May 8, 2010

Unusual Tales - Not Normal

"Unusual Tales", a series presenting Steve Ditko's comics from 1957 to 1959 that are in the public domain.

From Charlton's TALES OF THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER #7 [1958] comes the 5-page "Not Normal".

Odd little story about Peter Benton, a young man who has an abnormal streak of luck, which doesn't seem to be as good a thing as you'd think.

Not really the best of stories, and some of the artwork looks like it had some other hands in it.  Overall one of the more understandable never-reprinted stories.

Some links to check out:
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
Lots of stuff that did deserve reprinting in AVENGING WORLD
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Includes art from pro fans of Ditko like Dave Sim, Michael T. Gilbert, Neil Vokes and others
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
Check out the new softcover series of Marvel Masterworks
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.



  1. I agree its not one of Ditko's better efforts, although there are a few panels that are nice. I don't think other hands were onvolved inn the art, but it appears that the last panel was likely changed, perhaps by the comics code, and a new ending was substituted. Not only is the face in that panel clearly not by Ditko, but the lettering is crude and not lettered by the same hand as the rest of the story.

    Nick C.

  2. That last panel was the main one I was thinking of, although a few others also look a bit off. If the ending was changed, I wonder what the problem could have been? The other examples of such possible comics code mandated changes have obvious things like the devil or some grotesque horror, there would have to be some twist at the end for this one to raise the ire of the code. Or maybe not, maybe it was something like revealing the character was black and the story was a metaphor for racism (little EC joke for those in the know).

  3. I'm only guessing, but it looked like the code wanted a happy ending, since the next to last panel infers that something bad was going to happen, so perhaps they felt the downbeat ending was too depressing. The code was so arbitrary its really hard to tell.

    Nick C.



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