Sunday, March 18, 2018

Acid Test / Grounds For Murder!

WARNING: If you've just eaten, you may want to wait awhile before reading any of these stories-- because dear god *choke* *gag* --the theme for this post is: "Flesh Removal!" And all selections come from the insanely horrific November 1953 issue of the rather not so horrifically titled, Lawbreakers Suspense Stories #15, (this series was apparently Charlton's response to EC's Crime Suspenstories), and to say that these seemingly harmless good guy / bad guy tales of burning acid and insatiable insects are gruelingly mean spirited, ugly, and just downright revoltingly repulsive, is putting it ever so mildly. Yes friends, you can almost hear Dick Giordano and John Befli cackling maniacally as they crank-up the ick factor 10-fold here-- so hold on to your noses and as well as any other dangling exposed bits, because seriously, some of you may not survive this triple header of twisted terror...

Friday, March 16, 2018

Adventure of the Murdered Medium

One of our most popular Haunted Horror covers was an insanely cutting edge slashtacular by the ever wonderous, Warren Kremer, originally from the December 1946 issue of Super-Mystery Comics Volume 6 #3. We put that masterpiece of sex and violence on the cover of Haunted Horror #11 in June 2014, but it wasn't until just a few months ago that someone actually wrote to me asking if there was even a story in the original issue that said cover was based upon. And indeed there is-- and boy is it ever a fun --and very funny-- little who-dun-it romp, complete with a wise-crackin', Thin Man-esque married couple (Bert and Sue) who find themselves up to their nosey little amateur dick necks in all sorts of maniacally murderous mayhem while attending a midnight seance at a magic museum. So kick back and enjoy this ode to 1930's / 40's MGM and RKO mysteries-- I'm sure there's a few of you out there who will appreciate the B-film pace and atmosphere, as well as the ominous horror overtones. (And thanks again to Denny for the inquiry!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The Steel Monster

Behind another gorgeously painted cover, (this time by Allen Anderson), awaits a tale that some of you may notice bears an uncanny similarity to a particular Theodore Sturgeon yarn first published in the mid 40's. That's right-- it's KILLDOZER!!! (with a few slight differences.) And yes, this wasn't the only time that KD made a comic book appearance, as Marvel Comics later unleashed 20 pages of murderous, mechanized madness in the April 1974 issue of Worlds Unknown #6: The Thing Called... KILLDOZER! --just as ABC Studios let loose in the same year with their own TV movie adaptation starring Clint Walker and Robert Ulrich-- it seemed KILLDOZER was everywhere in '74! So enjoy today's post, and I know, it's not too terribly different from what I normally post around here-- per our current March theme-- so if you really wanna complain about it you'll have to take it up with The Dozer!! From the May 1951 issue of Amazing Adventures #2, artist unknown.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Corpse That Killed!

We're still in "Giving You Something Different" mode this month here at THOIA, and though I actually did give you a different, though no less eerie Ellery Queen story once before back in 2014 (HERE!), it's possible that enough time has passed that it just might feel different enough to make the most out of our current March Madness Marathon. And yes, this tale has some definite spooky similarities to our previous post as well: psychotic killer, a decent body count-- plus dynamite dialog, a seance scene (I love seance scenes!) and a superbly chilling, ironic climax down at the atmospheric old graveyard. Did I forget to mention an incredible Norman Saunders cover painting too?! Interior art is pretty swell as well, but unfortunately uncredited. From the Ziff-Davis, Winter '52 issue of Ellery Queen #1.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Phantom of Notre Dame

I've posted a few hero oriented stories here over the years, and like our last post, I thought this month it would be fun to look at different golden age tales that still deliver on the idea of "horror", though not necessarily acquired from the usual horror comic books of the era. Todays post is no exception, as the original Daredevil comic series of the 40's played up your typical rootin' tootin' American hero in disguise vs. the WW2 Axis of Evil menace, and it's still true in this story as well. But this time the lights camera actions are spiced up with a grotesque, vengeance filled hunchback who viciously crushes, zaps, stabs, and slashes his way through the cast of a 1940's Hollywood film production! So if your mind isn't already blown to bits by that foot fetish freak-out torture cover, hang on to your helmets as the Daredevil (he's cool, but he ain't no Matt Murdock) and his comedy relief pal, swing in to the rescue! Cover and story art by Charles Biro.

From the June 1942 issue of Daredevil Comics #11.

And what about that foot fetish torture cover image, you ponder? The scene actually shows up towards the end of this same issue in the Pat Patriot story, "The Mallet Strikes!", highlighted with early art by THOIA fave, Lin Streeter! Here it is: