Friday, January 27, 2023

Horror A La Mode

Time for another spine-tinglin' terror trip to the Charnel House of Horrors, aka the January 1954 issue of Mysteries Weird and Strange #5. If this fright feast doesn't fill ya up, I'll have one more deadly dish to serve up before the end of the month is officially over, so stay tombed...


Glowworm said...

This one's confusing to me. It very clearly states that Jim McCoy has been having this dream of going to a ghastly nightclub for days now. Yet he's never been at it in real life, and makes it his alibi after killing his girlfriend. Was he mixing his recurring dream with reality at this point? I love how the cops are even in disbelief at him calling them. I also still have no idea who the "boss" of this nightclub is supposed to be as he actually shows up at the end of the story--yet he's only been seen in McCoy's dream. It feels somewhat hinted that he may actually be the devil, but it's never outright mentioned although he seems familiar to Jim. I do love the first half where the dream is shown though. The ghastly looking nightclub is fun and I love the look of the coat girl and the D girl, especially the second panel of her face on page 3. Also one of the henchmen when Jim arrives in Hades looks an awful lot like Bluto, Popeye's nemesis. Also, Gertie really doesn't look very distraught while Jim is choking her, despite her dialog.

JMR777 said...

He should have just taken her to Charnel House for a night on the town and paint the town red (blood red, that is).
Thousands of people disappear every year, so if she went missing at Charnel House, Jimbo could plead innocent, the staff would cover for him, and in the end, Jim would end up in the Honeymoon Suite down below with Gertie torturing him forever. Talk about a fate worse than death.

Brian Barnes said...

As mentioned, this one is a bit confusing. Can "The Boss" be the devil, because he's chummy with the cops (and yes, that obviously doesn't preclude him from being the devil) but it's more like he is .. the executioner? A DA?

Maybe this whole thing is one giant Scooby Doo scam and "The Boss" is the DA and he actually set this entire thing up *just* to get McCoy to do a murder that he didn't have an alibi for.

Now that's a story! I'm going to image that is what happened.

I like how the artist still draws good girl art even for the women with ghastly faces!

Bill the Butcher said...

Going by the flow of the tale the murder should have been just a part of Big Jim's dream, shouldn't it?

Like others said, this doesn't really make sense to me.

Mr. Cavin said...

I really like that last panel on page two--the radiating light lines, the conspiratorial customer service conversation. I guess I like all stories in which skeleton people walk around and do jobs and things--like José Guadalupe Posada memento mori come to narrative life. Often in those kinds of stories, there comes a disappointing moment in which the worm turns, and all is revealed to be fantasy. Often the bone people are just a trope, an allusion, some gesture of artistic license created for the splash. Here they are revealed, in the antepenultimate panel, to merely be Jim's dream recollection of Satan's wily hoax. And yet... we sure get a lot more skeleton guys in this one than usual, so I'm in.

I really like the episode in the apartment. It's got the ring of real literature. I mean, McCoy might have just been pictured throttling Gertie in silhouette while the narration explained everything. But this comic actually chooses to follow a character-driven nosedive deep into a game the couple once played back when they were frisky new lovers. The scene feels partly biographical, and partly a revelation of Jim's opportunistic sociopathy. Neat trick.