Friday, November 21, 2014

Number 1660: Moody blues...reds...greens...yellows...

In the excellent blog, Ace Horror, Jim McLaughlin is given credit as the artist who had the most stories in the Ace horror comics. These two stories by McLaughlin, who had a fairly straightforward illustrative style, are from The Beyond #15 (1952) and Baffling Mysteries #10 (1952) respectively.

In scanning both stories something that struck me is the moody coloring. The story, “Diogenes’ Deadly Lamp” does not have any panels colored in traditional style, although “Don’t Wake the Dead” is a bit more traditional. In both stories the coloring adds an aura of eerie mystery and dread.


Daniel [] said...

I might not have consciously noted the coloring had you not directed our attention to it, but indeed these stories would have seemed far more banal with conventional coloring.

Being, well, me, I'd have been happier with Delia rescued and rehabilitated in “Don't Wake the Dead”.

Three of the problems with “Diogenes' Deadly Lamp” really stand-out for me. First, the lamp looks nothing like an ancient Greek lamp. (At least the origin story of the Green Lantern explained the reworking of its lamp!) Second, 7:2 telegraphs pretty much exactly what is going to happen. Third, 7:6 ought to have been drawn in a manner such that there were no need for the villain to explain (to whom?) what had happened.

Ryan Anthony said...

You've got to marry me--or I'll kill you!" I wonder if that line ever works.
Seriously, the dialogue in that second story was laughable. But I understand what you meant, Pappy, about the coloring adding to the mood of horror.

Pappy said...

Ryan, I don't know if the line ever lines were all the old stand-bys, which sounded like, "Sure I'll marry you, baby!" That was decades ago, though. I hope those women have all forgotten me and my clumsy attempts at acting sincere.

Pappy said...

Daniel, I like the fact that at some point there were editors who were adventurous or daring enough to use unconventional coloring