Saturday, November 15, 2014

COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN (Day -15): Expired Candy Part 2

And lo there came the hoary hosts of horror comics continued...

"Mr. I.M. Dead" of Charlton's GHOSTLY TALES followed closely by...

"Mr. L. Dedd" of the same book (by the great Ditko)!

Next Charlton's HAUNTED was hosted by a ghostly white superhero figure called "Impy", but after this fella didn't work out...

"Baron Weirwulf" was brought in and the title of the book changed to BARON WEIRWULF'S HAUNTED LIBRARY.

Famous for Steve Ditko's involvement with the title, THE MANY GHOSTS OF DOCTOR GRAVES featured host "Dr. M.T. Graves" who bore a resemblance to Ditko's other creation for Marvel Comics Doctor Strange.

Meanwhile, over at DC Comics HOUSE OF MYSTERY was hosted by the darker half of the children of Adam and Eve... "Cain".

It's sibling title, HOUSE OF SECRETS, was hosted by "Abel", Cain's more nervous and humorous brother.

MIDNIGHT TALES was hosted by "Professor Coffin" AKA "The Midnight Philosopher" who seemed to have a dry sense of humor.

Cain, Abel and Eve hosted the funnies in PLOP! as portrayed here by Sergio Aragones!

The "Countess R.H. Von Bludd" hosted SCARY TALES for Charlton--putting a sexy vampiric spin on the proceedings.

And over in the UK, they had SCREAM!, a horror mag that sported the above trio of hosts: The Leper, Ghastly McNasty and The Night Comer.

SECRETS OF HAUNTED HOUSE got kind of crowded as not two, not three, but four hosts were in use!  These were Cain, Abel, Eve and Destiny... a few too many cooks in the kitchen?

And, besides, "Eve" had her own mag to host... SECRETS OF SINISTER HOUSE, which was quite charming.

And speaking of charming, there is this rather kindly librarian named "Lucien" who hosted TALES OF GHOST CASTLE for a bit for DC.

And since it seems as if DC had a stranglehold on horror-hosted comics, the above was THE WITCHING HOUR as hosted by "The Three Witches".  And those three ladies also sometimes hosted THE UNEXPECTED--as did the "Mad Mod Witch" (below) and "Abel" (pictured below the Mad Mod Witch with Goldie the Dragon).

WEIRD MYSTERY TALES had both Destiny and Eve as hosts and Jack Kirby contributed "Doctor E. Leopold Maas" (Below) as a third host.

Lastly, for DC comics was WEIRD WAR TALES and the scariest host of all... "Death" itself!

That, at least, concludes DC's extensive number of Horror Hosts!

In part three we will finish off this list with some interesting entries from DC's distinguished competition...

Monday, November 10, 2014


(Three of the four Jack 'O Lanterns at The Goods this year.)

As is usually the case on the big Countdown to Halloween, I'm brimming with more ideas than I can shake a broomstick at.  These are all items that I nearly got to, might have attempted to go into or pursue had I more time, the inkling of how to work it all out.  So I usually take a few days to gather a lot of this leftover candy and construct a kind of Frankenstein Monster post of these items all sewn together in one big messy massive post (and this year it'll be at least two posts).  

So here goes...

Was going to talk a bit about how Horror Hosting was something that went as far back as the art of storytelling.  How cavemen would have invented it to entertain his fellow cave dwellers through the long nights.  Hell, these stories are how the gods and monsters were all really created.  How herders would later tell stories of the big bad wolf, how norsemen would tell of storm giants and how traders in the arid deserts would tell rapt fellow travelers about djinn tricking a naive fool.

Would've gone into how Hosting was a kind of narration, a way of preparing a listener or viewer for what was to come next.  A way to let them know you're on their side while also introducing and distracting the audience--letting the tension out of a situation.  And how Horror Hosting thrived on the radio as listeners tuned in to macabre stories involving murder and monsters.

And that radio hosts led to the Horror Hosts of the comics--those dark figures standing outside of the comic panels taking glee in introducing horror tale after ironic horror tale taking place in those jagged panels full of axes, beady eyes, fanged mouths and murderous intentions!

The Old Witch, The Crypt Keeper, The Vault-Keeper were EC Comics' hosts and they are the most enduring of the bunch with the decrepit Crypt Keeper having gone on to a career in both television and movies.  But let's not forget several others that are a bit more obscure and a few that are a bit derivative...

(Click to Monster-Size)
First up is Boris Karloff, of course, Horror Host in film, television, on records and in comic books--first in the comic THRILLER and then in the long-running BORIS KARLOFF: TALES OF MYSTERY!

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Above we have "Digger" from Marvel Comics title CHAMBER OF DARKNESS, a charming gravedigger and storyteller.  A younger, more cheerful Crypt-Keeper.

(Click to Big John Bucema-fy)
Before "Digger" there was Lee and Buscema's "Headstone P. Gravely", an older gent who seemed more funeral home director.

"Uncle Creepy" was the host of Warren's CREEPY Magazine, very much in the EC mold of, well, creepy dudes hosting these things.

And since Warren had a creepy Uncle, then why not a "Cousin Eerie" to host it's twisted sibling publication EERIE Magazine.  The family resemblance is certainly there!

Host as well as a participant, "Doctor Spektor" looked more Doctor Strange than Old Witch, but performed both duties for Gold Key!

DC's Dark Mansion had "Charity" as a hostess, more a TV host in the vein of Vampira than the traditionally creepy character host of comics.  

This short-timed host of DC's GHOSTS, "Squire Shade" is nearly an identical copy of the Gentleman Ghost.

Probably the most distracting of all hosts was "Winnie the Witch" of Charlton's GHOST MANOR.  Not only would Winnie provide the intros and final word to the tales offered in her mag, she would dance and comment from just outside the panels in the middle of the story.  Clearly an attempt to bring a touch of counter-culture to the book that didn't work out.

Before Winnie, Charlton had it's own "Old Witch", an eye patch sporting, hooded old lass who seemed to get a special glee from the tales of terror told within the pages of GHOST MANOR.

"Mr. Bones" came after the Old Witch as host of GHOST MANOR for Charlton--a ghoul of a guy, he had the suit and tails working spiffily!

You've reached the end of this particular post,
but not the end of the comic book horror host run-down.
Stick around for more left-overs!