You have to give Charlton credit, when an artist wanted a full issue to go mad with, they always got it. 'Course, if Tom Sutton said he wanted to paint the bowling alley next to the Charlton offices you'd let him, him being a creature from another dimension and all. Mountain Of Fear is Tom doing Lovecraft, by way of Hammer, with special effects by Rob Bottin, which means it's about as great as a horror comic can be. Even Charlton's patented crappy printing works for the story, like some lost manuscript carved out of human skin and written in blood.
Here's a lost masterpiece, one of the sadly few times the mighty Russ Heath worked for Marvel in the Bronze Age. Here, Russ is obviously, and spectacularly, channeling Hieronymus Bosch, the 14th century religious painter whose terrifying visions of Hell are still, hundreds of years later, the template for all ideas of the inferno. Which means that this is the best version of Hell in comics ever done by anyone.
We take a short break here, to show off what would've been the next page, but that was rejected by the Comics Code, and that I'm astounded anybody, from Bill, Russ and Archie upwards, ever thought they'd get away with.
And here's the hastily assembled replacement page, put together in an afternoon by Archie & Jazzy John.
That last page looks out of place too, looking a bit like Herb Trimpe inked by Al Milgrom, maybe. Was there another rejected page there?
Here's king of the Bronze Age TV tie-in annual, John Bolton, with a couple of gorgeous pieces from the 1978 New Avengers book. There's puns aplenty from Steed, and boy does Bolton make the most of Purdey's patented ballet / kung fu high kicking skills. The first strip in particular is very in keeping with the show, like in the panel where Steed meets Professor L. Sing ( ouch! ), and he rests his bowler on the demon skull on the mantelpiece. Steed would absolutely do that.
Sadly, Gambit doesn't get to do his much-imitated-in-the-playground Nescafe hand move, but you can't have everything, can you?
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