As we slide into October, I thought it would be fun to devote most of this month's blogging to the creepier side of comics. Rest assured, not everything I do during October is going to be Halloween-oriented (such as my coverage of the Minnesota Fall-Con, Oct. 6-7), but I'll definitely be putting a Halloween spin on many of the regular Comic Coverage features, along with some fun new stuff. Oh, and since last year's Bizarro Justice League went over pretty well, I think that calls for the Second Annual Bizarro Super-Team Challenge, don't you?
Well, to kick off the month, I thought I'd pan for a Gold Nugget in Quality Comics' Out of the Night #5 (1952), but to my surprise, the flat-out scariest part of the entire issue wasn't in any of the stories...but on the back cover!
In an ad for Uncle Bernie's Fun Shop (Bernie was a little on the sinister side himself), I spotted two items that couldn't have come from anywhere but the DEVIL'S TOYSHOP...compelling me to scream:
I don't know what it is about dolls (or mannequins, their eerie grown-up cousins), but they've always been pretty high on the creep-out scale for me. It's usually the old-fashioned glassy-eyed girl dolls and the eternally-bizarre ventriloquist dolls that really get my skin crawling...and here they both are in a single ad.
The first of our Demonic Duo is the terrifying GINGER (click on the image for a larger view...if you dare)! From the hell-glow around the word "Ginger", to that sinister stare...with those tiny hands raised and ready to scratch, is this really the "perfect playmate for the Junior Mother"?
And what's this about "Wonderskin"? (shiver)
If there's anything more unsettling than a ventriloquist doll (a species long known for its wide-eyed malevolence), it's a ventriloquist doll with a heater hanging out of its plastic rictus-grin. No doubt countless young lads of the early 50's awoke in the middle of the night to see Happy's silhouette outlined against the moon-lit window...with the orange glow of his lit cigarette dimly illuminating his unblinking gaze....accompanied by a soft, creaky-jawed chuckle.