Monday, August 22, 2016
Number 1935: Ghastly's real-life horror
“It was during this period, associates recall, that Ingels’ drinking started to get out of hand. His work never suffered, but he occasionally missed deadlines, forcing EC editor Al Feldstein to give him advanced deadlines so that publishing schedules wouldn’t be affected. Sometimes, say friends, Ingels would disappear for days at a time — often with the completed artwork under his arm. Amazingly, he never once misplaced it.”
In the article Evans describes a ride home with Ingels after Ingels had imbibed several beers. “We would be tearing along at 65 miles per hour on the parkway and I would see lights a mile ahead and he would suddenly hit the brakes. Then we would be approaching traffic and he would put his foot on the gas pedal. At a given point, I would say, “Hey, Graham, you’re coming up on that pretty damned fast!” And he would say, “Not to worry, George, I’ve got everything under control.”
So Ingels drove drunk. He is lucky he and his passengers — or innocents in another car — didn’t end up looking like the cadaverous creatures he sometimes drew. As the article goes on, in later life Ingels backed off drinking so much, but by then it had ruined his marriage and his relationship with his children. Before he died in 1991 he reconciled with his daughter, but not his son. Alcoholism was the horror story Ingels lived. But there is some sort of happy ending: Ingels became a respected art teacher in Florida, and author Vaughn quoted some comments from Ingels’ students praising his teaching and artistic ability.
In a more traditional sense, Ingels’ paper nightmares, those he drew for EC Comics, are readily available in various forms, deluxe hardcover compilations to the original pre-Code comics to reprints of those comics. In the case of “Nobody There!” from Haunt of Fear #16 (1952), these are scans of the original art I am posting with grateful approbation to Heritage Auctions, who sold these eight pages for $28,680.