Even a Mummy Can Use a Hand, Sometimes

Mummy-HandAs I mentioned yesterday, today’s the U.S. release of The Mummy, Universal Studios’ new take on their old horror-movie franchise. So with that in mind, I figured it’d be the perfect time to reach into the horror-comic archives and pull out a classic one-page tale of the bandaged dead: “The Mummy’s Hand”! Click on the image to embiggen, as they say.

First published in Star Publications’ Ghostly Weird Stories #120 (cover-dated September 1953), “The Mummy’s Hand” was written, drawn, and colored by New Jersey native Jay Disbrow, a cult-favorite comics artist who passed away on May 2nd of this year, at the age of 91. The height of his popularity came during the 1950s, when horror comics were all the rage and Disbrow got to draw all sorts of weird and creepy monsters until the censor-heavy Comics Code Authority came along and put an end to the fun (but not for long!). But the CCA didn’t put an end to Dusbrow’s talents—he kept writing and drawing his own indie comics right up to 2005, creating such sci-fi characters as Captain Electron, Aroc of Zenith, and Lance Carrigan of the Galactic Legion.

Monstresses On the Prowl

Hey, horror fans! As you might know, this Friday is the U.S. release date for The Mummy, the latest iteration of Universal Pictures’ classic Egyptian monster first brought to celluloid life by the legendary Boris Karloff in 1932.

This time around, the titular character is a woman—Princess Ahmanet, played by Sofia Boutella, whom you might remember from the popular movies Kingsman: The Secret Service (she was the blade-footed assassin) and Star Trek Beyond. And trying to stop her plans for world domination is none other than megastar Tom Cruise, with some help from Russell Crowe—who’s playing Dr. Henry Jekyll and his notorious counterpart, Mr. Hyde! It’s the kickoff title in Universal’s “Dark Universe” line of movies, to be followed by rebooted versions of The Bride of Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Creature From the Black Lagoon.

whitefell-werewolf-cvrSpeaking of female monsters, are you familiar with the story of White Fell—The Werewolf? Originally published in 1896 as The Were-wolf, it was written by renowned author, artist, and suffragette Clemence Annie Housman, and is regarded by scholars as perhaps the first feminist werewolf story. It’s also the launch title of StarWarp Concepts’ SWC Horror Bites line of chapbooks. Here’s the back-cover copy:

A beautiful woman wanders into a snowbound village—and into the hearts of twin brothers, one of whom immediately becomes smitten by her.

The other brother, however, soon grows suspicious of the enigmatic White Fell. Where did she come from? Why does she always carry an ax? And is her sudden appearance somehow related to the recent sightings of a bloodthirsty wolf in the area?

He may come to regret being so inquisitive…

Critics have continued to enjoy it, even 121 years after its first publication:

“For Housman, the female werewolf is a vehicle for her to present a strong feminist-inspired female character…. It is possible that Housman was telling the world that women had a hidden strength and that men should beware of their own hidden nature.”—The Nuke Mars Journal of Speculative Fiction

“White Fell is interesting because she subverts many of the tropes of the monstrous woman—i.e without maternal instincts, animalistic, lustful, etc. She is a femme fatale only in the most basic sense that she is a deadly woman.”—International Gothic Association

White Fell—The Werewolf is on sale right now in print and digital formats, so visit its product page at StarWarp Concepts for further information and order it today.