Friday, September 3, 2010

"Monster's Nightmare" & Tombstone For A Ghoul"

Hear me! The time is neigh, brothers! A fresh sacrifice has been placed upon the stone. The stars have been blighted behind the black blanket of hell’s weather, and the lightening is nothing but the dome of Earth being set afire by demons! The thunder? Howls! Shall we begin? Then, let us open Horror Tales Vol. 2 No. 3, May 1970!

Let's first consider the cover, wherein we find a comely lady staked and tethered to a rocky slab, her hair and eyes gone white with the insanity of terror - her scant, tight dress hardly there. Clearly, we have come upon the ancient punishment for lasciviousness; and (working our way backward) we find the imp vampire serving as executioner, administering the sweat beetles. Next we see the wolfish judge, looking sternly sage in the robes of his office. Finally, the husband Cyclops, his eye filled with the lust and sick hatred of the cuckold.

This first tale, “Monster’s Nightmare,” has the rank flavor of Lovecraft; as it places our sunny universe slipping and sliding next to dimensions of the black pit (the skin separating the two sometime thin as the slime of an oil bubble). The artwork is by Dick Ayers so, rest assured, the devil will have his due.

“Tombstone For A Ghoul” has the always-arresting artwork of Eerie Pub.’s artist of mystery, A. Reynoso. In the world of Reynoso, light does not shine down from the sky - but rather it rises up like a pale mist from the fetid earth; offering no warmth or hope.

Enough! I cry, enough! I am spent even if you are not (harlot!). Next? “Death Makes Three” and “Your Coffin is Waiting.” Until then, remember; always stir the bubbling cauldron counter-clockwise for full potency and less toil and trouble.

16 comments:

Daniel [oeconomist.com] said...

“Tombstone for a Ghoul” is a reworking of “Guest of the Ghouls” from Beware #7 (Jan '54), which Karswell reproduced at tHoIA. It's perhaps worth noting that, in the original, Rodman sinks to the ground (id est collapses), whereƤs Reynoso depicts Rodman sinking into the ground (though the verbal narrative remains the same). On the other hand, the opening panel of the reworking shows odd restrint in resisting the original reference to “the graveyard of the dead” (as opposed to a graveyard of the living).

prof. grewbeard said...

"we have shown no mercy to the dead! why should we show it to the living?..."

try as i might, i just can't get into Dick Ayer's style, but A. Reynoso's- yes, indeed!

word verification- excre

Hellbilly Hollywood said...

I love the way he draws the skeletons kind of black with white outlines. Very cool.

Mykal Banta said...

Prof. and Hellbilly: Reynoso is a lost master - Everything he drew seemed burnt to ashes.

Tim Butler said...

Whew! I was going through Dick Ayers withdrawl there for a bit. But the splash page for his story will do nicely. Just packed with detail.

Mykal Banta said...

tim: I loved that splash myself. I love the Prof. for not loving Aryes. It makes me look at his work afresh.

KW said...

Any weird spooky swamp atmosphere story makes me happy.

Haha! the Professor's word verification

Mykal Banta said...

KW: - That makes me happy as well. And as for the Profs. word verification, all one can say is merdre.

Guybell said...

Great to see an Ayers story that's new to me. Whenever anyone says that these mags only used no-name artists, I always mention Ayers and Stone, both of which were respected and accomplished artists. I never got into Reynoso because it always looked like he inked with tar.

Mykal Banta said...

Guybell: "Inked with tar." That's good! I like! Thanks for commenting!

prof. grewbeard said...

inking with tar is a bad thing?!?... :)

Mykal Banta said...

Prof.: I just love that “inking with tar” thing. I get the visual of Reynoso (whom I always see as slightly lit with fever and grinning with uneven teeth) standing over some huge, oaken table; inking his pages with a massive hair brush from a large vat of glistening, viscous tar. The brush would all but hiss as it moved over the thick paper - the air biting with the acrid smell of petroleum.

I found Guybell's description perfect and, by my lights, not a bad thing.

Karswell said...

Every panel of the Reynoso is great, the wild angles and cinematic perspectives are wildly refrevolting (that's refreshing and revolting combined into one word) and as a rule with b/w comics I always love seeing more black than white. I'm not super familiar with Reynoso but will be sure to re-school myself on his work in the Eerie Pub issues I own. Thanks Mykal!

Word Verification: phing

Mykal Banta said...

Karswell: Wouldn't you just kill for a big, prestige hardcover of his work? "refrevolting" Now there's a useful word! It's in the memory bank now and will appear again! -- Mykal

Guybell said...

I think Reynoso's work would look great if presented in a graphic novel format with better quality paper and printing. I lived in Europe during most of the 90's and the quality of the comics there always amazed me.
That said, I'm glad that I bought these as a 10 year old in 1970. I wouldn't have been able to afford what they ask for comics today and I certainly wouldn't be rolling them up and sticking them in my back pocket. I really got my .60 cents worth. My nephew reads his comics on an ipad. I feel my experience was much better.

Mykal Banta said...

Guybell: Comics on an iPad. That's just something I can't do. I tried it - it just isn't the same or even close. Same with a normal book. The experience is just too different to be enjoyable.

I am glad you expressed your opinion about A. Reynoso for the same reason I enjoyed it when Prof. wrote that he wasn’t a fan of Dick Ayers: It made me (and others, I'm sure) take a different look at the artist, and to make an effort to clarify what exactly it is I like (or maybe didn’t like so much). You and Prof.’s opinions encouraged me to take a step back and see things fresh. I find that exciting.

If everyone loved the same artists for the same reasons - life would suck. There would just be one, huge blog and all comments would be “God, isn’t this great!!!?”