Friday, April 30, 2010

The Demon Star & The Slimy Gargoyle

Here comes another twilight double-header from Tales of Voodoo Vol. 6 No. 1, January 1973. Let’s put Dick Ayers’ Demon Star in the leadoff position since Mr. Ayers is always good for a hit. He is always good for unspeakable carnage, too, which is always a hit in my book.

This is a science fiction tale reprinted from Eerie Pub's Weird Worlds, and also a bit unusual for Ayers in that no human limbs are severed (please note I did say human limbs). Table of contents has this to say about Demon Star: ”An incredible and strange battle with a man pitted against the flaming horror of a magnetic star.” It seems like a bit of a mismatch, eh?

Walter Casadei provides the art for The Slimy Gargoyle, about which Table of Contents does not mince words: ”A ‘horrorama’ of a frightened girl, an inheritance, a weird man, and a figure impaled on a gargoyle.” Well, that’s about it in a nutshell, I guess.

. . . and the coffin lid closes again as the sun rises over the barren landscape, cleansing the steaming moors of the dank breath of night. Curse the sun and the warmth it brings. Curse the light which burns the skin of my grinning, gibbering children . . .

I'm sorry. My mind wanders. Stay tuned for two more tales from the same bountiful issue: The Shrunken Monster and Horror Face.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blood-Dripping Scarecrow & Monster In White

Let’s waste no time in plunging our stake into the heart of Tales of Voodoo Vol. 6 No. 1, January 1973. Well, OK, let's waste just a drooling moment over this cover. Yes, I agree, she's hotter than Hell's furnace - but then, isn't any woman with a tight dress and bloody fangs? Perhaps I've said too much.

First to be impaled by our sharpened wood is The Blood-Dripping Scarecrow. I love Ruben Marchionne’s art in this one. Any artist that can do such a perfect panel depicting holes being blown through a corpse is alright with me! Sluf! Sluf! Sluf!

The doctor in this next tale has much more to worry about than a fussy malpractice suit. Art here is by the ever-reliable Oscar Fraga. I love this tale for no other reason that the doctor in question performs successful brain surgery with a metal truncheon. My dear Father often said there were few problems which couldn’t be resolved with a hammer. But then, he was always ahead of his time.

Well, that's it. The deed is done. All is quiet, but don’t stray too far. The forest around is thick and dark, and the night is starless and littered with glowing, yellow eyes. Stay here near the fire, weak as it is. They fear fire.

Coming next from the same issue is Demon Star and The Slimy Gargoyle. Until then, don't do anything I wouldn't do - but if you must, do it quickly.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Thing In The Cellar" & "The Dead Monsters"

This will polish off Witches’ Tales Vol. 2 No. 4, August 1970. The art in this first horrible tale is by Chick Stone.

Much like the lad of The Thing In The Cellar, I grew up in a house with an unfinished basement wherein bolted to the concrete floor squatted an oil burning furnace. The horrid thing made a sound – a dull roar with a deep, bass thrum - a steady breathing. It had a thick, glass viewport the size of a silver dollar which afforded a glimpse, like some cyclopsian eye, of the soul within. it shimmered with a yellowish light.

Black sludge covered its iron legs which had, for reasons not immediately obvious, iron feet shaped like the paws of an animal. Sitting on the stairs, I often watched the bright, warm eye of the thing; which seemed to burn brighter under my observation. I had my suspicions.

One evening I nervously spoke of my theories to my father. He smiled, eyed me carefully, and bowed low to rest a hand on my shoulder. Yes, he said, eyes locking mine, I had surmised correctly. The rotund, bloated furnace was indeed a minion of the King of Filth, Satan, who heated our home from the mighty bellows of his black lungs. Bright boy! Intelligent boy! Fear the basement! Well, imagine my relief! All was not the fever of my imagination. Good old Dad! The boy in our story, as we shall see, lacked the benefit of such parental guidance.

About The Dead Monsters issue Table of Contents says: ”Weird things do happen when two innocent people come face-to-face with the living dead! Gulp!” Well, that’s a rare moment of understatement for Eerie Pub., don’t you think? Art is by Oscar Fraga

Well. I'm certain I've overstayed my welcome. No one has to kick me in the ass, I'm outa here! Next up; Tales of Voodoo Vol. 6 No. 1!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"A Corpse For A Coffin" & "Mask of Horror"

It’s time to sample the bubbling cauldron of Witches’ Tales Vol. 2 No. 4, August 1970. But let’s not hurry by this startling cover. The test-tube vampire, suckling the eye-dropper of blood, is damn near perfect. What horrid, untold story does this garish tableau suggest? Therein lays the endless pleasure of an Eerie Pub cover!

Life craves balance – symmetry – and nature truly abhors a vacuum. Every Ying calls for Yang, and water will always find its level. Thus, an empty coffin is an insult to the primal structure of the universe. An empty coffin is a hungry coffin. In other words, here comes a Dick Ayers splatter fest!

If severed heads and neatly sliced hands were called for, Dick Ayres was without question your man; but Larry Woromay’s relaxed, cartoony style was pitch-perfect if a body was melting into horrid, rubbery slabs and dripping gobs. Hey, speaking of such, here comes Mask of Horror!

I believe you’ve had enough. Our intent is thrill you, not hurt you (that sort of thing will be left to personal taste and discretion). Do come back for two more lashings from the same issue: "The Thing In The Cellar" & ”The Dead Monsters”!