Saturday, February 18, 2017

Monster in the Building

All settings on WEIRD OVERLOAD as we delve into the final tale from the oddball October-November 1954 issue of Strange Fantasy #14  ...and wow, check out the GCD entry on this one, between the Eerie Pub remakes, and L. Miller Gredown reprints, Monster in the Building was revived 10 freakin' times over the years --Farrell even dragged it out again themselves and updated it for Strange Journey #2 in post code '57! Did this tale really deserve this much continued attention? Haha, Hell yes! And woo-hoo! It's another full issue presentation here at THOIA! Hope you enjoyed it!















8 comments:

Brian Barnes said...

Well, now we know what Rocksteady was up to until he joined up with Bebop to take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

There's a crazy amount of material in here, and then nearly none of it comes with adequate explanation! Yet my favorite part is still how the cop wakes up. I can just assume in the Karswell household he wakes up every morning thinking "Well, another day. Time to scan comics!"

Mr. Cavin said...

I'd like to think that the costume was the alien really working hard to fit in. "We know they have these ears up here and this mouth at the front bottom and there's a snout of sorts in between. Most of them have a funny growth on the top of their heads, and wrinkled skin all over the place. They wear skirts with empire waists and shoulder pads. This is probably good enough in the dark." How aliens see us; just a little off-model is all. A little lazy.

Guy Callaway said...

All I can aay is how brave the writer was to portray the police as the corrupt, pinochle-playing layabouts they were!

Mestiere said...

When Paul Andrews found the monster suit I thought that he would turn out to be the killer and that he had multiple personality disorder. But the story was much better than that.

It's interesting how many details resemble those of modern UFO stories:

• a large "reptilian" monster

• a skinny big-headed alien

• who can paralyze you with a ray

• who sort of floats around instead of walking

• and communicates through telepathy

• he gives a message of impending doom for Humanity

• a flying saucer as a living being (witnesses of close sightings often claim the object itself seems alive, like being close to a whale)

• wearing other bodies as suits (that appears in Whitley Strieber's non-fiction book Transformation, for example)

Since the story is from 1954 before several of these details were better known one has to assume the writer got lucky. But it's interesting that this strange story resonated enough to be revived ten times.

Morbid said...

"Since the story is from 1954 before several of these details were better known one has to assume the writer got lucky. But it's interesting that this strange story resonated enough to be revived ten times."

"It's interesting how many details resemble those of modern UFO stories"

Or maybe because it had been read in the impressionable childhoods (originally or in one of the ten different ways it was published and remade over the years) by the tellers of modern UFO stories, that the details became part of modern UFO folklore?

Mestiere said...

"Or maybe because it had been read in the impressionable childhoods (originally or in one of the ten different ways it was published and remade over the years) by the tellers of modern UFO stories, that the details became part of modern UFO folklore?"

Could be. But I wonder, if reading science fiction stories causes people to imagine these details, why not other details? Where are the reports of aliens wielding light sabers, sightings of the Klingon and the Ferengi, aliens flying with capes, and any number of other things? Is it because some details in particular hold a special meaning for humans? Or is it some other reason?

And then there are the cases with multiple witnesses that have happened in remote villages in Africa, Brazil, Nepal and other places where people never read a comic book (or anything else) and they tell the same details. I doubt the answer will be literal aliens coming to Earth in actual nuts and bolts metal spaceships. In fact, I would be disappointed if the answer is that simple. But I feel there is a real mystery here.

Morbid said...

Those details are too specific to identifiable clear sources. When it's not such a clear and obvious source -- such as an obscure comic book story read in childhood, or even a theme from a movie, but no characters or props specific to a movie -- then they seem to be repeated by UFO encounter witnesses. Look how many times the underlying themes of The Day The Earth Stood Still pops up in accounts -- stop war etc. -- but there is no Gort.

I do agree with you that it is a legit phenomenon, and it is more complex than just nuts and bolts spaceships. However it could be nuts and bolts spaceships manned by aliens who actually cloud witnesses' minds so that they substitute childhood memories of aliens rather than see what is actually there or what is actually done by them. Or even that they are so bizarre that the human mind does it naturally as a defence mechanism to stop madness. That, to me, makes the concept of aliens vastly more frightening than some War of the Worlds scenario. Instead, they are treating us like we might in observing a species in the forest, always keeping a distance, doing what they please. And there's nothing we can do about it.

Grant said...

I don't go to a horror FICTION site expecting to read about "Fortean" stuff, and when I do see that, it's often the completely negative comments I see. So it's nice to read other kinds of comments here.
The comments here about "UFO's as living things" remind me of Trevor Constable's "Sky Creatures." It took me forever to read one of his books, and I don't pretend to understand it that well (he gets pretty philosophical), but it was very interesting.