Monday, August 17, 2020

The Final Payment!

One more lurid look into the whacked-out world of Al Eadeh, and if this tale concerning a landlord's lousy practice methods doesn't make you lose your mind-- nothing will! From the July 1953 issue of Marvel Tales #116.


Brian Barnes said...

There's no getting around how obvious the ending is, making poor Eadeh have to work the panels to constantly hide the missing head!

But the art, another awesome job. First the splash. I swear the mother and children is a reference to a famous picture but I can't place it. Everything is great -- the windy scarf, the Dicken-ish setting, the poor unfortunates, it sets up a real feel and of course completely stacks the deck against Jed who probably deserves a worse fate than he got!

I love the old jalopy!

Every face from page 3 to 4 (I love these 4 pagers, the pace is fast) is great. Hiding the head with a caption, though, is a bit silly.

My complaints are minor, the art sells this thing. Though we could have probably done with the long hook nose. I doubt anything was meant by it but this was the 50s.

Bill the Butcher said...

Scraggy ol' Scrag got scragged and didn't even know it
But if you're a story slumlord, you know you'll blow it

Mr. Cavin said...

I can't know if this story played to Eadeh's strengths, or if he took a totally normal story and magically imbued it with all this gloriously decayed, Gormenghastly outlook on his own initiative. Lord knows it's starting to feel like a trademark. Sometimes it's hard to infer what might have been in the script. The dialog in this one is pretty mundane, the plot is kind of by-the-numbers. But the texture, flavor, the details, are a real treat. I love the shanty town and the shanty car--like everything this weirdo touches mutates into moldy, wet cardboard. I love the panels within panels, and all the ways Al draws rectangles trapped inside other rectangles in this one. Windows in houses inside neighborhoods inside panel borders--I love the forth frame of page two. All of page four is a masterpiece, but the seven-part panel at the bottom is both dynamic and a pretty canny strategy for hiding the tell-tale gimmick caption. Does it work? Maybe not for everybody; but I was sure charmed.

Todd said...

I actually admit I didn't see the ending coming: I figured he was dead or disfigured, but it hadn't occurred to me his head would've been ripped clean off his body with him still ambling around. They do a good job of making it impossible to give a damn about him.

This is a weird issue: the cover art could hardly be more misleading about the cover story, and the story alluded to at the beginning of this one is pretty frothy. Then again, it could just be the Marvel stuff is under copyright (I think) and less common to me than lots of other titles. Always fun to compare!

Wendy said...

Like Todd said, I didn't see the ending coming either -- I don't think it was obvious at all (I would think decapitations from hitting a wall are not typical), and actually quite a clever, albeit gruesome, twist!

JMR777 said...

The realm of horror comics was all the poorer when Al Eadeh left the industry.
I didn't find much about him on the net, its like he dropped off the face of the earth, or he left the earth and entered the realm of horror comics never to return.

Wherever you are Al Eadeh, thank you for your chilling, thrilling artwork.