Thursday, October 8, 2015

Vampire Tales #3 - Demon Blood!


Vampire Tales #3 is dated February 1974 and features a sumptuous cover featuring Morbius by Luis Dominguez.


The magazine begins with "The Kiss of Death", a lush Satanna story by Gerry Conway and the new regular artist on the series Esteban Maroto. (It will be a short-lived teaming alas.) The story pits Satanna against a cynical preacher and has her infitrate one of the teeming Satanic cults which seemed to be everywhere in the Marvel Universe in the early 70's. Needless to say that Satanna, her motivations somewhat vague, comes out on top. To see more check this out.


Next up is a four-page stunner called "The Collection" by writers Russ Jones and Bhob Stewart and artist Paul Reinman, who does a bang up job on this brief but potent yarn that has some film fans discover the dark secret of their favorite film diva. Read the complete story and the story behind the story here.

"Vampire Hunting for Fear and Profit" by Chris Claremont continues his mutli-part look at A Vampire - His Kith and Kin by Montague Summers. In this third installment the focus is on how to fend off the vampire threat.


"Don't Try to Outsmart the Devil!" by writer Stan Lee and artist Carmine Infantino is a rather tense reprint from the heady Atlas days and features the usual mope who foolishly thinks he can get one over on old Scratch. He's wrong. Read it here.



This one first appeared in 1952's Adventures Into Terror #13.


"Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Satana - But Were Too Awestruck to Ask" is a frolic of an article by Carla Joseph talking about how the Satana series came to be and how impressed the bullpen had been by Esteban Maroto's artwork. It's notable that things as decribed here, so positive, soon take a turn for the worse as this proves to be Satana's swan song in Vampire Tales. Esteban Maroto for whatever reason fails to deliver the next story and changes have to be made which derail the series and it moves to Haunt of Horror.


"Bat's Belfry" is a rambling story which adapts August Derleth's first published story. By Don McGregor and Vincente Ibanez, this story tries mightily to offer up a fright but falls of its own somewhat ponderous weight. There are some neat graphics, but the ending can be seen a mile off. This story first appeared in a 1926 issue of Weird Tales.

"Vampires in Time and Space" by Tony Isabella and Pablo Marcos is about just what you'd think it was about, and nicely done too.


The Morbius, the Living Vampire story this issue continues from the last time and follows Morbius as he tries to save the beautiful, blonde, and rather naive Amanda Saint from a demon cult which had once upon a time recruited her mother and caused her father to disappear. There is betrayal aplenty in this story which makes poor Amanda have to rely on the bloodsucking Morbius for protection as he battles the blood-engorged spider demon the cult worships. Drugs and pushers also get the shaft in this one when karma proves to be quite the bitch. Check it out at this groovy link.

The issue wraps with a wonky autobiographical brief by Don McGregor.


That wraps up volume one, but there's still more to come.

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7 comments:

  1. I'm sure I had that issue (and others) of Vampire Tales, Rip. Strangely, my local hospital shop used to sell the Marvel/Curtis b&w mags and I used to buy them whenever I saw them. Not that I was a patient or anything, I just used to visit the shop because they had a good stock of American mags on a regular basis. So thanks for reviving the memories.

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    1. My pleasure. Getting the magazines could be difficult, and my spotty collection (before filling it in as an adult) showed it. My first Vampire Tales was the second issue and I only ever had a few others after that until the 80's.

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  2. Even in America (Minnesota) I had a very difficult time finding the Marvel/Curtis magazines…I would be drooling over the house ads for them in the color comics – but they proved very difficult for me to find, unless by accident while on vacation or something…Possibly their distribution factored into their early demise? (guessing here.)

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    1. Getting comics once upon a time was a chore and a challenge, part of the fun. It's so much easier now, my old bones appreciate it, but my spirit seems dimmed.

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  3. Alright! I couldn’t take it no more guys! Though I am getting to be a certifiable middle-aged cheapskate - I just bit the bullet and ordered the Vampire Tales (volume 1) collection off Amazon…A seller in Washington had it for $8.99…I should have it in hand by Halloween…Life is short, yknow…

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    1. What' the good of money if it don't make you happy? Enjoy!

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  4. Kid Robson lived in the town nearest to the West Central Scotland village I grew up in and our other local hospital shop also stocked a selection of colour Marvels- but no b/w magazines.

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