Saturday, October 20, 2018

Poe 1963, Pt. 1

(Continued from Poe 1962, Pt. 5)

     (A Movie Classic)

It seems in the wake of the Comics Code, and "horror" comics vanishing from the U.S. comics landscape, Poe comics adaptations went with them (barring the odd reprint or MAD parody, and that one Steve Ditko story).  Roger Corman's films for AIP saw a resurgence, but it took a while for comics to catch up.

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.

Having skipped the first 3 Corman Poe films, Dell finally got into doing adaptations of them with the 4th-- TALES OF TERROR.  As the title suggests, this was an "anthology" film that featured 3 short stories.  All 3 had Vincent Price playing different roles.

Inexplicably, the Dell comic reversed the order of the stories from the film.  When I originally set this up on November 20, 2014, I'd decided to simply run them in the order of the comic, even if it's backwards from what everyone is used to.  However, now that I'm doing a major remastering job on the entire book, I've decided to present the 3 stories in the order of the movie!  Thus, we start with...


Incredibly, this rather low-key, loose film adaptation of an obscure Poe story, was adapted to comics 3 times!  Following this "official" comics version of Richard Matheson's feature film episode, it was also done not once but TWICE by artists in Brazil!  I have all 3 of them up for comparison.  A more authentic adaptation based directly on Poe's story wouild not appear until the mid-1980s.

Bizzarely enough, the film opens with someone arriving at a large, old house following a long journey... exactly as the 3 previous films, THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER, PIT AND THE PENDULUM, and THE PREMATURE BURIAL all had!  Unless one was really paying attention, and watching them in sequence, a person could be forgiven for beginning to confuse one film with another.  On top of that, both Corman's "USHER" and "MORELLA" end with the house going up in flames, something that does not happen in either of Poe's stories!

To add to the confusion, 2 years later, elements of the "MORELLA" adaptation would be reused in Roger Corman's final Poe film...  "THE TOMB OF LIEGEIA".

The artist was one of the best in the business-- George Evans.

This was his 3rd of 4 Poe adaptations.  

(This story was originally posted here on November 25, 2014.  As of October 2018, I'm reversing the order of the 3 stories to now reflect the order they were seen in the movie.  Also, I'm moving it to a new location to make it easier to modify in the future.  And finally, I've done a major upgrade with brand-new, high-res scans from my own collection, lovingly cleaned up to make them look better than the actual comic-book!) 

photo cover   (Dell  /  February 1963)
Inside front cover
"MORELLA"  /  Version 1
Adaptation by ??  /  Art by GEORGE EVANS
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Page 5
Page 6
Page 7

photo cover   (Editorial Sea / Novaro  /  Mexico  /  August 1963)
Copyright (C) 1962 by Alta Vista Productions.

Scan of TALES OF TERROR cover from the GCD site.
Scan of TALES OF TERROR inside front cover from the
     Killer Kats From Beyond The Grave blog.
Scans of TALES OF TERROR interiors from
     The Horror Of It All blog, reposted at The Catacombs blog /
          Special thanks to Chuck Wells !

NEW scans of TALES OF TERROR from my collection!

Scans from the film from the / Movie Title Stills Collection site.
Scan of CLASICOS DEL CINE #97 cover from the Guri Gibi blog.

Restorations by Henry R. Kujawa

For more:
Read about Edgar Allen Poe at The Poe Museum site.

Read an interview with George Evans at the Words And Pictures blog.

Read about MORELLA at the site.
Read about MORELLA at the Oldstyle Tales Press site.
Read about MORELLA at the Cummings Study Guide site.

Read the complete story at the EBooks Adelaide.Edu.Au site.
See the MORELLA Gallery of Illustrations.

Hear the Vincent Price recording!

Read the George Evans MORELLA adaptation!
Read the Eugenio Colonnese MORELLA adaptation!
Read the Flavio Colin MORELLA adaptation!
Read the Dan & David Day MORELLA adaptation!   (coming soon!)
Read the Richard Corben MORELLA adaptation!   (coming soon!)

Read the George Evans USHER / PREMATURE BURIAL adaptation!
Read the George Evans TELL-TALE HEART adaptation!
Read the George Evans SPACE CONQUERORS! run starting in 1953!
Read the George Evans MORELLA adaptation!
Read the George Evans VALDEMAR adaptation!

See my Edgar Allan Poe overview at this very blog!

(Continued in Poe 1963, Pt. 1A)

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