is, they managed to make each tale in today's Double Header uniquely fun, and also frighteningly funny at the same time. And dig that spooky Bill Everett cover too!


BTX said...

Well, some of the dialogue in "Too Horrible to Live" comes very close to moments in Eye of The Beholder, that a modern lawyer might sue for infringement. Just goes to show that as classy the original Twilight Zone was, it's ideas weren't that far removed from pulp comics of the day. The second story was amusing, but I thought the murdering jerk got off rather easy. I mean his new girl certainly has a hot face.... The story poses an interesting question... is it better to love someone with a hot body, but ugly face or someone with a horrible body, but smoking hot face.... Thoughts?

JBM said...

Thank you Mr.K. for these fun twists. The wife's face in the second offering to me was certainly like the faces in that Donna Douglas twilight zone episode. I did not expect those robotic mugs in the first.

Brian Barnes said...

This goes to show how close comedy and horror are. What can be your regular EC twist ending can quickly jump from horror to comedy.

I love both of these. It's obvious what's going on because of the comic format, in the first one the missing faces scream out at you, while in the second one is played a bit better but also has the problem that the view screen showed many wide views (ZORZ, for all it's amazing technologies, is still on 4:3 tvs!) None of that mattered, it's all in service of just how great (or silly) they can make the ending.

And boy oh boy did they deliver. The robots are great, and the lizard lady is even better. Neither makes a lick of sense in any manner but it doesn't matter. Just great, fun last panels.

BTW Madge with the ax was one of the scariest things I've seen lately in these comics!

Guy Callaway said...

'..is it better to love someone with a hot body, but ugly face or someone with a horrible body, but smoking hot face.... Thoughts?'

Well, I can speak to this but, Mr.K, please delete/don't post if it's not appropriate.
I had a wonderful girlfriend who, sadly, had clinical depression and was driven to self-harm (cutting).
I though she was beautiful, both inside and out, but she couldn't see that.

JMR777 said...

My deepest sympathies go out to you, Guy, and your ex girlfriend.

Sometimes we are our own worst critics.

Just a thought here, if Craig were such a super genius why didn't he spend his time trying to find a way to improve his wife's looks? Space research can wait, fix your home life first then go for the Nobel Prize for space research.

Bill the Butcher said...

"Your child is too horrible to live!"

Nice bedside manner you have there, robotdoc.

"Long range television"

As opposed to what, shower range television?

Just how much money did Madge have anyway that Craig could contruct a nuclear reactor?

Grant said...

That's what I was thinking, or something similar. With her amount of money, maybe Madge herself could've done something about her face.
(And if Craig had been a scientist like Bill Kortner in "The Brain That Wouldn't Die," and he'd known about Lolez's body, he would've had dreams of mixing the two of them.)

Speaking of similarities, "Too Horrible To Live" almost made me expect a similar ending to Planet of the Apes, but the book not the movie. It was that line about "a throwback to prehistoric times" that made me wonder about that.

Glowworm said...

The first one reads like a soap opera or drama until you finally see everyone's faces--then it becomes hilarious--although I sincerely feel sorry for that human baby. Also, while I know it's not good to focus on such plot holes as this story is meant to be silly,but if everyone's a robot--how can they exactly die? Then again, it's just as absurd as the thought of a robot actually giving birth--let alone to a human baby.

The second one is equally hilarious, although I do feel sorry for poor Madge who has a severe case of Butterface and her husband is an absolute jerk. who'd rather gaze upon the craters of the moon itself than the craters of his wife's face.
I was kind of wondering the same thing as Grant too. Why not simply put Lolez's face on Madge's body? Jackpot!
Also, Craig seriously got catfished here!
Lolez herself looks like what happens when a kid gets bored and wonders what Barbie's head would look like on Godzilla's body.

Mr. Cavin said...

I like the art of both of these. That last story made great use of black and white and has some of the jazziest mad laboratory equipment I've seen here in a while. Dig those wild spiral pipettes! Still, I lean toward the first story, art-wise. I appreciate the weight of the art, the fact that more than usual I am forced to suspect the mass of these forms in motion, sense their weight. Also the rendering reminds me of Charles Burns.

Now I'm going to head back through the archives and check out the other stuff by Chuck Winter.