Wednesday, June 10, 2020

The Vampire of the Opera

Lou Cameron strikes again, (with Rocco Mastroserio on inks, possibly), and together they deliver a fast paced, very sexy, super fun vampire story, where not only is our blood suckin' babe attractive as Hell-- but she can sing too! Today's Ace Magazine classic from the March 1952 issue of The Beyond #9 stars Boris Karloff as Pepe, John Agar as Marcel, Barbara Payton as Colette, Fred Clark as Monsieur Romain, and Eleanor Parker as Madame Pourette.


JMR777 said...

This was a great tale and Mademoiselle Pourette was a sexy vamp in more ways than one.
This story, along with other vampire tales, shows a lack of preparation among vampires. If a vampire knows he or she is defenseless during the daylight hours, why not install security fences around their resting places and deploy armed guards? It isn’t easy to stake a vampire if you can’t get past a vampire’s daytime defenses. Just a lack of planning among the undead I guess.

Brian Barnes said...

You're not tempting me away from my true love, Hester!

If I was editor there would have been a change I would have requested; the manager needs to have gotten killed by the vampire. He certainly seemed to be setup for it, he ignored the warnings, ignored the obvious signs, and then ignored the obvious niece ruse. He should have been sucked dry like a raisin! Yet, he immediately disappears from the story with no real conclusion.

Vampire stories always have that one convenient bit where everybody else they kill right away, but the important cog of the story they seem to kill slowly.

Lot to love about the art. Cameron gives it his all for the sexy vamp, both in vamp form and in human form (page 5, panel 2 is just great.) I like the more wolf-like appearance (unless that's just to make her more pin-up) that Cameron give her.

Her ultimate fate is also entertaining, nice to see she got to keep the hair!

Bill the Butcher said...

"Loathsome form"? Not so fast, comic narration box!

Now why did Pepe, knowing where the vampire hung out, not just go over one day and do the deed by himself?

Yeah, I know, logic to these stories is like.... like....wolfsbane to a vampire!

Glowworm said...

Yeah, I strongly disagree with those narration panels describing the vampire as "loathsome" "hideous" and "revolting." Madame Pourette is sexy, be it as a vampire or posing as her own great grandniece. I also love the second panel on page 5--that's quite the entrance, you've got there! This one is fun--a vampire opera singer puts a rather novel spin on this story. Seriously though, if an old man warns you not to unseal something that's been sealed up for years, DON'T do it! Also, how will the opera house explain the sudden disappearance of Pourette's "great grandniece?" I also love how the vampire's old home is still conveniently around,complete with her jewels still in tack for her to sell so she can once again pose among the living.

Glowworm said...

Bill the Butcher--Wolfsbane was basically useful for warding off vampires almost as much as werewolves. Much like how silver is usually associated with killing werewolves, but it's also present in a lot of old comic book tales concerning vampires as well.

Mr. Cavin said...

Yeah, bat wings with soft, human hands pretty much sends me. She should be a model for Palmolive.

And just for once, can't the old kook in one of these tales operate the way old kooks so often do in my real life? I mean, whenever I'm cornered on the subway or at the Thanksgiving dinner table by some aged loony spouting crotchety old advice, it's always offensive nonsense, risible paranoia, or some kind of misunderstanding about how the world works. So I read this and try to imagine Pepe's dialog balloons filled with conspiracy theories about the space race or diatribes recounting how hard it is to find a working telephone booth. Or worse, some kind of anti-immigrant blood libel about all the damn vampires coming back to take our jobs.

Todd said...

This was a nice story! They actually acknowledge at the end Pepe was right all along, and he doesn't even rub it in their noses or make it into some lame joke. I do marvel, though, how quickly Marcel goes from mocking belief in vampires to plunging a stake through Pourette's heart. It would have been very awkward if she weren't actually a vampire, but I guess he'd already seen her turn into a bat and fly away by that point.

I swear I remember Ace titles as using an ugly font instead of handwriting. Not so here! Anybody know when that started, or if I'm just imagining it? This story greatly benefits from the handwriting and rebounds quite nicely from the clich├ęs at the beginning that led me to expect less.

Todd said...

Now why did Pepe, knowing where the vampire hung out, not just go over one day and do the deed by himself?Considering nobody believed him even after people started dying, he probably would've been charged with murder, or else ignored entirely. His vindication was probably the best part of the story.

Mr. Karswell said...

>Now why did Pepe, knowing where the vampire hung out, not just go over one day and do the deed by himself?

That would definitely be the most boring vampire story ever told. And seriously, at his age, maybe he tried and was just not strong enough to drive the stake in-- even with viagra!

More horrors up shortly-- stay tombed!