Friday, May 28, 2021

It Happened in the Lab

Yesterday was not only Christopher Lee's birthday, but also the great Vincent Price's too! And with Peter Cushing's birthday on the 26th, I think it only proper that we keep this celebration rolling and tribute them all with a doomtacular weekend of themed story posts! We'll start it off with Vinny and Pete (who both played many a great mad scientist) with the most insane mad scientist story to ever grace 5 putrid pages of a creepy old comic book! Seriously, this one is absolutely bonkers, and when you reach the bottom of page 3 you'll discover a whole new meaning for "Lord of the Flies." And don't forget to come back this weekend for the Chris Lee portion of our tribute-- I'm sure it'll be something vampire related, I haven't really decided yet-- but for now, let's don our lab coats and head into the April 1954 issue of Mystic #29, (art by Pete Tumlinson.)


Guy Callaway said...

'Return Of The Fly': I'm okay with his GIANT head, but the cravat is too far.

Brian Barnes said...

I don't know if Stan wrote this one, but I'm surprised it didn't end with a enormous fly strip :)

The art is a bit muddy in places, but I love the hairy fly creature. It's too bad he spent most of the time off panel; having a human-fly with a glass globe head is a great image! He's awesome on the splash.

Poor Vincent, that's a great prop costume but if he gets any closer he's going to get an eye poked out by all those spines!

Mr. Karswell said...


Brian Barnes said...

Yeah, muddy, kind of a combination of heavier inks and busy panels and the printing of the time. Minor complaint, it sometimes washing out panels and makes it hard to pick out focal points.

Fly-man needed a couple close up panels along in the sequence where he was getting up off the table, but he's kind of crunched with all the scientist/assistant/equipment, and sometimes it's hard to tell he's got a glass brain jar.

All IMHO, obviously, just like to over-analyze!

Mr. Karswell said...

Yeah I’m not sure I agree... I mean, some of the panels are busy and packed with a lot of detail, but everything reads pretty clean to mean.

Mr. Cavin said...

I love this one. I really dig how the plot turns on the idea that this scientist has no control--he doesn't lose it, or allow it fail in some way, he just doesn't ever have it. The story just rolls its eyes at the very notion that mastery is a privilege of creation.

My sentiments exactly.

I also love how the mature and articulate voice of reason is the hunchback. I guess I've grown so biased against the very idea of the deformed lab assistant being a plausible, sane, three-dimensional character (thanks horror!) that it took me two whole pages to realize that, as the POV, the hunchback was me. Not only is this story anti-authoritarian, it's also least ableist precode story I've seen.

All that and a Frances Bavier cameo right int he splash? TGIF!