Hallowe’en Countdown II, Day 4

« Ape is real spooked, guys! He’s always imaginin’ he sees someone in there! »

Here we have an evocative Steve Ditko cover, solid evidence of his tremendous design chops, from Charlton’s Ghost Manor (no. 7, second series, October 1972). A collaboration between Joe Gill and Ditko, « The Monsters Ride at Night » is an elegant bit of storytelling legerdemain, a fairly basic yarn that retains its mystery past the conclusion and whose deliciously dusty mood lingers in the mind. Well, in mine, at any rate. Back in the late ’70s, I traded a copy of Amazing Spider-Man 121 (acquired at a garage sale in a two-for-five-cents deal) for this one. I know I came out ahead in the deal*.


Again, I had every intention of providing the whole spooky shebang right here, but seeing as how I was preceded in this particular enthusiasm by a sinister confrère, it seems unnecessary. Just dim the light, settle in, point your browser to Destination Nightmare, pour yourself a noggin of your preferred poison, and savour this fine vintage.


I’m particularly fond of the mid-tale interlude, where our esteemed host, Mr. Bones, seizes the occasion to poke around the cobwebs a bit, a narrative game that the Gill-Ditko duo excelled at. DC and Warren’s hosts (with the obvious exception of Vampirella) never got to play such an active rôle in their respective recitals.

Oh, and since we’re on the topic of early 70s Charlton ghost books, here’s one I picked up just this afternoon, in the 50 cents box of the local comic book shop in Wolfsville, NS. It clearly had been through such hardships, I couldn’t resist giving it a home.

This is (or used to be) Ghostly Tales no. 86 (June, 1971), featuring three Joe Gill tales: « Return to Die » (illustrated by Pete Morisi), « Ghost Town » (illustrated by Pat Boyette), and « Someone Else Is Here! » (illustrated by Steve Ditko.) If books could speak…


*I had an extra copy, what do I care?

2 thoughts on “Hallowe’en Countdown II, Day 4

  1. wiggins May 20, 2019 / 01:54

    Ꮤow, awesome blog ⅼayout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you make blogging look easy. The overall loօk of your web site is fantastiⅽ, let alоne the content!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gasp65 June 2, 2019 / 00:34

      Hey, thank you so much for your kind words! We’ve only been blogging since September 2017, but I’ve been working as an illustrator and graphic designer since… oh, decades. Though translation and copy editing are my main gigs nowadays, the creative urge never went away, and I guess the blog isn’t a bad outlet at that.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s