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Thursday, March 6, 2014

POST # 46 - "BURN!" and "THE STALKER!" by Gray Morrow

Let us appreciate some of the fine black and white artwork of Gray Morrow.
Morrow's first comic book artwork appeared in Marvel/Atlas Comics in the mid 1950's, where he produced several wonderfully done science fiction and western stories. His realistically rendered tales made him an excellent choice for depicting actual events  for GILBERTON, and THORPE & PORTER, where he drew several issues of comics like Classics Illustrated, World Illustrated, and The World Around Us, starting in late 1959. An accomplished painter as well, he produced many covers for comics, paperbacks and magazines throughout his career. When WARREN began publishing it's vaunted horror line in 1964, Morrow was a staunch contributor during their halcyon days.

In late 1959 Morrow produced artwork for a one-shot anomaly of sorts, a black and white horror magazine called EERIE TALES, published by Hastings Associates. It was edited by Golden-Age great Joe Simon, and appeared to contain content originally scheduled for a never published 2nd issue of another one-shot anomaly, the 4-color horror comic WEIRD MYSTERIES, published by Pastime Publications in early 1959 (not to be confused with the more well-known comic produced by Key Publications). Both issues feature painted cover art by George Tuska, and interior work by Angelo Torres, Paul Reinman, and others, so a connection is apparent.

EERIE TALES in retrospect can be viewed as a sort of bridge between the earlier EC Picto-Fiction black and white magazines and the later Warren horror editions, and is notable for artwork by Morrow, Angelo Torres, Al Williamson, Joe Orlando, and Paul Reinman, whose work appear in one or both of the other two publications. Sadly, EERIE TALES never appeared again for whatever reason, though it clearly lacked the cohesiveness of the later Warren periodicals. Most of the stories, including Morrow's, were written by former EC alumnus Carl Wessler, yet many seem to suffer from short page format, and may have played out better in longer versions.

Each of these two stories are "hosted" by The Morgue Keeper, and I, along with him, hope you enjoy the EERIE TALES of Gray Morrow, the first one presented being:





...And now for round two, we bring you:





  1. I never saw the other two publications you mention, but I bought Eerie Tales #1 off the magazine rack at a drugstore in 1959. I've read it a couple of times and my overwhelming impression is that good art is covered up by large balloons full of type. I don't mind typeset speech balloons (Mad did it, after all), but Gray Morrow is just too good to be covered up. The scripts needed more and tighter editing.

    1. Yeah, Pappy, to me it comes across like Creepy and Eerie's funny uncle or something...related by great art and artists, and horror content, but a little bit off with the stories and presentation. I agree, stories like THE STALKER seem stifled and abrupt, like trying to mash an 8-page story into a 4-page format...the art is fantastic and grabs the reader, but elements like the monsters and vampires are touched upon and then lost, never explained, and suddenly the protagonist is on stage being televised in front of a studio audience, which is never fully fleshed out either, it's just like, "Oh, yeah, ...and he's on TV..."! But Gray Morrow's art makes up for that!