Hallowe’en Countdown, Day 11

« Geez! What’s he been feedin’ that horse?! I’m runnin’ wide-open — and he’s gainin’ on me! »

I won’t pretend that The Headless Horseman Rides Again is all that good a comic book, even by the standards of 1973 Marvel. It’s a clumsy narrative hodgepodge, a tangle of tough guy private dick clichés and your basic Scooby Doo plot, courtesy of Gary Friedrich (Ghost Rider, Son of Satan). But it’s agreeably moody in spots, considerably helped along by a solid art job by the prolific George Tuska (1916-2009), who’s not, for once at Marvel, saddled (ha!) with the likes of Vince Colletta. Here he’s smartly matched with the fine but generally undervalued Jack Abel (1927-1996), whose velvety strokes significantly add to the fittingly nocturnal ambiance.

I happen to own a page of original art from the issue, and here are some of my favourite panels. This is page 7 of 20. Script by Gary Friedrich, pencils by George Tuska, inks by Jack Abel. Love that Abel smoke!

The issue bears your typical hyperkinetic Gil Kane 70s cover, winningly inked by Ernie Chua/Chan. This is Supernatural Thrillers no. 6 (Nov. 1973, Marvel).

The published version…
… and a peek at the original artwork. Note the absence of the alterations presumably made on an overlay, namely the texture on the foreground rock and the halftone mist across the middle.

– RG

4 thoughts on “Hallowe’en Countdown, Day 11

  1. Barney Dannelke October 12, 2017 / 11:12

    Bought this run as it was coming out. It wasn’t all spun gold but occasionally Marvel would do some fun horror. And the reprints were a cheap education into what I’d just missed. Had a lunch with Gil Kane back in the 1990’s. He was… not warm.


    • gasp65 October 13, 2017 / 15:00

      Agreed about the fun horror and the cheap education (those *do* seem to go hand in hand, don’t they?) Marvel’s bare-bones reprint titles introduced me to Bernie Krigstein (“The Hypnotist” turned up in Weird Wonder Tales #19, Dec. 1976) before I could feast my eyes with his more celebrated EC work. So many panels!

      Oh, and sorry to hear about Mr. Katz’s lack of warmth. If his interviews are any indication, he was a deeply conflicted man. Poor guy.


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