August 30, 2010

Unusual Tales - The Messages

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

From Charlton's THIS MAGAZINE IS HAUNTED #12 [1957] is the 5-page story "The Messages" by Ditko.

Dr. Haunt's story this time around is about Dr. Diablo and his incredible tiny people, and how they were rescued. Nothing too exciting visually in this one, but the storytelling is solid.  I do like the bottom of page two, which is an early appearance of a classic Ditko pose.

You know the drill, story below, but first I'm going to place these links you might be interested in
Buy Ditko's creator-owned work
New material and classic reprints
Find out about the fanzine DITKOMANIA
Coming your way bi-monthly or better
Check out new and upcoming Ditko publications
CREEPER hardcover now available
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 to make the little people (and everything else) bigger.


  1. The rescuer himself made up the messages.

    He knew that something was not right the moment he saw the tiny men. One or more of them must have worn a pleading expression that registered in the rescuer at least subliminally.

    How did he know that Diabolo had stolen a "cellular shrinking serum"?
    Either it had been in the news or he had precociously imagined it. Perhaps he had invented it in his own mind and it just happened to be correct.

    Maybe the rescuer himself did not really know Morse Code, either.
    But even so, how did he know the serum was on the shelf?
    Perhaps this, too, was a subconscious fabrication that happened to be correct.

    Or, maybe Dr. Haunt did it.
    Who cares? It is a great story!

  2. Hm, I pretty much assumed that the story implied Dr. Haunt was sending the messages, but now I'm not so sure...

  3. Somebody who was permanently shrank in a "first try" experiment and is now microscopic maybe?

  4. Somebody who was permanently shrank in a "first try" experiment and is now microscopic maybe?



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