This year I thought I'd celebrate Halloween by posting a daily comics story. Please feel free to make any contribution to the thread that fits. Reviews of comics, books, movies are all fine.

Any story posted must be in the public domain. If you post images please upload them from your computer instead of hotlinking. And if you write a review please either avoid spoilers, or put them in a separate paragraph headed by a spoiler warning. My own rule of thumb is what happens after the half-way mark is a spoiler.

My comments on the stories I post will include spoilers. They will always be placed immediately after the story.

2016's thread is here.

This post displaced the thread John Dunbar re-reads AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (AF 15, ASM 1-50) from the homepage.

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This story is from Secret Mysteries #16 (Ribage, 1954). Scans from Comic Book Plus.

Jim Vadeboncoeur, Jr's index card is included in Comic Book Plus's scan. It attributes this tale's art to Bill Fraccio and Tony Tallarico.

The cover was signed by Myron Fass. It doesn't relate to any of the stories, but the issue does have a story called "Hiding Place".

In the indicia the series is described as "formerly CRIME MYSTERIES, combined with CRIME SMASHERS".

The issue's other stories were as follows:

"Hiding Place"

Married gem smugglers on the run force doctor to hide a diamond in the woman's leg.

Vadeboncoeur, Jr's index card attributes the art to Edvard Moritz and Leo Morey.

"The Death Look"

Two explorers received shrunken heads in the mail from a compatriot still in Brazil. Each is soon found dead...

This story is a murder mystery. Vadeboncoeur, Jr's index card attributes the art to A. C. Hollingsworth.

"The Week End of Dread"

This story is an unacknowledged adaptation of Agatha Christie's novel and play And Then There Were None. I think it was based on the 1945 René Clair film version: it opens the same way and matches it in other respects.

Vadeboncoeur, Jr's index card attributes the story to Rudy Palais. I can't say if he did the story solo, but I can certainly see his style here.

The issue also had two text items, both factual. "Doomed by the Clock" relates stories about clocks and death. "The Jeweled Curse" is about the curse supposed attached to a famous diamond called the Moon of the Mountains.

This story is from Conquest #1 (Eastern Color, 1955). Scans from Comic Book Plus.

The GCD notes the art is signed by Bill Ely, who I know from his work on Rip Hunter ... Time Master. He also drew stories for DC's crime/police and horror/fantastic tales titles. His signature is below the monster's tail on the splash.

It might be objected this isn't really a horror story, but think the poem qualifies. The first retelling of the poem I read was Beowulf the Bee Hunter by Robert Nye, which I remember as playing up the horror. I reviewed the issue a few months ago here.

Here's the fourth Dr Styx story, from Treasure Comics #5 (Prize, 1946). Scans from Comic Book Plus.

His intervention comes across as incompetent this time out. The GCD ascribes the instalment's art to Al Bare.

Here's the fifth and last, from Treasure Comics #6 (Prize, 1946). Scans from Comic Book Plus.

I thought I was going to hate this instalment as Styx enters the story as an ordinary supernatural investigator rather than the mysterious being he's been previously, but it turns out pretty well. The GCD again ascribes the art to Bare.

The City

by H. P. Lovecraft

It was golden and splendid,

That City of light;

A vision suspended

In deeps of the night;

A region of wonder and glory, whose temples were marble and white.

I remember the season

It dawn'd on my gaze;

The mad time of unreason,

The brain-numbing days

When Winter, white-sheeted and ghastly, stalks onward to torture and craze.

More lovely than Zion

It shone in the sky

When the beams of Orion

Beclouded my eye, Bringing sleep that was filled with dim mem'ries of moments obscure and gone by.

Its mansions were stately,

With carvings made fair,

Each rising sedately

On terraces rare,

And the gardens were fragrant and bright with strange miracles blossoming there.

The avenues lur'd me

With vistas sublime;

Tall arches assur'd me

That once on a time

I had wander'd in rapture beneath them, and bask'd in the Halcyon clime.

On the plazas were standing

A sculptur'd array;

Long bearded, commanding,

Gave men in their day -

But one stood dismantles and broken, its bearded face battered away.

In that city effulgent

No mortal I saw,

But my fancy, indulgent

To memory's law,

Linger'd long on the forms in the plazas, and eyed their stone features with awe.

I fann'd the faint ember

That glow'd in my mind,

And strove to remember

The aeons behind;

To rove thro' infinity freely, and visit the past unconfin'd.

Then the horrible warning

Upon my soul sped

Like the ominous morning

That rises in red,

And in panic I flew from the knowledge of terrors forgotten and dead.

This Dr Foo story is from Crime Mysteries #5 (Ribage, 1953). Scans from Comic Book Plus.

I reviewed this issue last year here.

Here's the twenty-first instalment of "Werewolf Hunter", from Rangers Comics #28 (Fiction House, 1946). Scans from Comic Book Plus.

Another unusual story for its period. Art by Lily Renée.

Here's the twenty-second instalment, from Rangers Comics #29 (Fiction House, 1946). Scans from Comic Book Plus.

I like the monkey heads on the splash page of this one. Art by Lily Renée.

Sorry to quote MYSELF, especially on a thread dominated by entirely-posted stories and poems (seriously, I don't mind starting my own thread), but I just realized I didn't mention that L. Ron Hubbard is a part of this (small as it is) as well. This is well worth the read!



Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Today, I read a book from Dark Horse called Aleister & Adolf. It's written by Daniel Rushkoff and drawn by Michael Avon Oeming. This is a little hardcover historical fiction story about a man from MI5 who commiserated with Aleister Crowley (not to mention General Patton and Ian Fleming) to defeat Hitler. It's really interesting, and plays into the magical idea behind symbology and iconography. It plays upon the power of the Swastika and how it was combated with the V for Victory symbol.

This was a very powerful story, and perfect for those wanting to read a perfect story for Halloween.

The more variety in the thread the better. Just reading stories becomes exhausting!

Won't post it since it's not public domain, but Hanna Barbera's The Cattanooga Cats had a couple of horror episodes.

In the first (which DC actually reprinted back then in a comic book), an old witch decides to retire, but needs a replacement. She captures Kitty Jo and orders her to take her place. When Kitty Jo refuses she turns the rest of the gang into toads. She agrees, then uses the magic she's just learned to change the guys back to normal. The witch begins to attack her, but she sends her magic back at her. The witch gives up and sends time back to before she contacted them. As they pass by Kitty Jo comments she feels like she's been there before. Cut to the witch, who's selling her magic items now, and explains she's quitting because they drove her nuts.

In the second, the gang come to an old mansion during a story and go inside. They're attacked by a crazy ghost. While normally their shows revolved around them turning the tables on their enemies and driving them nuts, the Cats are unable to fight this ghost. He eventually puts them all in a painting on the wall, and puts their car in. They climb in the car and drive off through the painting, somehow hoping they'll eventually run into something normal.

This was in 1969, when horror wasn't allowed in comics, but censors must have okayed it because it was humorous. After the second episode no new shows were made of the characters, just music videos, and they didn't last long after that.

That sounds rather creepy.

Did they ever return?

No they never returned

And their fate is still unlearned.

They may drive forever

Through the streets of paintland

They're the cats that never returned.

(Source.)

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