Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"Three Times Dead" & "Deadly Pickup"

Today we command a fresh issue of Eerie Publishing wretchedness to rise from the dank netherworld, its yellow pages nearly crumbling when exposed to air and light. Yes, these mags were only meant to be read by moist cavern creatures – more newt than human; their bulbous eyes scanning pages by the glow of the phosphorous minerals veining their cave walls.

But what of the above cover for Tales Of The Tomb, Vol. 1 No. 7, September 1969? First, I can’t help but admire the dining technique demonstrated by our pointy-eared, mop-haired, daemon vampire. Notice how he grasps the skull by the eye sockets like a bowling ball for a firm hold? You aspiring youngsters out there looking to make your bloody mark – this is how the pros do it. We may ponder why the victim’s face crumbles away in pieces like rotten porcelain, but answers slither and slip away from the mind in such nightmares – as hard to grasp as the yoke of an egg floating in blood.

But beware! The pink, vampiric, pig-bats are scampering in like blood-bloated maggots with legs and teeth!

This first story, “Three Times Dead,” features a plot that howls in pure chaos. Question: If a one-eyed man is king in a kingdom of the blind, what manner of kingdom - on some grey shore - might it be where a one-armed man is king? Nothing to do with the story, really; I just love the image.

“Deadly Pickup” is a fine example of what a great inker can do with a lush head of hair. The story might be a bit of a telegraphed punch, but those 1950s Iger Shop artists could make any story worth the effort. Table of Contents offers this advice: ”Never, ever pick up a stranger, even one that is drowning in her own blood!” Sure. The first few times the situation arises, this is difficult advice to follow. But over time, and with practice, it gets easier and easier.

With that let us roll up the sidewalks in this moldering, little berg and bid fare the well until next time; when I will bring forth “Fangs of Fear” and “Cry From the Coffin!”

10 comments:

prof. grewbeard said...

glad to see this issue, last time i saw one on eBay i missed out on it. as usual, Mykal, your prose is the perfect set-up for these tales of terrible terror...

Tim Butler said...

"I'm so hungry I could eat a...I'm hungry."
What was he gonna say? She probably hasn't laughed in years and he could've had her rolling with a good pun. At least he got to finish the "Gahhh" that he started at the beginning. This one had a really disturbing southern gothic vibe to it.

Mykal said...

Prof.: Yeah, this is a particularily good one, not much original material but selection of reprints is great! Thanks for the kind words.

Tim: "Southern Gothic" - perfect. I meant to say something about that in my intro and went off on a different tangent and forgot (as I often do).

Karswell said...

Deadly Pickup has the kind of Iger Shop splash I love from them the most-- an exaggerated giant head or hand looming over or grasping a victim... we could probably do a combined months worth of just great Iger Shop splash posts that use this visual approach.

Pig-Bats!!!!

Mykal said...

Karswell: I couldn't agree more about the Iger look on splashes. they just grab the eyeball and don't let go!

Guybell said...

That hair! It's practically Charles Burns.
One thing I've noticed is that these mags have a distinct smell. I can smell an Eerie Pub a mile away. They even smelled bad when I bought them new as a kid. Wonder where Myron was getting his paper.

Guybell said...

...also, the art in the first story is everything good.

Mykal said...

Guybell: I can only assume that Eerie Publishing used the cheapest paper they could lay their grubby mitts on. I judge this by not only the rapid decay and yellowing of the pages (far exceeding mainstream comics of the same vintage) but also by, as you have noted, the particularly unpleasant fragrance of them after a certain age, not at all like regular comics.

I can’t help but wonder if Burns saw any of these comics. I know he is a huge EC fan.

Guybell said...

Jesus! I've spent close to $800 on these mags on ebay since I started reading this blog. There's no way I can afford my girlfriend AND this addiction. I'm really going to miss her.

Mykal said...

Guybell: Your only real hope for sustaining the relationship is if you can get your girlfriend into Eerie Pub. mags. If not, well, you gave it your best effort.