January 8, 2010
Unusual Tales - The Man Who Lost His Face
"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.
"The Man Who Lost His Face" was published by Charlton in STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #34  and has never been reprinted since. Sort of. Page 3 might give some of you a feeling of déjà vu.
A man finds himself walking in a daze down a country road, not sure how he got there. When he gets home, he finds that someone is already there with his face, and discovers his own face has changed. Slowly his memories come back, and he has to find a way to convince the police that there's an alien invasion afoot.
For those curious, Jack Finney's novel THE BODY SNATCHERS was written in 1954, and the movie INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS came out in 1956. I don't know why I mentioned that...
Be that as it may, that large image on the splash page is really evocative, classic Ditko, having the same effect as a really good movie poster. And page three has some really good visual tricks, the transition into the memories and the layouts nicely reinforcing the concept of fragmented memories.
And as an example of the care Charlton put into their comics, check out the dates on the first page.
Some links to check out:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Download public domain comics, likely including the one this story is from
(scans in this series generally adapted to my personal tastes from those copies)
Click images to big-up.
And now you know… the rest of the story.