Monday, March 13, 2017

Number 2022: The bad hire: “Vampire, Beware!”

Willie is a drinker with a failing business, a wax museum with monsters that scare no one. While in his cups, Willie decides to jump a freighter to Hungary and hire a real vampire to scare the hell out of people. He should have sobered up and thought out that business plan a bit more.

Stan Lee wrote this off-the-wall horror story, and Bill Everett drew it. Everett liked drawing horror stories, which gave him the opportunity to draw some really great-looking monsters. The vampire in “Vampire, Beware!” is far from the Count Dracula cliché. Willie must have been truly desperate to make an employment offer to such a horrible, toothy creature.

From Atlas Comics’ Suspense #23 (1952):


Brian Barnes said...

Stan always wrote some fun stories, even if it's a bit predictable. Of all the EC imitators, Stan was the one that seemed to realize that it was the story that lead up to the ending that was -- if not more important -- than the ending. There's a lot of comedy and other entertaining bits before the ending.

And, obviously, the Everett art. All the Atlas/Everett monster art is a prize. These are great vampire images.

Pappy said...

Brian, I find the surprises in this story in the idea that a guy would stowaway on a freighter to Hungary. Hungary is landlocked, although I read online that several landlocked countries can be accessed via the Danube, which is an international waterway. So, I guess the story could work in that way.

Twist endings, a la O. Henry and Guy de Maupassant and Saki, et al., became the norm in horror comics. Why? (Rhetorical question. They were what they were because someone along the line decided to use those literary influences on shorter fiction and short comic book stories were perfect for the form.)