Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Bloody Mermaid (PART TWO)

And now for the exciting conclusion to Sanho Kim's "Bloody Mermaid", from the January 1972 issue of Ghostly Tales #91. If for some reason you missed the first part, then CLICK HERE!


Brian Barnes said...

This very long story is full of a lot of great panel sequences (something you can do with the greater length.) Page 5, with the guy falling backwards, next page with him dissolving, the gun approach, all very cinematic.

There's some really great use of color and background. The "splash" on page three with the kind of red fire-y sky, reflected on page 7 with the house and finally page 10 with the full panel of the mermaid back.

The art really makes up for the story, which has numerous problems but who cares? It's a very long story yet moves and a brisk pace and is a good read. Like a lot of horror, explanations aren't especially necessary and you can just go along for the ride.

Though the impossibly convenient hair is always entertaining in these types of comics!

JMR777 said...

Had I the skill or the money, I would turn this into an anime (with Sanho Kim's permission, of course.)

Sanho Kim did one other monstrous mermaid tale titled 'Beauty's Vengeance' in Monsters Unleashed #10

Glowworm said...

Brian Barnes is right, this story has enough plot holes to drive a truck into it. We never do get much of an explanation for the mermaid or even the old guy who was keeping her prisoner and wasn't truly human himself. The art is nice but the design for the old guy is quite inconsistent. At some points, he looks like a zombie, while at other times, he actually looks human. The length of his hair changes at times as well. Carlton tales were often a bit difficult to understand at times, truthfully.

Grant said...

It's also a little odd (but interesting) that even though it's set at night the sky doesn't look like it, almost like shooting "day for night" in a movie.

Bill the Butcher said...

Went did the old man keep the mermaid prisoner? Why did he throw her into the sea? Why did the "hero" suddenly look to find a mermaid for years instead of just passing through? Why did the sun suddenly become so dangerous to the mermaid's skin? It actually reads like one of those black and white comics from the 1980s they make fun of on the Mister Kitty blog. The mermaid's nice though especially when she's rearing out of the water to eat the policeman, hair still strategically in place.

Mr. Karswell said...

I really don’t understand why some of you continue to come to this blog.

JMR777 said...

"I really don’t understand why some of you continue to come to this blog."

Because its the best horror blog on the internet!

The Bloody Mermaid has a strange reality unto itself, but so do so many fun B horror films and well made Giallos, and some of the horror films from Asia. Plot holes in this tale? Sure, but so do so many other fan favorite horror tales/movies/comics/radio shows, etc. While the plot holes are distracting, if everything was explained it would lead to a longer and duller tale.

As always, thank you so much for ALL the hard work you do keeping the horror fun alive, Karswell.

Mr. Karswell said...

And that’s basically it in a nutshell. Glad you get it, JMR, thank you!

Mr. Cavin said...

I really love page fourteen (scan fifteen). I can't say that some of Jerry's overwrought, reactionary heroism doesn't kind of ring comical to me: "I'll get the guy who killed that mermaid if it's the last thing I ever do! I'll kill that mermaid myself if it's the next thing I ever do after that! Then I'm gonna burn down the house they lived in if it kills me!" Man, do not invite that guy over! But that mermaid attack panel at the top of fourteen (fifteen) is great. The crashing water and the surreal, shredded sky, that blossom of red aura around the victim? All of it is aces.

There is a long conversation to be had--over Mountain Dews someday, or maybe in a boring scholarly paper--about the use of cinematic pacing in comics. Brian pointed its use out here, and I very much agree. I'm just not sure I agree that it's an asset. It kind of subordinates the story to curlicues of artwork in a way that I find blithe. Too many panels of someone pointing a gun isn't any meatier than too many adjectives in the exposition. It just takes up more paper. This took me, like, six minutes to read the whole issue. That's pretty fluffy. But this also represents an amazing and forward-thinking comic in that regard, too. The very cinematic movement that would take over comics in the late eighties (I've been known to say "ruin" instead) was still decades off when Kim embraced a cinema form here. That's kind of a revelation. There's something very rewarding about the artistic reach of this guy, they way he keeps discovering. And honestly, I can kind of appreciate this as an experimental mode.

バーンズ エリック said...

I remember my younger brother getting Charlton comics from his orthodontist & thinking they were the crappiest, ugliest comics ever... but thanks to the internet I've been able to revisit them & completely change my mind.

Of course Ditko did plenty of work for them, but Tom Sutton, Pat Boyette and Sanho Kim did some great and occasionally formally challenging stuff as well. Sideways stories, black and white stories (in color comics!), bilingual comics. Those three in particular certainly went for it at times. Poor Bernie Wrightson would've enjoyed some of that freedom for that King Kull story he did for Marvel (I think it was a King Kull story at least...)

Yes, I have to agree this particular story isn't the most coherent thing ever, but its dream-like, or rather nightmarish quality, has its appeal, no? It clings together no worse than Alice Cooper's WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE album, which is another freaky, creepy (if tongue-in-cheek) treat.

Anyway, thanks for posting Sanho Kim. Hope you'll post more in the future.

Grant said...

It took one single issue of GHOST MANOR (# 16 of the first series) to make me sentimental about Charlton horror comics. And I don't think I even got a single other one till I started RE-collecting comics, but again, that's all it took.

One of their other nice trademarks was actually dating x amount of the stories.

JMR777 said...

Just to touch on what Mr. Cavin mentioned, Sanho Kim did several of his comics tales along the lines of a cinematic structure. I guess it was just his nature to draw that way, to lay out a story that way, which was neither good nor bad it was just his style.

As to whether a cinematic style of comics is good or bad is a discussion for another time. I myself remain neutral on the matter since I like most horror comics no matter how the artists drew the story.