Thursday, March 24, 2005

EC - Loved to Death (Kamen)

Loved to Death
art by Jack Kamen, story by Al Feldstein
Tales From the Crypt #25[#9] (1951)

Kamen was one of the most prolific of the EC artists, doing some great work in the horror and crime books. He's probably most notable for drawing some of the sexiest women in EC comics, which is evident in this story.

This is a goofy little story about Edward, a bit of a loser who is having no luck getting the girl of his dreams, Margie, interested in him. He gets referred to an alchemist, who offers to sell him a love potion for just one dollar. The alchemist also tells Edward that he expects Edward back for the antidote soon enough. For some reason this comment doesn't set off alarm bells in Edward's head. The potion works, but soon enough Edward finds himself smothered by Margie's constant adoring attention, and returns for the antidote, which turns out to be an undetectable poison which sells for one thousand dollars. Quite a scam this guy has running. Edward goes along with it, but mistakenly poisons himself. In the afterlife he's still happy to be free of the constant attention of a sexy Kamen-drawn woman, only to be shocked when Margie appears, not being willing to keep living without him.

Like I said, goofy, but some clever unexpected twists. Kamen's artwork definitely makes it stand out, though.

3 comments:

  1. Anonymous5:04 pm

    So this is a very belated comment to this entry, as I've just discovered this section of your blog... but John Collier wrote a short story called "The Chaser" a decade prior, which seems to have been the basis for "Loved to Death". Collier's story, however, only shows the reader the conversation between the main boy and the alchemist (there, he's just "the old man"), allowing one to draw his or her own conclusions.

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  2. Informative comments are always welcome, however old the post is. Thanks for the information. The EC checklist in TALES OF TERROR lists a lot of the short stories that "inspired" the EC stories, but not that one.

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  3. Anonymous11:52 pm

    hm. I have loved the twists of EC's stories, although this one seems a bit obscure...

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