Saturday, May 25, 2024

Raising the Devil

Time once again to evoke something entertaining and eerie, it's a swingin' 70's spin on Fritz Leiber's Conjure Wife scenario where we find bored suburban couples trying their hand at summoning the Satanic supernatural-- and with the usual, unpredictable results, of course! From the ominous October - November 1977 issue of DC's Secrets of Haunted House #8, featuring Bernard Baily pencils, Win Mortimer on inks, plus a really great Mike Kaluta cover too!


Bill the Butcher said...

"Young" couples?

Hard to say how old the women are, but Ed is at least 50 and Henry no more than ten years under that.

Apart from that, not a bad story, but why can't the demon, having risen through one floor, just keep going?

Brian Barnes said...

That cover is killer! The interior art feels a bit rushed, though, and the inker gave the characters heavy black outlines, but it's still fun. It's like Marvel defender mag of the day when the artists just go crazy drawing a zillion different demons and monsters.

I absolutely adore Abaddon, he looks really, really worried to be involved in this. Heck, when he gets to the kids, he is positively freaked out.

And extra props to the writers; the vertical nature of the pentagram is clever and while the kids were constantly chekov' gunned I really didn't see the ending coming. I like how proud the little scamps look!

Starting with page 6 the artist is entertaining themselves with the see through skirt.

JMR777 said...

In a way, it kind of makes sense that the devil would heed the conjuring of the youngsters over the adults- The adults are already greedy for wealth and power, practically in the grip of the devil as it is, but the kids, little taint of sin in their souls, that is candy for the denizens of hades.

This could have received the comic treatment by one of the wives, "We can't raise a devil in this house! We're not ready to receive guests! It would be bad manners if we didn't offer
hors d'oeuvres and wine to our visitor from down below."

I wonder if anyone ever tried to conjure up Hot Stuff from Harvey comics.

Nequam said...

Scripter E. Norman Bridwell was one of the creators of The Inferior Five and a MAD Magazine writer, which explains a lot.

Mr. Cavin said...

I like the roomy story here. At no time does it read like an excuse for the end, which is pretty nice. Energy is spent on characterizations and foreshadowing scary conclusions the narrative stops short of. Pretty cool for code horror.

I feel like the characters in this formula are usually depicted as mostly innocent--maybe hellbound owing to one radical element of the group, but usually just in it for a lark. Bored late twenty-somethings in Baby Boom America who try to recapture a little kinky youth once the kids are finally in bed. I don't guess it's particularly surprising that seventies comics makes them out to be power hungry villains from the get-go--horror comics are often a morality pay after all, so it's predictable that something would be introduced to balance the punishment coming. And yet it still feels kinda fresh to me, somehow.

Mr. Karswell said...

>why can't the demon, having risen through one floor, just keep going?

The demon came up from Hell after the CHILDREN correctly summoned it, not the adults. The kid also clearly knows how to seal off a pentagram

Todd said...

This manages to be even more insane than the one about vampires and werewolves from Pluto. It's a nice contrast to the slasher stuff from around the same time.

The Hot Stuff comment made me laugh out loud.

Grant said...

It's a little funny that the demon wears a kind of speedo. That reminds me of a lot of the giant monsters in the Atlas-Marvel SF comics - no matter how non-human they are, the artists feel the need to give them pants.

Mr. Cavin's comments makes sense. In fact (minus the kids), this reminds me of that Joan Crawford episode of THE SIXTH SENSE, with the two trendy early ' 70s couples playing around with the occult.