Ghostly Weird Stories no.123, June 1954

Ghostly Weird Stories 123 June 1954 by Star Publications. Cover by LB Cole after Jay Disbrow’s gruesome “The Thing from the Void” inside. 

The cover is amazing as nearly all LB Cole covers tend to be. A black light poster art in all its 50s atomic horror brilliance. These covers will melt eyeballs (well maybe that last one was hyperbole, but Cole’s covers are seriously warped). 

Inside, Disbrow’s “The Thing from the Void” is at the same time gruesome and garish, startling and silly. Sheriff Mark Randolf (that’s how he spelled it) is dancing away with foxy girlfriend Cathy when they see a large meteor plummeting through the sky, smashing into a forest in the marsh outside of town. 

Cathy asks Mark if he’s going to investigate and he says “You forget, my sweet, Zeb Barlow is an unofficial deputy of mine! He will look into it and let me know if there’s any danger!” That’s a lot of trust for an unofficial deputy. I guess he’s figuring Zeb will have heard the explosion and investigate (probably because Zeb doesn’t have anything else to do on a Saturday night.) 

In fact, Zeb checks it out and doesn’t see the huge smoking red-hot space rock. He figures it can wait until morning. 

The Thing kills its first victim ruthlessly. Zeb comes across the dead body of “Obidia the Hermit” (Pot meet Kettle). Soon Zeb comes face to face with the horror from the stars. Bullets penetrate his shaggy mass but don’t seem to harm him. 
Zeb flees to terror, running back to his cabin in the woods. The Thing easily breaks through a window and tears apart his wall. 

Inexplicably, the Thing breaks into Shakespearean dialog right out of Kirby and Lee’s Thor: “Thinkest thou to escape from me, whose only joy in life is to kill? For countless ages I was incarcerated within a shell of stone and steel! I was cursed to roam about the vast cosmos, alone!” 

Before long, the Thing has Cathy in his clutches. Mark rounds up a posse to hunt down the creature, telling his men to shoot three shots in the air upon seeing the creature. Seems like pretty bad advice for a lawman, to me.

The story takes an unexpected turn when the monster reveals that his deformities are the result of a curse from the gods. Just as we are beginning to look at this monster in a different light, Mark swoops in on a vine like Indiana Jones and kicks the Thing into the bog, where it quickly sinks, ominously mentioning paving the way for “The Others!” Buhahaha.

Jo-Jo’s “Duel to the Death” is reprinted from Jo-Jo Comics 24. The art might be Matt Baker or possibly just the faces. 

“The Beast from Below” is another hairy monstrosity from the macabre mind of Jay Disbrow. A miner gets trapped deep below the earth’s surface, exposed to deadly gasses that transform him into a titanic monstrosity that still thinks like a human but can no longer speak. Now he seeks revenge.


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