Tentacle Tuesday: Domesticated Octopus Seeks Soulmate

Meet an old man’s pet, Poochy. Like most pets, he gets a little impatient and loud around mealtime, but forgive him – he’s just a healthy animal who needs his calories. Who’s a good boy?

It’s Tentacle Tuesday, and today’s offering is this barking mad (hehe) and delightfully nonsensical story with script and pencils by Jim Starlin and inks by Wayne Howard.

« The Hotel » is a mere 2 pages long, so here it is in its full and unabridged glory:


This is no plebeian octopus. This tentacled horror, this mutated dog-like atrocity, is a force for moral good, dammit, dishing out all the punishment these evil-doers deserve! (Or maybe it’s just hungry.)

This tale of woe comes from Weird Mystery Tales #4 (Jan.-Feb. 1973), with a cover by Jim Aparo. It re-interpreted the story somewhat, making the thug’s comeuppance a little more immediate, but it’s still the same basic plot device: there’s the Deus ex machina, and there’s what I call Sudden Tentacles. Don’t know how to wrap up your story? Bam! tentacles out of nowhere, and everyone forgets that your tale makes no freaking sense.


Continuing this rather disturbing theme of stay-at-home octopuses, we have another contender for someone’s beloved pet: this sweet little (metaphorically speaking) guy from « Dum-Dum’s Basement » (Boris Karloff Tales of Mystery #93, August 1979).

Art by Mel Crawford. Dum-Dum’s pet will soon want flesh instead of fish! (I also like how some people don’t give a shit about having a permanently flooded basement.)

Then we have the prototypical Sudden Tentacles and set at home, too: this panel from a chilling Tom Sutton and Nicola Cuti story called « Those Tentacles! » (inventive title), published in Ghostly Tales #106, August 1973.

“The tree branches remind me of those tentacles… those slimy, winding tentacles squeezing the life from Jake!”

There’s a scene in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (at 3:55) that quite terrified me as a kid – a girl reaches over a sink to turn the water on, and the tap sprouts… appendages… and grabs her hand. I wish Freddy Krueger was into tentacles, I would have spent fewer sleepless nights in my youth.

Wishing all of you peaceful nights of slumber… until the next Tentacle Tuesday rolls around – and it will.

Googly Eyed Stubby Squid
This itty-bitty octopus will haunt your nightmares.


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