Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Eyes Have It

Saturday Leftover Day.

I have been wanting to show you some of the scans of my Atlas collection for some time but with so much to choose from, I never get around to it. So let's make a start today.

Ross Andru is one of the artists from the fifties I really like. I even like his stuff more than the more polished stuff he produced for DC from the late fifties unwards or the slick work he did for Marvel in the sisxties. His early work had a lumpy sort of cartoony quality to it, that he lost over the year. The inking probably is by Mike Esposito, who also was no slouch around that time (or later, by the way).

This story probably dates from right after his and Mike Esposito's solo adventures in publishing went belly-up. The left hand side splash page is something Andru picked up at Standard where he had worked even earlier. The zany faces in the second part of the story are all his.


Daniel [] said...

Hmmm. This story would have come some years before the use of Ice-9 in Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle.

Smurfswacker said...

This story is a mess! Harris (no relation) seems to have a different personality on every page. His transformation to greedy villain at the end doesn't work any better than his geology "hobby" providing him a genius-like ability to develop an "antidote" to solid water.

Worst is the ending. Harris drinks the water, not the antidote. If the water melted him it should have melted the guys in the next panel. One might argue that the antidote was concentrated when Harris drank it, and was harmless once it dispersed. But the writer doesn't say that. For that matter, the Indians never say anything about human sacrifice, either, as the final speaker claims.

Maybe I'm splitting hairs. It's just a comic book's just a comic book story...

Ger Apeldoorn said...

Smurfman, I think you are harsh on the story. The whole thing wabout these stories is that they are just one idea after another and whatever explenation is suggested, it is always the right ione, however farfetched. So the fact that the other people wo't melt is because the Indian Spirits demanded a human sacrifice and got one. I just don't undestand why the two indians had to be sent to jail. I expected that to return as a plot element.

What what art. I like those 'mad geius' panels on page four. This is what Ross and Esposito did best. Ross's weird faces and Esposio's imaginative scratchings. I have put this story up (and will put up some more) because I think the recent Hermes Book about Esposito (and Ross) shortshrifted this period in ther career.

Smurfswacker said...

Okay, maybe I was a bit harsh on the story. But it still seems weird that the Indians never ask for a human sacrifice! They say the white men aren't giving the gods enough respect, but they never say just how they should set things right. The (white) guy in the last panel is the only one to mention the subject.

Like you, I was surprised to see Harris toss the Indians in the calaboose. Guess that's what they get for leaving the reservation.

For my money, this was A&E's best period. I was never crazy for their super-hero stuff...but their Atlas and especially their Standard work were really solid. According to all I've read, Andru never liked comics work at all...too bad, he was an excellent penciller.