THOIA celebrates Father's Day today with an appropriately themed time-travelin' tale o'terror, illustrated by Dick Ayers and Ernie Bache and from the March 1953 issue of Astonishing #23. I have a few other things lined up on our schedule first, but now that I have this eerie issue pulled out, we might take a look at a couple more stories from it later this month too, (no secrets!) --so stay tombed...
I kind of love how the father immediately knew by his son's vivid writing that he was using his time machine without his permission. I will admit that using a time machine to write books is a rather creative spin to the usual reasons to time travel. Looks like Phillip made a monkey out of himself when he shot the wrong Neanderthal.
This is a trope that shows up every once in a while.
I think of a Ditko story like it where the character goes into hell and comes back able to write great stories about it.
Sometimes the character lives in a haunted house or a morgue.
I enjoyed this story but its a slightly annoying trope because with that logic you can just exit your door and write a brilliant novel about America if real life observation was all it took to write a great story.
The secret world always has to be the main character's undoing in this tale type ending with the author's ambitions leading to an ironic reward.
I wonder if it was a case of authors ripping each other off or if it's just a common enough writer's fantasy in the 1950s.
The real life inspiration is an artist going mad to create something mad.
Theodore Geuricault went mad for the sake of his paintings.
He would sleep in morgues and pull decomposing bodies out of their coffins to draw them.
the raft of the Medusa is his most famous work but there are also drawings from that time.
One painting of two severed heads is quite horrific.
He also made portraits of people in mental institutions.
It doesn't really seem like he had to go to such extreme measures in the modern view but we've seen movies and horror art unlike Geuricault and the characters in the 1950s horror comics using this trope.
Geuricault ended up going completely mad.
Maybe unlike these 1950s horror characters, he was always mad.
Nevertheless,he would've made a great 1950s horror artist.
That splash is really misleading, and we have the ol' Atlas small panel which was drawn based on the title, before it was an actual story. I always love those, to see how close it gets to the story that was actually published, and this one has a lot of menace and a story that maybe wouldn't have made it into the mag!
I love the scientist who realizes his invention could destroy the world and ... just locks it in an attic!
Happy Father's Day that no longer exists!
Pretty sweet fake-out splash panel from the story-with-the-story. I kind of dig the idea that you can blow everybody's minds with whatever kind of unrequited horror you want to right at the outset, and the settle comfortably into a six-page opus of serial conversations and arguments. I joke; Ayers actually keeps all the talking-head stuff pretty interesting, and it serves to make the final two pages of prehistoric adventure feel really punchy.
"This machine I built can never be used! Better lock the door!"
You know, three years ago I would have scoffed at the idea that a responsible adult who recognized the tragic potential in a situation he was responsible for would fail to do the simplest things to ensure everybody's safty. Now I think that's the most realistic thing in this story.
Isn't this "borrowed" from a Bradbury story?
Enjoyed everything about it, especially the writing. Come on, you've got to love
"Crouched, menacing, the beetle-browed sub-man followed."
Sorry Mr Barnes. You're comment wasn't already visible yet when I posted, or I'd have likely tried to come up with something else to to talk about.
Obviously no problem Mr. Cavin, and, for once, somebody backs me up :)
FYI Nobody has to apologize if they repeat something in a comment, it's all good and fun, and heck, any comment at all around here these days is definitely worth its weight in gruesome gold!
Not sure about the Bradbury question, it does has his vibe though!
An enhanced encore presentation of a Dr. Drew archive classic up next!
I note that the time machine does nothing to improve his increasingly purple authorial prose. Maybe he gets more verbose the further back in time he goes, in spite of turning into an ape-man.
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