Hallowe’en Countdown, Day 31

« I’m going to die and they’re laughing! »

It surely won’t shock you that the most difficult decision, in such a countdown, lies in crowning numero uno. There are, after all, plenty of worthy candidates. But one also seeks to avoid undue repetition. After a couple of false starts, I opted for a long-time favourite that’s never received its due.

Here, then, is Steve Ditko (and an unknown scenarist)’s expertly-paced department store nightmare, “Halloween Scene”, from Scary Tales #7 (Sept. 1976, Charlton). It occurs to me that Mr. Ditko is about to turn 90 in a couple of days… they didn’t call him “Sturdy Steve” for the alliteration alone, as it turns out.

HalloweenScene1AHalloweenScene2AHalloweenScene3AHalloweenScene4AHalloweenScene5AHalloweenScene6A

HalloweenScene7A

As a bonus (Hallowe’en comes but once a year, after all!), have a peek at the issue’s fine cover and its original art.

ScaryTales07ORIG
Pencils by future “Good Girl” specialist (see his Haunted House of Lingerie series, in the name of research, of course) Rich Larson (with ink and airbrush work by artistic partner Tim Boxell).
ScaryTales07A
The published version offers reasonably accurate reproduction, though one misses some of the details hidden behind the logo. Nature of the Beast of Commerce…

Well, that’s it for this year. Happy spookfest to all, and see you next time, hopefully.

I pity inanimate objects
Because they cannot move
From specks of dust to paperweights
Or a pound note sealed in resin
Plastic Santas in perpetual underwater snowstorms
Sculptures that appear to be moving but aren’t
I feel sorry for them all.

Godley and Creme – I Pity Inanimate Objects (1979)

-RG

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