|This time we are back to review more ACG’s, both from Williamson’s early and post EC career. Once again the rating system is from 1(atrocious) to 5(beautiful). We hope this column will be helpful to all you art collectors out in fandom. Please send in some LOCs to us, so we’ll know what you like or don’t. An apology from one of us (Larry Bigman) for a grammatical error last issue: I pride myself on stuff like that, but it slipped by.|
Forbidden Worlds #3 Nov.-Dec.1951
”Skull Of The Sorceror” –7 pages
This story marks a rarity in Williamson art in that it is one of the very few times that Williamson’s pencils were inked by Wally Wood. Overall the art is better than the strip Williamson and Krenkel did in FW #5, because it doesn’t have the shortcomings and bad panels where the art falls down, but then neither does it have the panels which leap from page due to it’s fantastic content. Wood’s inking really adds a nice feel to the art in that it tightens and smoothes it out.
The plot concerns an archeologist who slays a high priest to secure a fantastic ruby. As the priest dies he curses the man and vows that when his skull is consumed in his funeral pyre, his spirit will be released to seek its vengeance. To prevent this, Bob Knox severs the priest’s head and keeps it safely in his home where he can view the skull at all times. Ten years later, one Halloween night, his son removes the skull from its place of safety and places it on a stick in the middle of a fire. The skull falls from the pole and its consumed, thereby releasing the priest’s spirit which seeks out the archeologist. Bob Knox evades the spirit and seeks aid from a friend. But Bob is thought insane and is confined in a straightjacket where the spirit comes upon him and strangles him. The story then had the shock ending of the doctors realizing that what Robert had said was true and that he was indeed killed by forces from the unknown.
All of the art in the strip is excellent, with some of it outshining the rest. See the page reprinted at the right for and example of one of the better pages from this strip.
We feel that it should get a well deserved :5.
Forbidden Worlds #76 March 1959
”In The Beginning!” – 6 pages
This story was done by Williamson during a strange period in his career. He had included his tenure with EC a few years before, having done superb art. At this time he was doing either nice, tight art or art that was lacking the true Williamson touch. As the title states, the story takes place in the beginning, of time that is. It concerns a feud between two prehistoric tribes, the Bear People are still in the Stone Age, while the Tawny Ones are blessed with the guidance of the Ancient Ones, disembodied voices who resides in a cave and give advice to the Tawny Ones shaman. It turns out that the Ancient Ones are really the memory back of a spaceship which the Bear People eventually destroy, leaving the Tawny Ones to their own guidance. The art itself is very bland; Williamson used little detail in the cave scenes when he could have used black to a great advantage. Far-off shots of mountain ranges consist of hardly more than outlines of the ranges. In certain panels the anatomy is almost non-existent, with people at times being bare outlines. Williamson’s usual fine-line inking becomes extremely heavy in medium shots of people; this shouldn’t be, especially when the originals were probably twice-up. In fact, in the whole story there is only one of Williamson’s lizards, which are trademarks of his of sorts. Considering the art itself and what Williamson was capable of at the time this story rates a below par :2.
Adventures Into The Unknown #96 – May 1958
”Annals Of The Occult” – 3 pages
Reprinted in Unknown Worlds #47
April-May 1966 as the “The Ansco Case”
The art in this strip is pure Williamson and really isn’t that bad. It’s just that although the art is good, there isn’t much there for Williamson to work with as it’s a straight horror story. But what there is though (dark, rainy night with glare of headlights in background) is quite good.
The story is typical; it’s about a man with a reoccurring dream in which he is killed in an auto crash. The dream begins to come true one night but when the man leaps from his car and averts death. It’s supposed to make you shudder (I think).
Nicely done, still and about ;3.
Note: When this strip was reprinted in Unk. Wlds. It had bad reproduction, which reduces the appreciation of the art considerably.
Corrections: Both of us forgot to put in page counts last issue for the stories. The counts are as follows: FW #1-10 pages; FW #5-8 pages; FW #6-8 pages. Sorry about that.
Next Issue: “Out Of The Night” # 1,2, and 4