Tuesday, May 04, 2010
vintage mad house ad of the day
Given Snoopy's attempts at submitting stories to publishers (usually involving a horrible pun or cliched phrase), it seems appropriate that everyone's favourite beagle would be the Peanuts character chosen to grace a motorized pencil sharpener.
If Snoopy can't sharpen your pencil, he will offer you a cookie as compensation...at least he will if you visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.
Mad House began in the late 1950s as Archie's Mad House, featuring the usual hijinks from Riverdale. Over the years the series underwent numerous format and title changes, with the constant being the house-style art. After a period chronicling the adventures of the stylish rock band Mad House Glads, the series became a full-fledged horror title and was labelled as part of the short-lived 70s incarnation of Red Circle Comics. Under an alluring Gray Morrow cover are four tales, of which the first two are:
* Never Bother a Dead Man (story: Marvin Channing, art Jesse Santos) concerns an old man who had no time or patience for neighbourhood youth gangs who pester him. Chaney, leader of the Laughing Skulls, is determined to teach the old man, mortician Morton Millbank, "a lesson in manners." Millbank insists his "friends", the corpses, will help him ("You should never bother a dead man. They'll get back at you, you'll see.") This causes the rest of the gang to pause except for Chaney, who gets into a scuffle with the old man. Just as Chaney is about to stab Millbank, a hand from a nearby coffin grasps the gang leader, inducing a fatal heart attack. When the police arrive, all supernatural elements are dispelled...rigor mortis had set into the corpse, causing its arm to spring up. Feh.
* Demon Kiss (story and art: Bruce Jones) sees wannabe actress Valarie Lewton (take a wild guess where her name derived from) moan about wasting the past two years lounging on beaches in Malibu while waiting for her big break (go ahead, start crying about her poor, wretched state). A friend brings by a book on "demonology", which leads Val to dabble in forces she probably shouldn't have tampered with. Ol' Beelzebub shows up and offers Val her wish, in exchange for collecting he soul at the end of one year. Val's escape clause: if she kisses a stranger under a full moon, the devil will take their soul instead, as long as the stranger doesn't kiss back. You all know where this is going...Val finds a hapless shlub in her apartment building, kisses him, turns him into her number one stalker. On the day the contract is due, she is involved in a boat accident...and is given mouth-to-mouth by her admirer. Cue the brimstone...
Source: Mad House #96, November 1974. Originally presented on my defunct comic book ad site on August 8, 2009 - JB