Monday, 17 July 2017

Tales Of The Zombie



Long, long, long before The Walking Dead shambled their way into our comic stores & TV's, and started a wave of Zombiemania that shows no signs of abating, the mindless corpse of Simon Garth wandered his undead way through ten issues of his own b / w horror mag from Marvel.
Here, let Tony ( The Tiger ) Isabella tell you all about it, from that world screamiere, fantastic, fear-filled first issue:


And here's Wild Bill's original Zombie ( with retouched scraggly hair and narration ), along with Big John's new & improved '70's version:



Soul-less Simon was mostly written by Steve Gerber, who was a genius at writing mindless, speechless characters and making you care about them. ( See also Man-Thing ) Pablo Marcus did the art, in great gruelly, drooly, sickly wash tones that reeked of decay and rot.
The Zombie strip itself was always kind of directionless, with Garth wandering around at the mercy of whoever had hold of the amulet of Damballah ( that being the thing that could control him ), and with only brief glimpses of his original self poking through. But he's a zombie, how motivated can he be?
This was a terrifying, forbidden strip for a Bronze Age kid ( see previous post about issue 7, which gave little me nightmares for months ) though, sad to say, the rest of the book wasn't that great, consisting of '50's reprints and movie articles ( to help cut costs ), and fairly soon, the limitations of a regular book about nothing but zombies began to show.
But the main strip itself was fantastic, and even came to a resolution in the last story, where Simon Garth is granted one day of life once more, to put his affairs in order, and return to the piece of the grave.
Here's Gerber & Marcos in fine form with the wonderfully titled  A Death Made Out Of Ticky-Tacky:






















Marvel did actually bring Simon Garth back a few years ago for their Max series, by the way, in two Romero influenced mini-series by Kyle Hotz, and these are great, nasty fun also.



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