Saturday, November 5, 2011
by Baby Shacks
Hands down, bar none the scariest apparition is the Blonde Ghost, she of the stare that turns the spines of the warm blooded to ice; Ann “Our blacks are better than their blacks” Coulter. But as this is not a place for such screeds, I shall refrain from going further on this for like Cthulhu, the less said, the better.
And speaking of ol’ Howard Phillips (no relation as far as I know) Lovecraft’s dreaded creation, frankly it’s a bit of a mystery to me why his horror stories have held up all these years. Don’t get me wrong, his stuff was gripping enough -- “Pickman’s Model” as an example wasn’t too shabby. This prim Boston painter begins painting these compelling and horrific imagery that both captures the people’s imagination and repulses the Brahmin. The tale was adapted quite nicely in the Night Gallery anthology TV series Rod Serling did post the Twilight Zone.
Now in comics I have two of fav ghostly super heroes who over the years have been reincarnated various times. There’s the Specter, this chalky white dude in green bathing trunks and cowl – which yeah, outside of the sequential art page, a cat dressed like this would be considered certifiable. Created for DC Comics by Jerry Siegel, of Superman fame and Bernard Baily in the ‘30s during the Golden Age of comics, the Specter was dead cop Jim Corrigan. He was killed by gangsters and dumped into the river in a cement filled barrel. On a spiritual plane, he is told by a disembodied voice, presumable God, that his work is not done and is sent back to rid our world of evil.
During what is termed the Bronze Age in comics, the ‘70s, a kind of Death Wish Specter was revived after in real life DC Comics editor Joe Orlando was mugged. This Specter, plotted by Orlando, written by Michael Fleisher and drawn by the talented Jim Aparo, meted out some serious paranormal punishment to evildoers. A villain is chased and decapitated -- off panel mind you --- by a pair of giant scissors, another is turned into a giant melting candle and so on. Groovy in its goriness.
Then there’s Deadman, also from DC Comics. Created in the swingin’ sixties by Arnold Drake and Carmine Infantino, this ghost is really self-absorbed circus trapeze artist Boston Brand who also sports the no-pulse white look and a blood red costume. Shot and killed one night by a man with a hook and a rifle during his act, he too is addressed in the otherworld, this time by a made up Hindu goddess called Rama Kushna. Like the Specter, Deadman is sent back to seek his and other’s justice. But Deadman’s thing is he can take over anybody’s body when he needs to get physical, like teaming up with Batman or Green Arrow.
But really though, can’t you just imagine Coultergeist lookin’ all Specterish like on the right here in a green one piece bathing suit and cowl, white as powdered potassium, giving you the Stare of Gloom. Hey, wait, what’s that shimmering in my office? No…no…I was just kidding Blonde Ghost…no…aiiiieeeee!