Friday, July 2, 2021


From the April 1953 issue of Chilling Tales #15, AEET delivers an eerie good story with a really crummy print job, mixed with Vince Napoli's uneven mix of good / not so good artwork, plus a super Matt Fox cover for a weird 'n wild Friday Frights ride into the super-duper-natural.


Brian Barnes said...

A fun one! Now I follow up by being overly analytic about the art :)

So you barely ever see James' face, one single panel and even that's mostly in shadows. That's one good way to not have to do a character sketch!

Margaret is kind of interesting too, in the splash and on page 4 the artist does the Wally Wood-ism of basically outlining a nude shape into her clothes but does not do that on any other pages! Did he give up or rush the inking? On the very next page the inking suddenly looks different and then snaps back to the more darker lines.

"Instead of the ruin it was now a living place" yet the artwork is still the ruin, with missing stones, broken columns, etc!

I like the final panel, and I like the colorist decided a day-glo house with randomly changing colors was a good idea!

JMR777 said...

This tale could have been a radio horror drama since both operate along the similar lines, or maybe it was inspired by a radio show, comic book writers tended to borrow from any source available.

Mystery of the ages, why is the comic cover art 90% better than the stories in the comic?

top_cat_james said...

The cover (especially the victim) looks like someone was trying to ape the style of Basil Wolverton's horror and science-fiction work, and not doing a particularly good job.

Mr. Karswell said...

Wow. In all my years posting precode horror stories, that’s the first time I’ve heard someone speak negatively about Mad Matt Fox art. I think he’s pretty brilliant to be honest, not at all concerned with illustrating realistically, his stuff is more like top notch underground art, decades before it even became a thing.

Doc Briar said...

I searched for Matt Fox. Noticed that a hallmark of his style is large heads that look like oversized Halloween masks. I agree with top_cat_james that there's a wolverton influence, too. Dig it overall.

Mr. Cavin said...

Of course this story is true. Why do they always ask that?

I like the way the art mirrors James Beltane's disorientation. First he's in the woods and then he's in the ruins--and then he's kind of in both, beset by swirly oak demons. Though I suppose he never really left his hotel, huh? Pretty rock star to trash your room like that, Jim--and that's just one good reason why they lock Stonehenge up at night. Cuts down on all the "high ones" that's for sure.

My favorite page is three, but my favorite panel is the last one on two. I love the look of that parchment illo. I love the look of the cover too--Matt Fox's stuff always seems to me like spooky paranormal woodcut paper dolls. Like they should have metal brads articulating their joints as the sidle wildly across their two-D dreamscapes, their eyes ticking back and forth like one of those cat clocks.

Mr. Karswell said...

>they should have metal brads articulating their joints as the sidle wildly across their two-D dreamscapes, their eyes ticking back and forth like one of those cat clocks.

Haha, this is absolutely my all time favorite description of Matt Fox art now! And though I know he created a series of mail away monster posters (which I posted about years ago over at THOIA) Matt really did miss his calling to create halloween wall decor!

More comics up next-- thanks for the comments! :)

Mr. Karswell said...

And here's the Matt Fox mail-away image (scroll to the bottom of the post)