Monday, May 31, 2021

The Warren Report Issue 60: February 1975


The Critical Guide to 
the Warren Illustrated Magazines
by Uncle Jack
& Cousin Peter

The Spirit #6

"Showdown" (8/24/47)
Story by Will Eisner
Art by Will Eisner & Jerry Grandenetti

"The Wedding" (5/2/48)
Story by Will Eisner
Art by Will Eisner & Jerry Grandenetti

"The Job" (5/9/48)
Story by Will Eisner 
Art by Will Eisner & Andre LeBlanc

"The Lamp" (7/27/47)
Story by Will Eisner
Art by Will Eisner & Jerry Grandenetti

"Glob" (3/6/49)
Story by Will Eisner & Jules Feiffer
Art by Will Eisner

"The Winnah! (12/3/50)
Story & Art by Will Eisner

"This is 'Wild' Rice" (4/4/48)
Story by Will Eisner
Art by Will Eisner & Jerry Grandenetti

"Taxes and the Spirit" (4/16/50)
Story & Art by Will Eisner

I'm beginning to notice a trend with the Warren Spirit mag. Each issue starts out with a series of great stories, followed by some that are just average, with a strong one at the end. The pattern holds true this time. "Showdown," from 1947, is a superb example of visual storytelling, where Eisner and Grandenetti use light and shadow with few words to tell a thrilling story. The violence is surprising--one crook is shot point blank in the head! As usual, all we see of the Octopus are his gloves and, at the end, the Spirit is blinded. I think there are subsequent stories where he's blind, but they're not included here.

"The Wedding"

"The Wedding" and "The Job" are two stories featuring Bleak from consecutive Sundays in 1948. In the first, we are treated to a real, hardboiled dame and a rare moment where the Spirit takes off his mask to get her to confess. In "The Job," Bleak continues to make poor choices, this time involving a 372-year-old pirate who needs a piece of Bleak's brain to stay alive! More casual supernatural elements pop up in "The Lamp," where a real genie grants wishes and where we get some troubling caricatures and speech patterns from Ebony and his associate, Pierpont. I'm a bit worried about next issue, which is a special tribute to Ebony.

"The Lamp"

Things grind to a halt with "Glob," from 1949, a satire on modern art that isn't particularly funny or visually interesting. I'm not sure why they would choose a lesser story like this to color. "The Winnah!" isn't much better; it's from 1950, and Eisner was running out of gas. The third mediocre story in a row comes with "This is 'Wild' Rice," in which a rich society girl enjoys getting knocked around by a criminal.

"Taxes and the Spirit" ends the issue with a bang, as the Spirit is confronted by the only opponent he can't best: the IRS. The story was published on April 16, 1950, almost eight months before "The Winnah," and our hero has to reveal his true identity to avoid prison for tax evasion. It's a fine tale.

"Taxes and the Spirit"

On a personal note, I was surprised to see a letter in this issue's letter's column from Jeff Kroll, a guy I was friends with in high school. I haven't seen him in over 40 years but I remember hanging out at his house reading comics.-Jack

Peter-Even if the stories are incoherent sometimes (my little brain couldn't keep up with what was going down in "Showdown"), you can always count on Eisner for some incredible, ground-breaking splashes and mind-melting choreography. As usual, I enjoyed most of the tales collected here but two in particular jumped out at me for different reasons. "This is 'Wild Rice'" has a completely different look to it than the other strips (which is odd, because Grandenetti had a hand in several of the Spirits reprinted to this point), one I really dug. As far as story goes, I thought the standout was the two-parter, "The Wedding" and "The Job." I'd like to see more continuity in the future, not this random smattering of reprints from various years.

Creepy #69

"The Pit and the Pendulum" ★1/2
Story by Edgar Allan Poe
Adaptation by Rich Margopoulos
Art by Jose Ortiz

"The Premature Burial" 
Story by Edgar Allan Poe
Adaptation by Rich Margopoulos
Art by Vicente Alcazar

"The Fall of the House of Usher" ★1/2
Story by Edgar Allan Poe
Adaptation by Rich Margopoulos
Art by Martin Salvador

"The Oval Portrait" 
Story by Edgar Allan Poe
Adaptation by Rich Margopoulos
Art by Rich Corben

"Ms. Found in a Bottle" 
Story by Edgar Allan Poe
Adaptation by Rich Margopoulos
Art by Leo Summers

"Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" ★1/2
Story by Edgar Allan Poe
Adaptation by Rich Margopoulos
Art by Isidro Mones

Poe is me! Twelve Edgar Allan stories (six here, six next time out) may be a little too much of a "good thing." We'll see. I had never read the prose version of the opener, "The Pit and the Pendulum," but I really liked the Vincent Price-Roger Corman-Richard Matheson film classic. I am so naive. That has nothing to do with this! I shoulda known. A prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition is thrown into a dungeon and almost falls into a very deep pit. He avoids the drop, only to be drugged by his captors and bound to a table in a room full of rats with nothing but a bag of salty meat to keep him going. Those rats look pretty hungry. That could be a problem. 

As if this wasn't enough to weigh on the poor man's mind, he looks above and notices the huge pendulum blade begin to seesaw across his body, lowering an inch at a time. Luckily, he's able to make use of the salty meat and the rats to cut through his bindings and escape. I would assume the original prose version might fill in a few details (Why, for instance, would the Inquisitors would go to such lengths to torture one prisoner?) that Margo didn't have space for. There's a whole of nothing going on in the first half, but the climactic pendulum scene is well-choreographed by Jose Ortiz. Overall, not bad, but that means three of Poe's heavy-hitters down ("The Raven" and "The Black Cat" having appeared in previous issues) and only a couple to go. Will we scraping the bottom of the Poe barrel?

John suffers from catalepsy, a condition that can render a person, from all appearances, dead even though still alive. John wakes from nightmares of being buried alive and his wife can do nothing to calm his nerves. John is convinced that some damn fool will bury him alive some day. John's butler, Rogers, crafts a coffin with a special rope that can be pulled from the inside, alerting the staff that the boss might not be in heaven just yet. Then, one day, while John is walking in town, he has a seizure and wakes up in the pitch-black. Convinced this is "The Premature Burial," he screams. A light appears and John learns that he had a fit on the wharf and a ship's captain tossed him in the hold for safe-keeping. John's mind is suddenly clear and he realizes he can go on with the rest of his life without fear.

Why? I'm not sure why a terrifying experience in the dark hold of a boat would suddenly make John come to his senses. If anything, it would only add to his future night terrors. For a Poe story, this has an oddly optimistic climax. I took the time to read the original story, going that extra mile for our loyal readers, and I have to say (call me a heretic, if you will) that Poe's version wasn't much better. You can see, by comparison, where Margo had to dump his Moench-isms in to make it his own. That "Darkness... blah blah blah... Light... blah blah blah..." on the splash is all Rich. The Alcazar art is hot and cold, some bits of brilliance and some hairy caterpillars with rattlesnakes coming out their ears. 

The "exciting" climax!
Our unnamed narrator describes what events befall him when he makes a call on his old friend, Roderick Usher. Roderick's sister, Madeline, is dying and the man has come to say goodbye and to try to lift his friend's spirits. That may be impossible though since Usher is a wreck and only becomes more mentally disturbed when his sister dies. Except she really doesn't die (she's got catalepsy just like damn near every Poe character), and a week later, Madeline rises from her tomb and attacks her brother. She dies from starvation, Roderick from fright. Our poor hapless visitor flees from the Usher castle just as lightning strikes and the structure burns to the ground.

What strikes me most after reading "The Fall of the House of Usher" is that Poe was really creaky. A lot of this stuff just doesn't make sense and the guy loved to recycle his ideas. Yeah, I know he's well-respected, but this crap is boring me to tears (now I'm afraid to reread Lovecraft!). It doesn't help that you get a layer of pablum applied in the form of Martin Salvador's bland-as-Bisquick graphics. 

Having survived a gunshot as the result of a duel, a weary and wounded man takes shelter in an abandoned chateau with his valet. When he enters a room for rest, he becomes obsessed with "The Oval Portrait" of a stunningly beautiful woman. Lying down on the bed, he finds a journal under the pillow chronicling the story of the portrait. Years before, the woman sat for her painter/ husband. As the painting progressed, the woman grew weaker and more of a shell of a human being until, finally, she fell over dead.

Sending out an SOS
Sending out an SOS
It's a bit of an abrupt climax, but then this was before the time of O. Henry, wasn't it? And I guess once Poe had run out of steam, the narrative was over. "The Oval Portrait" is somewhat reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (in a reverse way) but was actually published five decades previous. Corben's art is fabulous (especially that moody overhead shot of the two men entering the chateau) but begs for color. I'd have to say that "The Oval Portrait" is the most effective of the Poe adaptations this issue.

"Ms. Found in a Bottle," is the story of a seaman who escapes tragedy during a hellacious storm, only to be picked up by a huge Spanish vessel that might be a "death ship." The whole kit 'n' kaboodle gets sucked into a nightmarish sea vortex at the climax and we're left to wonder why Death would sit on a beach (without a Corona) and read a manuscript when he's Death and knows everything. The tale is way too long and boring for my tastes; nothing really happens, but when it does you're not sure what the hell it all means. Is this a ghost ship our unlucky sailor has found himself on? What deep hidden meaning goes with the gigantic whirlpool the ship is sucked into? And is that supposed to be death reading the diary on the beach? If so, why? Since Margo added that last bit on his own (it ain't in the original story), I assume he probably found the tale a bit lackluster as well and thought "Let's end it with a robed skull-face! That always works!" The Leo Summers art doesn't bother me if I squint and avoid looking directly at the characters' faces.

M. Valdemar has less than 24 hours to live, so his friend (our nameless narrator), a hypnotist, comes to visit and discusses the case with Valdemar's physician. The mesmerist is convinced he can put M. in a deep sleep as he slips from this world into the next. The doctor agrees to the experiment and Valdemar is hypnotized into a deep sleep. The next morning, the patient gives up the ghost and passes but, incredibly, continues his dialogue from beyond the grave. Months later, the experiment continues; Valdemar seems to hover between life and death. The hypnotist decides to end the strange coma but the after-effects are, to say the least, disturbing.

It's been (literally) a million years since I read "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" in one of those Scholastic anthologies of Poe's work, but I remember the real thing being a bit more coherent. I noted that "Ms. Found in a Bottle" is overlong but this one seems too short, as if we're getting a condensed version of the story with intrinsic bits missing. Hypnotist does his thing, undead M. lies in a state, and two panels later it's time to lift that spell. Mones's art is creepy to the max, though, and his final look at Valdemar post-nap is nightmarish. Grade for E. Poe Take One: a solid Meh.-Peter

Jack-I agree with you. While none of the six stories is particularly interesting, the fact that they're based on actual short stories makes them more competently written than most Warren stories. And as we keep saying, with Warren mags, it's usually all about the art. I liked "The Pit and the Pendulum" and "Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" best for the same reason--good images. Ortiz's work is solid and I was not expecting the sudden rescue at the story's end in "Pendulum," and Alcazar simply nails the final page of "Valdemar." The Corben story was such a dud that even half-decent artwork couldn't save it. I don't think a busty young blonde in a low-cut gown was quite what Poe had in mind when he wrote the original.

"House of Usher" has an anti-climactic ending and Salvador's art is wooden as ever, while Leo Summers continues to ape Jack Davis in "Bottle," a tale that is awfully dull for one that involves a death ship, a ghostly crew, and a giant whirlpool. A whole issue of Poe stories is a lot to take, and we have another to look forward to? What's left?

Eerie #63

"Storm Before the Calm!"
Story by Bruce Bezaire
Art by Jose Ortiz

"Hollow of the Three Hills"★1/2
Story by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Adapted by Rich Margopoulos
Art by Esteban Maroto

"Stumpful of Granddaddies"
Story by Budd Lewis
Art by Leopold Sanchez

"Exterminator One, Part 2"★1/2
Story by Bill DuBay
Art by Paul Neary

Story by Steve Skeates
Art by Joaquin Blazquez

"The Famine"
Story by Budd Lewis
Art by Jose Ortiz

"Storm Before the Calm!"
Four weeks after the first Night of the Jackass, more desperate people have taken Hyde 25 and turned into monsters! They have taken over St. Barnabas Church, holding people hostage, tying the priest to the cross, and generally wreaking havoc. Detective Oates leaves the scene, thinking there's nothing to be done, but Claude Bishop and Samuel Garson make their way inside, determined to stop the carnage. Garson is there to avenge the death of his wife, while Bishop's motive is unclear. They succeed in defeating the drug-crazed creatures, but Detective Oates doesn't seem to understand their heroism.

"Storm Before the Calm," this second entry in the series, is better than the first, in my opinion, but I agree with Peter's comment below that Jose Ortiz doesn't do a great job of clarifying what's happening. I like his work in general and he draws great "zombies," but I couldn't exactly say how Bishop and Garson managed to defeat a church full of monsters with no real weapons to speak of.

Peter, after reading one too
many Poe adaptations.
("Hollow of the Three Hills")
A beautiful young woman meets an old hag in the "Hollow of the Three Hills!" wanting to know what became of the people she left behind. Laying her head on the crone's lap, the young woman hears her aged parents lamenting the shameful departure of their wanton daughter. She next hears her husband, driven mad after she slept with many other men. Finally, she sees the funeral of her child, left to die of the pox after being abandoned. The crone departs, leaving the woman, soulless and dead after learning the repercussions of her actions.

I am a fan of Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing and, while I'm not sure if I've read this particular short story before, it shares the same haunting quality that so many others he wrote displayed. Maroto's art is below average, even for him; he has never been a strong storyteller, but at least when he's "on" he draws nice pictures. Not so this time. The art, for the most part, is muddy and looks unfinished.

After seeing his master and mistress safely to bed, a Black butler sheds his finery and ventures into the swamp, where he finds a "Stumpful of Granddaddies!" The next morning, Crackermeyer, the voodoo man, is paraded through town and hauled into court, where he is accused of murdering Mrs. Patrick L. Savoie III. He disputes the charge, and the prosecuting attorney tells the jury that the defendant kidnapped the white woman and took her for use in a voodoo ritual that included cutting out her heart.

"Stumpful of Granddaddies!"
In town, African-Americans listen to the story of what really happened: the white woman's husband was a cruel master who mistreated his slaves, even though Black people rightfully owned his plantation. The slaves sought Crackermeyer's help and the mistress disappeared. The man with the granddaddy spiders takes them to the Spook, deep in the swamp, where a voodoo ritual results in the revival of the white woman's dead husband as a zombie. He marches into court and accuses her father of killing him. The father shoots him, but Crackermeyer is still to be hanged for murdering the woman, until she, too, shows up as a zombie. Since she is technically "alive," Crackermeyer is set free, and he and the Spook wander off into the swamp, astounded at the capacity of white people to heap blame on Black people.

Though it was a bit hard to summarize briefly, this was a most enjoyable story with terrific art by Leopold Sanchez. Once again, the Spook is a minor character, but it doesn't matter because the plot held my interest. The way the Black characters trick the white characters by means of voodoo is funny, but I ended up wondering exactly why Crackermeyer was spared the noose when the woman showed up as an obviously undead zombie.

"Exterminator One"
"Exterminator One" is back, this time in color! Peter Orwell, the killing machine with a human brain, is assigned two murders: a double amputee named Jangles who spends his days begging for drinks in a bar, and a mob enforcer named Turks O'Malley. It's convenient that both men frequent the same bar, so Peter sets himself up in Turks's room across the street and watches what happens in the bar. Turks bullies Jangles, but another mob killer named Slaughter puts Turks in his place. When Turks returns to his room, Peter ties him to a chair next to the window, unaware that Slaughter is (at that moment) upstairs to carry out his mission to kill a mobster named Gambino. Peter shoots Jangles and Slaughter spins and shoots Peter's arm off before murdering Gambino. The cops arrive and shoot and kill Turks, thinking that he shot Jangles. Peter makes his escape, but now Slaughter knows he exists.

Is this the first Paul Neary story to be presented in color? If so, the addition of bright hues really brings out the best in his artwork. I found this second entry in the Exterminator series to be exciting and, at the end, I wanted more, which is somewhat rare for a Warren continuing series. DuBay's script depends on coincidences--why do Jangles and Turks frequent the same bar? Why is Peter able to set up in Turks's room across from said bar?--but the action and visuals are good enough that I didn't mind. One thing that is left unclear is why Peter is told to kill these men. Is it simply because they are "leeches on the society," as his handler puts it? Perhaps that's supposed to be a comment on the dystopian world of 1999.

Linda Robbins has spent her adult life looking for Mr. Right and she thinks she has found him. The only problem: he was an ancient Egyptian who lived thousands of years before her time. In 1975, she comes across a certain amulet and kills to get it; she breaks into a museum and uses an ancient incantation to transfer her spirit into a mummy's body. "Insanity!" Her mind and a male mind share space in the mummy's body! The mummy rises, shambles over to Linda's body, and manages to transfer her thoughts back into her female form. The mummy doesn't appreciate having been brought back to life, so he strangles Linda and then blows out his own brains.

I felt myself slipping into Skeates-speak as I wrote that capsule summary of this, what is hopefully the final gasp of the mummy/werewolf series. As ridiculous as it seems, this entry isn't as bad as usual, probably because the setting has been updated to the present and the main character is a woman. The ten pages have plenty of panels of drawings of a pretty girl, which at least makes it less painful to look at than the episodes featuring the were-mummy.

"The Famine"
Winter is coming soon in southern France and Napoleon III declares war on Prussia, so Louis, Gaston, and Armon leave their village and report for duty. After three months of fighting, France surrenders, and the soldiers begin to make their way home through the snow. Armon's leg is wounded and his friends proceed slowly with him but eventually they become separated from the rest of the army and must take shelter. As the days pass, they search for food and find none. Gaston begins slipping out at night on his own. Armon dies and Louis discovers that Gaston has found a barn where he has been eating corn. Louis murders Gaston and satisfies his hunger through cannibalism.

"The Famine" begins with "the century has turned in all the world," which confused me, since the Franco-Prussian war took place in 1870. The initial pages, having to do with the young men's going off to war, fighting, and beginning to trudge home, were of interest, but midway through the story it became just another slog to the inevitably eerie ending. Peter's comment about Ortiz's murky art holds true once again; even on the last page, the drawing of Luis walking off with body parts hanging out of his bag is hard to make out. Still, an above-average issue of Eerie!-Jack

Peter-The arc of "Night of the Jackass" is so intriguing, I'm begging to be spellbound but, alas, Jose Ortiz's art is so damned confusing, I can't figure out what's going on from panel to panel. Lots of black squiggles that melt into each other and word balloons emanating from the middle of it all. Even worse are the crowd scenes. That's a laugh: I'm usually complaining I can't make heads or tails of the story. Here it's the visuals. Exactly the opposite for "Hollow of the Three Hills," which contains gorgeous pencils by Maroto and a cumbersome script (derived, to be fair, from a cumbersome story), with lots of artistic flourishes and the like. As I get older (and grumpier, obviously), I find I have very little patience for the ancient literature of Poe, Hawthorne, Dickens, and their comrades, but I have to believe that 13-year-old me turned up his nose at this as well.

Though I still can't fake it enough to tell you what "The Spook" is all about, I will say that "Stumpful of Granddaddies" (Doug would be proud!) is the best chapter yet, oozing with atmosphere and tons of great panels. There's still an unhealthy smattering of that word, but what can we do about it other than blank it out with our mind? Sanchez's art is exquisite, moody, and really transports you into those swamps. Man, those cottonmouths get big! "Exterminator One" is a winner as well. It's got a hardboiled Blade Runner-esque vibe to it that predates cyberpunk by nearly a decade. Neary's art is functional and unpretentious but almost feels trapped in its six-frame-a-page format. 

“The Mummy!” What a long, stupid trip it’s been. "Insanity!" would be a great alternate title for the series as well. The final chapter is overrun with over-written captions, contains very little dialogue (but some of it is precious, like when our heroine almost stops herself from reviving the bandaged guy with a hilarious "... what will I say to people?"), and is capped off by the killing of the main character. Oh wait, we don't even see that. The jump to contemporary times may have been a copycat move on Steve's part; Marvel had done it with the Frankenstein Monster just a year before. It's a weird move given this was obviously meant to be the final chapter. As much grief as I've given this series (and it deserves it), at least it can be said that the damned thing was never boring. Inane, yes, but never boring. I found "The Famine" to be much better than the initial "Apocalypse" chapter. It's a grueling story, tough to read, but the grisly climax really doesn't fit in with the first eleven pages. It's as if Dube reminded Budd there should be an eerie element here somewhere. Up to that point, we're talking Harvey Kurtzman/Frontline Combat territory.

Next Week...
Trevor Von Eeden tackles
a full-length Batman!


Quiddity99 said...

An all Edgar Allen Poe issue was a pretty good idea, although not really sure if two straight issues of it is worth it (will decide after reading the next issue!). A horror magazine editor could keep themselves filling the pages for quite a while with Poe adaptions; having gone through the entire run of Skywald around a year or two ago I know for a long stretch pretty much every issue had at least one Poe adaption, enough that editor Al Hewetson was eventually adapting Poe stories I had never heard of like "William Wilson". Five of the six stories here were also covered by Skywald (all but the Oval Portrait) although as Warren's artists were considerably better than Skywald's I enjoyed these versions more. "Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" was my favorite; Mones provides the best art of the issue and I fondly remember an old EC story that this inspired. In fact reading this issue reminds me that EC also used "Premature Burial" as a springboard for another story. "MS Found in a Battle" was my least favorite and too similar to the story "Descent in the Maelstrom" which also gets adapted in the next issue. "The Oval Portrait" was a story of Poe's I had never heard of before reading this issue and as always Corben provides a good job. Unfortunate its not in color, but we got the color Poe story two issues early so none here I suppose.

Happy to see the return of "Night of the Jackass" (and a cover for it). This second story is a bit similar to the first, but I just love the concept so much that I don't mind at all. "Hollow of the Three Hills" is a decent story, one I had never heard of before reading this adaption. On the contrary, I find this to be some of the best art we've gotten yet from Maroto, I love how surreal it is. "The Spook" continues to be a guest in his own series; this issue's story I felt was an interesting direction to go in with the zombie theme. The second Exterminator One story isn't as good as the first, but it still a pretty decent story. A robot assassin, seem to recall that being the theme of a popular movie franchise that premiered about a decade later. :P I too liked seeing Neary's art in color. Neary has swiped pretty much all panels featuring the character Slaughter from a Luis Garcia drawn story, "Love Strip" which had appeared in the French magazine Pilote a year or two earlier. Said character was modeled after Spanish artist Carlos Giminez who had also helped with the story. What makes it quite an interesting anecdote for me is that Warren will actually reprint Love Strip later this year in Vampirella. I wonder if people reading these issues as they came out thought Garcia swiped from Neary when it was actually the other way around. Not intending to be too critical on swiping (which perhaps I came off as last time) but it is something I've found rather interesting since reading this issue for the first time. "The Mummy" series finally meets its long awaited end in a rather disappointing final part as the whole storyline about Jerome Curry is ignored to introduce a new lead character. Would a Mummy blowing its brains out really stop it for good? It even occurs off screen! Overall this series has got to go down as one of the most ridiculous Warren published and is a rather stark contrast in this era of Eerie where I feel nearly every other series is quite strong. "The Famine" is the highlight of the issue for me, and perhaps the highlight of the "Apocalypse" series (still have to reread the last two entries). I enjoyed the more grounded story in contrast to the allegory last issue, and Ortiz's art here is arguably the best he ever did for Warren. That splash page in particular I absolutely love.

Anonymous said...

This was my first issue of THE SPIRIT (and my first exposure to the genius of Will Eisner) so my awe-struck appreciation of it is no doubt colored by nostalgia. Objectively, these eight Spirit stories are probably no better or worse than Eisner’s average, but they sure slapped 13-year-old Me upside the head back in the day. I re-read this issue just a few months ago and felt all the individual stories held up well. I’m still impressed by the variety of moods and modes Eisner employs so skillfully here. ‘Showdown’ and ‘Wild Rice’ are the two stand-outs for me, but I also like the two Bleak stories a lot, and the bit with Ellen and Denny at the end of ‘Taxes and The Spirit’ is lovely.

I have an especially vivid memory of acquiring this issue. My Dad needed to go to the local Pic N Save for some reason and I tagged along because there was a Liquor store in the same strip-mall that sometimes had Warren mags for sale. (Also, it was a weeknight and it was raining.) I’d seen ads for The Spirit in the back of other Warren titles, and honestly had never heard of the character, had no idea what the comic was about, and didn’t think I’d even be interested in it if I ever came across it out in the wild. But one glance at that stunning Eisner/Kelly cover and I couldn’t part with my money fast enough. While Dad shopped for geegaws, i sat in the car reading ‘Showdown’, while a gurgling curtain of rain streamed down the windshield, and became an Instant Fan.

Interestingly, I picked up another comic on that same outing, GHOST RIDER #10, which was a reprint of Mike Ploog’s first Ghost Rider story. I didn’t know at the time that Ploog had actually apprenticed with Eisner, but I recognized the similarities in their styles and figured there had to be SOME kind of connection, and it added a little extra bit of ZING! to the outing, all around.

Last week, I happened to be driving by that block where the Pic N Save and Liquor Store used to be. The lot is being turned into a low-income housing complex, i think. It’s been fenced off for months, and the demolition of the buildings began a little while ago. The section that used to be the Liquor Store was still standing last week, but it’s probably gone by now. Time marches on....

Jack, it’s super-cool that a high school pal of yours had a letter printed in SPIRIT #6, and somehow you never even knew it :)


andydecker said...

I am not a big fan of these Poe adaptions in Creepy, especially if the writer chooses to rewrite some of the plot. The problem with a lot of the Poe stories is often that they just stop.

Corben has delivered the best work, no question. Even if the beginning is also re-written.

As far as Eerie is concerned, I like some of the art. The writing not so much. Some important bits of "Jackass" stretch suspense of disbelief too far, especially in the context of a historical. As if the police just would stand aside. And the action parts of the story are weak.

"Crackermeyer" has some nice bits but a lot of nonsense too. I particulary liked the scene where our zombie stabs a needle into the heart of his helper to get some blood. What can go wrong? The conclusion also didn't make any sense at all in the context of the story. Bernie is dead, you morons!

I am not a fan of "Exterminator" either. If they at least had made the effort to make the world a bit more futuristic. But you have this robot wandering about and nobody notices him? What is the point? Nothing he did couldn't have been done by a normal hit man.

"The Apocalypse" also is idiotic. It reminds me of the infamous battle of Waterloo scene in Highlander the tv series where it snowed. Why using history if you ignore the facts? The battle of Sedan was in early september,for heaven's sake. Is the whole snow and hunger bit something out of a parallel world? Or did Ortiz and/or Lewis confuse this with Napoleon in Russia?

Grant said...

"There's still an unhealthy smattering of THAT word, but what can we do other than blank it out with our mind?"

I go to a public place once a week (one that's about 90 per cent white, if that means anything) that plays the most stereotyped rap in the world. I wish I could blank out that stupid word, instead of hearing it about twenty times in an hour!