May 12, 2009

It Stalks the Public Domain - What Was In Sam Dora's Box?

"What Was In Sam Dora's Box?" is the 7-page story under consideration this time around, originally featured in STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #18 [1954] from the good folks at Derby's finest comic book publisher, Charlton.

Zach Marrow is found dead with a bloody knife in a small-town doctor's home, and the doc then narrates the story of the last few month that led to that, starting with the return to down of Sam Dora, who had been sent away some years earlier but returned after his parents died, and who always walked around with a sealed box on his shoulder.

Strange little story, with a very odd twist at the end. I'm not sure that Ditko really manages that final panel reveal as effectively as he could have, but there's a lot of great stuff along the way.

Also, the colouring on this story has some especially fine and subtle touches, moreso than you'd expect for a Charlton comic of the era.

Story in a bit, first the links I like to include:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
Subscribe to DITKOMANIA
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Download public domain comics, likely including the one this story is from

Clicks to bigs:


1 comment:

  1. In a 1980s issue of DITKOMANIA, Mike Tuz speculated that the final panel had been redrawn by another artist, and that the second head looked ridiculous as a result.

    This was one of the earliest Ditko tales I ever read as a kid. It was reprinted in GHOST MANOR #73 (or something like that) in 1984, when I was 13 years old, and buying up the then-current (albeit all-reprint) Charlton comics at the local convenience stores. It was the look of characters like Sam Dora (all black outfit, shadowed eyes) that helped make me a fan of Ditko's art style.



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