Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Horror Comes To Room 1313" & "Killer Lady"

These two creepers will drain dry the fetid, insect-whining swamp that is Horror Tales Vol. 2 No. 3, May 1970. Both of today’s stories come from the Iger Shop, 1950s vintage.

Our first story, "Horror Comes To Room 1313," tells the tale of a hotel room with a very bad view. The room service is probably terrible as well, but no one ever complains.

Table of Contents tells us: “A nameless evil horror lurked in room 1313 and sent innocent people screaming to a messy death on the pavement below. Splat! Quick Mop! – Sponge! – Ambulance!”

The male protagonist in “Killer Lady” is a modern day Samson with a head of locks the ladies can’t resist, even a princess! All is vanity, the good book tells us (repeatedly); and our male Goldilocks is the proof in the pudding. One thing must be said for him, though: He has a certain cool. I hope if by some crazy chance a gorgeous princess one day offers to make me her king, I have the presence of mind to reply “Sounds swell, baby!” Ah, but as our cool cat will discover – cool will only take you so far.

Actually, up until she sliced off her lover's head, Princess Oona was about the coolest girlfriend that ever lived. You see her take care of that bat? Ooh, baby!

You want color you bloody things? Fine. Check out Karswell's The Horrors Of It All for a juicy glimpse of the original!

Coming up next, we delve into Tales From the Tomb Vol. 1 No. 7, September 1969 with "Three Times Dead" and "Deadly Pickup." I'll be looking for you in all the usual dark, desolate places.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Death Makes Three" & "Your Coffin is Waiting"

Here comes two more decaying treats from Horror Tales Vol. 2 No. 3, May 1970. Both tales are B&W reprints form Fantastic Fears from the early 1950s. The art comes from the Iger Shop, which means that the artists and writers for these comic book stories are lost forever to the gray/green shifting sludge of slime - er, I mean time. The Iger Shop, along with their accomplices (early, pre-code horror comics) sent hundreds upon hundreds of great artists into the silent, bottomless limbo of anonymity. For us, the living, this is both a wonderful blessing and a frustrating curse.

This first story of a double/triple cross finds our black-widow protagonist at odds and ends - all busted up, you might say - about her awful betrayals – and not because she has a conscience.

This second story, “Your Coffin Is Waiting,” is one of those wonderful tales where every character is detestable. These are my favorites because I can wish pain and torture on all concerned. It’s a win-win situation.

Next, we will resurrect “Horror comes to room 1313” and “Killer Lady.” Until then, I won’t tell anyone what you did. Promise.

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.