Thursday, February 2, 2023

A Monster Among Us

We'll leave all the hugs 'n kisses to AEET and dedicate the new month of posts here at THOIA to the February Freaks! So lets drag out our first eerie excursion from the scary 'ol sea, aka the May 1952 issue of Mystic #8, and it's one illustrated by the late, great Joe Sinnott, no less! Yes sir, batten down the hatches-- things are gonna get beastly around here for a bit!


Glowworm said...

I love that shot of the reveal of the monster with his big green eyes. Also love that last panel of Dan's hand clutching out of the water. To be fair, I thought the monster was going to be the lighthouse or the boat. Trust me, I've seen a few classic comics where it ends like that. In this one the monster decides to play tame and goes with lighthouse keeper. Still fun. For some reason, I love that one fisherman asking Jose "Maybe it you call...octopus!"

JMR777 said...

Nautical stories dealing with horror, ghosts or the unexplained have an extra element of the sinister and unknowable dread about them.

From the Bermuda Triangle to the Great Lakes Triangle to the infamous Flying Dutchman, tales of uncanny occurrences on the high seas and large lakes leave the audience of such tales in awe and a sense of dread. While modern sailing equipment, GPS and satellites have made sailing so much safer today than in decades past, modern equipment can never dispel the mysteries hidden in, on or under the waves of the world.

Many who see things like a ghost ship or large sea creature tend to keep quiet about such things for fear of ridicule, much like those who see a UFO fear their reputation will be ruined if they talk about it.

This tale was well drawn and well written, though I suspect it pales in comparison to some of the real (or believed to be real) nautical nightmares witnessed by seafaring men and women.

Grant said...

I also noticed that octopus line. In countless stories, the octopus is terrifying all by itself, so it's nice to hear it mentioned as a kind of red herring for a change.

"What in the sea below could be worse than this storm?"

I have a real hang-up about storms, so that line makes perfect sense to me.

Mr. Cavin said...

Super Sennott art, from that wonderful splash* to the ultimate placement of the traditional Atlas four-panel progression there at the bottom of the last page. I love the way Joe did the elements--all that driving rain under dark clouds. Not one panel of this looks like daytime, so I was a little surprised when night finally fell on page four. And I'm not sure Sennott got the memo about the lighthouse being inoperable, either--though frankly I'm delighted, since those panels he lit by lighthouse light were totally aces.

Sometimes I wonder if Stan's penchant for second person--accusing the reader of his or her nefarious new lifestyle at the top of each mystery thriller--is what eventually led to the popular Choose Your Own Adventure story. It's tone, at least.

*Surely that sailor with the straw hat has some kind of hand ailment that makes him claw at the air like that? He's even doing it in the panel where he's punched out!

Brian Barnes said...

I adore page 4, panel 2. That's a great use of the kind of panels this story would afford and artist. And I love the blue and purple rain streaks against the black sea wall. That's real excellent stuff.

This story gives you a two-for setup, you have the guy who doesn't believe the monster is real (strike #1) and the guy is also a complete jerk to his workers (strike #2.)

Like everybody else, the monster is great, and I especially like the worm like fingers off its furry arms. That's some crazy patchwork monster!