Friday, October 17, 2008
Weekly Dose Of Weird!
Horrific #6 -- I swear to Hashut, these kids with their piercings just get a little crazier every day. How are you going to get a good job looking like that?
I. "Jack The Ripper" -- Reporter Gerald Williams is working with Inspector Norquist of Scotland Yard to capture a ghoulish killer who seems to be the spirit of ole Jack. After one false arrest, Williams finds the Ripper's notebook, then lays in wait with Norquist to capture the fiend... who turns out to be Norquist himself.
II. "Night Owl" -- Fred Martin spends entirely too much time at the bowling alley for his wife Marjorie's taste. When she makes him cut it down to one night a week, he conspires with his friends to get Marj interested. Only their plan goes too well, and Marjorie ignores the house and her children since she is at the alley every day and every night. Finally fed up, Fred confronts Marj, who throws her bowling ball at him. Avoiding the attack, Fred retaliates with a knife. The next day, everyone at the alley is glad Fred got Marj to stay home for a change, but it seems he is still taking his wife out bowling. Well, her head, anyway.
III. "Sorcery" -- Text Story. Regarding the nature of "love potions," and their psychological effect on those who receive them.
IV. "Death" -- After spending twenty years in prison for stealing his father's savings and driving him to his death, embittered Barry Victor pays his twin brother John a visit. Murdering his brother by agitating him and then stopping him from taking his heart medicine, Victor assumes John's identity, and steps out to go to theatre. Narrowling avoiding getting hit by a taxi cab, Victor goes to the show to find himself in Death's theater, with his own misdeeds played out on stage again and again and again, for all eternity, with the curtain never falling. Seems he didn't quite dodge that cab.
V. "Pen Pal" -- Rodney Crane is a successful businessman who begins to receive strangely threatening letters signed by a Mr. Mord (French for "death."). The letters pile up, until he sees his secretary Janet working late. Suspecting her to be the author, Rodney murders her and dumps the body. The next night, a strange premonition makes him tail his wife Miriam, who he finds stepping out with his friend Steve. Convinced now that they are the culprits, he kills them and buries the corpses. But the next morning there is another letter... and Rodney is in an asylum, where Miriam, Steve, and Janet all bear witness to their insane friend, trapped in his own mind after writing himself his own death threats.
Overall Weird Factor: 2 (out of 5).
Horrific was one of several short-lived titles from the early 50s by publisher Comic Media, which is now in the public domain. The series is clearly influenced by the ECs of the period, which were well established by the time this issue was published in 1953. Most of the stories are pretty standard, although the second feature, with page after page of bowling and domestic dispute, is pretty strange in it's own right. It's also worth noting that the cover (by Don Heck!) is not even remotely related to anything inside. Horrific would last for 13 issues before it got the axe.
You can download Horrific and other public domain Golden Age comics at goldenagecomics.co.uk.