Saturday, January 09, 2010

EC - The Hungry Grave (Ingels)

The Hungry Grave
art by Graham Ingels, story by Gardner Fox
Crypt of Terror, The #19[#3] (1950)

Some early EC horror here, one of a handful of stories written for the line by Gardner Fox.

Ida's been out of love with her husband Ed for a while, and been slowly poisoning him with arsenic, but didn't have the nerve to go all the way until Jim came along, with the foolproof idea of emptying out a grave and using it to dispose of the body (I'm not quite clear on why they can't just dispose of the body where they hide the body of the person they take out of the grave, saving a lot of digging if nothing else). Unfortunately for them, Ida's gradual poisoning has built up Ed's immunity to arsenic, so he's still alive. They decide to try again the next day.

When Jim shows up, he finds no one home except for a body in a bag, which he takes and buries, surprised a bit when it starts to moan, but going through with the act of burying it alive. Not surprisingly to anyone who's read more than three EC comics in their life, he gets an unpleasant surprise when he goes back to celebrate with Ida. Two unpleasant surprises if you count the ax...

So, yeah, crime doesn't pay, or something like that.  Some nice early Ingels work here, a little bit rough around the edges compared to his later work (and this particular printing is kind of dark), but the panel of Jim surprised by the moaning body in the grave is an excellent example of his work.

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