Wednesday, July 29, 2015
This tale, drawn by Harry Harrison and Wallace Wood for EC Comics’ Haunt of Fear #15 (actual issue #1, 1950), is from the very beginnings of the EC horror comics, and like others of its time, is feeling its way around what is really horror, or is just horrible. The plot of “The Mad Magician” is born of innumerable “shudder” pulps, and although well drawn, is hokey.
As you may know, Harry Harrison went into other endeavors after his comic book career, writing among them. He is well thought of for his science fiction work, including several popular novels. But he didn’t write this story. Fred von Bernewitz’s Complete EC Checklist credits it to Gardner Fox. Note the magician’s name of Boris Petaja. Emil Petaja was a well-known figure in science fiction circles, who also wrote several novels.
My scans for this story came from the Gladstone 1990 reprint from the double-sized first issue of The Vault of Horror, which includes a reprint of HOF #1.
Monday, July 27, 2015
In the thirties illustration work dried up for Emerson, and he began drawing for pulp magazines. In the forties he worked doing comic stories for Fairy Tale Parade, and later did the Dr. Mephisto strip in Power Comics. This particular episode is from issue #4 (1945). A comment with an accompanying illustration in the excellent article on Emerson by David Saunders demonstrates that Dr. Mephisto looks a lot like Prince Rigo, the man who took his wife.
The Dr. Mephisto script was written by William Woolfolk.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Bob Powell and his gang did the artwork.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Mary Batson is the only Marvel who got to use her first name; if the others had followed suit we would have had Billy Marvel and Freddie Marvel.
The Grand Comics Database tells us Otto Binder wrote the story, and Pete Riss penciled the artwork. Mary Marvel, created by Binder, was named after Otto’s daughter.