Sunday, May 15, 2011

Number 947

The dead are with us always

At the end of April we had a tale of haunted love, the other day a funny story of Tubby and a ghost, today two stories of death and hauntings of an unusual sort.

In "Twice Alive" we have an imaginative setting for ghosts, our own bodies. We all know our genes live on beyond us, but what if all of our ancestors inhabited our body? Even such an outrageous idea works because of Bob Powell's masterful artwork. It's too bad Worlds Beyond #1, a Fawcett comic from 1951, wasn't printed better. My scans for this story are new. I showed the story a few years ago and my poor scans of the time made the bad printing look even worse. It has haunted me since. So to exorcise the ghosts of bad scans, I resurrected this eerie story and gave new life to the pages.

Harvey Comics' Black Cat Mystery #32, is dated December, 1951, one month later than Worlds Beyond, and has another eerie story, this time featuring "the ghost of death." Both stories are done by Powell with the assistance of Howard Nostrand, who worked his name into "Deadly Acres" on the side of the moving van.


Tamfos said...

You're right. The art for "Twice Alive" is gorgeous and expressive (as you would expect from Powell). As for the writing, shades of "Being John Malkovich," no? Well, sort of. The strange thing about the writing actually is that it veers back and forth between inspired and just plain silly -- and what's that ending supposed to mean?

Still, a wonderful example of just how brilliant Powell could be -- and a more ambitious example than most. Thanks once again, Pap.

HEH said...

The artwork is gorgeous. Pappy, again, many thanks for sharing these wonderful comics with us!

borky said...

Not that keen on the second story, Deadly Acres, Pappy, the title of which makes it sound as if he died of testicular cancer.

The first one though, Twice Alive, while it sounds like a brand of orange juice, suggests the author was highly familiar with esoteric Tibetan Buddhism themes.

Even the conclusion read's like neat Druidism: that one who's managed to visit the land of the dead and return's rendered incapable of speaking of it as a direct result of the experience.