Trying to get the title of an old EC comic
August 18, 2008 8:19 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to get a copy EC (or similar publisher) comic about a comic book letterer who murders an inker. I haven't had any response from any of the of forums I've asked in. Ghoulish story synopsis ahead...

The story, as I remember from childhood, was about a talented comic book artist (I think he was an inker) who is pushed down the stairs by an envious assistant (who I think was a letterer). The killer is then possessed by the spirit of the murdered artist and he begins producing beautiful work at a tremendous pace. There's an excellent panel of him clutching a fistfull of cheques but he's unable to leave his desk to cash them or eat. Eventually, the cops have to come to his home and check on him. They find him dead at his desk with his (choke!) hand twitching and the ink still wet on his final drawing... a panel illustrating the murder.

I've since grown up to become an overworked storyboard artist and the image of this exhausted man bound to his desk is one that really resonates with me. I don't care if it's a reprint or in a collection, I'm just hoping to get a copy of it.
I'd even appreciate a link to a good forum for this sort of thing. I buy comics but have never been a huge collector and I got a bit lost in tons of crappy google results.
posted by bonobothegreat to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Gemstone Publishing has several EC Comics anthologies available. If you can find a shop that has store copies available for thumbing through, you could research it that way. You can also contact Gemstone customer service and see if they know the answer. If it's a story that they reprint in a compilation, you may be able to buy it from them. Their customer service can be reached at
posted by ironicsans at 5:23 AM on August 19, 2008

It's not ringing any bells. If this is an EC story, I'm pretty certain that it's not in any of the three flagship horror titles, "Tales From the Crypt," "Vault of Horror" and "Haunt of Fear." It could be in a different EC book, though ("Shock Suspenstories," maybe?).

You could always e-mail Al Feldstein and ask him if he wrote it.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:11 AM on August 19, 2008

Or Bhob Stewart.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:13 AM on August 19, 2008

Response by poster: I did try leaving a question with but didn't get a response. Thanks anyway. I'll try Al Feldstein. I can't find an contact link at the Bhob Stewart blog. I guess I just ask him in a comment thread? I'll post back here if I ever hear anything.
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:16 PM on August 19, 2008

Best answer: You're on the right track. The title of the story is "Ghost Artist." It was illustrated by Steve Ditko and written by me and Russ Jones. You can find it in Charlton's GHOSTLY TALES #101 (January 1973). Russ and I wrote and illustrated several other stories for Charlton that same year. As I recall, the premise of "Ghost Artist" was that the artist who was pushed down the stairs was a successful syndicated strip artist, and the envious assistant was a comic book hack.

It may have been loosely inspired by that Harry Harrison story about an artist who finds he's out of work because the comic book company has installed a computer to draw the stories. What's the title of the Harrison story?
posted by Bhob at 3:16 PM on August 19, 2008 [9 favorites]

Response by poster: Wow... if I thought metafilter was great before, discovering that the author posted the answer here has just blown my mind.

Thankyou very much Bhob. It was easy to find a #101 on ebay. I'm excited that I'll be finally finding out how accurately my 10 year old brain archived it. The story probably came to mind because it would usually be around this time of year, when August was just about over and I'd be down in the basement reading and copying Mad, Plop and Cracked (I don't know how I would have got any horror or crime comics past my Mum). Thanks for writing such a great story. Great blog too!

Also, thanks to Guy_Inamonkeysuit.

... just, wow.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:10 PM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

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