Thursday, October 12, 2006

Halloween Mega-post!

Written by Scott Bishop (known for his work on The Mysterious Traveler series), this short-lived series from the early 40's aimed for a more serious tone than some of it's contemporaries, and didn't use the common convention of a host or narrator to set up the plot, crack wise etc. Of course, some of the stories are pretty far-fetched by today's sandards.... but to my mind, still enjoyable and well done though!

Episodes are -
Man Who Came Back #1
Thing From The Sea #3
The Demon Tree #4
Men Call Me Mad #5
House of Bread #6
Resolution-1841 #7
Curse Of The Neanderthal #8
Headless Dead #10
Death Is Savage A Deity #11
Sea Phantom #12
"W" Is For Werewolf #13
Delicate Case of Murder #14
Spawn Of The Subhuman #15
Scarlet Satchel #16
Dark Fantasy 1!

Suprstition Be Hanged #17
Pensylvannia Turnpike #18
Convoy for Atlantis #19
Thing From The Darkness #20
Edge of theShadow #21
Letter From Yesterday #24
Cup of Gold #25
Funeral Arrangements Complete #26
Dead Hands Reaching #27
Rendezvous With Satan #28
I Am Your Brother #29
Sleeping Death #30
Seance #31
Dark Fantasy 2!

The Strange Doctor Weird was hosted by Maurice Tarplin (the voice of The Mysterious Traveler) and sponsored by Adam Hats, these 15 minute shows are heavy on the horror, over-acting and organ music... lots and lots of organ music! They are, however, despite these dubious (?) aspects, pretty fun, in that B-Movie way that we seem to all love so much around here.

Episodes are -
"Murder Comes Home"
"The Tiger Cat"
"He Walked With Death"
"Pearls Of Terror"
"Stand-In For Death"
"Murder Ship"
"Beauty & The Beast"
"Survival of the Fittest"
"The Man Who Lived Twice"
"Wings Of Death"
"Secret Room"
"Knife Of Death"
"Murder Will Out"
"The Voice of Death"
"Two Faces of Death"
"Man Who Knew Everything"
"He Woke Up Dead"
"Devils' Cavern"
"When Killers Meet"
"Dead Mans' Paradise"
"Ghost Ship"
"The Man Who Played Dead"
"Picture Of A Killer"
"Revenge From The Grave"
"Death In The Everglades"
The Strange Doctor Weird!

Tom Sutton is probably THE most under-rated comic artist of all time. Most folks probably don't know who he is, and if they do, they're probably more familiar with his work at Marvel or DC. The thing is, Tom toiled long and hard in the fields over at Charlton, doing amazing work (at lower page rates) for the sake of freedom of artistic expression. I may have a bit of a hard time convincing some of the worth of this artists output, so i've put a few things together, just to prove my point. Apart from some spotty fanzine coverage, there just isn't that much interest... which is a shame.
Check some (or all) of this material out, and see if you don't agree with me, that Tom Sutton is indeed, truly one of the unsung masters of the macabre....

The Art of Tom Sutton 1

The Art of Tom Sutton 2

Here's a nice bunch of fun with 14 issues (or selections there-of) from Charlton's Ghostly Haunts, featuring the host with the most "Winnie the Witch", who predates the DC female horror hosts from "Witching Hour" by several years. Plus, for my money, she's the HOTTEST horror-host in the history of horror comics. Vampi has to be #2, sorry, but the blue skin, sun-glasses and cape just edges Winnie into the #1 spot. And Countess Von Blud (from Scary Tales) comes in at #3 (if you were wondering).....

These first three issues feature some peak Ditko stuff, incredible layouts and compositions..... amazing art from Steverino at his best!




Dr. Graves makes a rare guest appearance in "I'll Never Forget What's-His-Name" with art chores by Steve Ditko (natch!) plus Wayne Howard does story and art on "Hermit of Brimstone Cave".

"No Way Out", a 9-pager by Cuti and Staton is an example of how well the E-Man team worked together. Looks like Joe modeled the protagonist on Lovecraft. Excellent cover too! Steve does "Till We Meet Again", not too bad, but no great shakes...

Sturdy Steve may do the cover for "Fear Has 3 Dimensions", but the interior art on this whacked-out tale of an artist plagued by his own monster paintings come to life is by Wayne Howard.... and what a job he does!
i love the fact that the painter looks like a cross between Alfred E. Newman and The Frankenstein Monster!
¡Viva Wayne Howard!

"Sewer Patrol" by Nicola Cuti and Jack Abel is the highlight of this excellent ish!

Another great issue with an amazing cover by Tom Sutton!

More cool Ditko stuff in "A Little Act Of Witchcraft"!

Nice period drama in "Act of Treason" by Stevey Ditko, but i really like the story in "Snowman" by Steve Morisi and "PAM" (Pete Morisi).

OK... now this is a killer book! No dead wood this issue! This is due to what i call the "Cuti Effect"! By this time the new blood (and ideas) that he and George Wildman added to the line is more than plain to see.
"Devil's Chessman" by Cuti & Kim starts the ish off really well, followed by "He Created Evil" by Gill and Ditko...solid workman-like stuff here from these stalwarts.... but then again, these two "doing the usual" is still better than most of todays "stars" at their best! So there!
The final story by Gill and Tom Sutton finds old H. P. Lovecraft being used as a model again. Probably one of the most interesting (and funniest) Charlton horror stories ever.... and what an ending! Did Joe write that last panel or did Tom? Who knows at this point....

This issue contains one of THE best horror stories you'll ever read - anywhere. "The Game Keeper" written and drawn by Tom Sutton. He even signs the cover "Grisly", with a sly nod to the EC books of old. And yes, that is a giant spider there, surrounded by skeletons and human remains, on the cover of a Code approved book. That's why Tom and the rest stuck around at Charlton... the pay was low... but you could GET AWAY WITH STUFF if you were smart!
"The Beast in All Men" by Ditko plays like an old Monogram horror film from the 40's (which i think is very cool), and "The Wastrel" by Jim Beam(!?!) and Wayne Howard has a nice early 20th century setting that helps distinguish the tale.

More excellent strips from the Cuti/Wildman era!

Does this guy look a little like "The Crypt Keeper"?

OK.... Mr. Hyper all tired out now........
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