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Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Number 326



John Stanley's Mudman



In "The Mudman" from Tales From The Tomb, the Dell Giant Comic from 1962, John Stanley again shows us his storytelling skills. I don’t know who the artist is. A boy and his dog go into a swamp, encounter a monster, the dog saves the boy. It's a compact and intense story. There are some Stanley-isms. With some changes this could be a humor story. There are panels where you can visualize Tubby or Melvin Monster running while yelling, "Ma-a-a-a!" or at the kitchen table hollering, "No Ma! No, no, no!"

Page 1 / Page 2 / Page 3 / Page 4 / Page 5 / Page 6 / Page 7 / Page 8 / Page 9

7 comments:

Sea_of_Green said...

Awwww, the poor doggy. :-(

Mr. Cavin said...

Pappy, this was fabulous. I can't stand it that the art is so good(and so responsible for pulling its narrative weight--pretty rare in a lot of spooky pre-code stories, which are addicted to explainig every little thing in the omniscient yellow squares crammed into every panel), and yet you have no idea who the artist even was.

My, what appreciation the world affords to creator-contributors has really made an about-face since the fifties, huh?

Karswell said...

This is a good little tale... the monster looks strangely familiar, like he was swiped from some old movie I'm not remembering at the moment. Anyone?

Pappy said...

Grand Comics Database has ? for the artist of Mud Man, and I don't recognize the art.

L. B. Cole was the editor, and the GCD says he drew the cover. Check it out on my posting for another story from this issue here.

Dell went in its own direction after splitting with Western Publishing. This comic may have gotten some resistance from distributors, coming as it did just seven years after implementation of the Comics Code, which Dell had passed on. That might be why it only went one issue. I remember being impressed by the cover when I saw it on the spinner at my local drug store in '62. The stories weren't pre-code style horror--I think they would have passed the Code standards--but the cover and the word "Tomb" might have been a problem. That's just a guess, though.

I think the monster looks something like Creature from the Black Lagoon. He is one of a long line of swamp monsters. There's just something about a fetid, miasmic, gassy, foggy, boggy swamp that creates great monsters...

Ger Apeldoorn said...

The monster in the first panel you show makes me think the artist is George Evans. The rest of the story doesn't contradict it, but doesn't help either. Other artists working in this style at Dell/Western at the early fifties are Fred Fredericks and Frank Thorne.

The credits for the story-telling should probably go to John Stanley, who as far as I remember wrote his stories with a panel lay-out.

Peter F. Bernard, Jr. said...

THAT could have been a COMEDY? The dog got killed! Everyone knows a dog dying is far sadder than any human dying haha

Terry Beatty said...

I'm petty sure this was drawn by Ed Robbins, artist of the Mike Hammer comic strip. I suspected it from certain touches on page one -- and the running figures on page 3 sealed the deal for me.