Behold! I return to a topic close to my heart, as close as tentacles are close to human flesh in this post! Namely, PG manifestations of shokushu goukan. But I wouldn’t like you to think that I’m one-track minded: today’s crop has its share of fantasy scenes, scantily-clad women who are about to be even further undressed, but! it also includes panoramas of serious (and unsexy) struggle, tongue-in-cheek héroïnes quite nonplussed by their predicament, tentacles overpowering female protagonists despite their superpowers, etc.
Without further ado, I give you… damsels in tentacular distress.
The maiden doesn’t always need to be rescued, nor does she necessarily *want* to be ravished – here’s a look at some heroines standing their ground against tentacular invasion.
I promised you superheroines, and by Jove, you shall get some!
« Be silent in that solitude which is not loneliness — for then the spirits of the dead who stood in life before thee are again in death around thee — and their will shall then overshadow thee: be still. »
— Edgar Allan Poe (1829)
It was on this day, two hundred and ten years ago, that the great writer, poet and posthumous master of all media Edgar Poe (Jan. 19, 1809 – Oct. 7, 1849) was born in Boston, Massachusetts. I’ll spare you the usual biographical details, widely available elsewhere, and we’ll concentrate on his unflagging ubiquity in the medium of comics.
Classics Illustrated publisher Gilberton was first out of the gate with Poe adaptations, at first tentatively with a pair of poems (Annabel Lee, then The Bells)**, then more substantially with The Murders in the Rue Morgue, in Classic Comicsno. 21 – 3 Famous Mysteries (July, 1944), sharing the stage with Arthur Conan Doyle and Guy de Maupassant. Read it here. Pictured below is Classics Illustratedno. 84 (June 1951, Gilberton), cover by Alex A. Blum. Read the issue here.
« I’m doing some new phony ghost effects and these hicks just eat it up! Show ‘em a ghost and they’ll swear they recognize it! »
Is it just me, or are horror covers more effective when they’re basically wordless? EC and DC and Charlton got it, but Marvel never did, with its protagonists/victims standing around uselessly pointing out the obvious: “Oh no! We’re trapped with… the Thing that walks!” “Uh, honey, I think it’s more of a Thing that shambles!”
… and since this is our first, sadder Hallowe’en without the macabre Bernie Wrightson (1948-2017) to inspire us, let’s have one more shot, shall we?
Interestingly, BW’s signature (at bottom, on the spine of a book in the centre) is reversed, which makes one wonder whether the image was flipped before dialogue was added. On the other hand, perhaps it made for better arcane lettering for a dusty grimoire.