May 10, 2009

It Stalks the Public Domain - Von Mohl Vs. The Ants

More classic Ditko at

"Von Mohl Vs. The Ants" is a 7-page story from Charlton's STRANGE SUSPENSE STORIES #20 [1954], and one suspects that the anonymous author had read Carl Stephenson 1938 short story "Leiningen Versus the Ants" not too long before.

In this version of the story, Hugo Von Mohl is a rubber plantation owner in Africa, cruel to his workers, ruthless to his competitors. Then a sudden attack of the dreaded red ants threatens the area, and Von Mohl insists on staying behind to fight them any way he can, which involves a lot of blowing things up, shooting things and burning things. In the end, well, you'll see, not quite the ending Leiningen got.

Lovely work by Ditko in this one, especially the close-ups of the ants, and some of the lush jungle scenes.  And Von Mohl, with his scars and moustache and monocle, is a great looking Ditko character, a shame he'd never appear again, but we'd see his kind later.

The usual links:
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

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