Saturday, November 15, 2008

(click to supersize each page)

For your reading pleasure, one of my absolute favorite Jerry Grandenetti Warren stories, from Eerie #9: "Rub the Lamp"- in which an antiques dealer finds a magic lamp, and gets more than he bargained for. This is the story which got me to notice Grandenetti's hallucinogenic 60's style when I was a kid, even though I'd seen it in other stories in previous issues. Everything in this story, with its distorted figures, brittle, jagged panel borders and vertiginous perspectives literally radiates dismay, greed, and fear; I don't know if the term "expressionistic" applies exactly, but I think it's awfully close. His was never an attractive in a conventional sense sort of style, especially when compared to the Adamses, Woods, Crandalls, Kirbys and Morrows that were his contemporaries, but when it came to helping the reader get a feel for the vibe that this sort of horror tale was trying to get across, as far as I'm concerned it really did the job in excellent fashion. Joe Orlando's work at this time looked a lot like this- in fact, there were a couple of Warren stories that I had associated with Grandenetti for decades that I came to find out were actually Orlando's. But Grandenetti, I think, did it with a bit more gusto. I'm not familiar with the writer of this tale, one Allan Jadro; I wonder if it wasn't a pseudonym. Archie Goodwin wrote most of the stories in those days for this magazine, but it stands to reason that he couldn't write everything...someday I'll have to dig out my Warren Companion and see if it can shed some light on Mr. Jadro's identity.

These days, when comics readers think of JG at all, it's mostly in terms of the mostly lackluster work he did later in his career with Joe Simon on stuff like The Green Team and Prez, or perhaps even the Eisnerish work he did pre-DC War comics...but for me, this is genius stuff, and I wanted to share.

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