Monday, July 4, 2022

Love from the Grave

Here's a rare, and rather curious reprint / retitle / redrawn story found inside Scotland's Suspense Magazine #1 from 1952. Aside from the "Jeremy Dufy" signed splash, GCD doesn't really have any other info listed about it, but super sleuthy Mr. Karswell notes that the 10-page story length, as well as the memorable splash and various other bits of art make it easily recognizable as one of Fawcett's 1950's classics, namely, Sheldon Moldoff'sThe Dead Lover Returns, originally featured in the May 1952 issue of World's of Fear #4 (check it out in the THOIA Archive HERE!) But what's actually most curious about this black and white re-do is how or why it even exists at all, considering the other reprint yarns in the same issue are all Dick Ayers' weird western Ghost Rider tales and simply reprinted exactly as they appeared in their original run, (though this time in black and white.) Whatever the reasoning, Dufy's new art is certainly no Moldoff, but to be honest, it's pretty spooky too, and a few of his scratchy, altered panels which change up the perspective / angle, occasionally seem to make things a bit more interesting, oddly enough. Also, the coloring problems of the original version actually make this redo a bit more atmospheric, in my opinion. Compare for yourself-- and everyone have a happy holiday too!


Brian Barnes said...

Ok this is really interesting. It follows pretty closely with the original (there are panels that are basically the same) but is obviously completely redrawn. I assume the artist did the lettering, it's pretty bad in spots.

The artist also made interesting choices. Going from the dead in a giant judges chamber in most panels to the floating heads (which I think actually works a bit better.)

One thing that the original has going for it *is* the color, because they can pull the corpse/regular dude off a lot better than the B&W version.

One thinks this might have been a guy who just duplicated this story on his own time for his own reasons and it made it to this mag! Or he wanted to prove to them this could be done, instead of direct reprints. It's a really neat thing, regardless!

And as I said before: "aw, how sweet!"

Mr. Karswell said...

Yeah I really like this one too, hope more people chime in eventually because I put a lot of work into cleaning up these scans-- it's possible that posting on a holiday is now a bad idea or something.

Anyway, thanks Brian... Werewolf Whatever is up next, lol

Mr. Cavin said...

Well I, for one, was doing intercontinental travel. Every time I get into a series of airports -type situation, you post a bunch of stuff for me to work back through once I finally land (and wake back up). I love it, I wish I could do it faster though!

I really appreciate being able to compare these versions. It's certainly a curiosity. Like Mr. Barnes said, some of the panels almost seem directly reproduced, and others have been altered quite a lot. The cynic in me imagines it was done to limit the number of tedious background architectural perspectives Dufy would have to draw. And I certainly can't blame him for that. I've got no theory about the cosmetic changes to the story, though. Some, like now he's died in an airplane instead of a boat, seem totally arbitrary. Others, like the panel of themed dead judge heads are clever improvements.

I definitely like the colors better than the black and white. But that's predictable. I almost always do; and in this case it's already one my favorite examples of all the precode love zombies. The original is a stone fave.

What interests me is that there are panels here and there where it looks for all the world like Jeremy Dufy assumed the art was going to be colored. All those window silhouette panels while Henry is stalking his ex on page four would look a lot more designy than this if they were yellow and blue, for example.

Unknown said...

Thank you Karswell for this offering. Being a big "Savage Sword" guy, I appreciate the black and white version over the colored one. I believe that the B&W allows you to fill in the details in your mind better.