Greetings again, fellow mysterious travelers!
This time I present a beautiful early tale from the Master of the macabre The recently departed Steve Ditko. More detailed than is typical for his approach this story nevertheless has the straightforward, clear storytelling and creepy atmosphere that is the Ditko Hallmark.
Again the central protagonists look nicely craggy weathered and worn, their faces portray desperation, a sweaty intensity that no other artist seemed capable of approaching. As great as Ditko was at the superhero stuff, this is the genre he was uniquely gifted at.
Again multiple versions are presented, but no original art alas. There is, however, something of merit to compare in the differing coloring approaches. My preference is for the original flat colors, the newsprint aiding in muting the intensity of the hues. So much easier on the eye than the superbright recoloring of the remastered versions. I would commend the publishers for generally matching the original simple colors and avoiding the gradients and glows that so many reprints are blighted by. Modern coloring can so often swamp the linework, so it’s great to see the restraint that is applied here.
The modern remastering process, on the whole, is impressive, there is a clarity and crispness to the blacks with no loss of detail at all, and indeed there is often a presence of fine lines that had closed up in the original printings. I assume here the original film was somehow available? Given the quality of the original publications, I commend their efforts overall. I wish however it was possible to desaturate the colors ever so slightly to match the original colorists intent, the close-ups I provide show how much is lost when these moody stories are rendered with such intense saturated hues. We don’t need them to be various shades of brown and grey but dialing back the saturation would go a long way to preserving the mood of these early mystery classics.
So I now present the tale of the day: BEHIND MY DOOR WAITS MEDUSA! Originally published all the way back in Tales Of Suspense number 10, 1960. Included is the reprinting in the Where Monsters Dwell magazine, Number 4, 1970.