Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Big Top Nightmare

The circus has come to town, and as always, Lin Streeter delivers another top notch Ace Magazines visual feast of wonderful sets (love those tattered old circus posters inside the castle), --not to mention a terrifyingly thirsty, and very sexy vampire vixen on the prowl! Hang on for your life, it's a high flyin', hair-raisin' tale via the Creepiest Show on Earth, aka the July 1951 issue of The Beyond #5.


Brian Barnes said...

One thing I love about these stories is just how dumb some of the people have to be for the monster to do it's work. I don't believe in anything supernatural but I'm telling you, the minute that lady said she needed her coffin/trunk with her, I'd nope right out of there. There really *is* vampires or she's crazy enough to think she's one, and that's enough for me.

Yet our knife thrower, body after body, never IDs the countess! He's even *surprised* it's her! And what a bad match up -- knife thrower vs vampire, I guess the countess wasn't too clever, either! Now we know where Blade got the idea!

Great art -- I always love the cloak to batwing trick (though it looks more decoration than actually useful), and you always have the decision "do we still make her sexy as a vampire or not" and you get it both ways! I love her expression driving away from the castle and the castle itself with the impossible road leading up to it.

This is a fun one!

Grant said...

It isn't the only story where ANYTHING like this has ever happened (I can think of at least one other), but it's clever that the vampire bites professional rivals - or at least performers that she considers hacks compared to her - so she gets two things done at once.

JMR777 said...

Carnivals, Curcuses, travelling shows, they all lend themselves so well to the horror genre. I guess the mystery or private world of the traveling show performers and carnies creates a bit of mystery around them, (i.e. what is their past, are they running form something or someone, etc.)

Had the vampiress used her head, she would have fed on the vagrants and town drunks in each town the circus visited and left the performers alone. While the local sheriffs might suspect someone in the circus causing foul play, without evidence there would be nothing they could do.

Mr. Cavin said...

ERRRAK! I go off on a measly long-weekend-long vacay, and the minute my back is turned we get Lin Streeter doing circus vampires. Holy cow, it's my favorite thing probably! At least til Lee Elias does carney werewolves.

I love pretty much every thing about this, with special feels for page three panel two, the last frame on page five, and that awesome knife-flinging image on the last page, in which the ribs of Elyra Barovna's bat cape radiate like rays, like futurism, like she's exploding.

But my favorite panel is probably page four panel five, in which the vampire attacks poor Rudolph, the night watchman. It's maybe a small thing, but quite clever to use the tent wall's wrinkles as motion lines, And I just love that flying flashlight.

Anyway, I'm back now! Had a fine time, thanks!