Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Dungeons Of Doom!: The Pre-Code Horror Comics Volume 6

Harvey Comics
Part Six

By Jose Cruz and
Peter Enfantino

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Peter: Dalton Draymond has a peculiar fetish: he wants to make his home in a tomb at Shady Rest Cemetery. Well, peace and quiet and cheap overhead, right? Well, the humans he deals with find him to be eccentric but it’s not the living Dalton has a real problem with. The spirits of his “neighbors” rise from their unrest to give Draymond a hard time; seems the dead find it hard to slumber while the living reside nearby. But Dalton is a stubborn one and a visit from “the ghost of death” doesn’t scare the miser away from his new palace. In the end, Dalton Draymond is captured by a host of ghosts and put on trial for his crimes. The verdict is guilty and the poor guy is hung by the neck right outside his tomb. Upside is that now Dalton can join the HOA.

There will be a theme running through this volume’s picks, for me at least, and that theme is wackiness. “Deadly Acres”  (from #32) has gobs of wacky imagination just seeping from its 36 panels. Why in the world would anyone want to live in a tomb? After a couple pages, you won’t even be questioning that anymore. “The Ghost of Death”? Death has a ghost? Yep, and he’s a mean sucker, too. The dead have their own juries and judges. Does that mean this kind of crime against corpses happens frequently or are the dead put on trial as well? Nostrand and Powell team up to present a quite ghoulish (though often humorous) take on “Us vs. Them,” complete with the patented bug-eyed shock and eerie shadows. I’ve mentioned this before but I think it bears repeating: Harvey writers were ruthless sons of bitches. The innocent die in droves. No EC-esque “poetic justice” here. Dalton Draymond, when we stand back a few feet and have a good look, is nothing more than a goofy old man who has some wild ideas of where to lay his head. He’s not harming anyone save these vengeful spirits and, when we witness Draymond swinging from a tree for his crimes, the hilarity of the build-up (skeletal judges with barrister wigs!) quickly switches to a numbing shock.

Mention must be made of the wildly random cover on #32 we are served this time out: bikini-clad blonde bombshell, mutated dwarf, an old bum holding a last will and testament and, of course, the muscular dude wearing a cat cowl and cape, leopard-skin briefs, and blue pirate boots. Just what the hell is going on here?

Jose: Baxter is short on dough and hard on luck, but that doesn’t stop him from betting everything he owns at the roulette wheels of Reno. With $100,000 in the hole, Baxter curses the heavens and swears his vengeance on all the powers of darkness. A jowly hag from the underworld heeds the loser’s call and promises Baxter the best of all possible odds so long as Baxter follows any requests made of him later on. Soon Baxter is reaping big bucks, but that night the hag comes calling for her favor… and she’s brought along a few friends, too. They’re folks that Baxter has seen on a regular basis: the King, the Queen, and the Jack. But these royal heads are also royally insane, and the hag demands Baxter lead them on a homicidal field trip so that they can satiate their murderous lusts on any unsuspecting citizens. Maddened by his plight, Baxter sets the three specters alight. But Baxter discovers that his own escape has been deterred, so he exults in his newly earned winnings one last time before the flames consume him and his deck of playing cards.

When they were on their A-game, the folks at Harvey could take what at face value might appear to be a ludicrous premise and really go there with it. That’s certainly the case of “Jack of Horror” (from #34), a tale that sees the figures from a hand of cards coming to life and going on a regal rampage. The artwork of Bob Powell and Howard Nostrand goes a long way in making the story seem legitimately chilling: the faces of the King, Queen, and Jack are twisted into gaping-mouthed masks of insanity, like the masks of comedy and tragedy given a demonic turn. They also make other inspired choices, like the bulbous-cheeked, blue-faced hag that haunts Baxter and culminating the tale in a fiery climax where the inferno seems to eat the very pages. Kudos to the colorists here, too. Such vivid shades of orange!

Peter: Dr. Sennett has a nasty, sadistic habit: he loves to torture the scorpions he studies. His young assistant, Graham, does not approve and, one day, he lets the scientist experience the level of his chagrin. Graham frees the entire lab of scorpions and orders them to attack and kill his boss. Greedy with his new-found talent, Graham orders the creatures to kill anyone on the planet who's harming insects; a farmer smoking out a beehive, an old lady swatting a fly, and a butterfly hunter netting a monarch are the first to gal before the army of stingers. When Graham's fiancee questions her lover's mental capacity, he snaps and hurls one of his subjects at her. Seeing this as an act of betrayal, Graham's creepy crawly soldiers turn on and sting the man to death.

Years before Stephen Gilbert's Ratman's Notebooks (and its filmed version, Willard), "Army of Scorpions!" (from #33) has, as its protagonist, a kindly, nature-loving young man who discovers he has an uncanny ability to manipulate a mass of deadly critters and then pays the ultimate price when that power goes to his head. I'm a sucker for scorpions and spiders in these old horror stories (perhaps because both species scare the hell out of me) and Tom Hickey's art portrays them for the nasty buggers they are. I think it's hilarious that Graham decides to punish the real felons behind insect mistreatment (like the old woman and butterfly collector), instead of going after the CEOs of the DDT companies, but perhaps expansion was in the cards. Also classic is when Graham winds up and throws one over the plate at his future wife only to miss and splatter one of his faithful subjects all over the wallpaper.

Jose: In a steamy Louisiana swamp, Ashley and Kruger are using an old map to find the remains of a wrecked vessel and the bundle of treasure it reportedly holds. Their joy at finding the ruins of an 18th century frigate is short-lived when, out of the mist, stumble a gaggle of hideous, decaying zombies. They are the forsaken crew of the ship, doomed to live out the rest of their days as monsters in the swamp for having killed their captain for the gold. The demons imprison the two explorers in a cave filled with the treasure to await their execution. One of the demons’ odious number calls to the men, promising to show them a way out so that he may earn his freedom as well. But when their guide brings them to the edge of the swamp, the men are horrified to see the creature crumble into “a putrid mass.” It seems the parameters of the curse dictate that the demons cannot leave the swamp without having this fragmenting horror visited upon them. Using this to their advantage, Ashley and Kruger set fire to the marsh and make a break for it. But as the demons perish, the men see that their own skin has started to take on a moldy hue and realize that the curse has been placed on them as well. They then reason that it’s better to die by fire than by inches.

This fetid adventure mainly serves as a means for Bob Powell to flex his considerable talents in depicting the dripping, putrefying undead, which is fine by me. The artist bestows his creations with all manner of savage flourishes: barnacled, open sores; peeling lips that reveal ghastly rictus grins; swollen tongues lolling in the humid air. Powell was a gifted writer to boot, but “Rotting Demons” (from #36) is clearly an art showcase. He also realizes the inherent Gothic quality of the swamp, giving the mossy trees, hot mists, and foul water all the creeping dread of an English graveyard at sunset. This tale is damp with horror.

Peter: In the months after an atomic war in the year 2052, the few left on earth are becoming radiation-spawned mutants, giant blue ogres who eat human flesh and cannot be killed. Like amoeba, severed limbs grow back immediately. The only defense we humans have against these creatures is to herd them into a lab and study them. Dubbed "the Hall of Horrors" by its staff, the building is supervised by big-brain scientist, Doctor Collins. A lab accident allows the monsters to escape, killing Collins in the process. The mutants forge a path of destruction and death throughout the land, taking very few prisoners. Those taken prisoner are kept in a facility much like the Hall of Horrors where, eventually, all transform into the hideous blue meanies. All but one man, that is. Mogyll seems to be immune to whatever causes the change and the monsters decide to keep him around for a couple years to monitor his (lack of) progress. Knowing he'll be done away with soon, Mogyll chances an escape and, once free, discovers the notes for a formula to destroy the humanoids. Whipping up the potion, the old man turns the tables on his tormentors, blasting every one of the mutants to dust. Sadly, after the world-wide purge is complete, "The Last Man on Earth" discovers he's turning into a mutant. His brain now completely feral,the Mogyll Monster roams the earth alone until, one day, he happens upon a time machine and takes it back to the year 1952, where he plans to murder all those responsible for the atomic war.

For my money, "Last Man on Earth" (from #35) is easily one of the five best Harvey Horror tales I've read. It's filled with disposable lead characters, twists and turns, and a biting sense of humor (not to mention a dash of political commentary). Most funny book writers would have had Dr. Collins survive to create the Blue Monster-Destructo-Ray but, no, Collins is dispatched fairly early and the deed is left up to a character we don't meet until two-thirds of the way through the narrative. Since this was followed by the rare sequel, I wonder if "Last Man" was submitted as an 11-page story (a length unheard of for a Harvey Horror story) and then sliced or if the writer (probably artist Bob Powell) wanted to milk a good idea for an extra drop.

Jose: When we left off  “The Last Man on Earth” (from #35), the mutant was headed back into the past of 1952 to enact his vengeance on the scientists that brought about the atomic bomb and lead to his transformation in the year 2052. Trolling the streets of the city in a disguise, the monster is deterred by a police officer who quickly discovers the abomination’s invulnerability to bullets and hatred of humankind. Purchasing a newspaper headlining a scientific conference in town, the mutant makes his way to the assembly and presents himself to the terrified lab coats. One whiz kid, Reynolds, gets the idea to wrangle the mutant with torches and lure him back into his time machine. They send the fiend even further back into history, where predators more fearsome than the mutant wait hungrily for his arrival.

Strange perhaps to choose a “sequel” story over the original, but “The Last Man Returns” (from #36) has a more enjoyably sardonic streak than Bob Powell’s first round. From the moment that the mutant takes off his handkerchief to reveal his slobbering face and exults “Take a good look. It is the last sight you will see on this Earth!”, we know that this four-page oddity is going to be a fun ride. The fact that it has one of the most crackerjack, grin-inducing twists that I’ve yet seen makes it worthy of mention and inclusion alone. (Harvey Trivia -#36, the issue that featured "The Last Man Returns" was the only Harvey Horror comic to include a fifth story! - Peter)

Peter: In the mid-1800s, the Bar-X Ranch had ben owned by the sadistic Sam Bullard, a cattleman who has no time for local sheep-raisers and let's them know where he stands by burning down their homestead. Shot during the raid, Bullard dies cursing the land his ranch sits upon and, for good measure, includes his men in the haunt promise by shooting them all. A century later, Julia and Mat Harris experience the after-effects of Bullard's curse when Julia swears she's being stalked by a ghostly horseman. Mat scoffs, believing it to be one of his neighbors trying to scare them off the property, but eventually buys into his wife's theory after she's trampled by a herd of ghost cattle. Swearing revenge, Mat heads out onto the plains to locate and destroy the supernatural menace only to come face to skull with the merry troop and their newest member... Julia! The specters lasso Mat and drop him from a great height to the desert floor, soon rising to become the newest member of the ghost riders.

Unlike Jose, who below admits that the horror-western genre is one that leaves him cold as a cathouse floor in winter, I love the melding of the old west and the supernatural. There's an inherently creepy vibe about the huge expanse of the desert and its non-human occupants. You're isolated (and I'm speaking as someone who lives in Arizona) and help could be a day's ride in those pre-automotive days. Picture, for instance, John Wayne and his group of Indian hunters in The Searchers, drawn far away from the innocents back at the ranch. Now, substitute a group of skeletons atop ghostly steeds for those Indians. Dynamite! Like Dalton Draymond in "Deadly Acres", Mat and Julia Harris, the unlucky owners of "Doom Ranch" (from #37), have done nothing more heinous than buy a bit of property (albeit one that has been notoriously cursed) and try their luck at farming. Their deaths are particularly brutal for a pair of characters who didn't murder, cheat, or steal. The sequence reprinted above, where Bullard tells his men they'll haunt any interlopers from the grave and his guys question the statement by asserting they're still alive, is laugh out loud funny. Luckily for you, the reader, Jose has chosen this as his story of the month so you can read the entire fabulous oater below.

Jose: Rodney Lawrence can suffer the indignity of being a laboratory assistant for the brilliant Martin Sanstrum, but the fact that beautiful heiress Beatrice broke things off with Rod to be with the older and more promising Martin is simply too much to bear. The announcement of the couple’s wedding is what finally sends Rod over the edge, so he sends Martin over the edge of the catwalk into the dynamo containing “the secret of life” that they've been working on. Rod plays off his bereavement very well, convincing the scientific society to accept Martin’s discoveries as his own and Beatrice into becoming his bride-to-be. Things are looking up for Rod, until a pesky moth with Martin’s voice begins buzzing around him. Strange enough, but then the moth grows into gigantic proportions and develops a sneering, human face before dropping Rod into the dynamo. The traitor isn’t killed but instead transported to a sticky hive where a horde of flesh-eating moths and the Martin-thing wait for him. Just as Rod is about to meet his mothy maker, he awakens in bed, realizing it was all a terrible nightmare. Exhausted and shaken, Rod takes his head-shrinker’s advice for a nice, long rest and holds a party two months later at his house. But when the flutter of a moth’s wings attracts Rod’s attention, he immediately breaks down and chases it into the lab before he meets with the hungry horde again that only he can see. He falls from the catwalk, body intact but mind shattered, and spends the rest of his days raving in an asylum.

That was a mouthful. “The Moth” (from #37) is a prime example of a patently silly plot being turned into something just short of magical by the combined literary and artistic powers of the Harvey bullpen. The murderer haunted by his deeds by a pestering omen is a rich vein in the Poe tradition. The choice of moth here is so bizarre and arbitrary and yet it somehow works, greatly due to the utterly trippy nightmare sequence that has Rod knocked way down on the links of the food chain. Warren Kremer’s insects are truly a revolting and chilling sight, all hairy legs and skeletal faces with big, buggy eyes. It’s easy to sympathize with Rod’s insanity with such acidic visions plaguing him! And as if the main narrative wasn’t estranging enough, the final panel reveals that the whole tale is being told by Death, who removes his fleshy human mask to reveal his puckered, spaghetti-haired visage. After reading this one you’ll be asking yourself if it all really happened.

Peter: A group of four men pan for gold in the treacherous jungles of the Congo. Their spirt sapped and tension running high, three of the men announce they're heading back for civilization but Jeb, the snappiest dresser of the bunch, decides to move on and keep searching. Literally, one panel later, Jeb finds gold... a whole lot of gold... a cave whose walls are lined with the stuff. Just as he's jumping for joy and spending his dough, his three partners arrive, announcing they had thought better and followed Jeb into that next panel. All four are now gazillionaires but, as is the case with these kinds of partnerships, tension doesn't ease with the discovery of riches but, rather, multiplies significantly. Jeb realizes he needs to off the other guys and begins to do so immediately. Girk and Janer are easy targets but Mogue proves to be a fighter and Jeb is severely wounded before plunging a dagger deep into Mogue's heart. Still, riches can mend a man pronto and Jeb turns his attention to a huge golden statue that lies deeper into the cave. Ignoring the obvious golden statues surrounding the idol, Jeb approaches and brags that he may just melt down the giant for extra cab fare. Clearly, not the right vow and within minutes the idol raises its hands and transforms Jeb into a shiny new monument.

Here's one I picked solely on the great twist ending rather than character development or stunning art. Jeb's another typical Harvey Horror character, one who goes from being a seemingly decent guy (albeit one who dresses like Gene Autry) to mass murderer and greedy bastard in the space of five pages. It's always surprised me about these "greedy partner" stories that four guys can't split what looks like a billion dollars in gold (easily) four ways and be happy. The nature of the beast, I suppose. That penultimate panel (above) of Jeb undergoing his metamorphosis while uttering the by-now familiar  screech of "AGGRRAHAA!" (Harvey's answer to EC's catchphrase "SQUA TRONT!"?) smacks of Al Williamson even though we know it's the ever-reliable Joe Certa.

Palais is King!
Jose: England, 1652. A vicious mob breaks into the house of a noted town witch and all-around-not-nice person to hang her for crimes of black magick. Executioner Anthony Raven carries out the grim duty to the cheers of the gathered crowd even though the witch swears to visit death upon each of Raven’s descendants. The crone’s corpse is put in a wooden coffin and thrown into “a foul-smelling cleft in the earth from which lime oozed in whorls of fetid slime!” Through some unknown “chemical reaction,” the slime revives the witch three hundred years after her burial, so now it’s avengin’ time! She first visits chemist Sidney Raven and his wife, melting their flesh off of their bones through her burning touch. She continues her sizzling streak, killing all of the Ravens unfortunate enough to cross her noxious path. She meets that last living Raven in the form of a young soldier keeping watch in a Korean foxhole. The witch is undeterred by his bullets and is able to claim the last Raven. Too bad for her that the fulfillment of the curse means her business on Earth is through, so she melts down into a puddle of protoplasm.

Like many, I have certain weaknesses when it comes to material which might be considered “bad taste” by the cultural elite. My soft spot comes in the form of stories like “The Witch Killer” (from #39), which I collectively call “horror overload.” These are tales that operate like shots: they may look slight and underwhelming on the surface, but they pack an alcoholic rush that goes straight to the brain. The four-pagers from Harvey had a higher potential of being disposable trash than anything halfway memorable, but on rare occasions they were used as a force of good (see “The Last Man Returns” above). Here, our unknown scripter and artist Rudy Palais go for broke in making this gore-filled doughnut a sugary treat. There’s plenty of the trademark Palais sweat, dollops of blood, drooling fangs, sneering skulls, withered skin, exposed ribcages, appendages dropping off like autumn leaves… This is horror junk food, and I eat it wholly and unapologetically. 

And the "Stinking Zombie Award" goes to...

Pictured: me, after reading this story.
Jose: If having two first names wasn’t bad enough, Herbert Spence has a shit life to boot. Scolded by his boss, jilted by the pretty secretary, and harassed by his apish co-worker, Herbie can only exorcise the bad juju of his daily existence when he goes to sleep every night and enacts some much-needed payback on all of his oppressors through the violent fantasies of his dreams. But soon Herbie finds that his dreams are compelling him… to kilt! No. Damn autocorrect. That is… to kill! In real life! Not just in dreams! This presents the sociopath with a moral dilemma for all of twenty seconds before he collapses from exhaustion, dreams of choking himself, and is found later by the police having choked himself.

Well, that happened. “The Sleepwalking Killer” (from #31) is from all appearances a write-off, a filler story that was done at the last minute to take up the last slot in the title's second issue. This may not be far from the truth, seeing as how artist Rudy Palais also did two other stories in the same issue. So perhaps it isn’t fair to pick this one to shreds, but it also wasn’t fair to have this inflicted upon us either. Palais’ art is technically good if unremarkable given his overtime duties on this issue, but we’ve seen much, much better from him to know what he’s capable of. Harvey always rushed through exposition and establishing character to get to the “good stuff,” for better or worse, and at four shrug-worthy pages long “The Sleepwalking Killer” employs that same tactic. It just forgot to put in the “good stuff” somewhere along the line.

"Grave Under the Bowling Alley"
is more like it.
Peter: I've always found the 13th hole to be terrifying but for different reasons than the protagonists of "Grave on the Green!" (from #33). Golfers have set out on the local course but don't seem to make it past the 13th. Mad old groundskeeper Finnegan relates that the trouble started when his brother, Malachi, was violently killed by an errant golfball on the 13th ("...his smashed head was horrible!) and then buried "quickly and quietly...". In the end, we find that Malachi's spirit has possessed his brother and forced him to kill and bury the corpses in a hollow chamber beneath the green.

I hesitate to call this one a stinker as some of the elements are so loony as to make the story entertaining but it crashes and burns towards its climax and, ultimately, makes no sense whatsoever. Vic Donahue, usually quite reliable, resorts to half-finished faces and less-than-frightful ghouls. Malachi's injury is so exaggerated you'd have thought someone forgot to yell "Fore" as they were throwing a bowling ball.


"Let me explain the phenomenon you are observing. There are other worlds co-existent with ours, but in different dimensional orbits! This black light instrument permits transfer from one dimensional orbit to another! This metal bar has come back to us frozen -- the way my finger did when I poked it through the black light plane! In both cases, the object passed through the black light plane into the ether of another solar system co-exitent with ours but in another dimensional orbit!"
- "Gateway to Death"
Submitted with no comment.

“I must find the old woman who sold me these flowers! She must explain why they are bloody!”
- "Bloody Red Rose"

"You are lying, decaying old woman!"
- "Bloody Red Rose"

“As the days pass, the seed of doubt and fear sprouts in the shadowy corners of a tormented mind… and as it grows, the flowers become a symbol of death and horror…”
- "The Tapping Doom"

“Where to, miss?”
“One way to Hicksville!”
- "The Tapping Doom"

“The sun sank slowly like the dying breath of a hanging man…”
- "Baron of Death"

"And so the curse is ended now, and will never return, unless another attempts to prod into the regions where living men have no right!"
- "Baron of Death"

"Two years ago my brother was killed by a golfball... on the 13th green..."
- "Grave on the Green"

"After all -- what is life but a manifestation of electrical phenomena?"
- "Battle of the Monsters"

"Hmm... the ninth cranial nerve is attached here.. that means if I anastomose these arteries to the Tungsten wire, it should work!"
- "Battle of the Monsters"

“Special price for a black suit soaked in embalming fluid thick with the stench of death!!! Heh! Heh! Heh!”
- "Satan’s Suit"

“Somewhere in the waters of the Caribbean, on nights when the air is as thick and warm as fresh blood, a ship drifts endlessly, its captain and crew afflicted with the paleness that goes beyond life to the dreaded realm of eternal death!!”
- "Sea of Corpses"

“And yet, look at our faces. We have paid the price.”
- "Halloween Nightmare"

"Aaaagh! Your blood... it burns like fire in my veins!"
-  "Blood of a Witch"

"I don't know why you waste your time with that nonsense... but if it keeps you happy while I'm at the beauty parlor, it's all right with me."
Apparently there wasn't a ration on headlines.
- "Blood of a Witch"

“In the year 2052 the atomic war was brief… and effective.”
- "The Last Man on Earth"

“Rise up from the pit, man of a distant land!!! Rise with your death wounds fresh and bleeding!!!”
- "Marching Zombies"

“Stop staring, serf! Your ugly face frightens my horses!”
- "Trick the Devil"

"He seemed polite and friendly, this inn-keeper. But there was something about him -- something that waited for that dreadful, horrible moment when he would eat again -- gorging, tearing, biting at his food with ghoulish appetite -- with screaming, slavering, smirking leer until the very rotted rafters of his crypt echoed and re-echoed their wailing plea: Flee -- Run! Run.. from.. HE!"
- "He"

"From all sides of him the rotted walls oozed a wet slime that gurgled out in fetid odor clearly warning him that he had descended into a labyrinth of hell!"
- "He"

“…Their replies send the hot bile of rage rushing through his veins…!”
- "Carnival of Death"

“You’re yellow, the lot of you! The color of gold—without the quality!”
- "Fool’s Gold"


Jose: With me, there are certain sub-genres and subsets of horror that I tend to bristle at or that bore me. Explorers searching for a lost civilization under the sea/under the earth/in the jungle? Yawn. Spouse wanting to do away with their significant other who may or may not be cheating on them? Snore. Mad scientist creating a horrible monster “for the good of mankind!”? Ugh! Also among these dubious ranks I would also group what I call “cowpoke horror.” The genre just doesn’t seem to work all that well amidst all the tumbleweeds and seedy saloons. Of course, a talented writer can make a difference in this or any of the other mentioned veins, and somebody was right on the money when they wrote “Doom Ranch” (from #37). The art is done by Joe Certa, always reliable and yet never quite cracking his way into our top spots before. He seems to be having a lot of fun with some of his creative choices here, which makes it that much more fun to take in. “Doom” reads a lot like a Bob Powell yarn. The husband and wife characters are not only noticeably human, but they actually like each other too, and not just in the saccharine sense that honeymooning newlyweds are painted. We watch them live and die in the face of their spectral horror and their bravery looks like it’ll beat all the odds. It’s a small-scale Western epic. But I get ahead of myself. Read on fer yerself there, cowboy.

Peter: Sometimes, one only really needs a good "Battle of the Monsters" to put a smile on your face, don't you think? Well, even though the "Battle" isn't Royale, it's still quite enchanting. Copping the look of Karloff's classic creation (at a time when Universal obviously didn't have a lot of lawyers looking for infringement), Vic Donahue gives us a Monster who's part terrifying and part sympathetic. The battle itself, as you'll see, is over a small child and the patchwork creature is on the defense. Pay close attention to John Lapham's appearance from one second (page 2, panel 6) to the next (page 3, panel 1) for the quickest clean-up in the history of mankind. I mentioned the Universal influence but perhaps a bigger influence on Donahue was Dick Briefer, whose classic Frankenstein title had just been resurrected by Prize Comics a few months before "Battle of the Monsters" appeared in Black Cat Mystery #36. Enjoy!

The Comics
Black Cat Mystery #30-39

#30 (August 1951)
Cover by Lee Elias

“Gateway to Death”
Art by Vic Donahue

“The Thing from the Grave”
Art by Rudy Palais

“The Werewolf Must Kill”
Art by Lee Elias

#31 (October 1951)
Cover by Al Avison

“Bloody Red Rose”
Art by Rudy Palais

“The Tapping Doom”
Art by Manny Stallman

“The Sea Witch of Sandy Hook”
Art by Rudy Palais

“The Sleepwalking Killer”
Art by Rudy Palais

#32 (December 1951)
Cover Uncredited

“Baron of Death”
Art by Rudy Palais

“Satan’s Suit”
Art Uncredited

“Deadly Acres”
Art by Bob Powell and Howard Nostrand

“Arms of Doom”
Art by Rudy Palais

#33 (February 1952)
Cover by Lee Elias

“Corpses from the Sea”
Art by Bob Powell and Howard Nostrand

“Army of Scorpions”
Art by Tom Hickey

“Grave on the Green”
Art by Vic Donahue

“Man Made Monster”
Art by Rudy Palais

#34 (April 1952)
Cover Uncredited

“Jack of Horror”
Art by Bob Powell and Howard Nostrand

“Shadows on the Tomb”
Art by Joe Certa

“Hand of the Yogi”
Art by Rudy Palais

“Halloween Nightmare”
Art by Manny Stallman

#35 (May 1952)
Cover Uncredited

“The Last Man on Earth”
Art by Bob Powell

“Forbidden Room”
Art by Joe Certa

“Marching Zombies”
Art by Rudy Palais

“Trick the Devil”
Art by Vic Donahue

#36 (June 1952)
Cover by Warren Kremer

“Rotting Demons”
Art by Bob Powell

“Battle of the Monsters”
Art by Vic Donahue

“The Last Man Returns”
Art by Bob Powell

“Whip of Death”
Art by Joe Certa

“Carnival of Death”
Art by Manny Stallman

#37 (July 1952)
Cover by Warren Kremer

“The Moth”
Art by Warren Kremer

“Kill No More!”
Art by Don Perlin and Abe Simon

“Doom Ranch”
Art by Joe Certa

“The Clock Struck—Doom!”
Art by Rudy Palais

#38 (August 1952)
Cover by Lee Elias

“Fool’s Gold”
Art by Joe Certa

“Blood of a Witch”
Art by Moe Marcus and Rocco “Rocke” Mastroserio

“Death Wears Green”
Art by Vic Donahue

Art by Rudy Palais

#39 (September 1952)
Cover by Lee Elias

“The Ape Man”
Art by Joe Certa

“The Witch Killer”
Art by Rudy Palais

“The Body Maker”
Art by Warren Kremer

“Portrait in Blood”
Art by Vic Donahue and Rocke “Rocco” Mastroserio

Get zem while ze're hott!

In four weeks, Part Two of our look at Black Cat Mystery!

1 comment:

Grant said...

"Shady Rest Cemetery" and "Deadly Acres." You'd think this was a parody of Paul Henning sitcoms, but it came along too early to be.