Friday, January 23, 2015


"For instance, my self-esteem is through the roof!"
I guess I never expected that Harvey Comics’ Stumbo the Friendly Giant would have an arch-nemesis, but then I guess the joke is on me. Haranguing the peaceful titan during his otherwise uneventful naps is Doctor Cesspoole, a twisted, gaunt-faced figure who appears repeatedly in the pages of Hot Stuff the Little Devil and its subsequent magazine Devil Kids (which is, I believe, the predecessor to Suicide Girls) seems to have it in for the plus-sized pacifist for reasons of personal vanity.

“How I loathe giants” he explains in one particularly disturbing assault, “They're physucally so powerful while I'm so puny!” What he’s leaving out of the explanation is that he also has a face like a shrink-wrapped, porcelain snake turd, not to mention his shitty posture. Yoga might do wonders for Doctor Cesspoole.

He looks like a butt's skull.
Besides being possessed of some considerable disguise skills (at the very least, he’s able to pass himself off as a resident of Tinytown on more than one occasion), the Doctor also seems to sport some considerable cash resources and malevolent intelligence. He has a helicopter he uses exclusively to get to eye-level with giants so he can hypnotize them, that’s the sign of a class act.

Most of his antics end up fizzling, such as a “Bashful Potion” which gives Stumbo adolescent titters whenever he sees so much as a cloud in the shape of a pretty lady. That one actually works out because I’m sure Stumbo’s sudden erections provide vital shade for his beloved Tinytown during the Summer months.

Certainly one of his most successful – and downright horrific – attempts to destroy Stumbo comes at the wrong end of a shape-changing-ray machine (Devil Kids starring Hot Stuff vol.1 No.30, May 1967). While he ultimately proves that the beam can shrink Stumbo to human-size and turn him into a dog, respectively, Cesspoole begins with some straight-up Cronenbergian body horror bullshit. I will let the images speak for themselves:

Stumbo's having a straight-up Naked Lunch.

Possibly the genuine highlight of this stomach-churning escapade is the people of Tinytown rushing out to reassure Stumbo that looks don’t really matter. “We don't know what's happened to you but, don't worry ... we love you no matter how you look!” they cry, reflexively, like they’ve had that kind of support holstered for years. It’s almost like they just knew that, some day, Stumbo would realize that he was a big fat idiot and would need SOME kind of kind reassurance. All the shape-changing ray did was strip away the veneer of their blithe acceptance, revealing before Stumbo’s searching eyes the dread sense of revulsion they’ve been battling back for years. And in that way, hasn’t Doctor Cesspoole truly won this battle, where it counts?


Tom said...

Dr. Cesspoole might have wounded Stumbo's pride today, but Stumbo can still find comfort in being the subject of a pretty great J.G. Thirlwell (Foetus, Wiseblood, the Venture Brothers soundtrack) song:

Tom said...

I would also like to mention the caption "He looks like a butt's skull" nearly made me do a spit-take. Thank you for the good work that you do.

BillyWitchDoctor said...

I remember Dr. Cesspoole! Still have a clear vision of his horrid visage leering at me from one of those miniature black "TV-screen" character portraits that lined the left side of Harvey Giant covers. This being long before I was able to finally watch a certain black-and-white film by George Romero, I was left to assume this is what Barnabas Collins would look like if he didn't get enough liquid human in his diet.

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