Friday, March 28, 2008

Number 281

The Starving Ghoul

This is a screwball story from Eerie Publications' Terror Tales #7, March 1969. The title, "Gravestone for Gratis" has nothing to do with the story. Neither does the splash. They look like they've been stuck on from a different story. Other than that it's pretty typical of an early '50s horror comic from which it was reprinted. I don't have the information on its original appearance.

The writer could have let us know early in the story the main character had a medical problem so the plot device at the end wouldn't be so jarring. And speaking of "jarring," the cover is a gruesome Eerie Publications classic.


Chuck Wells said...

This tale is gruesome & jarring in the wake of the light-hearted Stanley fare, but as always, a great pick, Pappy.

Looks like you've joined Mr. Door Tree in cutting into Karswell's action today.

Sabres are being honed even as we speak!

Karswell said...

Awww thanks Chuck, but shoot, Pappy's been doing this much longer than me... if anything I've been cutting into his action. And Mr Doortree blew my doors off today with his Matt Fox posts vs mine by a million light years.

I have a regular reader who calls himself "Anti Atlas Guy" who could probably tell you where this story originated. I'll tell him to swing by here in case he hasn't already.

Astrp3 said...

The original source for this one was Fantastic #11 by Ajax/Farrell.

FYI, of the 1,000+ stories that Eerie Publications produced, all but (at most) four of them were either reprints of pre-code stories or (more commonly) reworks of pre-code stories (that is, the same basic script and panel layout with new art).

In the early years (up until circa late 1969) they published Ajax/Farrell reprints exclusively (Robert Farrell was a co-founder of the company), though they often changed the titles and sometimes made minor changes to the art to add more gore. Some of these were actually reprints of sanitized post-code versions of pre-code Ajax stories (from Dark Shadows, Strange or Midnight).

After that, they continued to print Ajax reprints but also began to rework other pre-code stories (with Harvey, Ace, Quality, Story, and Gillmor being particular favorites).

I've identified a number of these and have started indexing them at GCD (I continue to discover more and haven't finished updating the indices yet - I also don't have a complete collection of pre-code horror OR Eerie pubs issues).
I published a more up-to-date list at the collector's society message boards as well.

- Anti-Atlas Guy

Pappy said...

Thanks to Chuck and Karswell for the comments; you guys are great. Thanks to Anti-Atlas Guy for the information. Did the original printing have the same splash and title? It just doesn't look like it fits the story, but then these types of horror comics weren't exactly known for their logic and consistency.