Thursday, May 7, 2009

I Love Atlas Comics #5: "Step Into My Parlor!"

Although the stories featured in most comics of the 30s to 50s might be termed short stories - as many comics were anthologies with a variety of featured series - many tales averaged 5-6 pages; the rare story might double that count. But today's tale is a mere three pages and it shows how to render an effective story with very little space.

"Step Into My Parlor!" is by Don Rico and originated in Suspense#9 (1951).

The central figure in the story is called "the Collector" and possesses a unique collection of items connected to murders. As a man stops by for directions, the Collector insists on granting him a tour of the collection. Not all of the items are murder weapons - some were simply in the murderer's possession at the time of the event. As the Collector shows his reluctant guest around he reacts to the news that the man is going to marry Elaine Levitt.

Sure enough, the insinuations are coming. The Collector never alters his severe visage as he makes subtle hints to his guest that he might be too old for Elaine Levitt.

The Collector goes on to relate how Elaine is supposedly involved with a farm hand named Bob Loring. At this, the guest flies into a rage and storms out.

Noticing that his visitor left his glasses behind, the Collector adds them to his shelves.

Yes, three pages - and although it is without bloodshed or supernatural happenings, it's the most memorable story from this particular issue of Suspense!

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