Monday, September 10, 2012

Number 1225: Mom alarmed by Alarming Tales

In 1958, when bringing home a stack of comics from my weekly trip to the drugstore, anything that looked like a horror comic went to the bottom or middle of the stack so Mom couldn't see it. Even though 1958 comics weren't horror comics like the pre-Code horror, if it looked like horror to Mom it was banned. I slipped up, and she saw me reading this when she came into my room. She snatched it out of my hands and I didn't see another copy of Alarming Tales #3 for several decades.

The cover was drawn by Joe Simon in Jack Kirby's style.

I'm showing three stories today, the cover story, “They Walked On Water,” “The Strange One,” both drawn by Doug Wildey, and “Get Lost,” drawn by Ernie Schroeder. Schroeder we know from several Airboy stories posted on this blog. These stories are all Code-approved, but even without being horror they are  moody and have a lot of atmosphere. The first two stories are swamp gothic, and “The Strange One” is set mostly in the dark, with deep shadows and dark figures.

This is the fourth Harvey posting this month. It's a coincidence and I didn't notice it until now. You have to admit, despite all being from the same publisher, the entries are very different from each other. I even have more Harvey Comics coming up in the next few weeks.


Brian Barnes said...

"The Strange One" was actually a direct lift from an EC sci-fi story (don't remember the name, would have to flip through my collection.)

Not sure if it was an EC adaptation of something or an original, but it follows the same basic plot.

Pappy said...

I don't know any specific connection, Brian, but you'd have to look far and wide to see any originality in comics, which stole shamelessly from each other, as well as movies, radio, television...

EC's treatments and artwork may have made them famous, but Gaines admitted he used springboards for the stories: he found them in science fiction anthologies and even Bennett Cerf's Try and Stop Me, a popular compilation of anecdotes.