Sunday, 9 June 2013

It's Midnight! The Witching Hour!

After my recent post about DC Comics' Ghosts, it's time to look back at another of their Bronze Age horror anthology mags.

This time it's The Witching Hour.

Obviously The Witching Hour didn't have the power to paralyse as Ghosts did, what with its stories not being true like those of that other mag. However, they compensated for it by having not one but three hosts in the form of the witches Cynthia, Mildred and Mordred. I think we each have our favourite of the trio. In many ways, they were the Spice Girls of their day.

So, let's take a look at the issues I had and, in a feat of memory not encountered since The 39 Steps, see what I can actually recall about them.

Witching Hour #33

I'm really not sure what happens in this issue. I'm going to guess there might have been a story in it about a World War II seance, and Pompeii being destroyed.

But who cares what was in it? It's a lovely cover by Nick Cardy and, as we all know, it's packaging that matters most in this life.
Witching Hour #34

I've got a feeling this may involve a fake monster. Other than that, I'm not certain.
Witching Hour #35

I got this one on a Sunday. I seem to recall it involved a naughty husband dressing up as a monster to terrorise his wife.

I have no doubt he got his comeuppance in a suitably ironic manner.
Witching Hour #38

It's the Holy Grail! A 100 page version of The Witching Hour!

Bought at Sheffield's then new, but now demolished, Sheaf Market, how I thrilled to this as a child.

My favourite tale was always the one about the boy up the clock tower and the penny that brought nothing but bad luck.
Witching Hour #39

I think this one contains a tale of a man who's a reincarnation of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh and starts to become him thanks to the work of his sinister psychiatrist.

Does this also include the tale about the woman who has a tiny demon growing inside her? That may well have been my favourite DC horror tale of all time.
Witching Hour #40

Nope. Can't remember anything that happens in this one.
Witching Hour #41

Easily my favourite of Nick Cardy's Witching Hour covers  though I can't remember anything that happens inside.
Witching Hour #43

This is one of my faves, in which a village is eagerly awaiting the arrival of Satan until a gormless youth manages to mess the whole deal up.
Witching Hour #45

And another of my faves, as a boy decides to expose his sinister and inhuman uncle.

Interestingly, Nick Cardy basically recycles his own cover from Witching Hour #31.

Witching Hour #31, Nick Cardy
Witching Hour #46

One bought in Blackpool - possibly 1977 - but another issue I can't remember anything about.
Witching Hour #47

Another one I recall nothing of but, from the cover, I suspect there may be more of the, "Husband dressing up as a monster," routine.
Witching Hour #48

And to wrap this post off with the total failure that makes this site so distinctive, I know I got this in Blackpool in 1978 but, otherwise, remember nowt.

Was there a Chinese charm whose weight drags greedy divers to their death? Or am I just extrapolating that from the cover?


Comicsfan said...

I'm glad Satan's back is turned--I'd rather not know why he's flashing that mob. :)

Ade Salmon said...

The best thing about this book were the horror hosts linking sections drawn mostly by the brilliant Alex Toth!

hobbyfan said...

Cynthia, I think, was most people's favorite, and why not?

I actually had acquired a few of these second hand in the past, including the Killer Eye issue. Standard period fare, not much more, but one would wish Cynthia was spun into her own book as DC's answer to Sabrina......

Steve W. said...

I assume Cynthia was the young blonde one, hobbyfan. In which case, I have to concur with your opinion.

R. W. Watkins said...

The coolest things about The Witching Hour were E R Cruz's art (surprise, surprise) and Cynthia the beatnik witch (e.g., 'Like, far out, daddy-o. Satan was makin' the scene on the south side of the burg that sundown, so he went to rap with the man with the killer peepers at his pad in nowheresville').