Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Screaming Room

Another cheap and abhorrent terror tale from the July 1953 issue of Mysteries (Weird and Strange) #2... if someone can explain why it's called "The Screaming Room" I'd love to hear it. One story to go and we'll have another COMPLETE issue in the bag! *screams (oh!)









6 comments:

Mestiere said...

Well, the reason for the tale to be called The Screaming Room are right there in the last couple of panels. A little contrived, but not much more than usual.

I'm more unsatisfied about the arbitrariness of the comeuppance. Jerry simply was not told that the vase demon would turn on him. He got cheated. I thought that he would be targeted by someone with his own vase. Or that, instead of being worried about feeling guilt, that he should have worried about being caught.

Interesting that Jerry became rich. I guess the message is that lacking a conscience helps a person to become wealthy.

JMR777 said...

"I guess the message is that lacking a conscience helps a person to become wealthy."

You just described all of Wall Street and big banking in one sentence.

Brian Barnes said...

There's some great pen work in this one, the time spent on a couple background items (wallpaper, that chair at the beginning) and the demons are relatively spooky. A good chunk of art, not totally expected in a title like this as a rule.

The printing just murders it, though. The damn printer needed a jar to whisper into!

This contains the most silly of tropes, best seen in the movie Gremlins. Give the rules, but not the result. And nobody thinks to ask.

Cheswick Stoddard said...

So, the lesson of the story is: "Sin is enjoyable (and sometimes necessary in order to lead a more interesting life), but, like junk food, one should exercise moderation when partaking in it".

That's an... oddly nuanced take on human morality from a low-grade pulp comic.

Nevertheless, "cheap and abhorrent" though it may be, I found myself pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this one.

JMR777 said...

I agree with Brian Barnes concerning the artwork. There is so much detail in this story to look at, but it is just the right amount, too much would have detracted from the story.

The woman on page 7 looks similar to the woman drawn in Swamp Terror that Karswell posted in June 2, 2008. The look of this tale and Swamp Terror seem similar, since it was from the same comic publisher maybe it was the same unknown artist.

The loudmouth guy on page two bottom right looks a bit like a Ditko character, though I doubt Ditko had any hand in this story.

Whoever drew this story did a quality job, the eye for detail, the overall look of the story, it all works to make this as much fun to look at the background images as it is to follow the story.

Mr. Cavin said...

It's interesting how the story conflates conscience with justice. This guy can go out and do anything he wants--and just so long as he doesn't much mind, well, nobody else will even notice. Eventually he can no longer ignore the reality of his deeds, and this eventual self recrimination is what kills him. I am not sure that's nuance so much as grade-A solipsism. Apparently, nature is so sympathetic to this guy's inner voice that the very weight of factuality recedes in the face of his self image.