Ignoring what he’s done in the past, blindly, stupidly, disregarding the entire graveyards he’s filled, the thousands who have suffered, the friends he’s crippled… and I thought… I thought I’d be the last person you’d ever let him hurt. If it had been you that he beat to a bloody pulp, if he had taken you away from this world, I would’ve done nothing but search the planet for this pathetic pile of evil death worshiping garbage and send him off to hell!
Decided to make a handy graphic after seeing a lot of misinformation spread around tumblr. Current science isn’t perfect and definitions are bound to change, but I wanted to push back against the hostile attitude against it because it seems like a lot of people are being hostile for the wrong reasons.
Please let me know if there are any factual errors, thank you :)
This is actually the first Wally Wood story that I ever read and I LOVE it. It’s silly to say, but I feel like The Curse had such a profound effect on me in terms of what I have tried to draw and write.
The art is interesting because it’s very detailed and it has those screentones that I always associate with Wood, but it also seems a little stiff compared to what you might see in Sally Forth and Cannon. What’s odd about that is that this ran in 1971 in Vampirella #9, and Sally Forth also started its run in Overseas Weekly that year. So I don’t really know what to attribute that stiffness to. Regardless, I remember being blown away by the art when I first saw it because it really wasn’t like anything else I had seen in comics up to that point.
I have to stress that I came across The Curse in the middle of the 1990s, a period where comics were being aggressively marketed as “collector’s items” and crossovers and variant covers really did a good job of destroying anything redeeming about the story or art on display in the majority of titles that were running at the time. The art in The Curse was just so different from what I was used to; it had such a classic look to it that harkened back to an past age of comics; and yet something about it felt very modern, with the strange fantasy setting and the female nudity on display, it really felt like something that I could have run across in Heavy Metal; and there was the fact that it was black and white and was drawn in a way that the lack of color actually enhanced the art.
Then there’s the story. On the surface, it’s typical swords and sorcery stuff. But then there’s the lizard-man main character and once you actually delve into the plot itself it’s all very surreal and almost like a fever dream with the way it lurches from one set piece to the next and sometimes the monsters are real and sometimes the monsters are illusions and maybe the beautiful naked blonde witch isn’t what she seems. And of course there’s that twist ending.
So really, I can’t stress just how much I love this work by Wood. It’s not perfect, but it is very good and very unique and really the perfect jumping off point for anybody to start to get into Wood’s work.
I am also very grateful that at least one blog out there has some scans of The Curse at a decent resolution. All credit for that should go to http://stendekkk.blogspot.com/ which is where I was able to find the scans that are showcased in this post.