Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mr. Door Tree over at the Golden Age Comic Book Stories blog has been doing us all here in the Blogosphere a great service, posting covers and pages from a wide and varied assortment of Golden and Silver age comics and pulps. It's a must-stop site. Lately, he's been holding a Poe tribute of sorts, and today posted the entirety of a Poe comics adaptation of "The Cask of Amontillado" that appeared in Creepy #6 (1966), scripted by Archie Goodwin and impeccably illustrated by Reed Crandall. It's a typically outstanding work by two comics legends. But.

One *little* problem. This particular adaptation has always bugged me, ever since I read the original Poe short story a few years later- and it can be found in the last page, posted above. Poe ended his story as it appears in the first page scan at left, with Montresor bricking Fortunado up in the wall, and the chilling, deadpan "In pace requiescat" as his final word. But, for some reason, Goodwin added an extra page to the story, in which the chamber floods and Montresor is prevented by escaping by the skeleton of Fortunado- an EC-style ending which would suggest that no evil deed should go unpunished. Click on the images, of course, to see them larger.

This still blows my mind, four decades later. Believe me, I have nothing but reverence for the writing of Goodwin; I consider him one of the best scripters in the history of the field. But why he did this, I have no idea. Perhaps he felt like an extra page was needed, to make eight. Perhaps he was under the impression that the Comics Code would object, hardly likely since Warren magazines weren't subject to the code. Maybe, just maybe, he felt like the original ending wasn't satisfying enough or not EC-ish enough, which I find hard to believe. Either way, I think it was a hell of a poor choice by a normally brilliant author.

Anyway, if you want to see all the scans, and don't mind that I spoiled the story, go here and here.

Mr. Tree also makes me a happy boy by posting a killer Jerry Grandenetti Poe adaptation as well, which can be found here.

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