Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Number 1761: Wallace Wood: Vengeance of the Armored Arm!

I picked up Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery whenever it featured one of my favorite artists. Wallace Wood is someone whose work I have always collected. This story, from issue #9, 1965, is a one of my favorites from that period. I thought Woody had fun with medieval themes. The Grand Comics Database credits him with both pencils and inks. Experience tells us one or more of Wood’s assistants helped him.

In my opinion, this was one of Wood’s finest jobs for EC, the 3-D version of his Mad story, “V-Vampires!” The original art, yet! Just click on the thumbnail.


J_D_La_Rue_67 said...

That's (one of the reasons) why I love Wally:
Pick someone who never saw any sample of his art, and show him/her these two stories. He/she probably won't guess they're from the same artist.
We could name this game "Where's Wally?" ... :-)))
Really, he was so versatile in his style. Sword and sorcery, science fiction, funnies, and "dirty" stories: all are great!
And then there's the Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster...

Pappy said...

J D, yes the famous Disneyland poster. Paul Krassner's web site is now offering a deluxe edition of the print, digitally colored by an "ex-Disney employee," and "suitable for framing," for US $35.00. When my friend brought home the poster in the late '60s his wife told him in no uncertain terms, "Get rid of it," so he gave it to me. I have never been able to frame it, suitably or not, so it sits in storage, rolled up and stored with the rest of my Dirty Woody collection.

Ryan Anthony said...

Okay, the art was lovely and the writing was literate, things I actually expect to see from good horror comics (though where the writer used "flaunting" he meant "flouting" - English teacher here), but about the "ghost arm": I don't believe in ghosts (ironically, I love "true" ghost stories), and the idea of an appendage having its own sentience (which it must for its ghost to have a "mind" of its own) is most absurd. Sir Mansfield (Is that a first or last name? What is the rule about that?) would have to be controlling the ghost arm or at least be aware of it, don't you think? Or am I putting too much thought into this?

Honestly, Pappy, I love this little "forum" of yours. I just wish more people could see the comments of such intelligent folks as J.D. and Daniel.

7f7f3e2a-4856-11e4-900a-bb8e57f8828f said...

Thanks for the Armored Arm story -enjoyed it greatly. What even more amazed me is the V-Vampires story from MAD #3 with it's layers of acetate, umber washes, opaque white, etc. I get out my 12" x 9" softbound "THE COMPLETE FIRST SIX ISSUES OF MAD" published by Russ Cochran and see another version of the same story, evidently redone on probably bristol board with no washes/acetate as a six page instead of eight-page story. There you go. Wood worked hard for his paycheck. I sure like this acetate-layered eight-page version. Another of your fine postings that I download. Dust off them blintzes, Pappy!

Pappy said...

7f7, yes, there were two different versions of "V-Vampires!" The original was the color version from Mad #3, and the second was done especially for the first of two 3D comics EC issued in 1953... all of the stories in the 3D comics were reworked from EC's various titles.

As you can tell, the 3D comics were a lot of work for the artists, which meant they got paid more. But the 3D trend in comics was short-lived, and I don't know if EC ever got their money back on their investment.

Either version is Wood at the very peak of his powers.

Pappy said...

Ryan, I am always glad to hear about word usage like flaunt/flout. It reminds me of the dedicated guy who has gone into thousands of Wikipedia sites to change the words "comprised of" to "composed of." Words do have specific meanings, and close, or "sounds like" doesn't count.

Ah yes...ghosts. An e-mail friend of mine has told me a couple of ghost stories recently, and I have traded back with my own experiences. The thing is, neither of us believe in ghosts. Whatever our ghostly manifestations are, I don't believe they are ghosts in the traditional sense of what a ghost is supposed to be, the spirit of a dead person.

But if I were to accept ghosts as they are traditionally known, then why not a sentient arm? Maybe the ghost had trouble making a full body manifestation and could only get his arm to show. I say that with a smile. This is a fantasy of the supernatural, and as I have said before, there are no rules, just whatever the writer dreams up to push the story.

I have thought of just turning the comments over to you guys, but I wouldn't be Pappy without inserting myself into the conversation. It's my blog, after all. But it gives me a chance to say to those of you reading this that anyone is free to respond and write a comment, as long as it doesn't have links to porn sites or advertising (I delete those without a second thought), and as long as the writer respects the other commenters. There is no flaming here, folks.

And as long as I'm on the subject of comments, if I do not respond to a particular comment it isn't personal. Maybe I am having an episode of brain-fatigue. I read every comment carefully, looking for something I can add to the discussion. Sometimes I just can't make the words travel from my head to my keyboard.

Brian Barnes said...

Wood spent about as much time on the castle as he did on machinery in his sci-fi days! There's some real lovingly rendered stonework and ramparts.

I wish his health, but mental and physic, would have allowed him to have a long career at Marvel, where he did some excellent work. Johnny Craig found a spot at Marvel but with people like Ditko and Kirby, who were fast, a lot of the old guard just couldn't keep up with the schedules, which was a shame.

Note something strange about this art? Something you almost always see in Wood stories? There's no WOMEN anywhere (I might have missed one in a crowd scene.) How often does that happen in Wood stories, especially when Wood has some a recognizable female style (and, as the Disney poster you mentioned, a lot of erotic art.)