Sunday, April 20, 2008
Author Ray Russell wrote the short story, "Sardonicus," which was made into the 1961 William Castle film, Mr. Sardonicus. It has nothing to do with this story, "Death Takes Four," from Strange Mysteries #13, October, 1953, but I thought I'd impress you with my knowledge of arcane medical conditions. Risus sardonicus, called rictus sardonicus in this strip, is a pretty horrible condition that contorts and freezes the face into a smile. You know, like all of the contestants on American Idol when they're being ripped a new blowhole by one of those idiot judges.
The sardonicus sufferer in "Death Takes Four" is a murderer who fakes — or think he's faking — insanity. It's by the Jerry Iger shop, and it's published by Superior, which used the worst printer in comic book history. My copy of this issue was a target. It has a couple of b-b holes through it, which shows what the previous owner thought of it.