Friday, June 17, 2022

The Frozen Ghost!

Summer temperatures here in the midwest have been brutal for over a week now, so let's cool things down a bit with a creepy chiller (artist unknown) from the October 1949 issue of Captain America's Weird Tales #74. Now don't be thrown off by Cap's name in the series title, this is not a superhero story (though the first 6-page tale in this issue is a Cap vs. Red Skull adventure.) So okay, hands up, how many of you even knew that Cap had his very own, but very short-lived horror anthology series, anyway?


Doc Briar said...

The premise was pretty bleak, offering no hope of defeating the ghost. I appreciated the approach. The ending was...weak. And not only because of the cliched shadowy character being revealed in the last panel. I happen to know that Jack Davis survived to work for EC comics and went on to a long career in commercial illustration.

Mr. Cavin said...

I really appreciate how the artist stacks the action in a lot of these images to create panel depth. The illustration definitely falls to the unsophisticated side of the norm, I think--and yet the action happens front-to-back in these pictures more often than it does side-to-side, and that's something that comic book artists often have to learn the hard way. And while I imagine this story was always going to include a lot of white--it's about snow and fog, after all--the way the color design leans into the barren cold here really works. These pages all look awfully handsome zoomed out and taken in all at once. Page four is especially nice, with all it's radiating anxiety lines and curls of custard-colored fog.

And to answer your question, no, I had no idea Cap had a horror anthology series in the forties. This issue has a great cover, too.

Brian Barnes said...

Yeah, no super hero could escape the pull of horror, and number of Atlas titles slowly shifted to horror over that time, like Venus, etc.

This is the kind of amateur late 40s horror stories where everybody was kind of figuring out how to stage them. Not having a real splash is kind of a miss, but they are proto pre-code stories, and still worth a read. The monster goes from kind of creepy to kind of silly and back, I like it!