Monday, November 17, 2014

Poe 1961, Pt. 1

(Continued from Poe 1960, Pt. 7)

STRANGE TALES  83

"MASQUERADE PARTY"

Here's one that might have completely escaped my notice, except for running across mention of it at several different sites.

Marvel Comics (at times in its early history sometimes referred to as Timely or Atlas) was always a 2nd-level publisher-- somewhere in the middle as far as quality was concerned-- whose specialty was flooding the market with imitations of whatever was then currently popular.

STRANGE TALES was one of many such anthology titles that started out with "horror", but then toned it down when the Comics Code came in, doing instead what might be deemed "mystery" stories, or, later, "giant monster" stories.  (Later still, "super-heroes" and other things-- but that's another project.)

What we have here is is a story that is either inspired by, or, a loose adaptation of...

     "THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH".

Perhaps the recent Roger Corman Poe film HOUSE OF USHER was part of the inspiration?  (Particularly, the fact that Corman had been considering "Masque" for its follow-up?)

     This was the 4th comics version of this story, following...
Marvel's ADVENTURES INTO WEIRD WORLDS #4 (Spring'52),  
Charlton's THE THING #2 (Apr'52), and  
Continental's CLASSICOS DE TERROR #9 (1960),
     ...the latter, the year before.

Unlike the previous two, but like the previous Marvel version, this was more in line with the 2 early EC Comics Poe adaptations, in being only very loosely inspired by the source material.

Supplying story, art & quite probably dialogue as well is STEVE DITKO, unquestionably one of the most unique stylists and voices in the history of American comics.  As I read this and studied the art, I became convinced that "Cara Frost" was modelled on a real person.  She reminds me either of a young Bette Davis, or perhaps an "evil" Lucille Ball.  Any ideas?  Enjoy!

STRANGE TALES  83
cover by Jack Kirby & Dick Ayers   (Marvel  /  April 1961)
"MASQUERADE PARTY"  
     (adapted from "The Masque Of The Red Death")  /  Version 4
Story & Art by STEVE DITKO  /  Page 20
Page 21
Page 22
Page 23
Page 24
ALMANAQUE FANTASTICA AVENTURAS was one of many anthology reprints from Editora Taika in Brazil.  This particular issue features reprints of American comics, including stories by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko!

ALMANAQUE FANTASTIC AVENTURAS  1
cover by SERGIO LIMA   (Editora Taika  /  Brazil  /  January 1973)
CHAMBER OF CHILLS was originally a horror anthology from Harvey Comics that ran from 1951-54.  As with countless other defunct titles, the name was revived, in a very half-hearted, tacky way, by Marvel, in 1973.  The first 7 issues were a mix of new and reprint material (a sure sign of someone just trying to clog the newsstand shelves with "product").  After that, it went all-reprint.  The 16th issue featured a reprint of this story.  Note how, while the original publication of this story did not feature on the cover, that due to a word balloon, the new Kane-Palmer art actually BLOWS the shock ending of the story right on the cover!  It takes a special kind of incompetence to to that.  (I looked it up-- Len Wein was the Editor at this time!  So HE was probably doing the cover copy.)

CHAMBER OF CHILLS  16
cover by Gil Kane & Tom Palmer   (Marvel  /  May 1975)
Finally, here's a tribute by artist James Edward Clark from the "Repanelled" blog.  There's a whole slew of these sort of things there.  Not really my thing, but it seemed worth grabbing & re-posting here.
Copyright (C) Marvel Comics.

Scan of STRANGE TALES #83 cover from the Heritage Auctions site.
Scans of STRANGE TALES #83 interiors from the Four Color Shadows blog
     with special thanks to Steve Thompson!
Scan of ALMANAQUE FANTASTICA AVENTURAS #1
     from the Guia Dos Quadrinhos site.
Scan of CHAMBER OF CHILLS #16 from the Heritage Auctions site.
Scan of James Edward Clark illo from the "Repanelled" blog.

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

For more:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.

Read about Marvel comics at Wikipedia.
Read about Steve Ditko at Wikipedia.
Read about Steve Ditko at the Steve Ditko site.
See more of Steve Ditko's work at the Ditko Cultist blog.
See more of Steve Ditko's work at the Steve Ditko Comics Weblog site.

Read about THE CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER at Wikipedia.

Read about THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH at Wikipedia.
Read the complete story at the xroads.virginia.edu site.

     Audio:
Hear the Basil Rathbone recording!
Hear the CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER episode!

     Comics:
Read the Bill Everett RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Bob Forgione RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Manoel Ferreira RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Steve Ditko RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Frank Springer RED DEATH adaptation!
 

Read the Tom Sutton RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Nico Rosso RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Don Heck RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Dino Battaglia RED DEATH adaptation!   (coming soon!)
Read the Ricardo Villamonte RED DEATH adaptation!
 

Read the Richard Corben RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Wayne Howard RED DEATH adaptation!   (
coming soon!)
Read the Francisco Agras RED DEATH adaptation!   (
coming soon!)
Read the Flavio Colin RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Auraleon RED DEATH adaptation!   (
coming soon!)


     Misc:
Read the Steve Ditko HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Steve Ditko RAVEN story!

See my Steve Ditko tribute!
See Steve Ditko Books IN PRINT at Steve Ditko Comics Weblog.

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

(Continued in Poe 1961, Pt. 2)

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