Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Better Off Dead" & "Horror Club"

Two more grisly ones from Horror Tales Vol. 2, No. 1. First up is Better Off Dead, which the issue’s Table of Contents introduces this way: ”At the peak of his career the physicians forced him to retire because of a bum ticker. A startling, horrifying tale of a man who was called incurable.”

The art here is Larry Woromay, whose work for Eerie Pub. always had a very distinctive, loose look. The more I see of Woromay, the more I like. His gore, (intestines, aortas, etc) always had a nice, rubbery, living look. Of course, if I am mistaken in this identification, please don’t be shy in letting me know! Download Better Off Dead!

The second story, Horror Club is by Oscar Fraga (signed). Table of Contents says: “They came in search of happiness, romance, and even marriage, only to learn the club was really the yawning pit of hell. Wan’na join?” Hmmm. The Yawning Pit of Hell – I think that was a club I used to love back in the day. Download Horror Club!

Frankly, regarding that last story - I still think Dawn looked pretty hot. Perhaps I've said too much.

Join me next time for The Witch and The Werewolf & The Spirits - both from this same issue!

Friday, March 26, 2010

"House of Monsters" & "Devil Flower"

Let’s dive into Horror Tales Vol. 2, No. 1; January 1970. Just gaze upon this cover! One thing about Eerie Publishing: The cover creatures are always unique. Take for instance the pointy-eared demon/elf of this cover using a splitting maul to cleave a blue-skinned robot with bloody feeding tubes right down to the belt buckle! Man, that’s Eerie!

This first story, House of Monsters, is by Dick Ayers. Oh, yeah, is it ever Dick Ayers. In that glorious few summers of my youth when Eerie mags were the sun and moon, Ayers was my favorite Eerie Publishing artist. I would pick up each new issue in sweaty hands and flip pages looking for the Ayers' signature panels of blood, heads, and eyes.

Table of contents says ”The grim castle that Paul Domer inherited was a fiend’s dream that combined the forces from beyond with science into horror unequealled. Ye-ech! This is a bloody tale.” Indeed it is.

This next story might be by Carl Burgos, but I am open to suggestion (Nope! Not Burgos. See comments by oeconomist and Mike Howlett). About Devil Flower, Table of Contents says: "Who was the evil, vicious being that kept the carnivorous flower thriving in full bloom through periodic feedings of . . . Ye-ech. Read it." Well, okay! I will!

Well, that’s a wrap! When next we rise, we’ll look at two more tales from the same issue: Horror Club and Better Off Dead. In the meantime, Keep your proclivities well hidden from neighbors and co-workers!

Monday, March 22, 2010

"The Witch Doctor" & "Frankenstein"

These next two stories lay to rest the Vol. 2, No. 1 issue of Tales From The Tomb. May maggot-dripping zombies sing thee to thy rest. But before this issue stops twitching, let’s enjoy first The Witch Doctor!

Table of Contents tells us: Ghastly beyond all belief are the black mysteries of Africa! No one believes what happened to Alice. Will you? Read this weirdo!” The thing I love most about this tale is that everyone drools, and not just a little. C’mon, everybody, let’s slip on our hides and do the leopard dance! And, let’s be honest - haven’t we all turned into beasts after a few drinks and gyrations on the dance floor? Particularly when the moon sings its siren song.

About the issue’s last story, Frankenstein, Table of Contents says: “So what if he was only a man-made thing? You gave him life and he could learn but greed gripped your innards and unleashed a horror on the land! Believe me it is different!” Greed gripped your innards? God, I love Eerie Publishing!

I really like this concise re-telling of the classic monster story. It stays much truer to Shelly than did James Whale’s 1931 film. The creature in this story, while resembling Karloff’s brute, is articulate and noble – pure - as Shelly intended.

Rest well, creature of moonlit graves. There but for the grace of God . . . (sniff).

Coming next is House of Monsters and Devil Flower from Horror Tales Vol. 2, No. 1! Don't make me come get you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

"Web of Terror" & "Living Horrorscope"

Two more from Tales From The Tomb Vol. 2 No. 1. This first story makes me think of my 7th grade biology teacher who, for some reason, was irrationally irritated by cartoon spiders. "Insects don't have faces," she would snip, so smarmy and self-righteous. I was reasonably certain Miss Erickson was an enemy agent. But I digress.

About Web of Terror, Table of Contents says: The ugly, carnivorous red widow spider vanished in thin air, and Damon Rankin gasped in horror. Ye-ech! I can’t look! Those jaws! Ugh!” Okay, the plot meanders a bit in search of a dénouement, but it’s a lovely ride with Carl Burgos supplying the pencils and inks.

Look out! Here comes Living Horroscope, which tells of the wicked experiments of two astrologers behind in the rent. Table of Contents says: The fearful secrets of the sun, moon, and stars come to life as two astrologers create the unknown! Can't be done? Hmmm?" Eerie Pub stories always work best when high concept is shoe-horned into a crash-n-burn 5 pages. The art is by Oscar Fraga.

I'm a Virgo, so for the time being I guess I'm safe. Although I would have loved to see an animated Virgin stalk the earth, searching for victims. Okay, get your second wind because in a couple days were doing it again. Next up from the same issue is The Witch Doctor & Frankenstein.

PS: My bloody heartfelt thanks to Mike Howlett (see sidebar) who supplied artist identification for this post.