Friday, November 06, 2009

Number 624

Edgar Allan Ditko

Hear that scratching? It's the sound of fingernails feebly trying to get out of a casket with six feet of earth on top of it. Yes, it's the old Premature Burial plot by Poe, reworked as a nice little 6-pager by Steve Ditko from Black Magic Volume 4 Number 4 (whole number 28), Jan.-Feb. 1954.

I know that Halloween was last week, but I still have plenty of stale Tootsie Rolls left in my trick or treat bowl. You can come on over if you don't mind making your way through the razor wire strung across my front yard. I tried to discourage the kiddies, you see...and one of these days I've got to go out into the yard and retrieve the two who couldn't be deterred.



That's great Ditko!

He looked like he was using more solid blacks and shadows than the more familiar (to me) 60's Marvel stuff. Lotsa great panels, with cool lighting! A palpable Eisnerish quality in certain panels (close-up eyes pg.6) that I really like...I don't know how close to Poe that was, I never read it (don't read nuthin' that ain't got no pictures in it!), but well done!

I actually have a black and white Ditko tale scheduled to post tomorrow! This one was cool!

...and as far as the two 'candy lovers' hanging on your razorwire, I'd leave 'em up a while's only 11 1/2 months until Halloween again!

Bob Lilly said...

Ditko is a fine storyteller. He evidently gives his all to every project he does.
Great website...I'll be back and I'll tell my friends.
Come visit.

Pappy said...

Apocolyte, get a copy of a Poe anthology and one of these first cold nights hunker down and read. The best part is you can make up pictures in your head as you read along. Definitely recommended.

My favorite Ditko work is the fantasy stuff for both Marvel and Charlton during the late '50s through the early '60s, but next to that I like his dark and moody horror comics of the early '50s.

(Ditko had a birthday on November 2. Happy 82nd birthday, Steve.)

Karswell said...

This is indeed some great work from Ditko, nicely paced and full of rich atmosphere and detail. And of course there's never anything wrong with posting horror tales after Halloween Paps!

Henry R. Kujawa said...

This is clearly another variant on "The Fall of the House Of Usher"-- but, with details from "The Premature Burial" tossed in as well! Mind you, the idea of "premature burial" was part of several Poe stories-- and no doubt, even more Poe movies.


It gets confusing when you find out that THRILLER (with Boris Karloff) did an episode called "The Premature Burial" which is almost iddeneitcl in plot to the later Roger Corman movie with Ray Milland-- but also predated Corman's "Pit and the Pendulum", which ALSO has the identical plot! (Wife plans to kill her husband for his money; it backfires.)

In both Corman films, you don't even find out about the wife's plan until the last act of the film. In PIT, you don't even know she's still alive (she faked her death), while in the Ray Milland film, it's not until after he's believed dead and buried-- and comes back-- that you find out his wife has been lying and scheming since before the film started!! (I hope this doesn't blow anything for you.)

My suspicion is that Richard Matheson swiped from the THRILLER episode when he wrote "PIT", then, figured out how to do a VARIATION on it when Corman decided to do PREMATURE BURIAL as his 3rd Poe film. It's buts how the first 4 films (including TALES OF TERROR) all begin with someone arriving at a large mansion, only to have someone inside want to turn them away. 4 films in a row!! This is why I think it's both fun and important to watch the entire set in the order they came out. While each film stands alone, watching them together you get a sense of "continuity", at least, creatively.