Monday, November 23, 2009

You've Been Warned: Strange Suspense Stories #5

This is a pretty link entry in an otherwise decent anthology series. The stories are adequate, if not exactly strange or suspenseful, but it is the lacklustre art that holds it back for me. There's no Ditko, no Aparo, no Boyette etc... It is simply the Charlton house look to the point where I cannot figure out who did what. The cover is also a yawner - simply recolour versions of interior splash pages. The lead story The $100 Bills is a story of an embezzler who should have been a bit nicer to the natives. It has a good EC feel to it, but lacks the bite and is terribly paced. The Magic Desk is weak right from the start, as the notion of a desk (substitute coat, armoire etc...) that grants riches only to take them away is an idea I've seen handled better elsewhere. It could have been a two-pager. I did like the art here though. The GCD states that it wall all Ernie Bache, and I'm not familiar enough with his pencils to argue otherwise. The less said about the finale, The Maestro's Voice, the better - it is the very weak story of the ghost of a vengeful opera. It is haunted by bland art (Nicholas & Alascia?) and ends with a lame attempt at humour. Overall I like this series, but this is one to avoid.

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