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Friday, February 27, 2015

Number 1702: “Fish nibbling at my flesh...”

“The Thing From the Sea” looks a lot like an EC story of the same era. But it is from Avon Comics’ Eerie #2 (1951). The plot of a dead person coming back to wreak revenge on his murderer is a cliché, but the art treatment here is first class. Wallace Wood’s distinctive style distinguishes this story, beginning with the striking inside front cover, deftly illustrated on coquille board.

Jim Vadenboncoeur Jr gives credit for the inside cover to Wood and Sid Check, and for the story to Wood, Joe Orlando and Check.









11 comments:

Ryan Anthony said...

Aww, how romantic! Boy meets Boy, Boy kills Boy, Boy meets Flaky Bitch, Dead Boy returns so Boy and Boy can walk hand in hand along the ocean floor together--forever! And the awful dialogue reads like a musical. "I wonder how he'd like to walk forever along the bottom of the ocean...with me?" "Helloooo, Johnnny! Remember meeee?" Sensational stuff!

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

Well, no need to comment on such a great, incredibly versatile artist like Wally Wood. What I really liked was the gray-toned "teaser" in the inside cover. Would make a great poster! Now for a couple of scattered, idle remarks :
1) Since I started to enjoy pre-code Horror comics, I realized how important they were for 70's and 80's artists, especially film-makers. Major league guys like Romero and KIng (Creepshow), but also others. I remember a B-movie I saw as a kid, called "Shock waves", about some revived SS soldiers (again, yes, it's a recurring theme for my generation's imagination) turned into "Unterseekorps", zombies prowling the bottom of the ocean, searching for Peter Cushing, whom they swore to kill.
2)Those 50's chicks were damned FAST in forgetting their partners, and they also had a penchant for their killers, usually. Luckily, Zombies have better memory.
Thanks for another great story, Mr. Karsw... oops...
Only joking Mr. Pappy, only joking.

Steven Thompson said...

This is the story that was completely redrawn at Skywald in the seventies--possibly by Mike Esposito. Much of the original was traced so it still has a vague Wood feel but new hairstyles and other updated things were added.It's quite a mess, actually.

Unknown said...

I've always loved this story! Years back when I taught a class in comic book writing at a local U., I used this story to demonstrate clear, yet innovative storytelling. It was (as you might imagine) a big hit, and therefore a great tool for me.

Pappy said...

Booksteve, what came off of that Skywald version of the story was a stench not unlike what our sea floor walking zombie would have smelled like when he surfaced. I saw the story, and figuratively threw it back. Just pretend it never existed.

Pappy said...

Ryan, I expect you to write the musical accompaniment to this story. I think it would be a hit. Kind of off-Broadway style, but a hit.

Pappy said...

J D, I wish I had the charm, flair, verve and panache of Steve "Karswell" Banes, and his numbers of readers and acolytes of his The Horrors Of It Al blog! I mentioned this one time in an interview: Pappy's was originally going to be a horror comics blog called "The Grim Reader's Horror Comics," but I instead chose to go with a more universal look at Golden Age comic books. Karswell was the guy who made the horror comics blog work, and I admit it has been much better than I could have ever done with the genre.

My love of horror comics stills comes through, and I just have to sneak one in every once in a while.

I don't think the censors of horror comics in the 1950s dreamed that someday the young people who read horror comics would go on to be some of the creative people in Hollywood, or that someday walking corpses would be getting their heads blown off in a popular television show. As we ask rhetorically here in America, who'da thunk it?"

Pappy said...

Unknown, I can only imagine the effect of such a teaching tool in a classroom setting. I'm sure one of the benefits of using it is it sure would have held a class's attention.

J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

It has come to my attention that an average revived corpse cannot actually walk on the bottom of the sea according to Archimedes Law. Or am I wrong? What's with buoyancy? Maybe Daniel has a scientific explanation to offer.
"Grim Reader" was a terrific name! And censors don't dream at all.

Pappy said...

J D, what? Buoyancy? How dare you ruin fantasy by inserting reality! Next thing you know I won't believe the dead can walk on land, either.

Brian Barnes said...

This is probably the EC-ish story that Stephen King has mentioned as being an influence on him, the "can't walk to fast" line he's mentioned (maybe in Danse Macabre.)

It probably lead directly to "Something to Tide Your Over" from Creepshow.