Monday, June 19, 2017

Number 2064: The charming but alarming snake charmer

Jeff is a guy who hates snakes. But this is a horror comic book. So who does he end up with? Why, a snake charmer, that’s who. We also know the lovely snake charmer’s secret because some dumbbell gave it away in the SPLASH PANEL!

The “dumbbell” was probably the writer, not the artist, Hy Fleishman, who was a regular in this kind of second and third tier publishing endeavors, but had a professional flair not matched by other artists in Dark Mysteries #9 (1952), where “Medusa” appeared. Fleishman also did work for Atlas Comics, and after the Comics Code was implemented did 13 issues of the weekly comic book, Poppo of the Popcorn Theater for the Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA).


Brian Barnes said...

Wow, these stories are always a fun read but did that one have problems. I normally like to over-analyze these things but ... this is a real how to NOT do it.

The last page had the most glaring errors: the art of our hero falling down the well was too close to the panel border, and I assume somebody thought it was confusing and added the addition caption. It's another "show don't tell" that FAILS AT BOTH! Then we hear he's turned into a snake in ANOTHER caption?!?!

Also: Fleishman has some anatomy problems (the splash is a good example) but draws a exotic medusa so he gets a pass. BTW, if I was on my wedding night and that woman's hair turned to snakes? My reaction: Eh. I'm not stopping! :)

Morbid said...

Thanks for posting this one, Pappy!

This story was just full of stuff: Medusa, a snake cult, a weird bit of snake erotica prose in the scene where he first meets her, a strange "help me, help me" reference to THE FLY and a foreshadowing of the disturbing 1970's TV movie Sssssss at the end. I would have liked to see some hint of this maybe being Jeff's POV as he has a complete psychotic breakdown -- it plays like that. Or maybe some background on where these other "snakes" came from (other lovers or husbands?)

I've noticed with Hy Fleishman's work that the stories are usually more complex and have more folktale character than the others in the books they appear in. The classic THE VAMPIRE WITH THE IRON TEETH comes to mind. Was he writing these? If not maybe he had a hand in their conception.

Pappy said...

Morbid, when it comes to Hy Fleishman I know very little...but Karswell of The Horrors of It All corresponded with Fleishman's daughter, so he may know more about Fleishman's creative input.

Pappy said...

Brian, just take an antivenin before you get down to business!

Don said...

There wasn't any reference to "The Fly." That movie was made in 1958. Tis story is from 1952.