(Continued from Poe 1953, Pt. 6)
BLACK MAGIC 28
Prize Group was an imprint of Crestwood Publications, who like many other companies began with pulps and then branched out into color comic-books. Crestwood are known for having done the first genuine "horror" comic, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF FRANKENSTEIN, by Dick Briefer, and for having started the staggeringly suggessful romance comics genre with YOUNG ROMANCE, the work of Joe Simon & Jack Kirby. The Prize Group imprint was S&K's baby, designed specifically to focus on genres aimed at an older audience.
BLACK MAGIC was their horror anthology, notable for its
"non-gory" content, a stark contrast to the gruesome content of many
comics of the period.
Now, what we have here is either a loose adaptation, or at least "inspired by", not one but TWO Edgar Allan Poe stories...
"THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER"
and "THE PREMATURE BURIAL"
The main framework of the story, someone going to visit an old friend,
who is obsessed with an early death, and has a sister the main character
has not met before, a sister who appears to die but is in fact entombed
alive-- is definitely "HOUSE OF USHER".
In fact, the scene where the main character talks to his friend's
sister, urging her to get out and live life, anticipates the early
section of the Roger Corman / Richard Matheson film adaptation!
However, the sequence on the 2nd page, where the man's friend shows off a specially-designed mausoleum with several safety features, comes from "THE PREMATURE BURIAL"-- in fact, the whole business of showing off the mausoleum is not from Poe, but from the Corman / Matheson film with Ray Milland!
Perhaps most striking of all, the final scene, the opening of the coffin, also was not from Poe, but appeared almost verbatim in the Corman / Matheson film PIT & THE PENDULUM!! In effect, it would appear THIS single comic may have influenced the first 3 Corman POE
films! Things like this more and more convince me that many writers in
Hollywood borrowed from COMIC-BOOKS more than they would ever want
anyone to know, or would ever admit.
The story is by Jack Oleck, a very prolific writer. The art is by STEVE DITKO, unquestionably one of the most unique stylists and voices in the history of American comics.
This was the 5th comics adaptation of "USHER", following...
Charlton's YELLOWJACKET COMICS #4 (Dec'44),
Gilberton's CLASSICS ILLUSTRATED #40 (Aug'47),
Register & Tribune's THE SPIRIT (Aug'48), and
EC's THE VAULT OF HORROR #13 (Jun-Jul'50),
...the last one 4 years earlier!
A more "authentic" to Poe version of "PREMATURE BURIAL" would not turn up in comics until 1973!
BLACK MAGIC #28 (v.4 #4)
cover by JACK KIRBY (Prize / January-February 1954)
(adapted from "THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER") / Version 5
(including elements of "THE PREMATURE BURIAL") / Version 1
Story by Jack Oleck / Art by STEVE DITKO / Page 22
I bring this up because the above Jack Oleck story was redrawn by artist Cirilo Munoz, and appeared in an issue of WEIRD,
and then reprinted twice. It wasn't a reprint... but
apparently, the EXACT SAME story, with entirely different art. I'll be setting up a separate page for that before long, but
for now, here's the covers the "redo", "The Dead Live", can be found in...
WEIRD v.8 4
cover by BILL ALEXANDER (Eerie Publications / August 1974)
cover by FERNANDO FERNANDEZ (Eerie Publications / October 1977)
cover by BILL ALEXANDER / (Eerie Publications / November 1981)
3 times in 3 years!!
Pure Imagination was the imprint of Greg Theakston, whose
specialty was doing affordable reprints of public domain material that
he didn't have to pay royalties on. He's done collections on a number
of artists, including Jack Kirby, Wally Wood, and... Steve Ditko!
STEVE DITKO: EDGE OF GENIUS
cover by STEVE DITKO (Pure Imagination / 2008)
STRANGE SUSPENSE: STEVE DITKO ARCHIVES Vol.1
cover by STEVE DITKO (Fantagraphics / October 2009)
cover by STEVE DITKO (Diabolo Ediciones / Spain / December 2010)
Scan of BLACK MAGIC #28 from the Heritage Auctions site.
Scans of BLACK MAGIC #28 interiors
from Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogspot
Special thanks to "Pappy"!
All other scans from the GCD site.
Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at The Poe Museum site.
Read about Jack Kirby at this blog.
Read about Steve Ditko at the Steve Ditko site.
See more of Steve Ditko's work at the Steve Ditko Comics Weblog site.
See my Steve Ditko tribute!
Visit the Steve Ditko Fans FB group!
Visit the Steve Ditko Apprciation Group on FB!
See Steve Ditko Books IN PRINT at Steve Ditko Comics Weblog.
"THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER":
Read about THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER at Spark Notes.
Read the complete story at the Poe Stories site.
See the HOUSE OF USHER Gallery of Illustrations.
Hear the Basil Rathbone HOUSE OF USHER recording!
Hear the Gladys Thornton WEIRD CIRCLE episode!
Hear the Paul Frees ESCAPE episode!
Hear the Kevin McCarthy CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER episode!
Read the Gus Schrotter HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Harley M. Griffiths HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Jerry Grandenetti HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Harry Harrison HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Steve Ditko HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the George Evans HOUSE OF USHER illustrated story!
Read the Osvaldo Talo HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Alexis-Thomas Hinsberger HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Tom Sutton HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Dino Battaglia HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Mini Terror HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Gino Dauro HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Miguel Gomez Esteban HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Carlos Moro HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Maro Navo HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Cirilo Munoz HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Martin Salvador HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Guido Del Carpio Rivera HOUSE OF USHER illustrated story!
Read the Nestor Redondo HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Pablo Marcos HOUSE OF USHER illustrated story!
Read the Luis Romero B. HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Arturo Arnau HOUSE OF USHER illustrated story!
Read the E.C. Nickel HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the Richard Corben HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
Read the P.Craig Russell / Jay Geldof HOUSE OF USHER adaptation!
"THE PREMATURE BURIAL":
Read about THE PREMATURE BURIAL at Wikipedia.
Read the complete story at the Poe Stories site.
See the PREMATURE BURIAL Gallery of Illustrations.
Hear The CBS Radio Mystery Theater PREMATURE BURIAL episode!
Read the Steve Ditko PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the George Evans PREMATURE BURIAL illustrated story!
Read the Gedeone Malagola PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the Juan Porredon Morillo PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the Juez Xirinius PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the Cirilo Munoz PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the Vicente Alcazar PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the Joe Ollman PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the Richard Corben PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the Steve Ditko USHER / PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the Steve Ditko MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH adaptation!
Read the Steve Ditko RAVEN story!
See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!
Don't miss the BONUS GALLERY of ILLUSTRATIONS up next!
(Continued in Poe 1954, Pt. 1A)