"It was the weirdest fifteen minutes that anyone at radio station WBOR ever remembered. The spine tingling series of misadventures, which made that night so memorable, began exactly at midnight, on an otherwise routine evening . . . And there were those who saw the occurrences of the next quarter hour the sort of eerie puzzle to which no man would ever find an answer. Those never-to-be-forgotten moments of bewilderment and fear started in the middle of Dawn Creighton's popular disc jockey program . . . Started, in fact, at the very moment the door to Creighton's broadcasting booth opened , and in walked . . . "The Stranger in Studio X!"
As you can see, we'll be back in the radio studio for another storyline today, as well as experiencing some raw terror as provided by a television set (big surprise there!), a violin-playing clown, and a radio.
So snuggle in close and let's explore today's menu of four short stories dating from 1947 to 1952, all pre-comics-code stuff this time, nice and raw!
Plunge into another exciting installment of the WFMU Comic Supplement, right after the jump!
The writer is unknown, and the art presents rather a puzzle. For one thing, it doesn't fit in at all with the other (more typical) horror-book styles used in the rest of the book. That made it jump out at me to begin with, and the 'television' theme qualified it for an appearance in the blog.
Art-wise, it bears a slight similarity to Harvey Kurtzman's style at that time, and here's what the ever-useful Grand Comics Database has to say about the mystery artist:
"Jack Butterworth credited Charles "Colly" Stern with the pencils and inks. Stern was a former roommate of Harvey Kurtzman, suggesting a reason why this work resembles Kurtzman.
This story directly references Kurtzman's story, "The Mysterious Ray From Another Planet," which is found in Weird Fantasy #4. The protagonists from "Television Ghost" are taken directly from the EC story, though not directly swiped. Instead, this is a completely new story based on Kurtzman's visuals, and is such a complete re-creation of Kurtzman's style that one of Kurtzman's former students, cartoonist Batton Lash, believes that Kurtzman actually drew this story, and, if that is true, then this could be a "lost" Kurtzman story. This information added by Craig Delich 2013-8-1 from article by Michael Gilbert in Alter Ego #119 (August 2013)."
Well, I don't believe that this is a "lost" Kurtzman piece by any means, but it is interesting (I also dig how the husband in the tale strongly resembles Robert Crumb), and the above explanation would explain the style. I would love to see a copy of that Weird Fantasy story that the characters are lifted from, but alas, I don't have it. In any case, enjoy this wacky five pages of weirdness (plus some advertisements).
The cover art for the issue above is by the famed team of Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.
Now we'll roll back the years to 1947, and some prime post-war Joe Simon and Jack Kirby work from the 24th issue of "Headline Comics", which they had just taken over editorship of in the previous number. This is such a good issue that we're going to lift two different stories out of it, as one relates to radio, and the other relates directly to another piece that we'll be seing in the blog today a little further ahead. That's all I can say about that connection, so as not to spoil it.
I've been wanting to feature something by the great Jack Kirby here for some time (I think this is probably his first time in the blog), but he just didn't do all that many stories involving radio or other media. I will definitely feature him whenever I can!
Next stop: War Battles #3 (Harvey Features), May 1952, and a delightful four pages of nonsense as brought to us by prolific artist Manny Stallman and an unknown scribe.
Cover art: Lee Elias.
I think you can see why I put that story together with the other piece from Headline #24.
Alrighty then, moving on to our closer for today, from the tattered pages of Eerie #2 (Avon Periodicals), which sports a lovely Wally Wood cover and contents page, cover dated August-September 1951.
We'll learn about "The Stranger in Studio X!", as illustrated by (GCD's best guess) Rocke Mastrocerio.
We hope you enjoyed our little batch of chilling tales this week, and be sure to join us again in two weeks at this time for a whole new round of comic books in a different genre, but, as always, slanted towards music, radio and TV.
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