This week the Comic Supplement swings back into the horrific and scary aspects of music, as we look at two 1950s fright books; with a tale from The Beyond #30, dated January 1955, and Web of Mystery #13, from September 1952.
Leading the way, from the last issue of The Beyond, we'll learn about the The Spell of the Hypnotic Chord, which sounds like a charming musical lesson, as stylishly illustrated by Louis Zansky, and penned by an unknown writer.
As a cheerful follow-up to that story, we'll wind things up with a wonderfully visual and strange tale drawn by Lin Streeter and scribed by another unknown writer, with a cover by Lou Cameron.
Oh, Boy! Death songs and hypnotic chords await us right after the jump!
Well, you film buffs out there may have noticed that this story does considerably more than just borrow ideas from the wonderful 1924 film The Hands of Orlac, which was itself based on the Maurice Renard story "Les Mains d'Orlac", it basically rips off the entire plot wholesale. The theme of hands not under ones own control has been riffed on endlessly through the years and it appears to be an eternal dramatic gimmick at this point. The cover of the comic book above, by the way, is not signed, but the unknown artist looks awfully familiar to me...
And now on to our second feature:
Wow! Some story, huh? I love the livid coloring in particular on this piece, and the Lin Streeter art is terrific as well. Some choice dialog in there: "Will you Americans never learn to drive sensibly?"
And 'Adam Johns' - how American of a name can you come up with? Wonderfully bland.
Not sure where I found these, but I suspect that they came from a BookSteve blog, so let's mention again the wonderful comics reading and scholarship regularly found over at Four-Color Shadows. His blog has been an inspiration for this series and has also pointed to several stories that I've used here over the last year.
Well, hopefully this isn't my Death Song here at WFMU's Beware of the Blog, and we'll see you again in two weeks for more musical comic book fun!