Monday, October 12, 2015

Vampire Tales #4 - Blood On The Snow!

Vampire Tales #4 is dated April, 1974. The mag sports one of the absolute best covers Boris Vallejo ever created, before his style became too slick and overly obsessed with the physical form. The atmosphere on this one as the vampire clutches at the man is palpable; you know he's doomed.

In the first story "Lighthouse of the Possessed", the Morbius tale by Don McGregor and full art by Tom Sutton we see the Living Vampire as he heads to Maine and runs afoul of more of the same cult he rescued Amanda Saint from in the last few issues. The hotel the pair decide to stay in proves to be full of dangers and a new villain n named "Blood-Tide" reveals himself and points to more dangers for Morbius ahead. Morbius for his money fends off a deadly witch, her acolytes in the Demon-Fire Cult, and in particular her henchman, a man with a weakened mind and a deadly hoot for a hand. Read this story at this goovy link.

"Everything You Wanted to Know About Vampires -- But Were Afraid to Ask" is the fourth installment of Chris Claremont's look at Montague Summer's The Vampire - His Kith and Kin. This time the focus is on various kinds of vampire myths from across the globe, suggesting the vampire is a nigh universal mystery.

Next is a one-page tongue-in-cheek autobiographical sketch by Gerry Conway in which he reveals amazingly little. 

"Somewhere Waits the Vampire!" is an Atlas-era reprint from 1951's Journey into Unknown Worlds #27 with artwork by Paul Reinman and shows up a particularly nasty vampire who preys upon a man and his naive daughter.

"A Vampire's Home is His Castle" is written Doug Moench and drawn by Lombardia. It tells of a vampire who enslaves an architect and destroys his family but pays the price when his transformed into the very thing he cannot withstand.

"Hell House is Dying"  by Don McGregor is a sprawling and rather rambling review of sorts of The Legend of Hell House, and to be honest after reading it I cannot tell if McGregor likes the movie or not. He certainly likes Richard Matheson and the novel the movie is based on and he has nice things to suggest, but overall this review is rather weird.

"The Vampire's Coffin" from 1953's Mystery Tales #15 features art by John DiPreta from the Atlas days and is about a vile sea captain who abuses his men and even uses them for vampiric sustenance.

"The Drifting Snow" is an adaptation of an August Derleth story by Tony Isabella and this time the finished product is magnificent. It features some the best work Esteban Maroto ever did for Marvel and is absorbingly atmospheric as it tells of an isolated house which is visited periodically by its former occupants who have been turned into ghostly vampires.

Esteban Maroto knocked this one out the park and created artwork which still haunts me after all these years. Great stuff! Get a closer look here.

The issue closes with a one-page offering from Tony Isabella and Ernie Chua (Chan) and relates efficiently the myth of "Lilith - The First Vampire".

And that's a wrap for now. But there are more issues to come.

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  1. Nice! I vaguely recall seeing the Esteban Maroto snow vampire panel you feature here - on a Bullpen Page some years back now. Yeah, I’ll need to get my hands on this Volume as well

    1. I saw that panel before I saw the story, it's likely why the story lingers so strongly in my mind.

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