March 17, 2007

Ghosts #111 [1982]

Here's an interesting little one-time only collaboration between two of my favourite comic book creators. Sheldon Mayer is best known for his work as a cartoonist (SUGAR & SPIKE, SCRIBBLY, hundreds of funny animal stories) and as an editor (the All-American side of DC's golden age, including WONDER WOMAN, FLASH, GREEN LANTERN and the JSA). He also scripted about three dozen stories for DC's various horror and sci-fi titles of the 1970s and early 1980s. And Steve Ditko drew about the same number of stories for those books.

They intersected at the end of their respective tenures on those lines for the 10-page ghost story "Shrieeeeeek!", and it's a great little story highlighting some of neat aspects that both creators brought to their work.

A woman is frightened when she finds a live mouse caught in a trap. Her husband wants to kill it, but she decides to release it outside, only her husband then allows the cat next door to kill it. We also find out that he's having an affair with the woman next door. While driving to a meeting with his mistress, the man is haunted by the ghost of the mouse. That doesn't frighten him, and instead he tries to get the mouse to haunt his wife, hoping that'll drive her crazy, giving him control of her money. And we all know plans like that never backfire in horror stories.

Mayer's script is some nice, quirky fun, with some unexpected twists. Ditko does a great job with it, adding his own quirks in the great expressive animal and ghost styles he has intersecting. Plus he gets to draw a cemetery, which always suits his style.

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