EC: The Haunt of Fear Volume 3 (1989)
Five months ago I wrote a post focused on Comic Artist #1 (Spring 1998). The magazine featured a great article with interviews from Len Wein, Berni Wrightson and Joe Orlando. The three Swamp Thing creators briefly discuss the creative process and origins of their famous muck monster. Indeed, there are a number of Swamp Monsters throughout the history of sci-fi and horror literature that inspired the creation of Swamp Thing but Orlando mentions that the first Swamp Thing story from House of Secrets #92 was also inspired by the story, Gorilla My Dreams from The Haunt of Fear #17 (1953). Well, he doesn’t specificly mention issue #17 but through a good bit of research and chatting with fellow Swamp Thing fanatic and guru, Rich Handley, I came to the conclusion that this was indeed the book Orlando was referencing.
“… the first story was done in House of Secrets and I fed to Len the idea from an old EC story that I loved where they took the brains out of this guy and put it into an ape and the last panel is that it’s Christmas time and he looks into the window of his home and sees his wife and children celebrating Christmas and there’s a picture of daddy. The family turns and screams and he has to run and leave. I thought that that’s such a powerful idea and it’s in the first Swamp Thing story.”
His recollection of the story is a little fuzzy but the gist is understood, as you will see in the following images. Since I love researching Swamp Thing, I had to find this issue and share it with you fellow Swampy fans. Turns out the original book is tough to come by and is currently selling for more than I’d like to spend. The book has been reprinted a few times and I haven’t had much luck tracking one down until today! This good looking, 9″ x 12″, 172 page, black and white hardcover collects The Haunt of Fear (EC Comics 1950-1954) issues 12-17. The collected Golden Age tales of horror features stories by Gardner Fox, Harry Harrison, Al Feldstein, Jack Davis and Wally Wood.
The back cover features the cover of The Haunt of Fear #17 (1953)
I immediately got home and dug into the book. The stories are horrific and wonderful! Gorilla My Dreams was better than I could have hoped. I certainly can see why Orlando would want to borrow the emotions and themes depicted in the short story.
The Vault of Horror!
Gorilla My Dreams
Script: Albert B. Feldstein, Art: George Evans
Philip Stoker is a business man on his way to work. He leaves his beautiful family for the city, as he does everyday.
A stranger has arrived at his office, first thing in the morning, to meet with Mr Stoker. Before Stoker can understand the situation at hand he is drugged unconscious.
Stoker wakes to find himself strapped to an operating table. Only, he isn’t himself. His brain has been transplanted into a gorilla!
Continue reading “EC: The Haunt of Fear Volume 3”