Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Poe 1964, Pt. 1

(Continued from Poe 1963, Pt. 7)

Poe's THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH

     (A Movie Classic)

Dell Comics were, for many years, the single BIGGEST comics publisher in the country.  Their material was so aggressively family-oriented, that they never even got involved with the Comics Code (and had no problems with distribution, apparently).  Much of their output was in "licensed" characters and series, as well as movie adaptations.  Which brings us to this one.

We come now to the 3rd of 5 Dell "Movie Classics" devoted to American International Pictures' POE series, which features an adaptation of the 7th of 8 films in that series directed by Roger Corman.  (Confused enough?)  This also happens to be the 5th comics adaptation-- more or less-- of another of Poe's most famous short stories...

     "THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH".

As with 2 of the earlier comics versions, this one could be described as "loosely" adapted-- although, in many ways, the feature film is closer to the original story than either of those comics were.  It also included "HOP FROG" as a sub-plot, meshing seamlessly with the main story, and making this comic also the 2nd adaptation of that story as well.

The film, which had a superb cast including Vincent Price, Patrick Magee, Nigel Green, Hazel Court and Jane Asher, is probably the one in the Corman series that could most be described as a "work of art".

Now that I've read the Dell RAVEN, I have a strong suspicion the comic was based on an early shooting script and some stills.  It follows the movie-- the way the Lugosi DRACULA follows that book... but there doesn't seem to be even one line of dialogue in common between them.

By comparison, in the follow-up-- THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH-- again with Frank Springer art-- both the images and the dialogue are MUCH closer to the film. Considering it seems quite a few months passed between the film and the comic, I'd say the latter comic was done by someone who had actually SEEN the movie.

One would think a comic based on a movie should be like the movie, but, of course, the problem over the years has always been that publishers want the comic in the store while the movie is in the theatres.

Poe's THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
photo cover   (Dell  /  August-October 1964)
Inside Front Cover
"THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH"  /  Version 5
     (including "HOP FROG"  /  Version 2)
Adaptation by ??  /  Art by FRANK SPRINGER
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7
Page 8
Page 9
Page 10
Page 11
Don't go away!  Our story will continue...

Copyright (C) 1963 by Alta Vista Productions.

Scan of Poe's THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH
     from the Heritage Auction site.
Scan of Poe's THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH interiors
     from the Comics Reading Library site.
     Special thanks to Jon K. 

I'd just like to add that I had a LOT of inexplicable trouble downloading some of the images from the CRL site, no doubt due to their being linked to "Flickr".  It's a good thing I've been doing this as long as I have, as I was able to come up with a way around the problem.

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

For more:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at Wikipedia.

Read about American International Pictures at Wikipedia.
Read about Roger Corman at Wikipedia.
Read about Charles Beaumont at Wikipedia.
Read about R. Wright Campbell at Wikipedia.
Read about Vincent Price at Wikipedia.
Read about Patrick Magee at Wikipedia.
Read about Nigel Green at Wikipedia.
Read about Hazel Court at Wikipedia.
Read about Jane Asher at Wikipedia.
Read about Skip Martin at the IMDB site.
Read about the film at Wikipedia.

Read about Dell Comics at Wikipedia.
Read about Frank Springer at Wikipedia.
Read about Frank Springer at the Lambiek site.
See more Frank Springer art at the Romitaman site.
See more Frank Springer art at the Comic Art Fans site.

Read about Basil Rathbone at Wikipedia.
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.

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

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!)


Read about Hop Frog at Wikipedia.
Read the complete story at the Poe Stories site.

Read the John Prentice HOP FROG adaptation!
Read the Frank Springer HOP FROG adaptation!
Read the Reed Crandall HOP FROG adaptation!
Read the Ignacio Justo HOP FROG adaptation!   (coming soon!)

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

Don't miss the 2nd PART of this... coming up next!!!

(Continued in Poe 1964, Pt.2)

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