Boris Karloff Tales Of Mystery
Gold Key, 15¢
Cover by George Wilson
The legendary horror actor introduces several tales of “horror”:
“Cry Monster” with Jose Delbo art
Vic & Stan are expelled from Dorkin College after vandalizing a statue of the school’s founder, Cyrus Dorkin. Those crazy kids. Who wouldn’t wanna be enrolled at Dorkin? With their allowances cut off, the boys land a paying gig, accompanying Professor Yuri and his crew on a dinosaur dig.
The mischievous lads manage to scare off the majority of the expedition by convincing them that a prehistoric Gorgosaurus is lurking nearby. They steal food, use big feet on sticks to fake dinosaur footprints, and play loud Gorgosaurus growls on their tape player.
Unfortunately, the boys’ tape player rouses a real Gorgosaurus. Something of a gimp Gorgosaurus that can’t manage to catch a couple of kids. Narrowly escaping, the two little Ashton Kutchers return to camp to discover they’ve been found out, their tape player and fake dinosaur feet discovered by Professor Yuri.
For some reason, the Prof doesn’t buy their “real live Gorgosaurus” story and has them arrested for malicious mischief and perpetrating fraud, which, to me, seems kinda harsh. The boys end up in prison, then a sanitarium.
We could only be so lucky if the same fate awaited Ashton.
“The Monster Worms” with illo by Joe Certa
Text story recounting various encounters with giant works or worm-like dragons in Britain. Thrilling.
“A Sore Point!” with Jack Sparling art
While hoofing it from the cops, criminals Spike & Arnie duck into a basement and find a little old man with his head wrapped in bandages. The thugs demand food and whatever money the old coot has. The old fellow feeds them but refuses to give up his cash. The ne’er-do-wells threaten to conk him on the noggin if he doesn’t cough up the loot. The threat is met with vehement objection, the bandaged man claiming to be recovering from a head injury of some sort.
Before the threats turn to violence, the old man reveals his stash, a pittance that just doesn’t satisfy the two crooks. Frustrated by the fruitlessness of their endeavor, either Spike or Arnie bonks the man’s bandaged skull, which causes his transformation into a hairy beast resembling a dark gray muppet. Scared stiff, the two men linger long enough for the police to arrive and cart them off in the paddy wagon, while the now-reverted little old man is showered with accolades for assisting in the apprehension of such “monsters.”
“Dragondoom” with story by Len Wein, art by John Celardo
Armed with a laser-torch and dressed totally in white, motorcycling archeologist Leonard Wayne discovers a ancient battle helmet in an English cavern. Wayne takes the helm to his lady love, Glynis, who identifies it as proof-positive that King Arthur truly existed. Who decided this needed to be published?
Anyway… while researching the helm, Glynis discovers and informs Wayne of a tale involving its original owner, a paladin tasked by King Arthur to rid the countryside of a ravaging dragon named Doom. After the usual comic book battle scenes, the knight traps Dragondoom in a cave for all time… almost. Just about the time Glynis finishes her story, Dragondoom bursts from the cave, which just so happened to be extremely close by, and proceeds to wreak havoc.
Glynis decides to get a few action shots with her Nikon and attracts the dragon with its flashbulb. Doom swoops in, snatches her up and flaps away. Leonard Wayne, being the stud that he is (how he didn’t get a series out of this, I’ll never know), grabs his trusty laser-torch, jumps on his Honda and gives chase.
Wayne manages to ground the dragon by zapping its wings with the torch. He then charges the dragon on his scooter and leaps away at the last moment as the dragon unleashes its fiery breath. The bike explodes, forcing the beast over a conveniently-placed cliff, sending to a watery grave (we hope).
Who knows how long this story sat on Gold Key’s shelves before being published but it appeared just 3 months before the first appearance of one of Wein’s most famous co-creations, Swamp Thing.
Then you’ve got two completely out-of-place features…
Stamp And Coin Collectors Corner by George Allard and, if that isn’t enough, a couple of Your Future articles concerning careers as a graphic artist and as a printing craftsman. So educational. Remember, boys and girls, if you play your cards right, you too could be responsible for drawing and printing stinky comics like this one.
All in all, pretty much a turkey.
- Fister’s Review: Die, Monster, Die! (grizzlybomb.com)
- Not Your Average Dr. Jekyll (jou300201.wordpress.com)
- “Are We Not Both, The Living Dead?” (sgtr.wordpress.com)
- Classic Monster Movies – Which is the Best? (costumesupercenter.com)