Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Number 185

Sex and Skeletons Without The Sex

This is the last of the Sex and Skeletons postings. I have some good skeletons, but no sex. Sorry, fellas.

As I've said before, I can still be surprised by what Golden Age covers I've never before seen, and this issue of Dark Mysteries, with a gruesome hanging cover scene, is one I encountered recently for the first time. The effect of it is dampened a bit by artist Hy Fleishman's near-cartoony approach.* For its morbid subject matter alone, in the hands of a better artist I'm sure this would be on everybody's must-have double-bag list.

One of Atlas' finest artists, Russ Heath, contributes a couple of great covers. Journey Into Fear is especially effective. I'm not sure exactly what it all means, but it's very eye-catching, and I love the sinister and amused look on the skull's partially turned face.

Our Canuck comic comrades came up with a cover that's beauty, eh. Journey Into Fear #13 has a great cover. Wait! Did I say none of these covers were sexy? A skeleton takes a pic of his vampiric girlfriend in her coffin. It looks familiar…like what I see a lot on the Internet. Bless all you gothic gals who want to share your dark visages with the world.

Strange Stories From Another World
#3 is a terrific job by illustrator Norman Saunders. The guy could do no wrong, and no matter what he was illustrating he did a beautiful job. Saunders was also a best friend of Allen Anderson, featured with his own painted cover in the previous posting of Sex and Skeletons. Just click on the link "skeletons" at the bottom of this page.

Finally, Bill Everett, a leading light and artist for Atlas, like Russ Heath, comes up with yet another mind-blowing cover, this time for Venus #19. Looks like Venus is meeting her boyfriend's family, finding out they have a lot of skeletons who have come out of the closet, including her boyfriend.

*Something about the cover of Dark Mysteries #16 reminds me of the underground horror comix of a decade-and-a-half later, when artists like Greg Irons and others used a combination of cartooning and gruesomeness. The character on the cover who is speaking even has long hair, blue jeans and a collarless shirt. Since this book was published in 1954, in the fashion department he was over a decade ahead of his time.

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