Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tales from the Crypt #30

Credits:
Cover dated June/July 1952
Cover by Jack Davis

"Gas-tly Prospects!" - Art by Jack Davis/Written by Al Feldstein & Bill Gaines
"A Hollywood Ending!" - Art by Joe Orlando/Written by Al Feldstein & Bill Gaines
"Auntie, It's Coal Inside!" - Art by Jack Kamen/Written by Al Feldstein & Bill Gaines
"Mournin', Ambrose..." - Art by Graham Ingels/Written by Al Feldstein & Bill Gaines

My first issue in about a week or so; this is a slightly better than average issue of Tales from the Crypt.

"Gas-tly Prospects!" - This story is told by an old prospector named Jeff Whittiker, who heads to California to search for gold. Deep in the woods he comes across a stream filled with gold. One day however a man comes by and shoots Jeff, hoping to take over his territory. Jeff hides behind a rock with a shotgun, but the man waits him out and he dies. The man buries Jeff's corpse, but a wild cat comes by and digs him up, then fights with another cat and forgets about him. The man wakes up the next morning to find Jeff's corpse there, so he ties it up and throws it under water. Eventually however the corpse is loosened from its bonds and comes to the surface. The man decides to burn Jeff's corpse, but shotgun shells in his pocket explode, causing the woods around the man, and the man himself to be caught aflame, killing him. This story is told from an interesting perspective, that of a corpse.

"A Hollywood Ending!" - Hugh Howards, a famous Hollywood producer heads to the Arctic, where he meets a beautiful American woman named Terry. Terry tells Hugh that she has lived here for 6 years with a Dr. Wheems who has taken care of her after an accident she was in with her father where he died and she lost her memory. Hugh falls in love with Terry and convinces her to come with him to Hollywood to become a movie star. Dr. Wheems is fiercely against this, but they leave while he is asleep. At first all goes well in Hollywood, and the two are married. However soon the makeup man comes to see Hugh, telling him that Terry's skin is dry and cracking. Terry soon puts on a heavy veil and starts wearing gloves. She starts emitting a strange smell and locks herself up in her room. Dr. Wheems soon arrives and reveals the truth, that Terry died in the accident 6 years ago. Through an experiment he was able to keep her alive, but she had to be kept in cold weather to keep from decomposing. The two head into Terry's room where they find her rotting corpse remains. The strongest story of the issue, despite being a bit too wordy at times (particularly the final page).

"Auntie, It's Coal Inside!" - A seven year old boy named Toby keeps hearing a voice in his head that tells him to do bad things, in particular to take coal out of the coal bin in the basement despite his aunt Agnes telling him not to. Toby is immediately caught by her and she gets upset, telling him his father was a drunkard whose drunk driving killed both him and his Toby's mother. Agnes threatens Toby with going to the orphanage if he isn't good. Agnes decides to have a lock put on the coal-bin door, and the locksmith catches Toby trying to escape from his room, getting him in even bigger trouble. One day when Agnes orders more coal to be delivered she accidently locks herself in the coal bin. She calls out to Toby to let her out, but he thinks it is the voice inside his head and ignores it. When the coal truck arrives and pours the coal into the coal bin, Agnes gets crushed by it. Another kid-themed story by Jack Kamen, this is a fairly good one and one of the better of such stories.

"Mournin', Ambrose..." - A young man named Andrew is invited to his uncle Ambrose's mansion. There he meets Ambrose and his eccentric wife, Elsa. Ambrose tells Andrew that she has been this way since three relatives that had come to visit all mysteriously died. Elsa tells Andrew of a passage from Macbeth then meets him again later on and tells Andrew that Ambrose is a fiend. Andrew is awakened by Ambrose later that night who tells him that Elsa has died. after her funeral, Andrew repeatedly sees Ambrose visiting her body in the mausoleum outside. Thinking of Elsa's references to Macbeth, Andrew grabs it from the mansion's library but instead finds it to be a diary of Elsa's revealing that Ambrose murdered the 3 relatives. Ambrose refuses to consent to an autopsy of Elsa's body and it is soon discovered that he kept visiting her because he is a ghoul and was consuming his corpse. An average story to wrap up the issue.

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