Sunday, November 5, 2023

Custodian of the Dead!

Let's do another one from the May 1952 issue of Beware! Terror Tales #1, and this time from the great, Shelly Moldoff! We have a super Bernard Baily cover to show you as well! Okay, "Custodian of the Dead" is an interesting title for a story, and on a similar note, way back in 2013 we put together the great Jack Cole's Deadly Horror collection (that you can still order by CLICKING HERE if you haven't already done so) which also contains a story with the exact same custodial title! Read it right HERE in the THOIA Archive after todays post...


Brian Barnes said...

There's a bit of Ghastly in this one, the first four panels of page 2 really scream his style, it's a pretty good lift.

One thing that is always fun to me (in pre-codes) is the zany mixing up of ghosts/zombies/corpses, etc. These are drawn as ghosts but have to use doors, but at the same time can just appear anywhere (like when they are chasing him.) Yet, the jail gambit worked!

It kind of sucks for the original caretaker -- he was just visiting, missing his friend, and a bunch of ghosts force a crappy job on him!

This one if full of great art, I really like the car picture on the last page, panel 4. Don't know why that one sticks out but the yellows and red and angles of the lights, it's a good piece of spooky graveyard art!

Bill the Butcher said...

I assume "elfish" meant something a little different 70 years ago? Now if you say someone is elfish you would mean tall, pale, golden haired, maybe with pointed ears.

Lots of good art to go with a surprisingly competent story.

NERODART said...

Nerodart says
Did he read no horror stories? more fool him
really a fine graveyard tale
grav justice at its best

Grant said...

At the bottom of Page 7, the moment I read that Charlie had become wealthy, I think I imagined his in a smoking jacket just an instant before actually seeing him in one. That's how much of a symbol of a contented rich man a smoking jacket used to be.

Mr. Cavin said...

This is exactly the kind of art that I turned to precode horror comics for to begin with. I love the rich, impressionistic colors and thick, gnarly marks that build the tone here. Check out the unconventional choice the colorist made when Charley finds the money: The bills are yellow, and the man himself is green! That's wonderful! I also love the printing gimmicks--those ghosts held out of the black key art to be printed in cyan only. I'd wear out a tee shirt printed with panel three page five. Even still, it's that middle row of of page two that's my favorite thing here--moldy, lamplit corpses at the pit of a grave robbery are the very essence of horror mags.

Looking back, I see I always say these things about Moldoff's horror stuff.