Saturday, July 31, 2010

"The Ghoul" & "This Cat is Evil"

With these two stories we have, ripping with our sharp vulture beaks, picked the last shred of fleshy skin from the bones of Weird Vol. 11 No. 1, March 1978. The art for our first story, “The Ghoul,” comes by way of Torre Repiso.

Technically, the subject of this first earthy number isn’t a ghoul; a being who in popular legend eats the dead. No, Horace Vennery is a grave-robber – a tomb raider, a thief of the crypt – an ancient profession that, when practiced on the recent dead, requires no special training or degree. What with the recently bloated costs of sending a child to college, young high-school graduates (and their parents) might give this career a second look as an alternative to military service. I suggest looking at it as being a very swift and efficient archeologist.

I have often heard that prostitution is the oldest profession, and I don’t doubt it. But I am sure robbing the dead must be a very close second. I imagine the practice started with the first homo erectus who died with anything of value on his or her person – be it a stone hammer or a shiny piece of shell. Since man has walked upright, the grim, relentless logic of the living has been the same. So speaks Mr. Vennery: “Why bury wealth? Especially wealth that can do nothing for them? And who is the wiser? The cemetery rats? The cadavers?” Ah, such a elemental thing is Man. Coupling for pleasure and picking over the dead for profit be thy oldest impulse and heritage - thy mark and staff.

Our second course, “The Cat is Evil” has some excellent drawing of cat and woman by Domingo Mandrafina. Table of Contents says: ”A weird flesh-ripping yarn of Bengal tigers that are raised as pets – pets that can rip and kill.”

This little beauty is from the front inside cover. Let those eyeballs feast.

Time to put the carcass of this post (and issue) into a nice bed of earth and worms. Perhaps now the stories within can find some measure of peace. Thank you for joining me in their gentle send-off. Next? Let’s visit some friends with Tales From the Tomb!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Monster Town" & "Werewolf"

More, More, MORE you cry; you gore-slavered minions – you pitch-soiled things! Do your unnatural cravings have no bottom? Is there no satisfying your need for scarlet rivers? For limb-tearing carnage? For sheer, primal torture and dark practice?

Yeah, that’s what I thought. Me neither.

Before we continue to hack pieces off Weird Vol. II No. 1, March 1978; I extend thanks to Mike (the man) Howlett (for more on Mr. Howlett, please check sidebar). Mike was able to identify the artist for our first tale, “Monster Town;” which was the first published story of Eerie Pub. stalwart, Ruben Marchionne. Within this twisted yarn of the beautiful and the ugly, Marchionne displays an excellent grasp of anatomy. It is my firm belief that boys become cartoonists so that they can draw hot girls and dinosaurs. Mr. Marchionne clearly had the former down pat for his first professional assignment.

“Werewolf” is unsigned but it is Sooo A. Reynoso. The man just draws the hell of the shadows of life (and afterlife as well). About “Werewolf,” Table of Contents says: ”Terrifying evil gurgles from the beast’s throat as it spreads icy fear among the inseparable three.”

This last delicious morsel is the back cover. I. Love. This.

This issue still has some meat on it’s bones. We will flay it clean next post with “The Ghoul” and “The Cat Is Evil.”

Friday, July 23, 2010

"Coils of Terror" & Satan's Dead Demons"

Let’s continue to pick over the maggot-incrusted leavings of Weird Vol. 11 No., March 1978. First, let’s consider “Coils of Terror,” a tale of yet another demented, scientific genius retreating into the jungle (well, attempting to retreat into the jungle, at any rate) to continue his horribly entertaining animal-hybrid experiments. Art is by Argentina-born Enrique Cristóbal.

Looking at things objectively, it isn’t difficult to understand the marginal, balding scientist, Paul Vale’s, frustration. I mean, really. Blond god scientist, John Reid – obviously the darling of the scientific community - comes waltzing into Vale’s field laboratory with a gaggle of his groupies, wearing a trendy Hawaiian shirt, and starts blasting his revolver at anything that twitches. It would seem the stalwart Dr. Reid has found a way to crush his professional competition under the guise of noble intentions. Clearly, our "heroic" Dr. Reid can barely disguise his sense of triumph when he parks a round into Dr. Vale’s pet rabbit.

“Satan’s Dead Demons” boasts two Eerie Pub. standbys right off the bat: First, it has a sledgehammer title. Second, it has - for reasons that should be obvious (and please remember this blog is an escape to my early teenage, hormones-bouncing-of-the-insides-of-my-eyeballs self) - a simply magnificent splash page.

And honestly, who could not secretly root for Satan’s demons in this story? I say crash the holy hell out that yuppie party. Go, demons, go, and drag to a pit of dripping slime all the young beautiful people stuffed to the gills with entitlement disorder! Art is by Alberto Macagno.

Oh, my dear, dear readers; was that not fine and as satisfying as any home-cooked meal? Next? I'll give you next, you greedy things. How does "Werewolf" and "Monster Town" suit you?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"Never Curse a Corpse" & "The Blind Monsters"

Ah, there is nothing quite as pleasurable as breaking the seal on something new; be it a jar of peanuts, a coffin (both of which give a satisfying hiss of air rushing into a vacuum), or the Mylar sleeve of a fresh comic – in this case Weird Vol. 11 No. 1, March 1978.

“Never Curse a Corpse” has the anxiety-drenched artwork of Cirilo Munoz and has a title that not only trips off the tongue with a certain flippant joy, but also offers some solid advice. This story provokes a consideration. Traditionally one may do three things to (or upon) the grave of a deceased enemy: One may either a) dance on it, b) spit on it; or c) piss on it. My question to you, dear reader, is this: If you were on the receiving end – that is, if it were your grave being defiled – which manner of defilement would you prefer if given a choice? Granted, none of the three are easily tolerated, but I would prefer to be spat on rather than pissed or danced over, and I’ll tell you why. To dance on another’s grave demonstrates a certain dark glee and release; and pissing expresses too casual a distain. Spitting, however, suggests an enemy swathed in bitter angst – living, yes, but coiled tightly in a blustering, unquenchable anger and corrupting desperation (much better).

”None so blind as those that will not see.” - Matthew Henry - Commentaries, Jeremiah 20

“The Blind Monsters” has some terrifying beasts drawn by A. Reynoso. I can’t decide whether this should have been an episode of Star Trek or the The Twilight Zone. In the case of either program, it could have been the best episode ever!

OK, you’ve had enough. No. Really. You got someone to drive you home? Once you sleep it off, make sure you come back for “Coils of Terror” and “Satan’s Dead Demons.” Admit it. You would have come back for “Satan’s Dead Demons” alone.