Monday, October 12, 2015


That one bird at the bottom of the panel has a mohawk.
"Out of the ancient ooze it crawled" boasts the cover of Fiction House's second issue of The Monster, a horror comic that delivered the goods - wall-to-wall monsters, as many as you can carry! You don't even really need a reason to have a monster - they just show up out of the ooze!

Or, in the case of The Dark Abysmal - of whom I think I can fairly say is in possession of the best monster name in history - you come crawling out of a placid Kentucky hill-town, where for over two hundred years the citizens have lived "a life of humdrum contentment." The hell you say, Fiction House, I've been to Kentucky...

It's drowning.
The story of the Dark Abysmal starts in a peaceful fishin' hole in Gopherville, population 300 and the site of the Gopherville Massacre and at least five clandestine toxic waste dumping grounds, I feel confident in suggesting. Discovered at the bottom of the pool by young Dan'l and his friends - too poor to afford all the vowels for his name, but happy nonetheless - the Dark Abysmal starts off life as a six-pound mass of affectionate tentacles (which is, by the way, what they used to call me when I sang the blues).

The trouble begins when Dan'l and his pals bring the remaindered Boglin puppet into the center of town. There, a corrupt fatass in a purple suit - Ben Jackson's his name (the guy that is, not the suit) - realizes the tiny weirdo's potential as a carnival attraction. This is apparently the last thing in the world which Dark Abysmals want, and this results in utter chaos.

While the town debates whether to murder the inky-black octobaby or just sell it into slavery, the Abysmal suddenly grows to titanic size and starts wrecking everything. Gosh, think of what a carnival attraction THAT would be!

In short order, the Abysmal wrecks some telephone poles (which is okay, as I suspect most of the residents of Gopherville feared the telephone as an object of black magic), messes up an idyllic picnic, wrecks the main drag and then holes up in a barn where he eats hay until the army shows up.

"It would be way too expensive to show on-panel, though!"

What is it that the Abysmal truly wants, though? Naturally, it's Lit'l Dan'l  and a quick return to the peace of the swimming hole - which he immediately blows up, having his spaceship hidden in its depths. Hm? Yes, well, according to a visiting newspaperman from the big city: "There's no question in my mind but that they (?) were peaceful emissaries from a distant planet -- a different life-form from ours, very sensitive to emotions and feelings..." That's some good reporting, mister reporter,considering you just pulled it out of your ass.

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