Monday, June 05, 2017

Number 2058: In the jungle, the frighty jungle

In both of today’s horror tales from pre-Comics Code Atlas, white people go into the jungle and something terrible happens to one or more of them. In “The Lizard,” from Adventures Into Terror #8 (1952), search for a devil lizard ends in a transformation. (Bad juju, bwana.)

Artwork is credited by to Harry Lazarus, with Dick Beck a guess as inker. The Grand Comics Database agrees that Lazarus penciled it, but guesses that either Beck or Christopher Rule inked it.

Cal Massey (not to be confused with Cal Massey, jazz trumpeter and composer) drew “Look Out For Lakoonda.” In the case of this story, greed is the motivator. That and the jungle are usually disastrous for the characters in a horror comic.

Massey, an African-American, was a very talented artist who worked in comics for a time, then went into other art fields in the fifties. He became a very important fine artist. But at one point after comic books, he was contributing to Jim Warren’s nascent publishing empire, and Warren’s short-lived Playboy imitator, After Hours. Here is a full-page cartoon Massey did for After Hours #1 (1957):

From Adventures Into Terror #20 (1953):


Justin said...

Cool. I was never much into the horror titles, so this is like a while whole new discovery for me. Thanks!

Pappy said...

Justin, no, you are cool. I'm just happy for my part of your discovery. Enjoy!

Brian Barnes said...

Ah, Atlas horror. I love it. Always quick, fun, and sometimes creepy stuff. The first story is relatively surprising for horror stories of the time, but the second is pretty predictable. Still a nice read. If EC had competition, it was Atlas.

Massey's stuff is always a treat, top two panels of page 5 (and especially the second one) have a bit of a Jack Davis look to them.

Pappy said...

Brian, Wood, Davis, and even Johnny Craig were widely imitated. (There were always artists who picked up style tips from all of them.)

For many years I disliked Atlas horror comics. I even passed up a great deal in 1962 when a dealer offered me all I wanted for 25¢ each...I wish now I had taken him up on it. The best of them could be very good, indeed.