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trying to locate a Horror Story [killer baby] from early 70s 
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With Hallowe'en almost upon us, I've been getting into the spirit of things by looking through a good few older-styled Horror publications, usually the EC Comics-type stuff, like CREEPY, WEIRD TALES and other delights...the sheer paranoia evident within these often hysterical stories has great period appeal and some of the stories are pretty creepy and chilling.


In the 60s and early 70s, the UK was awash with endless USA imports of pretty lurid Horror fare, and some of these journals found their way into my Primary School, which is where I first encountered them...



Dunno if there are any conniseurs of such fare within this fine forum, but hopefully someone can help me locate this following tale, which is seared into my memory.


Sorry I don't know the name of the anthology, but it was most certainly American, black-and-white and in a small format. I read this circa 1972, so it is from that era or possibly from the very late 60s.


The story:



A young baby is found abandoned on a doorstep, in a basket, late one night, at the door of an affluent young couple with no children of their own. The babe is taken in and before long shows signs of intelligence beyond it's tender years: at a few months old, he asks in impeccable English to be lifted up. Before long, as the babe reaches infanthood, and the first signs of disturbing activity are seen as the adoptive parents view the youngster studying a large book on advanced mathematics, at an age when he should be playing with cuddly toys.


Eventually, the adoptive couple learn to appreciate the talents of their 'child prodigy' who by now, still a young infant, has turned his intelligence into producing accomplished, highly-skiled portrait works of the parents, all on display. One night, the babe takes a sharp pair of scissors and tears to shreds one of the pictures of the parents------this cuts to a police crime scene, as the cops ponder why the couple have been stabbed to death for no motive. The baby is seen as an innocent victim amongst this Horror.



This story ends with the baby re-appearing on the doorstep and taken in by a new, unsuspecting couple, who ponder to why anyone would abandon such an 'innocent'. The final frame sees the baby giving us--the readers--a sinister wink.




Phew! There were cold shivers running down my spine just recounting this....


----I know it's a long-shot, but this story remains one of the most memorable comic-tales I ever read, and I'm on a quest to track it down...hope someone can point me in the right direction.

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Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:15 am
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I've alerted a second specialist site in my quest to locate this story, with a link back here to Comics UK:


http://monsterkidclassichorrorforum.yuk ... I5Pvm8xrdU

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Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:45 am
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I bought just about every horror comic going in the early seventies and have just sold the first two issues of Nightmare and Psycho on ebay. The story rings a bell. I'll sleep on it and it may enter my subconscious during slumber. Speaking of Halloween I am thinking of watching the film The Ghostbreakers on Wednesday night. It hasn't been on tv since I was a teenager back in the seventies so it will be around 40 years since I last watched it. Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. 1940. A very funny film.


Mon Oct 29, 2012 10:32 pm
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It would be most appreciated, Steve: I knew I could rely on you, Sir!

I had no idea [until now] you were a Horror-comic aficiando, though.......

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Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:47 am
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That story could easily have appeared in a Skywald title except that you say the comic was small format. As Skywald and indeed the Marvel horror b&w titles were magazines, it sort of rules that out. I can't remember digest reprints of those mags. The digest DC reprints were in colour. There's no chance it could have been in Spectre Stories or similar, the John Spencer, London, published comics. They were smaller than a DC, in b&w. :-
http://bearalley.blogspot.co.uk/2007/03 ... omics.html
and here:-
http://themagicrobot.wordpress.com/cate ... er-comics/
I only have a couple of them and the story is in neither. Sorry.
There were also the Jim Warren mags, Eerie etc. but they are magazine sized and again I don't remember digest issues. Some info here:-
http://themagicrobot.wordpress.com/cate ... en-comics/


Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:25 pm
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Thanks for your interest, Paw! It was such a long time ago the actual format may be different to how I remember it, but the details of this story are etched into my memory!

I'll take a look at your leads though, hopefully I will be able to find a site which maybe even lists synopsis to a lot of these Horror Tales---there was such a glut of these at one time it won't be easy to track a single story down---the internet is a big place however, it's finding the right connections.


I will look at your leads all the same, as I'm getting a bit of a taste for these older-style Horror Comics!

But thank you for looking.

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Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:31 pm
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Oddly enough, the story you describe seems to have a lot in common with 'The Orphan' from EC's Shock SuspenStories no.14 (reprinted in the UK in The Haunt of Fear no.1). This tale, in which an 'innocent' little girl kills her father and frames her mother for the crime so that she can live with her nice aunt, became notorious on both sides of the Atlantic when it was cited as evidence of the insidious lessons that comics were providing for children. Here's the final page:

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As for the actual comic you remember, the only possibility I can think of is a small-size horror series that Thorpe & Porter produced under their Top Sellers imprint during the late 1960s. Unfortunately I don't have any examples of these, but I do recall that I found them particularly disturbing at the time.

- Phil Rushton


Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:56 pm
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Yes Phil, I had forgotten about them. And I don't have any examples either. There was also the digest sized Tales of Terror published by Famepress, which were Italian reprints and as we know, some Italian comics were exceptionally violent, horrific and pornographic. The only issue I have is #5 and neither it nor #6, according to the ad., have that story. Don't think there is a contents list anywhere for these comics.


Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:24 pm
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You're right Paw, the Italian material represented in Tales of Terror was astonishingly over the top; goodness knows what Doc Wertham would have made of this! :shock:

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- Phil Rushton


Tue Oct 30, 2012 11:23 pm
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Thanks for your deliciously disturbing illustrations, Phil: yes, that final 'dierct-wink-to the-readers-in-the-final-frame-by-a-malevolent-child' device seems to have been a widely-used staple of Horror Comics of this period.

That's extremely accomplished artwork [the parents getting electrocuted] and conclusive proof that the medium of comics is capable of producing disturbing works to rank with any other medium.

I will look into the THORPE and PORTER connection as well: I keep such notes in a traditional notebook, as it's easy to lose relevant leads recorded on earlier threads on here, even if you search.

I have been able to track down a fair amount of my childhood comics-reading memories by various means, and this one is high on my list: I've discovered other macabre delights through this by way of bonus, though!


Happy Hallowe'en!

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Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:43 am
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To give credit where it's due, the "... extremely accomplished artwork..." on The Orphan is by Jack Kamen


Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:25 am
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...Who was the father of Dean Kamen - eccentric inventor of the Segway Human Transporter, which has famously appeared on shows like Doctor Who. :)

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- Phil Rushton (Department of Weird Trivia!)


Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:24 pm
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As well, Peter Gabriel and his daughter!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5W0DXPxMU4


Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:55 pm
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It was my short attention span that made me gravitate toward the horror comics, they had stand alone seven or eight page stories which were easy to digest. At the time in the mid seventies Marvel and, to a lesser extent, DC were producing very long continuing stories like Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf by Night etc. Not to mention the Krull-Skree (sic) war in the Avengers. Buying almost every title each month I found it hard to keep track of all the storylines so never really read them. Only now with the Essentials Collections am I able to sit and absorb a nice long Doc Strange or X-Men tale. It was the same with the UK comics so i only read the funnies. Bring on the Thomson/IPC collected editions.

As for that story you want to find. I'm afraid nothing comes to mind.


Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:07 pm
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thanks so much for your interest, though, guys!

Since looking through a fair bit of this Horror material, Jack Kamen's work turns up repeatedly as amonst the finest in this genre-----exquisite craftsmanship:

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Sat Nov 03, 2012 1:39 pm
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