Comic Bookery / Countdown to Halloween / Flea Market Finds / Holidazed

Weirdo Wednesdays: Mr. Monster (Sort Of)

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Have you ever been rifling through your comics and stumble upon something that makes you say, “What the heck?!?” I was looking for something else to cover for today’s post, but once I ran across this gem, I couldn’t resist.

This random comic is from the early days of Dark Horse. Apparently in 1987, Wacky Squirrel was a thing. The quick search I did reveals that Wacky Squirrel was a character from another anthropomorphic animal title, Boris the Bear. (Boris was Dark Horse’s answer to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.) In this adventure, he’s joined by another Dark Horse character, Mr. Monster. (Mr. Monster’s first Dark Horse appearance is in this book, but he had appeared under a different publisher.)

I love this store window display, especially the Reagan mask.

I love this store window display, especially the Reagan mask.

In this adventure, Wacky and friends discover that some monsters are actual monsters, not people in masks.

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Monsters have taken over a house, and Wacky and his pal DB are going to check it out.

I love the art in this book. These monsters are neat!

I love the art in this book. These monsters are neat!

Wacky and DB are in over their heads, and it looks hopeless.

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Finally, Mr. Monster appears to save the day!

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Apparently it takes a lot of firepower to rid a house of ghouls and ghosts.

Also, origin story!

Also, origin story!

So that appearance of Mr. Monster is our Dark Horse introduction to the character. It’s a typical “special appearance,” where the guest swoops in at the last minute to save the day. I’m pretty sure I paid a quarter for it, and I gotta say, it was worth it.

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The second appearance of Mr. Monster I own is this: Mr. Monster’s Weird Tales of the Future! It’s odd that for a character I know nothing about I own not one, but two random appearances. This one is by far my favorite, though Mr. Monster has nothing to do with it. This book is, as promised on the cover, “Wall to wall Wolverton…!”

If you’re not familiar with Basil Wolverton, Google Image search his name. You’ll find his work on MAD Magazine, Spacehawk, and the comic on which this one is based, Weird Tales of the Future. 

I'm pretty sure boob pockets aren't a thing, but maybe they should be. Cargo boobs!

I’m pretty sure boob pockets aren’t a thing, but maybe they should be. Cargo boobs!

So Mr. Monster introduces this collection of reprints of some of Wolverton’s stories from the original comic from the ’50s. That’s pretty much the extent of his appearance, but when Basil Wolverton’s work is involved, I really only want the minimum interference.

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The first story is one of the classics–“Brain Bats of Venus”. It’s typical space horror, where astronauts are picked off after a crash on a distant planet.

Is there a cooler image to introduce a story? I don't think there is.

Is there a cooler image to introduce a story? I don’t think there is.

The second story, “Nightmare World,” is about the dangers of experimentation with chemicals.

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The book also features a profile of Wolverton and samples of his other work, like this portrait of Karloff.

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Here’s another space story: “Escape to Death”. I love Wolverton’s monsters.

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“Flight to the Future” is what happens if you decide to escape a death sentence by freezing yourself for 20,000 years. I’m guessing it’s not like Futurama.

So there’s not a lot of Mr. Monster in this book, but if you are lucky enough to find it in a $0.50 bin like I did, it’s a great way to snag some key Wolverton stories. They’re also collected in a few volumes, and I highly recommend you seek out his work when you can.

Thanks for taking a journey with me deep into the spinner racks of doom. Next week, who knows where it will take us?

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